by Allan Anderson – Reprinted from CASINO CHIP AND TOKEN NEWS I Fall 2006
Wil Cormier was born December 14, 1954 in Opelousas, Louisiana. He started painting at the early age of 7.
Wil Cormier started his career as a commercial illustrator after graduating from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California back in 1983. He studied human anatomy and drew and painted from live figures for many years. He used various mediums for different types of projects over the years such as gouache, pen and ink, scratch board, water colors, pastels, prisma pencils, acrylic and oil painting.
Some of his early freelance assignments were editorial illustrations, book covers, product illustrations and movie posters. Movie posters such as, Home Alone 2, Crocodile Dundee, Oscar, Navy Seals, Witches of Eastwick, Naked Gun 1 & 2 etc. were commissioned by various movie companies such as 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Disney just to name a few. Other companies that have commissioned Wil Cormier for his illustration talent were Baskin Robbins, Discover Card, Carnation, Mattel Toys, Tyco Toys, Omni Magazine, Absolute Vodka, Nestle and Shell Oil. For Upper Deck Trading Cards, Wil created an entire line of collectible cards for Hockey, Basketball and Baseball series including point of purchase displays, graphics and all packaging. Along with his busy freelance schedule he also taught at the Art Center College of Design to advanced graduating students in the field of advertising illustration.
His imaginative work on film posters garnered him with numerous awards in that industry. He also received honors from the World Science Fiction Association for his creative book covers. Some of his awards are; First Prize Daily News Poster Competition, Los Angels a World of Difference, Society of Illustrators Award – Ad, Yellow Rolls Royce, Society of Illustrators Award – Book Cover, Next, Society of Illustrators Award – Book Cover, Mona Lisa Overdrive, World Science Fiction Award Ceremony for Mona Lisa Overdrive Book Cover – Boston, Society of Illustrators Award – Book Cover, Winter Long, Society of Illustrators Silver Medal Award, Home Alone II – Movie Poster. Wil Cormier has had the opportunity to sell to art collectors through Sotheby’s in New York.
At an early age, Wil Cormier developed a great appreciation for the natural beauty of coastal Georgia and its people’s heritage.
Coastal Georgia has a chain of barrier islands that extend from the northern tip of Florida to the Savannah River. One island in particular, Sapelo, with its rich history that dates back to the days of French Occupation in the late 18th century. In historical order, Sapelo Island would later be owned by such prominent individuals as Thomas Spalding, Howard Coffin, and Richard J. Reynolds of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. Charles Lindbergh test flew his airplane from the Sapelo shores and several American Presidents have strolled it’s beaches.
As an artist, Wil Cormier found a burning desire to create art that tells a story about the island’s beauty and its people’s unique way of life.
Wil Cormier’s latest fine art series “Mermaids of Atlantis” holds a very personal meaning for the artist. His enthusiasm for painting marine life goes back to the time when he was a teenager. During the summer, Wil worked as a lab technician for his father on an island off the coast of Georgia. His father at that time was a Marine Biochemistry Professor who studied bioluminescent sea creatures.
“Mermaids of Atlantis” is on display at the Mermaid Cove at the Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Wil Cormier’s fine art series “Mermaids of Atlantis” is now being joined by a tribute to Mel Fisher. This new series is drawing from two sunken ships called the “Nuestra Senora de Atocha” & the “Santa Margarita.” These ships, along with many others were sunk during a large hurricane on September 5th, 1622. Of the more than 265 man crew, 5 survived. Mel Fisher, his family & friends were to find the treasure of these ships 350 years later in the summer of 1985 in the Florida Keys. The lives of 5 of Mel Fisher’s team were lost including his oldest son with his bride who died tragically aboard his capsized ship after finding 5 of the “Atocha’s” 20 bronze cannons. To celebrate the lives of the 5 that survived and in memorial of the 5 that were lost, Wil has hidden 5 seahorses in “Mel and Deo’s Playground”. The “Atocha” remains one of the greatest treasure finds of all time. “Mel and Deo’s Playground” is Wil Cormier’s tribute to Mel and his wife Delores Fisher for their endless years of effort and discovery that have rewarded us all by bringing history back to the surface.
“Mel and Deo’s Playground” Wil’s personal goal as an artist is to bring joy, beauty and creative entertainment to his audience and create public awareness in the beauty of our oceanic creatures that must be preserved for future generations.