Jesse White

I am an illustrator, author, and muralist creating whimsical, wonder-filled work that explores the power of imagination and adventure. Nature is my throughline, a focus that stems from my childhood in rural North Carolina. The time I spent playing by myself in the woods near the Rocky River shows up again and again in my art: a sky full of stars, a moth with brightly colored wings, leaves of all shapes, a quest through the trees.

A proud Tar Heel, I graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BFA in Studio Art, then earned my master’s in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before I started my journey as a freelance artist, I taught elementary, middle, and high school art in Washington, DC.

I now live in Durham, North Carolina, where I specialize in words and illustrations for children’s books and public art inspired by the local natural environment. My work is rooted in the belief that art has the potential to spark new ways of seeing and thinking; I use narrative and fantasy as tools to engage viewers in these processes. I have experience serving a range of clients in local government, publishing, education, and the corporate and non-profit worlds. My first author-illustrator picture book, Brave Like Fireweed, is forthcoming in August 2024 from Union Square Kids.

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