Bill Carman


On the floor of a house in Seoul, Korea

I was 11 pounds 14 ounces with a banana shaped head.

Monta Loma Elementary, Mountain View, CA
I was the second fastest kid in school. Bill Murray was faster. I fished.

Regnart Elementary, Cupertino, CA
I took Mark “tank” Anderson fishing.

Kennedy Junior High School, Cupertino, CA
I had the second longest standing broad jump in the school.
Keith Franco jumped farther but he couldn’t fish.

Monta Vista High School, Cupertino CA
I sang in Madrigals, played in a band, took an art class taught by a
football coach who couldn’t draw, and fished.

De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
Kind of a harder high school, and I fished

Brigham Young University
BFA Visual Communications/Illustration
MFA Painting, and I fished

I taught in and chaired the Department of Art at Cardinal Stritch University.
I teach now at Boise State University, and I fish.

I was a designer/illustrator and/or art director at Ford Aerospace, Louis Saekow Design,
Quantum Advertising, Avid Publications, Brigham Young University, LucasArts Entertainment

Random House Inc. (children’s book), LucasArts Entertainment, Macmillan, Group One, Quality Inn Hotels, Avid Publications, Atari, SSI, TSR Inc., SETI Institute, Brigham Young University, Cardinal Stritch University, Boise State University, Boise Weekly, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Timpanogos Singer Songwriter Alliance, Utne Reader, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise Contemporary Theater, Opera Idaho

Been in a lot of shows including Society of Illustrators New York Annuals (gold medal),
3×3 Magazine professional annual, American Illustration, SPECTRUM (silver medal), and RSVP.
Won bronze, silver and gold medals from CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education)

I have a family. My mother was a Korean smuggler, my father a top secret government guy, my wife is a P.I., I always feel like I’m being followed, I hike, I read, and I fish.

I walked into a local Stinker (yes real name) gas station and convenience store. Upon taking my purchases to the counter the young clerk remarked, “Dude, your head is perfectly round.” Pause, my reply: “Uh, thank you?” One would think that in such a perfectly round dome ideas and images might be orbiting neatly, ripe for the plucking. Nothing could be further from the truth. If my head were opened it would be quite messy. A lot goes in there and if I did not let it out, occasionally an eye would pop out. Though my work can be meticulous in its execution my mind scribbles, jumps, spins, and spits. There is rarely more than an itch when I begin. Surface will speak to me and stuff emerges as unknown yet familiar characters, odd forms, and unbalancing juxtapositions. Some pieces divulge narratives as I paint, some stare back and challenge. Hopefully those who look at my work will be touched in that mad place that lies in the corner of all brains.

So I enter my lab where surfaces challenge and characters emerge who should probably never be born. But I keep releasing these things from my mind because it’s my passion. What I’m finding is that others don’t seem to mind them too much and will even invite them into their homes now and then.

I’ve worked as a designer, illustrator, and art director at universities, ad agencies, publishers, and large corporations. Since graduating from with a BFA in visual communication/illustration and later with an MFA in painting I have always free-lanced and exhibited in galleries. I am currently a professor teaching illustration and drawing at Boise State University of the blue football field. Before that I taught in and chaired the art department at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve greased enough palms to have been included in annuals like the Society of Illustrators NY, Spectrum, 3×3, American Illustration and have even finagled some medals. I have a decent client list and was proud to do a children’s book with Random House in 2002. I never stop painting and drawing for exhibitions and occasionally produce an illustration that lands a little off center.

I’m often asked when I started drawing; to which I generally respond, “When did you stop?” I believe that line was borrowed from someone cleverer than myself. But it is true.

Partial list of influences:

If I had to give an exhaustive list of influential artists it might fill the pages of a book the size of War and Peace. Of course as a red-blooded young man comics and artists like Frazetta started me on a visual journey. As interests changed album art like “Eat a Peach” by James Flournoy, or “Yes” covers by Roger Dean, and trippy stuff by Patrick Woodruffe and Robert Crumb helped to light my fire for the possibility of doing this as a living.

In college Ian Miller’s work for the movie “Wizards” started a long love affair with his art, James Christensen, my mentor and friend, connected me directly with the art of the fantastic as a viable pursuit. David Lance Goines sparked an early interest in design. Of course Northern Renaissance and Flemish artists like Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Vermeer-who gave me my first physiological reaction to an artwork, Breughel, Bosch, Durer, etc. were some of my best teachers.

As I moved more and more toward illustration and image oriented work artists such as Ben Shahn, Brad Holland, Al Cober, Bill Nelson, Brian Froud, Rockwell Kent, Sargent, the Wyeth clan, Rackham, Van Allsburg, Peter Sis, Henrik Drescher, John Jude Palencar, Dave McKean (among a thousand others) rocked my world.

One of the great things about the world of information we now live in is access to art and artists all over the world. With a few strokes and clicks I can see work from all over the world. There are too many young, new voices to list here but it sure is fun discovering new artists every day.

Birth Place: Seoul, Korea
Current Residence: Boise, ID
Education: MFA
Press & Publications: Please check my site:
Genre: Fine Art and Illustration
TTP Debut: June 13, 2011

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