Brett Helquist
Brett Helquist
Birth date: 1966
Work for Lemony Snicket
Main jobs: Illustrator
Stories: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Main time period active: 1999-2006
Career highlights
Notable work on the outside:
Official site
NYSL Brett Helquist on "Broken Pencils and Dried-Up Paint"

NYSL Brett Helquist on "Broken Pencils and Dried-Up Paint"

Brett Helquist (born 1966) is the renowned illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events and many other books for young people. Lemony Snicket incorporates Helquist into his writing, most notably in the Letters to the Editor, which include lists of items for Helquist to study in preparation for subsequent books. Helquist also draws his own portraits for the mini-biographies at the back of each book. As such, Helquist also exists in Snicket's universe.


According to his mini-biography, Helquist was born in Ganado, Arizona, but grew up in Orem, Utah (having moved there at age 11[1]). Long interested in science, he started college as an engineering major, but soon realised that wasn't for him. While living in Taiwan, Helquist got a job as a textbook illustrator and came to know his true calling in book illustrations.[1]

He now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Mary Jane Callister, and their children.[1] He graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

Works illustrated

Brett Helquist illustrated all 13 books in A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Bad Beginning was the first book cover he had ever designed, and though he has since moved on to other projects, ASOUE remains perhaps his most recognisable body of illustration work.

A Series of Unfortunate Events


Brett's art on display.

Helquist's illustrations for A Series of Unfortunate Events have also been used extensively in other merchandise like the audiobook covers The Blank Book and the various calendars. He's also created original illustrations for the box sets, like The Loathsome Library and The Complete Wreck.

He also provided illustrations in The Beatrice Letters, and the alternate (reversed) cover for Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (The Pony Party!), under the anagram Beth Quiltrest.

Other Snicket works

Even after A Series of Unfortunate Events ended, Helquist continued to work with Snicket on standalone books, such as The Lump of Coal in 2008.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brett Helquist. Scholastic. Retrieved on 12 March 2017.


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