Several months after the illustrations of the faculty of the Illustrators Workshop  were displayed  at Maritz and Alan Cober visited Maritz artists and Washington University students, I received an inter-office correspondence to Maritz artists which announced that they would be sending one of their staff artist to the 1977 Illustrators Workshop.

Maritz correspondance about Illustrators Workshop

I don’t remember all of the images I submitted but the illustrations below are some of them.

oil portrait of Mike and Mark Dyess 1977

Rolls Royce Motors

Buffalo Bill

Model T illustration by John Dyess

I also had to send a statement about my experience and goals. All I have at this time is a hand written outline of this letter,which I have written to the best of my memory of the original letter.

April ,1977

Art Influences

I was influenced in my early years (six to eleven) by comic book and comic strip artists. Comic artists I liked were Alex Raymond (Rip Kirby),Wallace Wood, Jack Davis ( Frontline Combat and Two Fisted Tales comics). About the time I was twelve I went with my mother to see Van Gogh’s paintings at the St.Louis Art Museum. This was an extensive exhibit of his paintings and they left a deep impression on me. After seeing this show I began to take a greater interest in painting. Van Gogh,Rembrandt,Thomas Eakins,Winslow Homer,Velazquez, are painters whose work I studied.

During my college years, at Washington University, I became interested in illustration as a career. The illustrations of Howard Pyle, Norman Rockwell,Al Parker,Austin Briggs, and Bernie Fuchs were some of the illustrators whose work I began to study. Another influence at this time was painter and portrait artist Charles W. Hawthorne. He wrote a book about his teaching of painting called Hawthorne on Painting that I learned more from that book then from some of my painting instructors at Washington University.

At Washington University I enjoyed the assignments that involved people. I especially enjoyed painting and drawing classes. I tended to ignore my design classes. After graduating from art school I found I had a lot of catching up to do in design. Most of the artwork I did the first few years of my career, working for the Military Airlift Command, involved type,charts and graphs.

While working at the illustration studio Bob Ruether and associates,I seldom had color assignments .Most of the black and white work I did wasn’t any larger than 4” x 5”. It was a difficult time for me ,however, I kept learning and trying to make my assignments fun,when I could.

Most of my growing as an illustrator was after I started working at Maritz Motivation Company. All of my past experience came together. There was more freedom from restrictions in the work I did.There was a great volume of work to do and I grew rapidly.

I feel I have reached another plateau in my work. I is time I reached a higher level of development. I would like to achieve a more personal involvement  and to be more interpretive than objective.

What I would hope to learn at the Illustrators Workshop, if I am selected , is not how to draw or paint or techniques but how to say something in my work; a more personal statement.

I also included my personal history:

age 38-married eleven years.Three children,twin boys eight years old,a daughter ten years old.

Illustrator,Maritz Inc.1969 to 1977
Adjunct faculty,Washington University 1976-1977
Illustrator,Bob Ruether and Associates 1966-1969
Illustrator,Military Airlift Command,Scott AirForce Base 1962-1966

At this time I had two illustrations accepted by the New York Society of Illustrators which was shown in Illustrators 19.
in May I would receive at letter of acceptance of three Illustrations that would be included in CA The Art Annual 1977. I was about at mid career and my future looked promising.

Photo of John Dyess 1977

  1. Jim Trotter says:

    you need to regrow the beard jim

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