Derek is a classical idealist who was trained in the old
masters with the verdaccio underpainting method. This is
the style of Renaissance masters such as Rembrandt, Bouguereau,
and DiVinci. Due to this process, a single painting can
take as long as a year.
Many of Derek's paintings have been published in religious
publications, and on book and music covers. They have won
many awards. Derek was the first to win the coveted international
L. Ron Hubbard Gold Award Grand Prize, where artists from
45 different countries enter in hopes of winning. His art
is known world-wide, and has sold over 360,000 images.
Derek is married to Jolynn Muhlestein. Together they have
To my Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
In sharing my testimony, I feel no better peace then when
I am bearing witness of Christ through a paintbrush. The
ability to speak my feelings is not one of my strong points.
But a gracious Heavenly Father has blessed me with the ability
to bear a witness of my Savior in a manner that is better
than words. In reflecting on my testimony and the effects
of the arts in my life, I hope to have shown all brothers
and sisters of Christ that I know Jesus is the Christ and
that He lives.
Hegsted showed promise in the arts at age 6. With his
first book on dinosaurs, he began a journey that would
lead him to competing and winning international competitions.
Being accused of tracing in 7th grade was an unfortunate
reaction from those who were not use to someone of that
age and that ability, to reproduce with his type of
accuracy was uncommon. But this rejection only
made him more determined. The death of his father in
1982, when he was only 17 was crushing. Bill Smith,
a talented artist in secret, but a computer consultant
by day, took him under his wing and gave a frustrated
young artist a place to find answers. Receiving
an art scholarship at BYU, Idaho, he was able to have
his 1st art class at age 18, under the direction of
Leon Parson. He learned the value of research,
and received a firm foundation where he could
becoming a classical realist. Where he would learn
to love the style of the masters such as Rembrandt,
Bouguereau, and Da Vinci.
Having the opportunity to lay on his back 35 ft up
in the air on scaffolding, painting marble for John
Hendricks, owner of the Discovery Channel, helped solidify
his love and respect for Michelangelo. He reflected
back on one of his grandfathers, Amos Howe, who used
his gifts to sculpt the oxen for the first 3 temples
in Utah. Knowing there was more to art than worldly
mass appeal, Amos set out to bear a witness that could
stand the test of time. Mr. Hegsted says, "I wanted
to do the same. I wanted my children to know who
I serve, and why.
His paintings have won many awards. Mr. Hegsted was
the first to win an international illustrators of the
future contest, competing against artists from 45 different
countries. He was able to go on a national book signing
tour, and to illustrate for some of the biggest publishing
companies such as Bridge Publications in Hollywood,
CA and Bantam-Doubleday-Dell of New York City. He has
been fortunate enough to illustrate for some of the
highest award winning writers in the field. Many of
Mr. Hegsted's paintings have been published in religious
publications and on book and music covers. His art is
known world-wide and has sold over 360,000 prints.
His piece, "Hearts to the Fathers" is owned by the
LDS Church and hangs in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
Recently, four of his pieces were featured in the LDS
Family Hymnbook. And his work is to be used in a book
which will bear a witness of the life of Christ in the
fall of this year. His own book, recently finished,
is under review by a publishing company. It is
titled "On My Way To Galilee". It covers the last
18 years of testimonials through the visual arts and
Mr. Hegsted just became a certified diver.
And witnessed God's art first hand in a world 100ft
down. Derek and his wife of 27 years, Jolynn, have six children