Artist Deborah Camp Spreads Creative Joy Queens-wide

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Making the World Brighter with A Resilient Spirit New Book Presents Unique Collection & Life Lessons

13 Carnival summer pet shop mural

At 38 years young, artist, author, and humanitarian Deborah Camp of Woodhaven is a compassionate Renaissance woman. She inspires countless lives around Queens and beyond through her unique shop and restaurant window and wall murals, in addition to her book. Residents recognize her works of art, which exhibit a distinctive style, and the local arts scene and culture becomes richer. 

Camp was accepted for Bayside High School’s visual art program, and is a recipient of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Queens College, where she graduated summa cum laude. Now she is a full-time artist. She was also an art instructor who taught pre-k to 8th grade.

“I have evolved into the artist that I am with the emotional support of my mother, always being there and lending a pencil, a piece of paper, and a box of crayons, when she saw I was having a bad day at school,” recalled Camp. She was significantly bullied as a child and teen for being the teacher’s pet and not sharing interests with her peers. She reminisced, “I was more of an old soul, who would listen to The Carpenters records while sketching, rather than go clubbing. When my peers were into the latest fashion, they would tease me about wearing the same pair of pants, since my single mother at the time could not afford those types of clothing. I was ostracized for it and for being a sensitive child.”

Camp finds gratitude through her disheartening experiences. “Without them, none of my writing or visual art pieces would have come to fruition in my book to help others heal. Through the arts, I can see through the lens of empathy, and want to help others heal from their emotional trauma. Art was my beacon of hope in a dark world, and it will continue to light the way.”

01 Deborah Camp presents her new book

Camp celebrates the rich history, architecture, and pop culture of various neighborhoods. One highlight was a Forest Hills window mural at The Local Mrkt eatery at 66-75 Selfridge Street in June 2022. Patrons and passersby felt as if they were encountering Forest Hills’-own Ramones in Station Square. She explained, “The Ramones are all decked out in their signature leather jackets waiting at the LIRR steps for their order from the sandwich shop. A giant hero pulls in on the train tracks to fill their appetite. This was a fun opportunity for people to take selfies and pretend to hold the sandwich.”

Another one of Camp’s many unique window murals appeared at the T-Bone Diner in 2012. She reminisced, “My painting showcased a house of worship in the style of a log cabin tucked away in the rural wilderness during a cold winter day, as the work horses draw closer, while making tracks in the snow to seek comfort and shelter. The mountains stand tall and strong, with mounds of snow piled upon them to show their resiliency to the elements, as a testament to the resiliency of the unbreakable human spirit.” Upon learning about the soon-to-reopen historic diner, she said, “I would cherish the opportunity to celebrate its reopening as the T-Bone Diner & Delicatessen to paint a wall mural, window mural and/or menu board.” 

Camp also cherishes painting scenes of Woodhaven, where she was raised. She created a glass painting of the Oak Ridge building in Forest Park. “I captured the nostalgic beauty of its architecture standing atop of the hill, as the sun slowly peeks out majestically at the top of the roof, ready to set the bright tone for a brand-new day filled with hope,” she said.

Camp’s painting, “Mae West – The Ravishing Renegade,” found its place on the entrance wall of Neir’s Tavern for patrons to discover her legacy and connection to the iconic building. She explained, “Mae is reflecting west, east, north and south to encapsulate what lies within the tapestries of her life billowing about. She sits in her extravagant dressing room in front of her mirror, preparing for her next role, as the camera reels roll to film her next showcase. She was the artistically prolific illuminous trailblazer ahead of her time, to empower women who aspired to work in the industry, as she broke multiple barriers of age and gender with her brilliance, persistence, and intellect. She reflects on the legacy that she gifted the world. The Neir’s Tavern horse races on the film trail, since it’s part of where her career journey began. She had a fascination for the supernatural, as her crystal ball predicts her legacy that will live on from her beauty to sharp wit.”  

05 A revitalized bakery for Mother’s Day

Another highlight is a glass painting of the old Lewis of Woodhaven, a community staple, which captures Queens in the 1940s with a black and white scheme, contrasted with a backdrop of full color. “This shows the importance of supporting local mom and pop shops throughout the decades,” said Camp. To celebrate Richmond Hill, which is sorely in need of Historic District status, Camp painted the community’s Victorian style homes onto the windows of real estate firms. 

As patrons and residents observe Camp painting murals, intriguing and touching stories unfold. Some fans snap photos, whereas others ask to pose with a window. At any moment, she will proudly interact with her fans, who become an extension of the scene. She explained, “I have encountered positive feedback from the initial stages of my window painting with an outline until its completion, from a car honk and a thumbs-up to a resident conversing about how my art brings them much joy, and how we need more happiness in the world. I inform them when it will be finished, so that they can take more pictures with their friends and family. When they share photos on social media, it helps a business receive recognition.”    

Camp is grateful to motivate people of all ages to keep reaching for their dreams. “I tell them not to let anything get in the way of their lifelong ambition, since once they find that special gift within their soul that can move mountains, they can share it with the world to make it a better place with their talent. I tell them the story of how I got into the arts, and how now is the time to make things happen, while you have your health.”

When parents with young children who love to draw approach Camp, extending compliments, she thanks the parents for supporting their children’s dreams. “I encourage children to keep drawing and challenging themselves, since art is not about perfecting, but about growing and evolving on a continual basis,” said Camp. 

She continued, “Once someone had tears in her eyes while I painted a Christmas scene, and she said it reminded her of her departed mom and how much she misses her. Then at a pizzeria, a man pulled a paintbrush out of his sock and gave it to me for good luck, after informing me he was an artist in his younger years.” 

As a lifelong advocate for animals, Camp adores painting animals and whimsical scenes bursting with color. She said, “I love capturing their expressions and animating them directly onto a window, wall, or book.” Her artwork also calls for celebrating the inner child in all of us. “It’s important to nurture them and keep alive their sense of wonder of how they look at the world, and find inspiration in everything around them,” she explained. 


Camp’s artwork represents surrealism, whimsy, peace, environmental awareness of nature, the psychedelic era, uplifting messages, and embracing individual uniqueness. as well as scenes of my childhood neighborhood of Woodhaven depicted with a variety of mediums. Her favorite glass painting is “Whimsical Gallop of the Carousel Animals,” and a favorite illustration from her book “Musings Diner Open 24/7” is “Forever A Child at Heart.” “Both pieces share a whimsical connection by bringing the viewer back to their childhood, where dreams came true. Even the impossible can become possible, such as the carousel animals taking flight when no one is looking, to a heart-shaped hot air balloon emerging out of a storybook,” said Camp. 

She felt that was a fitting title, analogous to her brain, and said, “It’s a diner that is open 24/7 with all of the musings, as in my ideas to draw, paint, and write (poetry and stories) to serve to the public baked fresh daily in my imagination.” Her book encompasses her work from age 16 to 38. “My works were collecting digital dust on my hard drive, so I took the leap of faith and initiative to learn about self-publishing. I wove the written and visual tapestry of art by submitting my entire collection as a manuscript in premium color,” she explained. On Amazon, it is available as a paperback, hardcover, and Kindle e-book. 

Camp’s vision is to inspire her readers to rediscover what they once loved to pursue, which is a parallel to her life. “If they are searching to find their mission in life, I encourage them to dig deep within themselves and once they discover it, pursue it. Let’s make a ripple effect of uninhibited creativity on our planet and think outside of the box. We can overcome our struggles with the power of dedication and support from our loved ones. You have unlimited capacity. If you nurture a seed, it’s going to bloom and blossom. We are all seeds watered in the garden of inspiration, waiting to bloom into a field of flowers. Together we can change the world, and fill it with the sweet fragrance of inspiration.” 


“I was drawn to becoming an artist,” said Camp, whose passion derives from her great-grandfather, who loved to paint landscapes of his motherland and horses. She explained, “It delighted him to watch me doodle as a toddler. When he was beaming with happiness, I felt a sense of pride, and ever since the moment I picked up a crayon, art became part of my identity.” Camp’s writing passion stems from my mother’s childhood’s writing musings. Additionally, she and Camp’s maternal grandmother loved to paint. 

Art is deeply rooted in Camp’s family, with four generations on her maternal side, originating with her great-grandfather who began painting in his 70s until 104. “My grandmother loved to draw as a child and passed the baton to my mother, who passed on the love of writing and painting to me,” said Camp. 

At age three, upon picking up a paintbrush, she began painting her artistic journey. “As a child, I gravitated towards drawing my favorite TV cartoons, such as Bambi and The Lion King. I would pause the VHS tape and sketch them. I began creating my own characters and little worlds,” said Camp.  

She is grateful for her mother, who she considers a cheerleader for her artwork, and a rock of inspiration who cultivated and nurtured her love for the arts. She continued, “Even though my stepdad is no longer with us in our physical world, he was another pillar that would cheer me on and carry pictures of my murals in his wallet. I miss him dearly, and now I carry a picture of him everywhere I paint.” She is also thankful for her fiancé Dave and friends who have faith in her ability to make a difference in the world and are present each step of the way. 

06 baseball pet window

Camp also performs at open mics and embraces a cathartic release to share a poem about her visual art piece with the audience to help inspire them to dig deep down inside and feel comfortable to express themselves. While creating a written piece, she plays instrumental music.

Camp visualizes coordinating exhibitions and book signings in the near future to engage communities first-hand. The public may be in for a treat with a painting class centered around a featured work of art from her book. She aspires to further cultivate her journey by writing and illustrating more books.

Besides finding her book on Amazon, her artwork is available on clothing for people of all ages, as well as in the form of mugs, stickers, journals, prints, tote bags, pet bandanas, and home decor:

For projects and inquiries, follow her on Instagram at Artbydebcamp and Facebook at Art by Deborah Camp. 

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