Debbie Young was born and raised in Hawaii and exposed to the colorful life of arts in Honolulu since early childhood through the work and social circles of her father, the well-known artist John Young; through her mother, Lithiea Hall, who worked at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and through her grandmother, Ella Wong, who accompanied Debbie to the Honolulu Academy of Arts basement, where she got hands on experience with the collections of art and antiques. Her family home was filled with arts and cultural artifacts, endowing her with an appreciation for collecting art and being among people of different walks of life and backgrounds. As Debbie explains, "To live an artful life is to find yourself looking for good things. You're drawn to it and people are drawn to you... It's having a real zest for life that goes onto the paper or canvas. It's living life to its fullest."
Debbie studied art at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now the Honolulu Museum of Art School), California College of Arts and Crafts, and the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating with a B.F.A. However, after college, she began working at Queen's Medical Center Emergency Room in admissions, returning to the arts nearly 25 years later after a month-long tour from Rome to Milan, visiting 50 museums and churches. Three summers later, she left her career at Queens Medical Center to become a full-time artist.
Working in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography, Debbie credits her teachers at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Chuck Davis, George Woollard, and Joseph Feher as major influences in her artistic pursuits. Her individualistic style is simultaneously sensual and eco-conscious, abstract and impressionistic, capturing the visual essence of place, space, and time in passage.
Her work has been shown in solo and juried group exhibitions and can be found in collections throughout the islands, including the Honolulu Museum of Art, The Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, and the Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Bank.