He was born in Lom as a son of Olav Olavsson Aukrust (1851–1931) and Mari Pålsdatter Andvord (1864–1936). He was a brother of Lars Olsen Aukrust and uncle of Odd, Kjell and Tor Aukrust. He was married to Gudrun Blekastad.
He was strongly influenced by Ivar Mortensson-Egnund, and used a characteristically similar form. Until 1917, he worked as a teacher at the folk high school for Dovre (1915–17) where his friend Ingeborg Møller was a teacher, as well as in Gausdal. He suffered from tuberculosis, which came to characterize his last year and led to an early death.