William Stout was born in Salt Lake City, UT in 1949. At seventeen he won a full California State Scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute (California Institute of the Arts) where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree. Stout began his professional career in 1968 with his cover and illustrations for the first four issues of the pulp magazine Coven 13. In 1971 he began to assist Russ Manning on the Tarzan of the Apes newspaper strips and Eisner Award-winning graphic novels. In 1972 Stout joined Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder on Little Annie Fanny for Playboy. In 1973 Stout gained international notoriety in 1973-74 for his 45 "bootleg" record album covers.
1977 proved to be an especially productive year for William Stout: he created his first movie poster, WIZARDS, which ultimately led to developing promotional artwork for more than 120 films; he became the first American art contributor among his European counterparts for Heavy Metal magazine; and held his first solo exhibition, The Prehistoric World of William Stout. In 1978 Stout began his career in the film industry and has worked on more than 45 feature films, including the Conan movies, First Blood, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Walt Disney’s Dinosaur, Masters of the Universe, The Hitcher, and Pan’s Labyrinth, which resulted in his winning two of the Oscars and won Stout a 2006 Chesley Award. Return of the Living Dead made Stout the youngest production designer in film history.
Stout's dinosaur illustrations and murals have appeared in many publications, became the subjects of multiple exhibitions. In 1981 Bantam Books published Stout's bestselling landmark masterwork, THE DINOSAURS-A Fantastic New View of a Lost Era, followed by The Little Blue Brontosaurus (recipient of the 1984 Children's Choice Award; adapted as animated feature The Land Before Time) and Ray Bradbury's Dinosaur Tales. Eleven dinosaur-theme paintings by Stout were selected for inclusion in the traveling exhibition Dinosaurs Past and Present, which was seen by more than two-million visitors at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Author Michael Crichton acknowledged Stout's work as inspiration for his book Jurassic Park. In 1993, Universal Cartoon Studios chose Stout to design a prime time animated series of Jurassic Park. Stout’s prehistoric paintings and murals are on permanent display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Zoo, the Orton Geological Museum, the Museum of the Rockies, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science and the Lagoon Discovery Center (Carlsbad, CA).
Stout worked for Walt Disney Imagineering from 1986 to 1989 as a conceptual designer, writer, and producer for expansions to all their properties. He subsequently continued themed entertainment design for Disney, Universal and Landmark Entertainment Group. In 1995, Steven Spielberg made Stout Senior Concept Designer for GameWorks, a joint gaming arcade project between DreamWorks SKG, Universal, and Sega. Since then Stout participated in designing themed entertainment centers such as Michael Jackson’s NeverLand, the Kansas City’s Wonderful World of Oz theme park as well as a Toronto Dinotopia-themed park.
William Stout resides in Pasadena, California with his wife, frequently visited by his sons and grandchildren.
Selected Film Credits
2007 The Mist, Creature Designer
2006 Pan’s Labyrinth, Creature and Set Designer (contributed to the film’s achieving two of its three Academy Awards).
2005 The Prestige, Prop Designer
2000 Dinosaur, Character Designer
1987 Predator, Creature Designer
1984 Conan the Destroyer, Concept Designer
1982 Conan the Barbarian, Production Artist
1982 First Blood (Rambo), Storyboard Artist
1981 Indiana Jones and the Raider of the Lost Ark, Storyboard Artist
Stout was invited as a Special Guest, Guest of Honor and Special Artist Guest to numerous conventions and trade shows including Comic-Con, MondoCon, Dragon Con, Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, CTNx (Creative Talent Network Expo), Comic Art Convention in Avilés, Spain and the Breda Strip Festival in the Netherlands. Over 24 million William Stout trading cards have been sold.
Signature Member, California Art Club; Advisory Board Member, California Art Club; member of the Society of Animal Artists; co-founder and 10th president of the Comic Art Professional Society
2015 Stout invited to exhibit in REVOLUTIONS 2 – Music as Art, the largest show in the history of the Forest Lawn Museum, where he exhibited more than 50 works
2010 Menagerie – The Art of Animals, an exhibition on the history of animals in art co-curated by Stout, opened at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California
2010 Laguna College of Art + Design hosted a huge Stout retrospective, his largest to date. Attendance at the show and Stout’s lecture broke all previous records for the college
1995 “One Man and Twenty Women” one man show of Stout’s figure drawings at the Carnegie Art Museum
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2015 California Art Club's William and Julia Bracken Wendt Award
2006 Curator's Award at the Springville Art Museum's Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah exhibition. Received Spectrum Gold Award in Editorial category
2002 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Young Adult Book and Stout’s art for the book awarded Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. Awarded Gold Award in Black and White category from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles for his Pablo Neruda-inspired art
2013 Legends of the Blues, Stout’s book featuring 100 portraits and biographies of Stout’s favorite blues musicians and singers (born prior to 1930) was published Abrams
2010 Hallucinations and Inspirations, two full color collections of Stout’s fantasy art, are published
2009 William Stout – Prehistoric Life Murals is published
Bill’s other recent books include Tribute to Willis O’Brien (volumes one and two), Fantastic Women (volumes one and two), Tyler’s Third Act and Flesk Prime. Stout’s own publishing company, Terra Nova Press, has published over fifty books on art and the history of art. He is currently at work on multiple themed sketchbooks, as well as his second blues volume for Abrams, Legends of the British Blues (a book containing 100 more portraits and biographies by Stout) and a long-awaited career retrospective volume from Insight Editions, Fantastic Worlds of William Stout.
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