William Dunn received his first art training at San Jose State University, receiving a BA degree in graphic design, and then continued at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles (now Pasadena). Though an advertising design major at the renowned Art Center, he always had his head in the drawing and painting classes, admiring the work of the illustrators and fine art painters alike.
Upon leaving Art Center he worked as an advertising agency art director, ironically hiring illustrators for jobs he would have liked to have had the skills to do himself. After years in agencies he opened his own design studio and spent the bulk of his career as a graphic designer doing logos, ads, brochures, book design, posters, and packaging for a wide range of clients, adding illustration to the mix in the latter years.
Getting hired to teach graphic design at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA started a long-time, and still continuing career as both a part and full-time instructor. Having always enjoyed teaching, he has taught in California at Foothill College, DeAnza College, San Jose State University, and spent fifteen years at the San Francisco Academy of Art College (now called university), the last two as graphic design department chair. While teaching at the academy, he also took numerous classes there in drawing and painting. For him, it was an excellent way to advance his skills in drawing and painting.
He has always had an interest in watercolors, having painted in Fiji, Canada, Japan, and the U.S. . He teaches watercolor classes at Foothill and feels teaching painting in the the medium helps keep his critical eye regarding his own work as well. Painting is all he wants to do at this point in his career.
He has been heavily influenced by and indebted to many past and present artists, including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Francis Livingston, Dick Cole, Brook Temple, Christopher Schink, and Joseph Zbukvic.
He generally prefers to keep a loose style and enjoys painting a variety of subjects, but gravitates toward taking urban landscapes and trying to capture and add to the mood and atmosphere of what he feels are otherwise unremarkable scenes.
William is married, and lives and works in his home studio in Santa Clara, CA. He has a son, Garen, who got all the good looks and is attending Cal State University Northridge in Southern California.
Besides drawing and painting, Bill also enjoys tennis, sailing small boats, skiing, and has a 1st degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art. Bill admits that the downside to painting all the time is that his tennis game is going south fast but says it's a good tradeoff!
Bill is a member of both the American and National Watercolor Societies, and in September of 2008 was awarded first place out of 350 entries in the watercolor division of the University Art Open Competition.