An Incredible Success Story

Recently, I was going through my files and rereading old correspondences. I found a letter from William Rose, the winner of a previous Drawing magazine cover competition. The events that came out of his winning the competition and having his work on the cover of the magazine (and, therefore, on newsstands all over the country) speaks to how focusing on charcoal drawing, sketching, and pencil drawing, and putting your work in a public venue can give your artwork incredible visibility, with exciting results.

Rossina's Apple by William Rose, 2007, charcoal on museum board, 28 x 20.
Rossina’s Apple by William Rose,
2007, charcoal on museum board, 28 x 20.

Below you’ll find part of Rose’s letter describing his success. By the way, the film featuring Rose’s work is Carmel-by-the-Sea. Bravo, Bill!

From: William Rose

Subject: Cover Winner Feedback

Hi…I was the winner of the Drawing magazine cover last year (for Rossina’s Apple) and wanted to relay briefly what occurred shortly after the publication.

I was contacted by a film director in Carmel, California, about a project he was working on with the Eastwoods (Clint and his wife, Dina).  He was beginning pre-production of a film about a teenage art prodigy who gets involved in international forgery, and they were looking for an artist to work on the film. They spotted Drawing magazine with my cover at a local bookstore, and after visiting my website they apparently determined my charcoal work was exactly what they were looking for.

On the Fence Line by William Rose, 2007, charcoal on Mylar, 38 x 28.
On the Fence Line
by William Rose,
2007, charcoal on Mylar, 38 x 28.

So here I am—an artist from Prairie Village, Kansas, having only inadvertently stumbled across a talent for drawing a few years ago—getting a request to come out to Carmel for three months and produce all of the artwork that appears in the film as the work of the kid prodigy. As you might imagine, it was quite a surreal experience. In addition to producing all of the artwork—which included dozens of drawings, a few paintings, and a 16′-x-12′ figurative mural on a hotel-room ceiling—they asked me to be the on-set still photographer for the entire shoot and put me up in a multimillion dollar home in Pebble Beach. The movie stars Lauren Bacall, Alfred Molina, Josh Hutcherson (as the teenage prodigy), Hayden Panettiere, as well as Clint’s wife, Dina, and his son, Scott.

Since the filming, my career has really shot off the ground with numerous shows in and around the Kansas City area and my work being represented in multiple galleries. Needless to say, I owe all of this to entering and winning your cover competition.  There is no way I can begin to express my gratitude to you for providing the exceptional opportunities with your publications to artists like myself who scratch and claw to find ways to gain a little recognition in a world filled with outstanding artists.

All my best,

William Rose was given an exceptional opportunity in the wake of having his skills with drawing discovered. The aspect of this whole story that I find so inspiring is that Bill only started focusing on his drawing abilities relatively recently. To know that with each pencil drawing I do, as I sharpen my skills and make strides of improvement, I’m walking a very similar path to his is exciting, and I hope you feel the same way when it comes to your drawing abilities. They can give you so much reward that all aspects of your art will benefit from! So please do check out all the great drawing resources available right now on sale at the North Light Shop. Enjoy!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

6 thoughts on “An Incredible Success Story

  1. I live in KC and had the pleasure of seeing the original drawing a few weeks ago in a gallery. I recognized it immediately! Congrats on the movie! What a wonderful opportunity.

  2. I just wanted to let you know the film was renamed “The Forger.” I actually saw the film and fell in love with the drawings. Now with this background, it is even better! Amazing artwork thanks for sharing the back story!!!