Israelsen was born and raised in Utah, the youngest of eight children she spent her youth in a small town with one stoplight. When in kindergarten Israelsen was questioned about her future, she replied she would become a professional ice skater or an artist. She chose the latter and now makes her home and studio in Bloomington, Indiana where she lives with her husband, children, and french bulldog.
Israelsen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Utah State University in Logan, Utah and earned her Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2007.
Spring of 2008, Abbigail Israelsen survived Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. After a long fight at the hospital where she was placed on a ventilator in a drug induced coma for 18 days fighting for her life. While in the hospital Israelsen suffered from drug withdrawals causing horrific hallucinations and psychosis for days. After many months of physical and emotional recovery, Abbigail uses these visions for her cathartic work.