William Grafʼs art career started after finishing his art education from SUNY Farmingdale for ADVERTISING & GRAPHIC DESIGN.
He went on to study DRAWING AND PAINTING FINE ART at the prestigious Arts Student League in New York City. Bill maintained the position of being "monitor" or teacher's assistant for most of his classes. After finishing his studies, Bill was asked by one of his instructors, Jack Faragasso, to return to the ASL one summer to teach his painting class for one month. His teaching skills were encouraged by the students who asked if he would be continuing with his own class at the League.
However an opportunity arose for Bill to increase his skills in Florence, Italy at CECIL
GRAVES STUDIO where he studied Old Masters Painting and Drawing under both Charles Cecil and Dan Graves themselves.
Returning to New York City, Bill embarked on a career as an Art Director. However, illustration became his main source of work, so began his freelance career; acquiring well known publishing clients such as Doubleday Books, Thomas Nelson, and his major account for over 25 years, Harlequin Enterprises known for their romance book series world-wide.
During the course of his career, Bill has taught Painting From Life summer series at The Arts Students League NYC, conducted "Paint Events" with up to 60 participants ranging from 7 years old to seniors. He has been asked to do demonstrations of his illustration and fine art painting skills. His portraiture has won numerous Awards throughout his career. Bill also kept true to his fine art training by accepting several portrait commissions and worked on private & public mural projects one of which was prominent in the museum of American History in Washington DC, depicting scenes from Theodore Rooseveltʼs time in the White House. His Awards have also included his book cover illustrations in which he was nominated by his peers. He continues to illustrate children books.
Bill is presently teaching portrait painting in oils and acrylic drawing and painting
classes and workshops at several locations throughout Long Island.