Monday, 31 August 2015

meet challenge member: Dee White

Dee White

1. Your name, location
Dee White, Macedon Ranges, Rural Victoria

2. Describe your family
Chaotic but fun. I've been married to my best friend for 30 years next year and we are very proud of our two teenage boys who are kind, caring people with the passion and motivation to follow their dreams. Our not very large house is also inhabited by two elderly cats and two free range rabbits who are toilet trained but need to be supervised around television remote controls because they like to bite the buttons off.

3. Describe your work
I'm the author of 16 books for children and young adults. I also do corporate writing and work for a school running their blog and developing their website content.

Week 26 2014: CLOUDS by Dee White

4. What is your career goal?
I'd love one day to be able to make a living completely from my books. All I've ever wanted to do since I was seven years old was to write books. I want my writing to resonate with readers and have the power to change the way they think.

Books by Dee White

5. Describe your art background
Umm, I don't really have one. I enjoyed art in high school, but was steered away from it and literature towards a 'proper job'.

I've always had a fascination with Leonardo da Vinci and in 2009 my book Letters to Leonardo was published by Walker Books. It's about a boy who believed that his mother was dead until he received a letter from her on his 15th Birthday. He feels betrayed by the mother who abandoned him, and by the father who lied to him for all these years. Matt tries to make sense of the turmoil in his life by writing letters to his dead idol, Leonardo da Vinci.

During the writing of this book I was immersed in the works of Leonardo da Vinci and the themes behind them. My editor asked me if I was an artist, and that's when I realised how much art meant to me and how much I had turned my back on it, and that even though I hadn't drawn or painted for so many years, perhaps I was an artist at heart.

About three or four years ago, I took up art classes locally and was so inspired by them. I have so much to learn, but I'm enjoying the journey.

Week 49 2015: SUNSHINE by Dee White

6. What do you love about the Challenge? What have you learned?
There's so much I love about the Challenge. I love the wonderful supportive community. I love scrolling through the wall, and looking at the amazing artwork. I love seeing how much my own artwork has developed since I started in week one last year. I love that it motivates me to produce at least one picture a week. I love seeing so many interpretations of a single theme and having my mind opened to other possibilities and meanings. I love how generous people are in sharing their processes and experiences so that I can learn from them.

I have learnt the importance of drawing regularly if you want to improve your skills, I've learned about various mediums, techniques and materials to use. I've learned about myself, and what I like to paint and draw.

Writing Letters to Leonardo took ten years from first word to publication. I love that with the Challenge I can sit down and do a painting and be reasonably happy with it after a week of working on it or even sometimes, a day. With a picture, you get instant results so that can bring instant satisfaction if you're happy with what you've created.

Week 20 2015: MELANCHOLY by Dee White

7. What is your favourite illustration you have done for the challenge so far? 
WEEK 9 - 2015 - TEXTURE - I think this was my favourite because I loved the colours and the picture seemed to come effortlessly without a lot of worrying about whether it was good or there were things wrong with it. It just flowed and it was fun.

Week 9 2015: TEXTURE by Dee White

8. Tell us something that we don’t know about you
I travelled around Australia for nearly two years in tents with my husband, the family dog, our eight month old baby and our 2 1/2 year old toddler. It was the most amazing experience of our lives.

I've been up in a hot air balloon and I've jumped out of a plane (with a parachute fortunately). I've ridden a camel and I've floated in the Dead Sea.
Week 43 2014: BIRD by Dee White

Follow Dee online:

Writing tips and reviews -
Free writing competitions and writing activities for kids -

Facebook page:
Twitter: DeeWhiteAuthor

Dee's Books:
Letters to Leonardo:
ebook HERE
Print book - local bookshop

My 10 Top Writing Tips books for kids and adults:

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