Bill Hood served as the cameraman for the Austin Sun and later assumed the duties as the Art Director. Today, Bill is a successful entrepreneur with far more irons in the fire than anyone should ever have. Bill is a self-professed workaholic, having been a professional photographer, jewelry designer (having placed three times in the prestigious Diamonds International Awards), a successful fine arts painter, industrial designer, author, publisher, award winning editorial cartoonist, and much more. He is a self-professed workaholic.
He was born in 1945, making him one of the oldest Sun Staffers. He had already served in Vietnam and graduated with a Fine Arts degree from Sam Houston University before moving to Austin to work as the cameraman for Texas Monthly Magazine and Texas Highways Magazine and others.
At night, he did freelance illustration and logo design. He worked with Benny Benefield at Calico Press printing the posters and T-shirts for the Armadillo World Headquarters. He was also kept busy doing poster art for a variety of bands about Austin. For a while he owned an art gallery on South Lamar.
Sam Yeates, who contributed art to the Austin Sun, told Bill that the Sun was looking for a cameraman and introduced him to Nightbyrd. Later, Bill became the Art Director and stayed with the Sun until it was sold to Jay Stokes and Bill Barton in 1978, when they owners moved the paper to Hays County and changed the name to the Onion Creek Free Press and later the Hays Free Press.
During his tenure at the Austin Sun, Bill continued to do freelance illustration and design as well as painting landscapes, which he showed in various galleries in Austin and Dallas. He designed logos for a great many Austin companies. You may remember the sign outside of Steamboat Springs on Sixth Street, which he designed and painted with the help of his good friend Sam Yeates. Another huge, 14-foot long, wood relief sign of a steamboat with playful illustrations hung inside the old Steamboat Springs. He designed the logo for Santa Fe Optical and also the original Taste of Texas logo for the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Bill begin creating designs for a custom boot company, where he has designed over 1,000 pairs of cowboy boots for a wide variety of individuals. His clients included Whitey Shaffer (All My Ex’s Live in Texas), Harlan Howard (I Fall To Pieces), Tanya Tucker (What’s Your Mama’s Name?), Gary Bradley (of Circle C fame), Willie Nelson, Kinky Friedman, Alejandro Escobedo, Ray Benson, and Erik Williams (Dallas Cowboys).
Bill grew up in the screenprinting industry as the son of a screenprinter and in 1981, he opened Royal Tees Screenprinting where he printed T-shirts for Austin City Limits, and individuals from Willie Nelson to Kinky Friedman. During the time he owned and operated Royal Tees, he had a successful freelance design studio and continued painting – showing his work in various galleries and online at Bill Hood Fine Art.
During this time opened the School of Screenprinting, where he trains individuals in the screenprinting industry and Bill Hood Consulting, which led to travels to 62 other countries over the past 35 years. During this time, he started Solutions Journal Magazine. and begin writing technical articles and books for the screenprinting technologies. He has written over 50 books on screenprinting and thousands of articles.
Since 1983, Bill has produced the internationally syndicated column This Week I Learned, which has been published in many newspapers and magazines.
He currently lives in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and when not traveling, he spends his days writing, painting and enjoying the peace, serenity and tranquility of life in Mexico.
Bill is the co-founder of the Austin Sun Community, along with Deb Stall-Nelson, who was Director of Advertising for the Austin Sun and now an author, publisher and entrepreneur. Bill serves as the webmaster for Austin Sun Community website.
When Nick Barbaro and Louis Black started the Austin Chronicle, they asked Bill to become their cameraman, as they had the old camera from the Sun. Having moved on at the time, Bill made it clear that he was just there to get them started and that they would have to find a replacement as quickly as possible.
Bill’s cousin is the late Carl Perkins who wrote Blue Suede Shoes and a second cousin is Elvis Presley on his father’s side of the family.
Bill is 1/4 American Indian (Cherokee) on his mother’s side.