We’re sorry to report the passing of British SF artist Tim White, who died on 6th April 2020 after a long period of poor health.
A prolific SF cover artist from the 1970s, debuting in 1974 with a cover on the cover of Arthur C. Clarke‘s The Other Side of the Sky, through the 1990s, White’s career as an SF artist followed a two-year stint working in advertising.
His early credits include cover paintings for publisher New English Library and their fondly-remembered Science Fiction Monthly.
Born in Erith, Kent, even before the age of five, Timothy Don White had chosen his future path in life and had decided that he wanted to be an artist. After leaving school he entered art college in 1968 to further pursue his ambition and had his first work published, titled “Blue Empress” by the Splash poster company in London in 1969.
Other black and white works were also used by alternative lifestyle magazines during his college years, the fantasy theme of his work well established.
Leaving art college in the early 1970s, Tim worked in several advertising studios to gain experience, then received several commissions in 1974, for interior work from the large format science fiction magazine Science Fiction Monthly, published by New English Library.
Later that same year, he received his first book cover commission from the same publishers, for a hardcover science fiction book from NEL – Monument by Lloyd Biggle Jnr.
His first paperback book cover commission was for Arthur C. Clarke‘s The Other Side of the Sky, published by Corgi Books in 1975 and he went on to illustrate the covers of hundreds of books on themes of science fiction and fantasy by many well known authors, including Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov, August Derleth, Robert A. Heinlein, H. P. Lovecraft, Bob Shaw, Bruce Sterling, E.C. Tubb and A.E. van Vogt.
He was also responsible for Mouches, a wordless graphic novel, published by Alexander Mosley Publications in 1983, and also published in France.
Nominated for six British Science Fiction Association Awards for Best Artist from 1981-86, and winning in 1983, aside from paintings and drawings for books, Tim also created work in bronze and made jewellery pieces.
In later years, he was also creative in the computer field, working on in-game graphics for computer games and related conceptual works. His work has appeared in and on magazines, newspapers, TV advertisements, CD and video covers, trading cards, calendars, postcards, and much more.
“He was an icon in the 1970s and early 80s, with many book covers,” noted fellow artist Bob Eggleton on his passing, sentiments shared by Chris Achilléos.
“He had health issues for a long time, so this was not related to COVID-19.”
“This is a sad day for his family and for our profession,” commented artist Paul Youll, “a truly wonderful artist who inspired me as a starry eyed kid to wanting to become an artist not because I loved art but because I loved Science Fiction and Science Fiction art especially his
“My biggest regret is, I never got to meet him to tell him how important he was to the sci-fi art community and will always be, he will be remembered as one of the truly great sci-fi artist and not because he won some bullshit awards but because of his breath taking art.”
Our sympathies to family and friends.
• Timothy Don White, born 4th April 1952, died 5th April 2020
• Tim’s work was collected in The Science Fiction and Fantasy World of Tim White (1981), Chiaroscuro (1988) and Mirror of Dreams (1994)
• A Gallery of Tim White art and book covers on Art of Earna – be aware some of Tim’s contains nudity and if you are at all offended, don’t visit!
• There is an incomplete Wayback Archive of Tim White’s original official web site here (2015)