Deborah Hocking

Deborah Hocking was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In college she studied painting, illustration, graphic design, and Spanish. Her heart lies in forest exploration, mountain lake swimming, and bramble fort building. Build, Beaver, Build! is her first picture book.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“Child,” said the Lion, “I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.” C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Beatrice Alemagna, Lisbeth Zwerger, and Miroslav Sasek.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I wanted to be an artist since I was little, but I wasn’t sure exactly what direction to go in. In a college illustration class I was introduced to the work of Lisbeth Zwerger, and that woke something up in me. Her illustrations intrigued me in a way I hadn’t experienced before, and it made me want to participate in that same kind of work. Later, other illustrators, such as Beatrice Alemagna, had a similar effect on my path, and I was hooked!

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Keep. On. Making! It takes a LOT of practice to get your work to where you want it to be, so don’t give up if your work isn’t as amazing as you’d like when you’re starting out. Keep practicing, keep working, keep making progress, even if it’s just bit-by-bit. It’s so exciting to look back at work you did a year ago and know that your work today is further along!