Please email: me [at]

For paintings, other art projects, and the Derek von Essen Rock Photography Archives from 1987-1992,

"In the performing arts, graphic design must quickly and effectively demand attention. In more than 10 years of working with Derek, I've found his design concepts consistently exciting, innovative and visually stunning, moving beyond the ordinary with uniquely tailored images, original typography and overall conceptualization appropriately suited to our organization's needs."
--Richard Forzley, Communications Director, Vancouver Civic Theatres

"Thanks so much for conjuring what can only be called a mind-blowing visual expression of utter debasement."
--Brian K., Publisher, Anvil Press/subTerrain Magazine

A Verse Map of Vancouver (George McWhirter, editor; Derek von Essen, photographer/designer)
"Vancouver poet laureate George McWhirter and photographer Derek von Essen have teamed up with 100 poets to create a book that will look fabulous on any coffee table, round or square, metal or wood-hewn. The book, published by Anvil Press, pairs poems with photographs of places in the city to create a beautiful portrait of Vancouver, suitable for gift-giving."
--Georgia Straight, "Best of Vancouver", Vol.43; #2179; September 24, 2009

"This book is really a masterpiece. If you wanted to show someone the essence of the terminal city who had never even seen a photo of Vancouver, or didn't know where to find it on a map, this book will do it. Each lovely colour page is laced with gorgeous photographs of real true Vancouver landmarks or areas and paired with a poem by a local writer. This one is really a must for residents (or previous residents!), visitors, and anyone who loves a beautiful book."

--Lindsay Williams, Galiano Island Books, "Featured Local Guide Book: A Verse Map of Vancouver"

Inventory (Marguerite Pigeon, writer; Derek von Essen, photographer/illustrator/designer)
"I had two immediate observations when I picked up this inaugural book of poems penned by the BC author fresh out of MFA land: 1) It is pretty and feels very good in your hands. From the font to the cover design to the paper grade, it is a stunning object, which is a fitting irony, given the book is entirely about objects. It's just like Anvil Press — the press that comes closest to being Canada's answer to Brooklyn's Soft Skull fiction line — to care about the book as art object time and again."
--Reviewed by Zoe Whittall, Globe and Mail, pg F9, Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Some of the paintings portray von Essen's expansive side; brimming with language, they convey intricate personal treaties, like songs in colour. The artist also can be cooly succinct; one or two-word images are edgy or amusing, or when the text takes on imagistic characteristics, visually ironic. His wordless paintings are architectural abstractions in rich hues, evocative of back alleys and twilight. Diligent and relentlessly inquiring, Derek von Essen has created a significant body of art."
--Nancy Lanthier, Arts Journalist