Artist Spotlight: Helen Deasy

This week we had the joy of interviewing Helen Deasy aka @helen.deasy as our artist spotlight of the week.

Hello! Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?

Hi there, Friday doodlers! I’m Helen. I grew up in New York City. I’ve traveled to many countries, have visited most American states, and have called five different states my home. I currently live in Northern Virginia with my MVPs (Most Valuable People/Pets) my husband, son, and my dog. 

What inspires you?

Literally everything inspires me. I have eclectic tastes and am always immersing myself in new experiences. You might find me reading Jane Austen one day and Steven King the next, or watching a Disney movie followed by a sci-fi flick. I hold a Masters Degree in Education from NYU, and taught elementary school for 18 years. In that time I was a Kindergarten, grades 1, 3 and 4 classroom teacher. I also taught Reading, ESL and K-6 Art. Each and every student has inspired me. My son, now 17, is a constant source of inspiration. Knowing that he’s watching me pushes me to follow my dreams. And my husband of 23 years, who is my biggest supporter, inspires me to work hard at something I love doing. 

What is your favourite thing to draw?

I try to set clear goals for myself, so whatever my current goal is, ie. full page fairytale spread, a classic children’s story book cover, or an animal character design is what you’ll find me drawing. And though that may not sound exciting, learning new things and meeting goals has always been my favorite thing to do. I don’t think too much about whether I like what I’m drawing. I love drawing. Period. Learning how to draw something I’ve never attempted before gives me a sense of accomplishment. That said, I do love pigs and fit them into my illustrations when it makes sense to do so. 

What art goals do you have for this year?

I’m working towards my picture book author/illustrator dream. I’m currently building my illustration portfolio, and learning how to storyboard and make book dummies. I also want to find work in licensing and editorial illustration. I’ve taken MATS courses and joined the Let’s Make Picture Books and SCBWI communities to learn as much as I can about the industry. Bonus- I’ve made friends and joined critique groups made up of other illustrators. Finding mentors and support helps to keep me accountable and on the path I’ve set for myself.

What techniques/supplies do you use?

I have a degree in Fine Arts so have studied lots of different art mediums but have always loved working with pencils best. I think because they’re so portable and immediate. I use Prismacolor pencils for final illustrations. I keep several sketchbooks for different projects. They’re super messy, just places for me to keep track of ideas and experiment a bit. For the past few years, I’ve been illustrating digitally. The iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Procreate app have given me the portability and freedom to work wherever I happen to be. If the illustration is important, then I edit and make color adjustments in Photoshop. I recently purchased a Wacom Cintiq so I can work on larger illustration projects directly in Adobe Photoshop. It’s amazing!

What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?

Just show up. Getting started is always the hardest part for me. If I schedule a time and sit down with my iPad or sketchbook, the ideas come. The more I show up the easier it gets and the better I get. Show up. Every day if you can. Before you know it, making art will become a habit. Also- the beginning stages of drawing are always messy. Just keep going. 

Where can people go to learn more about you or see more of your work?


Instagram: @helen.deasy


Hi! I'm Maeve and I'm from Belfast, Northern Ireland but currently live in Surrey, England where I am Head of Art at a secondary school. Read more
Hi! I am Cristina and MANLUC Illustrations is the brand I created for my work. I come from Spain but I live in Switzerland since Read more
Hi! I am Gemma Yu, but most people call me Gem. I am an aspiring illustrator/children’s book author. I live in Manchester with my husband Read more
I live in Genoa, Italy, with my husband, our daughter, our son and three lovely animals: two cats and one dog. I work as an Read more
Hello! I’m Melizza Chernov. I’m a children's book illustrator and aspiring writer. I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and my debut children’s book Read more
I’m an artist and working mom in the Midwest. I’m not in the city of Chicago but I’m located Chicago-ish. I’ve made art as long Read more
 • Hello! Please can you give us a brief little introduction? Hi all, my name is Marieke van Rossum. I’m from the Netherlands but since Read more
I’m Francesca and I live with my little family near beautiful Cannock Chase in Staffordshire where I write and illustrate picture books. When I’m not Read more
Hi I am Sarah, an illustrator and designer working from home in Suffolk UK. I live with my two daughters, husband, cat called Mouse…and currently Read more
Hello everyone! I’m Pauline. I’m a French artist, mother of two little dragons, living in the UK. Former nurse, I finally decided to follow my Read more
I am an artist and illustrator from India, living in Bahrain with my husband and two kids who are my inspiration, constant critiques and cheerleaders. Read more
My name is Emma Wiklund, but you can call me Emma. I was born and still live in the northern part of Sweden, with my Read more
I am an artist, author, illustrator and yoga teacher living outside of Boston with my family. I am also a mama of two awesome teenage Read more
Hello, I’m Becky. I was born in Puerto Rico but I grew up in sunny Orlando, Florida. I have always loved art & drawing, however, Read more
Hello! I’m Valerie and I live in Northern California with my husband, daughter, a super-energetic dog, and a not-so-energetic bearded dragon. I’ve been drawing for Read more
Hi! I’m Macha (short for Marie-Charlotte) and I’m a french illustrator and graphic designer living in Leeds, UK right now with my husband and our Read more
Hello! I’m Brenda! I’m a cheerful artist living next to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA with my incredibly supportive husband and adorable two kiddos. Read more
Hi dear folks, I’m Sandra and I live in a cozy town near Hamburg, Germany, together with my three amazing girls, our old doglady and Read more
Hello, I’m Sandra, an Illustrator currently living in Nevada with my husband and our border collie. Some of my first memories as a child were Read more
Hello! I'm Nia, a Designer / Illustrator from Devon, UK. I live with my partner, little girl and gang of three cats. (Although if I Read more
Hello! I am Jen, a designer and illustrator living in Bedfordshire, UK, with my husband and two young kids. I am an aspiring children's illustrator Read more
Hello! My name is Martina. I come originally from Czech Republic but for the last eleven years I have been living with my husband, daughter Read more
Hi! I’m Ruth, and I currently reside in a small country village in Norfolk, England. I have always been creative and love to doodle. As Read more
Hi! I love long walks and hiking trails, fresh baked bread straight from the oven, and sunny parks with lots of grassy hills; they make Read more
Hi, I’m Josie, a self-taught illustrator from Hampshire in the UK. I live on the edge of a small town with my husband and son Read more
Hi there, I live in the leafy London suburbs in a Victorian cottage with my husband, two kids, two bunnies and an old bagpuss. My Read more
Hello! I'm Megan! Talking about yourself sure is hard sometimes isn't it? My background is actually in history and then I went on to study Read more
I have worked in the creative industries for over 30 years. I know that makes me sound old, but honestly, it’s a good thing. I Read more