It is with incredible sadness and regret that we report the death of our dear friend, and fellow contributor, William O’Connor. William passed away suddenly this week, and leaves behind a Wife and two young Daughters.
For the past year and a half, William has dutifully contributed to this blog with his ‘Artist of the Month’ segments, where he spotlights some of the most influential artists of the past. We think it a fitting tribute to honor his memory in the same way.
Bill was a skilled artist, a loving father, and a sincerely good friend. He had a substantial impact on not just the industry, but also on the lives and hearts of those of us in it.
He will be deeply, deeply missed.
Obituary and Service details: http://nthfh.com/tribute/details/1959/William-O-Connor/obituary.html
Author/Illustrator of the best selling Dracopedia book series, as well as illustrator of over 3000 illustrations for the gaming and publishing business, William O’Connor’s 20 year career has allowed him to work with such companies as: Wizards of the Coast, Impact Books, Blizzard Entertainment, WhiteWolf/CCP, Lucas Films, Activision and many more.
A winner of over 30 industry awards for artistic excellence including 6 contributions to Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art and 8 Chesley nominations, William has taught and lectured around the country about his unique and varied artwork.
VIEW ALL MUDDY COLORS POSTS BY WILLIAM O’CONNOR HERE
Watch a timelapse of William’s painting, ‘Flight of the Paladin’ below:
Click HERE to listen to William O’Connor on WNPR radio talk about the history and cultural legacy of the world of dragons:
And of Course, be sure to visit the Dracopedia Blog to get a glimpse into William’s world of Dragons.
Amazing artist! If you ever get bored by fantasy art, just peruse these works and the flame is rekindled.
Good choice and for all the right reasons.
Congrats Mr. O’Connor!
Just saw that he passed away. So unfortunate.
I met William at my very first convention, and then again at my second. He was one of the first faces I began to recognize from con to con, and I always looked forward to seeing him. He was incredibly genuine and warm hearted. The first piece of original art I ever purchased was one of his paintings. Years later, it still hangs proudly in our home.
William was so friendly and welcoming to me. We met at an event we were part of together, and he made a point of hanging out the whole weekend and talking a lot of art. William’s talent was immense and he had a deep interest in so many different approaches and people. So sorry to hear that such a nice person is gone so early.
I never had the honor of meeting William O’Connor in person and we only briefly corresponded but that interaction marked him as a genuinely decent, kind, and humble individual. His imaginative and evocative writing style in his instructional series alone made them worth reading and recommending to others. His talent with color, light, and composition brought so much life to a stunningly vast body of work and left me with a great sense of loss at his passing. If just reading his work, loving his art and sharing a few words with him can inspire this, I cannot begin to imagine what his family and friends are experiencing.
I am devastated by the news. Seemed like a really good guy as well as an amazing artist. Really enjoyed learning more about him in your feature. Wish we could have had more features by Bill.
I am a long time fan of William O’Connor’s art. It brought me joy for past 15 years. In time he was with us he was such a prolific artist. He painted so many beautiful paintings and many artists won’t reach his level of quality or quantity in two lifetimes.
I still can’t process the information that he is actually gone. It is so surreal. I feel like a part of me died and can’t be replaced. Passing of a person who I didn’t know shouldn’t have such an effect on me but it does.
I cannot phantom sadness people closest to him feel right now; when his passing had a such a deep impact on people who barely knew him. It just shows that world will be less brighter without him in it.
It is deeply regretful he was taken before his time. He had so much to offer, so many stories to paint and tell; and so much joy to spread to people around him. Especially to people closest to him.
To his family and friends, I hope fond memories of William will help you through this time of hardship.
I have some drawings that are signed William O’Connor there early sketches with pencil how do I know if they’re real some dated 1978
Well, if you’re holding them, they’re obviously real drawings. The real question is, what William O’Connor did they belong to? I suspect it is not this William, as he would have been only 8 years old in 1978.
I met him at the 2016 illuxcon and had the honor of watching his drawing a beautiful pencil drawing that he was planning on turning into a painting. I sat with him for minutes as we talked about the drawing and he described his process with me and took time to teach me how I could think about my art if I wanted to make effective compositions. I loved that drawing after our talk but could not buy it as he was still working. A year later he proudly displayed the painting and It was more than I’d expected he also still had the drawing from the previous year with him but I didn’t have the money on hand at the time to own it. I would love to be lucky enough to be able to remember out talk and honor the man and artist by looking at that amazing drawing again! if anyone knows how I can contact anyone who might be caretakers for his art please let me know, rest well Bill!
I am just reading this and am floored! What a loss to his family, friends, and the art world. William was such a nice guy. First met him at a Gen Con in 1999 (I think). I bought several 7th Sea Card art pieces from him and regret never pulling the trigger on a bigger piece like ‘Grail Quest’. I’d like to support his family. Do you know if he has any original art for sale?