Beyond the Desk: Tracy Dowtin Moves Gracefully from Pen to Paintbrush

Updated: Mar 3, 2020


Meet Tracy. This NIH Executive Assistant doesn’t have time for thumb twiddling. When she’s not at work, caught in a whirlwind of emails and travel coordinating, she’s submerged in writing her new self-help book or adding color to canvas.


Tracy grew up in Chester, PA, a tiny town just a stone’s throw away from Philadelphia. She picked up journaling and short story-writing around the time she moved to the DMV area at 8 years old. She knew early on that she wanted to be a writer, and always found writing therapeutic.


Even on her jam-packed days, she still finds time to pick up the pen. She said, “I write at my desk at home in my office, and sometimes I write in my head or on my phone. When I get home, I transfer all the day’s writing into my laptop.”


Tracy is also a gifted painter, gliding from keypad to paintbrush. She discovered her painting acumen at a team-building event after receiving lots of compliments from colleagues. Days later, she went to Michael’s and didn’t really know what supplies to get; she just knew she had fallen in love with painting. Her preferred style is abstract, full of shapes and vibrant, pulsating colors. She has even sold several of her works at art shows.


Out of her many passions, writing is her favorite because of its impact on people. She said, “writing matters most because words can help somebody’s life. You don’t push people down; you lift them up.”


DSFederal knows its team members sometimes struggle to manage work and play. For Tracy, whether she’s making art or coordinating travel, finding balance is all in a day’s (or night’s) work!