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  • Writer's pictureNina Brenner

Dena Ackerman

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

We are so excited to feature the incredibly talented Dena Ackerman. Dena is a professional illustrator and fine artist who has illustrated over two dozen books. Enjoy our interview below!


About Dena Ackerman

Dena Ackerman was only 16 years old when she sold her first commissioned painting for $300.00. That was just the beginning of her flourishing career. Dena moved to Israel 14 years ago from California and has made a name for herself as an illustrator and fine artist who specializes in children's books and portraits. I met with Dena at her home studio to learn more about her and what she does. Dena lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh with her five children. She is extremely humble and modest when it comes to her work, but in my opinion she is one of the most talented illustrators that I have ever met. We spoke about the following topics below.



Styles and Medium

Dena works traditionally, using pencils, ink, watercolor, and acrylics. She loves painting people and portraits, and her illustrations evoke a warm and nostalgic feeling.

Favorite Projects

Some of Dena’s favorite illustration projects have involved historical figures.  She enjoys the challenge of making them relatable to the readers.  One book, called “Toba’s Passage” tells the story of a family immigrating to American in the early 1900’s. Another tells the story of Rabbi Yisroel Salanter and is set in Eastern Europe. One of her favorite projects that has just been published is a book about Sarah Schenirer.  Sarah was a pioneer of Jewish education for girls in Poland. She faced much opposition but with courage and determination, started the Bais Yaakov movement and made a huge impact in Jewish history.


Sweet Memories

When Dena was young, her grandparents would frame her artwork and display it in their beautiful Florida home for their friends to see. Dena remembers their pride in her work, and the impact it made seeing her work on their walls.


As of now, Dena has only been illustrating other people's published books, but it is a goal of hers to illustrate and publish her own book. She would love to create an 'art and verse' book. She wants her book to make both children and adults feel nostalgic when they see the illustrations.


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