Brett Helquist was born in Gonado, Arizona, grew up in Orem, Utah, and now lives in New York City where he illustrates books. He earned a bachelor's degree of fine arts in Illustration from BYU in 1993.
When Helquist was young he loved to read the comic strips in the daily paper. His favorite was one called “Alley Oop” about a time traveling caveman. He dreamed about drawing his own comic strip. This was his first memory of wanting to be an illustrator.
After graduating from college he left for New York City. His first job was an internship with an illustrator named Robert Neubecker. Helquist began showing his portfolio whenever he had the chance. Slowly, very slowly the jobs began to trickle in. His first jobs were from newspapers and magazines. He did this type of work for about seven years. During this time he also had a day job as a graphic designer. He eventually decided to pursue some work in children’s books. The first book he had the chance to illustrate was “the Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket.
Since that time, Helquist has gained fame for illustrating Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," as well as other series and individual books.