Debra Valencia

ArtCenter At Night


About Debra Valencia

Debra Valencia, a visionary artist, designer and entrepreneur with a passion for world travel, artisan traditions and popular genres, has branded a modern style uniquely her own.¬† The Debra Valencia‚ĄĘ brand surface designs take a fresh approach to creatively blending florals, paisleys, geometric and decorative motifs in a distinctive sense of style.¬† Her signature look is artistic, lively, vibrant, colorful, vivid and imaginative. She is inspired by craftsman of cultures from all over the world, including textile arts and architectural ornamentation, as well as pop art, fashion and everything vintage. Like a talented chef whose fusion of unexpected ingredients turns an ordinary dish into an extravaganza, Debra¬†mixes and matches elements to create rich designs spiced with style and color.

Professional Recognition

Debra’s expertise includes creating distinctive branding, packaging and product design for globally recognized companies in a variety of industries. Gift, Home, and Stationery: Esprit Bed & Bath, Karen Klein Candles & Spa; Toy: Hasbro, Playskool, Milton Bradley, Swingset Press, Herrington Teddy Bears, and CowParade; Entertainment and Hospitality: Disney, Hard Rock Cafés & Hotels International, The Cheesecake Factory, MGM Grand Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Luxe Hotels Worldwide, Costume Designers Guild and Leonardo DiCaprio; Publishing: Book design for artists including Mark Ryden and Liz McGrath, museums, galleries and a variety of travel, business, children and trade book publishers. 

Debra founded greeting card company, Vida Valencia, in 2006. The company features a line of pop-up cards specifically designed to hold gift cards. The Vida Valencia catalog of over 130 items is currently licensed to Jillson & Roberts. Products received accolades in the press for ingenuity and design innovation including Greetings Etc. January 2007 cover and named Top Trends of 2007 as well as Best of Show at National Stationery Show 2007. 

Debra is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Greeting Card Association (GCA) and Craft & Hobby Association (CHA). Her design work has been featured in publications including Time, Interiors, HOW, Print, ID, Communication Arts, Identity, Abitare, Process Architecture, Greetings Etc., Gift & Decorative Accessories, Giftware News, and the definitive book,¬†Women in Design 1900‚Äď2000. She has received numerous awards from the AIGA, STA and other professional design organizations.

Debra is a published author with her first title Sewing Pretty Bags: Boutique Designs to Stitch & Love, launched May 1, 2015 for Fox Chapel Publishing. The title is the first in a series of three books for the DIY sewing and craft market. She is also author/artist of three coloring books for the adult market published in 2015. 

Arts Educator

She has served as a part-time faculty member in the Communication Arts department at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles for over 13 years. Courses she has taught in the past include Basic Design Fundamentals, Typography, Production Technologies and Professional Practice for Graphic Designers. Debra Valencia is currently teaching private seminars on the Business of Art Licensing and is an occasional guest lecturer at colleges and design conferences. In Spring 2013, Debra launched a new 10-week Business of Art Licensing course at Otis College of Art + Design in Los Angeles as part of the Continuing Education program and is repeating the same course every Spring semester. She is also teaching Digital Surface Design at Art Center of College of Design at Night Program in Pasadena every Spring semester. 

Debra has selected, supervised, trained and mentored over 50 student interns from Otis College of Art & Design, California State University/Long Beach, Rhode Island School of Design, University of the Arts/Philadelphia, Santa Monica College, University of California/Los Angeles, Art Center and California Institute of the Arts. The students gained real world work experience and were better prepared to enter professional positions.

Well respected as a design educator, Debra has been invited to portfolio reviews for AIGA/LA, Otis Intern Program and National Portfolio Day. Debra has lectured at major institutions and conferences including Cal Poly Tech in San Luis Obispo, Harvard University, Fresh Dialogue program sponsored by the AIGA New York, Western Regional Conference of the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers (SEGD) and Art Director’s Clubs of both Los Angeles and Washington, DC. She has served as a judge in numerous national design competitions for the same organizations.


  • ACX-258W-01: Surface Design 1
  • ACX-623W-01: Monetizing Art With Licensing