Interview with Bill Mayer

April 18, 2021

This interview with the amazing Bill Mayer was done to fill in a few gaps in his illustrious life and times. At the bottom of this interview are links to other articles on this fine fellow.


Thanks much for agreeing to this interview, Bill and thanks also for being a contributor to the illoz project!
Let's start off by jumping in the wayback machine. It would be interesting to know what schools you attended growing up. Elementary, Junior High and High School. And, during those formative years were there teachers that influenced your eventual outcome as an illustrator?


My memory on this is going to be a bit foggy since that is a long time ago. I think there was an elementary school teacher that traded me a little drawing of a raccoon she had done for one of my drawings, and in high school I did have a teacher, Mrs. Hammond who sat me next to the window and let me draw. But I think she was using me as an example to make everyone else work by saying Bill can get by just drawing but you guys need to pay attention. 

We moved around a lot. Birmingham is where I was born. We moved to Memphis where is which is where I started school at Willow Oaks Elementary. I had my first flying dream there. In second grade we moved to Rochester, New York. I did hard time at Cobbles Elementary In Pennfeild. In seventh grade I was paroled and I went to Pennfeild Junior High where I had my first kiss. She had freckles and ran away. In November of 1963 we moved to Decatur, Georgia Where I was promptly put back into elementary because they didn't have Junior High in Georgia. I went to a couple different high schools. Southwest Dekalb High, Towers High, and finally graduated from Columbia High School 1969.

I think my mom has aways been a big influence in inspiring me to pursue art as a career. She has saved every thing I have ever drawn from the beginning of time.


Well, mom is almost always right.
On the family side, would you mind documenting the names of your mother and father?
It might also be interesting to know if anyone else in your family was infected with the art bug. Any artists in your immediate family?


My father was Louis A Mayer, he passed a year ago from Parkinson's . My mom Lorene Cruse Mayer they were married seventy years. a very sweet couple totally devoted to each other and of course their family.

I have a kind of a huge family. I am the odest of six kids, there were  five under the age of seven then about eight years and the last one was born. Bill, Bob, Mel, Dick, Sue and Lori They're now all married have kids and the kids have kids lots of kids. 

My wife Lee is an artist. We met at Ringling College of Art. I was seventeen when we met. Our son Jason also went to Ringling Colege of art and Portfolio Center, worked as a web designer and now does coding. Our Grandson Forest is an designer and artist and works in the studio with me. We have two other Grand kids Zak 15 and Dash 12 is an amazing artist. My Brother Dick also went to Ringling. Two of his wives were artist as well as his daughter Greta. His other three Kids  mick Patrick and Elle are musicians and artists.  Out of the Fifty two of us in oulr family  there's a bunch of writers, musicians and artists. Maybe too many to list...



Before attending college, were you already getting work published? If so, do you recall where?


I think there were a few of my sketches in our Highschool Yearbook but not much in print during those early years. Really it wasn't till my first job in a studio in Atlanta that I saw my work published. It was a small drawing of a bicycle and I still remember the thrill of finally being published.


Getting into Ringling at the time you did was no small accomplishment. Today I'm sure it's not as tough, but in those days the number of students remained very limited and the admission process there was extremely selective. That being said, it would be interesting to know how you were able to develop your portfolio to apply to such a school. Given that you had no immediate family members that were artists, do you recall how you were able to create art compelling enough that the admissions office at Ringling would allow you to attend?


To the contrary, Ringling was fairly easy to get in. I think they did that because they realized that high school art classes really didn't offer a lot of what students needed. But once you were in the school you had to be invited to come back after each quarter. So kind of a competition to stay in. They took our class of about 150 and there were 30 graduates. Their curriculum was strong on foundation drawing and painting it wasn't until the third year that we actually had an illustration class.


Was your course work at Ringling focused on illustration or more broadly on drawing and painting? In your interview with wowxwow you make it pretty clear that you were a lousy first year student and hated school at the start. Was there a specific teacher you can recall that inspired you to get your act together or was it more of a self-motivational shift?



 I do remember that in the First year at Ringling I actually had other students doing some of the work I didn't want to do. I had one student  doing my Perspective, another doing my lettering, Lee did my art history. Somehow I talked her into doing my laundry as well. 

I think when I started doing my own work my grades got better. I was always leaving the work till the last minute but completing several versions of the assignment to turn in. At that time we had two studio classes a day which were three hours each with a small break in the middle. So it was a lot of art and a lot of practice.

I think I was pretty bored with school and couldn't wait to get out and actually do work. Not just pretend assignments.


Okay, let's get you out of school and into the real world of hard knocks. In your Hamilton King page posted by the Society of Illustrators, it's said you began your career working for several different studios. How about some details on that time in your life? What studios do you recall working for and what sort of work were you doing in them? Importantly, what did you learn?


I worked at two studios after school.
Graphics Group 1972-1974 and Whole Hog Studios.1974 -1976.
Two pretty creative shops back in the early 1970's. I was 17 when I went to Ringling, 20 when I graduated. I met my wife Lee in October of 1969 at Ringling, we lived together for the three years we were in Sarasota and got married the day before graduation on May 18,1972.

My senior year at Ringling I took off spring break and came home to Atlanta instead of partying at the beach and started interviewing with some advertising agencies in our area here. I had one helpful person Jonas Gold who was looking at my book and asked me what I wanted to do. When I told him I wanted to be an ilustrator  he steered me toward the studios. At that time there were several studios around Atlanta that had a staff of Illustrators. One illustrator and part-owner Gene Wilks at Graphics Group said to come back when I graduated and they'd give me a trial position, June 1972, I'm guessing to make sure I could do the quality of work shown in my book. I jumped on that, and after two days they offered me a full-time position as an illustrator. I figured it was a good stepping stone to learn as much as I could from them. 
I did learn a lot from the other illustrators there at Graphics Group. There were some notable folks who came through that revolving door. SOI Hall of Famer Tom Blackshear among them, and Brad Copeland, the designer who did the 1996 Olympic pitch for Atlanta. Warren Weber showed me the basics of airbrushing. I learned how I needed to present thumbnails and sketches to clients for approval. Contrary to my school work, where I would do the final painting then hammer out thumbnails and sketches because they were required.
In most of the studios at that time, you were called on to do a variety of styles and techniques. I also learned something else: I watched as a bunch of the other illustrators worked with annuals open on their laps, borrowing styles or concepts and sort of mashing them together into what they thought were original illustrations. I saw this and realized that the only way to have your work look original was to stop looking at other peoples work. It worked pretty fast, overnight, just drawing the way i drew and coming up with my own ideas and my work looked like my own.

I think I probably worked at studios a little too long but I was married and we had a young child in our early twenties so there was always expenses and the need for the stability of a regular paycheck. One of the great things about working through the studios for so long is that I had built up a lot of clients and friends in the business. When it came time to start freelancing, it was just like moving my studio home, and I was immediately covered up with work.


So, it sounds like you struck out on your own as a freelancer in 1976. Were there peope who influenced you to take this bold move or was it pure instinct? It seems you may have had a two year old kid in 76', so that decision must have carried some weight. As you said, you had a good idea of the clients you could reach out to to at this point, through your studio work.

If you recall your first clients after going freelance those would be great to know.



I incorporated under BillMayer Inc. in 1978, but it seemed like I did freelance a short time before that so maybe my leaving the studio date might not be right. Maybe it was closer to the end of 1976 beginning of 1977...I'm remembering Jason being around three or four years old. I was at Whole Hog Studio at that point. Ron Maybe was one of the principle owners at the time. Ron came out of Cleavland's Pitt Studios creative studio and had started a studio called Maybe Trousdel. A pretty nationalally known design studio along the lines of Push Pin in New York.

 When I went to work at Whole Hog it was a totally diferent atmosphere. With a stong emphasis built on creativity. Don Trousdell actually left his teaching possition at Syracuse University and came down to work at Whole Hog. But for whatever reason stayed only a little while before taking a possition at McDonald Little as a in house design studio in the Adverstising agency.

I think  my leaving and going out on my own just seemed like the right time. Ron had given me every insentive he could to stay but it was just time to move. I had over the time there developed a style of loose pencil and watercolors that was fast and marketable and I knew timing was right.

I did a ton of local work on Chick Fil A and Coke for McCannErickson. Aviation Insurance for Cole Henderson Drake. Pretty much every agency around there. I was doing several bank campaingns and changing the styles so they looked like different people doing the work. In 1978 I did a piece of art for a crazy pack of shredded bubble gum called Big League Chew. I was the Ad Weeks south eastern creative allstar Team Several of those early Years 1982 -1983-1984. I remember one of the Ady's I picked up an arm full of door stops. 


You may have already hinted at this with your tale of needing to work in multiple styles while fresh out of college and working at studios, but it's honestly a very rare freelance illustrator who's able to be successful in multiple styles. You're something of a true marvel in this shape-shifting business. You seemlessly glide between scratchboard, brush work, airbrush, pen and ink, digital, gouache paintings and who know what else?

That said, there are some questions that arrise from all this variety:

Can you list the styles you work in and do they have actual names you have given them?

Do you recall the first time these illustrative approaches were invented and published?

A small sample of stylistic examples of yours have been posted below but even these samples don't begin to touch the hem of your range.

All images © Bill Mayer

 My portfolio I had coming out of Ringling was fairly diverse. I think some of this came from watching one of my heros at the time Milton Glaser, who seemed to morph between styles where the intent seemed to be more on the appropriateness of the final design or application. I was also aware of other illustrators, like Brad Holland, who I had watched morph styles From his Ribald Classics for Playboy and his editorial line drawings to his painterly conceptual work, moving into a bit more naive drawing styles. He seemed to remain relevent and contemporary. Maybe they just thought it was a better direction for him or just got bored with the other style... You know, I never asked him...

When we worked at the studio we were all called on to many projects that required a little experimenting to get the right technique. At Graphics Group I worked on a Money museum exibit for The Federal Reserve Bank. Under the direction of our studio designer Ken Thompson I created old engravings of early commerce and bartering. I used an ink resist style to imitate the early medieval wood cuts. I used this same technichnique for a Peruvian Folk Art Festival. Seemed much more appropriate than a loose pencil drawing or a tight airbrush rendering.

I'm guessing that I defined my style by the way I draw and solve visual problems, not a particular cross-hatch or stipple technique. It was more about finding an appropriate solution for a paticular project. 

There were certain styles based on techniques that came and went out of popularity. This might not be so clear. Let me think of a better way to explain. Yes I do experiment all the time searching for new looks, then look for an approriate place to use them. This may seem a bit diferent than the way illustrators "Brand" themselves now days. and yes, there's a bit of an eclectic look, looking back over the fifty years I have been Illustrating. But most of that moving from style to style came organically and over a long period of time.

Sometimes the very nature of how we have to market ourselves seems to stall these experiments. Invariably people seem to ask for something similar to what you've done before. For example, during the late Nineties I did a ton of monsters and beasties fueled by the impending "Y2K Millennium Bug."

From top left (above) to the bottom right

The Gouache paintings came from trying to come up with a style to break into that lucrative Sci-Fi field. I started painting them small to be able to do them quickly...  I have been experimenting with gouache for a few years now. All of the paintings are done in gouache paint on watercolor paper. The series at first had some finishing touches in photoshop, but soon moved to solely traditional mediums. They’re an ongoing experiment with medium and composition, as well as the potent nature of dreams. I think there are no deep dark hidden secrets. It’s just fun to play with the emotions art can generate. I believe color is really emotion. Color choices are made to reinforce those emotions. To me there’s a sense of poetry in the playful use of surreal elements.

The Demented Beasties series were a combination of digital and traditional airbrush. I just did one sketch and finish with no direction except having fun. these brought me back out of a totally demoralizing caracter development job when I almost quit illustrating for good. I did this first one, and It felt good to not have external input that I continued the series. I think my favorite was what Victo Ngai called "the cow killer." I just called it "Got Milk." a toddler who looks a lot like my sister Mel, squeezing the milk out of a cow.

The upside down bird was done for Dellas Graphics Frog Calendar. I had been playing around with painting on glass. Scanning them in and finishing them in Photoshop. This actual ink sketch is about 2 inches, blown up to the 18" poster size. It's the same style I used for the "Savages Poster" for Steppenwolf Theatre.

The Red Carpet, My Love of Line, also for Dellas Graphic Frog calendar. This piece is a line drawing, with color added in photoshop. The Characters come from a trip to South Beach and the late-night ladies one finds there...

This one was done for WorkBook's promo "Album Covers That Never Happened" for one of my favorite groups, "The Five Blind Boys from Alabama." I also used this style for a Jose Cervo campaign in the 1995. It is a scratchboard technique first used in a self-promo ad campaign "Can Draw Things Besides Rabbits." Also the same technique as the "Reading Skeleton," an alternate for the Novelo Reading Festival poster that won a Gold medal at the Society of Illustrators.

Kind of an odd Children's book. Letters of the alphabet are hidden in each drawing. This was kind of a derivative series based loosely on the art deco posters of the 1920's.

This frog was again for Dellas Graphics' Frog Calendar. It really was one of my favorite jobs every year, I'd have it marked on my calendar to call Jim Burke the first of the year every year to get started.  I like this one, titled "Dirty Martini" an elegant frog in a tuxedo with a martini glass, garnished with several grubs and bugs. I was trying for a strong, graphic image. There was a great, silly one titled "Bob Takes a Dump" a rather funny play on attracting flies. "The Devil Frog" is also one of my favorites. Sort of a nod to Hieronimus Bosch with the little frogs dancing in Hell. So many fun illustrations over the years.

The traditionally-styled Oriental Lady on her cell phone. Just a little collage piece and a bit of simple, Ironic humor. I have always drawn line drawings in my sketchbook. This is somewhat of a predecessor to a style I've been playing with more recently, of using large amounts of black within line drawings to accentuate the characters and create contrast.

This piece was done for The Max Awards. I have always played around with working small, and blowing images up huge to get a really graphic impression. The scratchy texture of the line in the drawing works well for this enlargement, as do the gouache paintings with their tiny lines. Sometimes it is interesting to see all the linework, all the imperfections, blown up to a scale where you can really see what is going on.



Thanks so much Bill! One last question and I'll be out of your hair. Let's do the awards, just because everybody loves awards. If you can list the acknowledgements you've received over the course of your career, that would be great. Perhaps you can even recall the names of the pieces and the art directors involved?



Over the years I have been fortunate to be honored with having my work included in many of the leading industry publications. Every now and then the planets align and lightning strikes twice and I have some piece that gets an award. Until recently, I never attempted to do a tally as I am of the belief that you are only as good as your last drawing.

When a friend and colleague Rick Anwyl was working on some promotional writing for a new book project he suggested he would like to actually see a physical count of the awards. An altogether daunting task. We lost a few of the actual awards when a shelf collapsed from the weight.

But I think this will give you some idea.
Society of Illustrators New York:10 Gold, 2 Silver, 145 Certificates of Merit.
Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles:10 Gold, 4 Silver, 18 Bronze, 4 Patrick Nagel Award of Excellence, 1 Best of Show,183 Certificates of Merit
PRINT: 123 Certificates of Design Excellence
Show South: 17 Certificates of Distinction
Communication Arts: 23 Awards of Excellence.
3x3:24 awards of excellence

The Jack Davis Distinguished Artist Award in 2013 is still one of my favorites because it was a giant Jack Davis foot sculpted by Alex Murowski with my business card squished on the bottom of the foot, and cast in bronze. A funny side note, I have never had a business card.

This was a partial list, but among these, some of the awards that meant a lot to me were along with the 11 pieces included in the Humor Show at Society of Illustrators, New York. 1988. The Silver Funny bone for “The Dog Fish” done for Adweek, Kieth Lepkowski was the art director.


1985 The first gold medal I got from SOI in 1985 was such an unexpected thrill. The famous William poster for Williams Acre Company. (Art director Brad Copeland at Cooper Copeland) was done over a week end without showing sketches. I had already turned in another piece and had an idea for doing a limited color piece with a brightly colored eye. When I sent the piece to Brad that Monday he loved it.

1988 I won a silver medal for a Ryder Truck Rental, (Art Director Tom Sapp at Burton Campbell). A crazy view of the back of a Ryder Truck, crammed full of college mascots. Alphabetically arranged Armadillo to Zebra.

1994 Another particular rewarding one was this crazy little skeleton illustration done at my kitchen table. Gold medal for the “Library Skeleton”, ink and gouache on scraper board. A poster for the Charlotte Library system. Art director Leigh Brinkley. Another piece completed without interruption in process or showing sketches.

1996 Another favorite piece was this crazy collection of strange animals morphed into one Cryptid. Showing all of the attributes of this progressive agency. As agile as a Red Holler Monkey and stubborn as a Pitt Bull... art director Jerry Sullivan at Sullivan Haas Coyle (and me) Advertising Gold medal

1997 a Too-many-to-count year. In the 35th annual Annual Illustration Society of Los Angeles: A bronze medal for Texas monthly, art director DJ Stout. a Bronze medal for The BlackBook, Art Director Alison Curry, a Bronze medal for the White Museum, DMB&B agency, Art Director Bob Weeks, a Bronze medal for Computer Associates, Schell/Mulaney art director Mike Schell, a Bronze medal for Florida Trend magazine, Art Director Gary Bernloehr, a Bronze medal for Audio Magazine, Art Director Cathy Cacchioni, two Bronze medals for Oxford American, Art Director Mark Schmirnoff, a Bronze medal for Skyward Marketing for TWA, Art Director Kitty McGee, a bronze medal for TLC/Discover Channel agency: The Learning Channel, Art Director David Whitmore, A bronze medal for CFO Magazine, Art Director Dianne McEnany.

2001 The Advertising Gold medal for The Hartford Stage Theater Poster for the Christmas Carol was under the art direction of Harry Hartofelis. Who had the idea for doing this Christmas play as a horror poster. With Tiny Tim in the center. I Put Tiny Tim in a huge red chair with the ghosts coming out of the embroidery making for an impactful poster.

2003 The Hartford Stage poster hit Gold again; this time a large, coffin-shaped Scrooge holding Tiny Tim up on his shoulders. Snow and icicles dripping like scary fingers.
Harry Hartofelis, art director. The Hartford Stage, Client.

2005 There were a couple of these annual projects that yielded some opportunity for great art. At the top of that list for me was Dellas Graphics' frog calendar. Jim Burke was the art director for all of these. one of my favorites was The Dirty Martini. A sly, ruby-lipped frog in a tux with a martini, holding a garnish of grubs and bugs. Silver Medal Institutional category SOI 47.

2008 I had another Gold Medal in the Book Category for a children's book “The Monster That Did My Math” done for Peachtree Publishing. Art directors Lorain Joyner and Kathy Landweir.
The author Danny Schnitzlein's book was so filled with wonderful imagery that it wasn't hard to do some great illustrations. "The Monster That Did my Math" was picked by "Georgia Center for the Book" as one of the 25 books all young Georgians should read.

2009 A children's book I did with Anne Bopco won a silver medal in the One Show at Society of Illustrators. It was a clever alphabet book with all of the letters hidden in the deco like illustrations.

2010 This piece depicts the insane world around and a peaceful calm inside a car on the morning commute. Katie Burk at NPR was the art director, And ultimately gave me more freedom than I am used to having on jobs, resulting in a Gold Medal In Society of Illustrators West 49. Illustration West 49 I also saw a bronze medal for a piece done for Plansponsor, Art Director SooJin Buzelli.
Queen of Swords” One of my silly stamp drawings, for Art Director Maria Cecilia Marra who used it in the fabulous Brazilian magazine Revista Piaui, won a Gold Medal Society of Illustrators New York 52.

2011 This little experiment of painting on glass and enlarging x 20 to a poster size gave for an interesting and surprising composition. Limited color and a spot of red in the eye of the bird. Something different from most of my pieces for the frog calendar. Received the Patrick Nagel Award of Excellence. Client, Dellas Graphics, Art Director Jim Burke...SILA 49 - Dellas Graphics.

2011 "Creative Carnival" Sometimes something just lands in your lap with so much potential. When you have a client that is open for you to do anything you want, and an audience of your peers that will surely thumb their nose at anything sub-standard, you can't help but panic a little at first; right? This little poster was just so much fun from the very beginning. The Creative Carnival Poster, with it's limited color and blown up line work won a silver medal at Society of Illustrators New York and a Bronze Medal at Society of Illustrators West.

2011 Jazzoo Poster, for a fundraiser for the Atlanta Zoo. was done as a 5x7” tiny gouache drawing and blown up to a 40” poster. Won SI-WEST 50 Patrick Nagel Award of Excellence, and Society of Illustrators New York 54 Award of Merit. Won SI West 50 Silver medal Institutional category for one of the crazy frogs for the frog calendar series for Dellas Graphics, art Director Jim Burke, and a Bronze award in the advertising category for the poster for Workbook's Creative Carnival, Art Director Alison Curry.

2012 "The Jester Dies" for Dellas Graphics The Art Director Jim Burke really liked the idea of having the jester in the foreground, so I was determined to at least give it a try. I darkened the figure in the foreground and put several layers in between, lighting the background and creating some visual distance in between the two. Won a silver award in Society of Illustrators West 50, and an Award of Merit at Society of Illustrators 54. Creative Carnival won Silver at Society of Illustrators New York 54.

2013 I was Thrilled to have a 3x3 feature coming out soon. Written by the fabulous Goñi Montes. 3x3 is one of the smartest publications around so I am so thrilled to be included with the great artists that have been there. I was Number 63.Illustration West 51 gold medal For Dellas Graphics Jim Burke art Director as well as The Patrick Nagel award of excellence.

2014 Illustration West 52 I had several awards. An Honorable mention for an illustration for 3X3, Art Director Charles Hively, a silver medal for a piece done for BLAB! Art Director Monte Beauchamp. A gold medal for Dellas Graphics, art director Jim Burke. I had Four pieces accepted into the BLAB! Show. Four strange gouache and digital hybrids I had been experimenting with. Also an honorable mention for a piece done for PlanSponsor, art director SooJin Buzelli.

2015 I received a gold medal from Society of Illustrators West 53 for a piece done for Blab World 2, art director Monte Beauchamp. A Gold medal for Dellas Graphics, art director Jim Burke, a silver Medal for a unpublished piece, and a bronze medal for The New York Times, art director Minh Uong.

Still experimenting with the gouache paintings, I decided to do a portrait of Marie Antionette. I had two strong ideas. In the first painting I used her head like a vase filled with flowers... Yeah, okay, a little morbid, but I was digging the death and flowers thing. In the second painting I tried to use the flowers in place of the head... letting the eyes peek through the flowers so you kept the idea of a face there. The second painting went on to win a gold Medal in Society of illustrators New York 57.

2015 I had four more paintings in the 2015 BLAB! Show, art director Monte Beauchamp. some of my favorite little gouache paintings,"Tadpoeon Complex", “Death of Crows” and “Mother of Crows” and “Smoking Crows.” I was definitely on a trip with the corvids.They received an honorable mention in 3X3.

2016 This was an interesting project for Ogilvy in Chicago.. A poster for Steppenwolf Theatre. It was Steppenwolf's fortieth anniversary, I picked 1980-81: Savages." It seemed like something dark and tribal would work, I used gouache and ink on glass and blew the image up to poster size. This poster was chosen in Spectrum for an award of excellence. Illustration West 54 a Bronze medal for CIO Magazine Soojin Buzelli art director

2018 Illustration West 56 I received a gold medal for the poster for the Steppenwolf Theater poster Andrew Rothstein art director at Ogalvy , two gold medals and one silver for Easton Press Michael Hendricks for the illustrations for Animal Farm and Silver and bronze medal for Plan Sponsor art director SooJin Buzelli and the Patrick Nagel award of excellence for the Radio Flyer Poster Kevin Grady art director FCB agency.

2020 I Had the opportunity to do a great series with Art Director Mallory Roynan over at Airbnb Magazine, for an article depicting the “German Fairy Tale Route,” an, unguided, unmarked Brothers Grimm road trip through Northern Germany. Three of these illustrations received awards of merit, Red Riding Hood received The Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators New York. certainly a highlight of a rather bizarre year.


Of all of the awards, looking back over the years, one thing stuck out to me. The pieces that still have resonance are the ones that didn't have any interruption in process from thumbnail to sketch to final. They all flowed with a kind of life and energy of their own. Sometimes my favorite illustrations didn't even make it into a show at all and sometimes little insignificant pieces would win awards. I try not to let any of this go to my head, but instead enjoy the process and the therapy of painting, and it shows in your work when you love what you do. I'm always learning and getting better or at least trying to get better.


For Futher Reading

A 2015 Interview at wowxwow with Bill has some great questions and answers and is also jam-packed with a mess of Bill's gouche paintings.

Jason Liebig, the amazing curator of Collecting Candy interviewed Bill in 2012 on his packaging illustrations for Big League Chew. It's got lots Bill's original sketch work and some insights into how that all came to be.

For an inside look at Mayer's studio and his excellent collection of dead animals, look no further than the SCAD Atlanta Studio Visit posted by Rick Lovell in 2009.

Bill's Wikipedia page in which a great deal of the bio there was based on this interview. Thanks again for your time and effort on this Bill!