Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Omaha.com
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By Kevin Coffey
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
William Holland was always drawing — at work, at school and in his time off.
“I pretty much failed every class I ever had because I was doodling,” the Omahan said, joking that he failed even his art classes.
Tired of never doing much with his talent, he began working full time on art projects seven years ago. In addition to holding down a full-time job, he introduced himself to artists, took classes and learned how to put on exhibitions.
After seeing how much support he had from friends, family and other artists, Holland decided to offer a lot of his art to charity. In addition, Holland often puts pieces up for auction online and donates the proceeds to a charity he likes.
The nonprofit company where Holland works, QLI, is a rehabilitation center for people with brain and spinal cord injuries, and it has been on the receiving end of his generosity.
He also has auctioned off art to benefit a friend’s sick mother and has sold artwork through Caffeine Dreams and Curbside Clothing and the donated the money to a homeless shelter.
“Everyone gives a little bit,” Holland said. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have people supporting me, so I’m trying to give a little back.”
Mostly self-taught, Holland typically draws animals, people and cartoons in ink and watercolor. He couldn’t find a drawing medium he liked until he went to a showing of ink-on-paper art by Derek Hess, an artist who has drawn for Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd and Pantera.
“That inspired me to try it,” he said. “And I taught myself watercolor from reading my old ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ books.”
When he’s not drawing or working, Holland likes to run and ride his mountain bike.
You might catch him on staircases or big hills, as Holland likes mountain biking around urban obstacles.
“Anything I can break my head on,” he joked.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1557, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/owhmusicguy
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