Debbie Hanley, 1956-2008

I just learned that my friend and fellow illustrator Debbie Hanley died suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, July 3rd.

Just one week earlier I’d seen her at a group show at the School of Visual Concepts, and even left a message on her answering machine this weekend.


She was a wonderful, generous, and funny person with a great laugh. And, of course, incredibly talented. She won the Society of Illustrators’ Gold Medal her first year in the business. Over the years she nurtured several pop culture addictions which she would collect feverishly: bakelite jewelery, classic Barbie dolls, Marilyn Monroe, VW bugs.


Whenever I drove past the School of Visual concepts, where she maintained her 4th floor studio for over a decade, I knew she was there if a classic VW (one of several) was in the parking lot. That’s why I stopped by her studio unexpectedly 10 days ago, to find her finishing up an oil painting for the art show. I’m so glad I stopped by.

I think that painting is still hanging in the SVC gallery right now.


These illustrations are from her portfolio site. Take a look. Her obituary is here.

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One Response to Debbie Hanley, 1956-2008

  1. Jeff Harter says:

    Sorry to hear, John.

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