Backstory to Bill 's artistic career
As long as I can remember, I've been an artist. That came with many ups and downs throughout my life. My parents were not prepared for an artistic person in their home. And they did not see me pursuing a career in art. How would I survive? Who would buy my works of art? Oh brother! I tried being a factory worker, Minor league baseball animator, painter for an apartment complex, even a custodian cleaning toilets (yuck).
When it was my time, I went to a University studying art while my parents were scratching their heads, concerned I was doomed. Undergrad life was GREAT! I accelerated and began selling my work. Grad school was really tough but worthy! I was getting the training I needed, met a ton of famous working artists in the Visiting Artist Program. I saw first hand what being an artist meant and hard work ahead of me if I wanted success.
I always thought I would teach at the University level to eat and pay bills while making art. By now I was working in watercolor and loved the spontaneous it offered. I taught at several Universities before landing at Olivet University , where I taught for 32 years. I was the Chair of the department for 29 years (this is all another story for later). My parents finally got it and supported my career. My Dad saw my 4 of my paintings at his bank one day and became an instant celebrity. Turns out people would buy my work and people DID like my paintings. The morale here, follow what is in your heart, your dream and never look back. You will make it if you don't give up on yourself. I've had low years and great years, but it's been great all along. Today, I'm retired from teaching full time (I do teach watercolor part time at the University).