NAME: Liana Denezaki
BACKGROUND: PhD holder
ACTION/SECTOR: Education, Voluntary Sector
POSITION: Owner - Writer
My Background and Career
I am a writer and illustrator of children's books and I studied graphic design. I turned into that direction as books were and remain my great love. In 2009 I was honored with the Commendation for Preschool and Primary School of the Circle of the Greek Children's Book "Penelope Maximus" for the book “A Brave Dog” and in 2010 I was also honored with the Greek Children's Book Award ' Fanny Apostolidou " for the book “Mardouk”. This award concerns the Middle School Age!. I belong to the editorial team of the "magical world" of www.kosvoice.gr, which in 2013 was awarded as the "Best Online Program for people who love reading" by the Circle of the Greek Children's Book.
So far I have written 18 children's books and a novel for adult readers and I have illustrated more than 170 books. I am a member of the Circle of the Greek Children's Book and the Women's Literary Society and I have participated in illustration exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Under the Flexible Zone Labs coordinate Fairytale and Fantasy for preschool and primary school children and Creative Writing for students of larger classes.
So far I have written 18 children's books and a novel for adult readers and I have illustrated more than 170 books. I am a member of the Circle of the Greek Children's Book and the Women's Literary Society and I have participated in illustration exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Within the School program “Flexible Zone Labs” I coordinate a course named Fairytale and Fantasy for preschool and primary school children and Creative Writing for students of larger classes.
Watching the evolution of technology in recent years, I work with interactive educational applications , exploring the new possibilities in learning process.
Which kind of problems did you have to overcome to be where you are today?
The most important problem I faced was twenty years ago when I was still trying to get a job in the book industry. Publishers refused to see the portfolio of someone with no experience and unknown as yet in the particular sector or, for that matter, even have an appointment with me.
Financial: The fact that I had to invest much time discovering and exploring things in my area of interest was a serious problem for me. I needed to earn a living at the same time, which meant carrying a very heavy workload and doing tasks of little or no interest to me at all.
What did help you the best in your trajectory? Deciding factors of success
First of all, lovely childhood memories and my grandfather, who was the first to introduce me to the magic of colours and the truth of imagination. Then, my husband, Manos Krokos, who encouraged me when I was first offered a job as a children’s book illustrator and then as a writer.
Neither my studies nor my training as a professional played a decisive role in my work. Apart from the 3-year course in graphic design I completed at the Greek Institute of Vocational Training, I have no university education qualifications at all. All the things I learnt during my childhood years when everything could be a source of inspiration and lead to the creation of new places and routes are of greater importance to me.
I love communicating: this is a personality trait that has really helped me in my work. Whatever I do, be it painting, or writing books or articles, or running a children’s workshop, is always aimed at communicating, interacting and building relationships
I had my first job interview arranged by a friend of mine. Still, I cannot be sure since what I remember of those first steps in my career is searching the yellow pages all day long for publishers’ phone numbers so as to succeed in fixing an appointment with the person in charge.
My social discriminations At the beginning, there was none. They developed through collaborations and interpersonal relationships formed at work.
Among my competences, I am able to learn and put into practice new information in my work, I easily adapt myself to changes, I am a good communicator. I listen and I pay attention to other people’s problems, I like partnership building, My personal development through my job is important, The personal development of people working with me is important, In case of arguments I’m looking for peace, I don’t hesitate to ask for advices and I am able to use one’s experience and advices. Among my qualities, I am very active, talkative, cooperative, flexible, tense , fast, creative open-minded, spontaneous and organized.
Hints & Tips
I always try and create a positive thought or image in mind and maintain it all day before going to an important meeting, making an agreement or even starting something new.
Did some examples give you inspiration for your project / action / enterprise ? If yes, which one?
Ms Ageliki Varella, award-winning and renowned writer of books for children, whose simplicity and attitude have never failed to make her writing original and her communication with children start afresh with each new book of hers for very many year.