Debbie Hefke

Debbie Hefke

Debbie Hefke Interview

Debbie Hefke

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

I was born and raised in Seattle Washington. As a young child, I was always fascinated with the arts. Through the years I was entered into high school art contests and shows and won first prize.

I went to college where I graduated at the top of my class with a degree from The Art Institute of Seattle, my major was illustration and computers. Shortly after graduation, I got a job working for Humongous Entertainment. I was an on-staff artist working on children’s video games. I did everything from cleaning up artwork and painting it to creating new backgrounds. After a time there I went on to manage a team of artists. I hired them and trained them with the in-house proprietary software. After five years working with the company, I moved to San Diego CA. Where I went back to school and acquired another degree from The Art Institute of San Diego. This time I majored in animation and media arts. After becoming a 3D animator I moved once again to the east coast with my family. Not knowing anyone there and having to find a job I created my own job. I am now currently working freelance around the world with clients in Great Britain, Australia, and many other places.

My true love and passion is to create illustrations with vibrant colors in any medium required be it digital or hand painted with brush and paint.

How and why did you decide to pursue illustration as your career?

I loved cartoons as a kid and always knew what I wanted to do as an adult.

Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

I graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle with an AA in Ilustration/computer degree.

I graduated from the Art Institue of San Diego with a BS in Animation/comuter degree.

Many misc classes in web design, programming, clay modeling, watercolor classes. etc. and ongoing.

Where do you currently live and where did you grow up?

I currently live in vancouver wa, and grew up in woodinville wa.

Have you always loved to draw?

Yes for every I doodle on any and everything as a kid all the way through high school into to both art schools. I nicked named my daughter doodle because she was my creation.

Who or what have been some of your major artistic influences?

I absolutely love Salvador Dali, Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo

Describe your working technique and how you came to perfect it.

I sketch everything old school with a pencil do any edits before I move into paint. Then I clean images up, do a quick paint test to make sure I'm on the same page for the colors. Then I paint out all images do any minor paint edits if needed. Then I also will lay in the text and in some cases the text becomes a character. So its called dynamic text were it bends and twists.

How long does it take on average for you to finish a spread, from initial sketch to final colour?

I would say about 3-4 hours for an average image with out any edits. If its a more complex image with multiple layers and textures it could take 6hrs.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to read books, play games, cook food, do archery, shopping, horseback riding, long walks with my dog.

Where do you get the ideas for your characters?

Most of the time the author has Ideas I just expand upon them by asking a lot of questions about personality, what they invision what there wearing or doing. I get a lot of authors that send me pictures of their family members.

Which 4 words would you use to describe your illustration portfolio?

Colorful, expressive, fun, engaging.

Are you an author/illustrator?

Yes I published two of my own books.

Debbie Hefke interview image 0 Debbie Hefke interview image 1

What makes a good children’s book?

A great story thats fun for kids. The art is a compliment to the text like the sprinkles on a cupcake.

Animals feature heavily in children’s books – do you have a pet?

Yes I have a dog currently I used in the A Friend book.

Debbie Hefke interview image 0

Connect With Us