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Children's book illustrator Brett Helquist
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Meet the Illustrator: Brett Helquist

I’m originally from a small town in Arizona that’s surrounded by red dirt where there’s not a whole lot to do. At a young age, I became a big fan of newspaper comic strips — “Alley Oop” was my favorite. I had to learn to use my imagination to keep myself occupied, and I dreamed that I would one day create my own comic strips.

I was also interested in science. My family moved to Utah when I was 11 years old, and that’s where I discovered camping, fishing, and hiking. I wanted to become a scientist and figure out the world around me. I began college as an engineering major, but before long I realized that wasn’t the right choice for me.

In order to figure things out, I took some time off and headed to Taiwan. While there, I stumbled into a job as a textbook illustrator, and suddenly it was clear. I knew what I wanted to do. I returned to school a year later as an illustration major. As an artist, I am always observing, trying to find the beautiful and amazing things around me.

Now I live in New York City with my wife. My illustrations have appeared in novels including Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, picture books, magazines, and newspapers. I’ve also written books including Roger, the Jolly Pirate, which is about a lousy pirate who manages to save his ship from attack while baking a cake.

 

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