Illustrations by Bill Vann – 1966-1968

Posted: December 6, 2011 in Bill Vann illustrations from 1966 to1968
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Bill Vann, an illustrator from the St.Louis area, died Monday morning. He was a teacher and volunteered many hours as President of the St.Louis Artists’Guild. I first met Bill in 1961 when I was a senior student at Washington University School of Fine Arts. Bill was a junior illustration student in the art school and stopped by to see me while I was in a painting class, to compliment me on my work, which was on display on the gallery walls of the art school. In 1966 I was hired as an illustrator at Bob Ruther and Associates where Bill was the senior illustrator. Previous to working at BRA I was an illustrator for the Air Force. This post will show some of the work of Bill Vann, that he created at Bob Ruther, from 1966 through 1968. Bill left BRA around 1968 to start his own company and I left BRA in March of 1969 to work at Maritz Motivation Company.

Illustration of Santa by Bill Vann

This is an illustration for an insert that went with a customer phone bill sent by Southwestern Bell Telephone.

drawing by Bill Vann. Model for reference is John Dyess

This is an ad for BRA that appeared in a publication called Across the Board,which promoted the St.Louis Art Directors Club of St. Louis.  It was drawn by Bill Vann and he used reference photos of me for both men.

letter written by Bill Vann when he was editor of Across the Board.

As early as 1997 Bill was a volunteer promoting St. Louis art.

reference photos by John Dyess of Bill Vann

I took these photos around 1967 for an illustration I was working on of Bill Vann and Susan Covert, who was another illustrator at BRA

cover illustration by Bill Vann for a SouthWestern Bell Telephone brochure.

color illustration of a catalog cover for Hytest by Bill Vann

The safety shoes and boots were not illustrated by Bill.

Bill Vann obituary

  1. Glenn Myers says:

    And where Bill’s work went from these earlier examples has been an amazing career for an extremely talented, enthusiastic and always giving man. He is going to be greatly missed. He already is.

  2. rjshay says:

    John, these are fantastic! Did you have them in your file?????? Great stuff!

  3. Mary Ann Grande says:

    I’m in a state of disbelief. Bill was a special man and a great inspiration. Thank you for sharing these illustrations.

  4. Kenneth Dowd says:

    John, great stuff from Bill’s early days, really enjoyed seeing Bill’s art I hadn’t seen before.
    He was good right from the start, those are great pieces. That Santa could be used today,
    I see that style coming back around. Glad you saved them!

    Bill’s work shows all the confidence he always had & his speed of execution, he didn’t mess
    around with it.

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