Published author, artist and Emmy-award winning documentarian Bob Boze Bell told students at Mohave Community College recently to never giving up on their dreams.
He is co-owner and publisher of the popular True West magazine, a venture on which he initially lost a lot of money, but said it helped teach him humility.
“If I never lost $30,000 a month I wouldn’t be as appreciative,” said Bell, talking about his investment in the magazine. “If you never experience rejection, when you start making money you’re going to be pretty shallow.”
Bell was born in Iowa, but grew up in Kingman and is the author of many books, including The 66 Kid, which describes what it was like growing up along Route 66.
He is also the host of Outrageous Arizona, an Emmy-award winning documentary about Arizona’s road to statehood. He has published and illustrated books on Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday and classic gunfights.
The MCC Student Art Club arranged to bring Bell to speak at the college.
“Draw and write every day without hope, without despair. If not you will ruin your artwork,” he told the crowd, while urging them not worry if their writing or artwork is not good. “Draw six bad drawings a day and don’t get discouraged.”
He encouraged them to use rejection as fuel to fire their passion and temper their attitude. “Art kids that went to the best art programs sometimes lack a little bit of Kingman humility.”
Students attending the event said they were very impressed with Bell’s passion, and his message will help them.
“It was an inspiring presentation that reminded aspiring Kingman artists they have everything they need to go out and be what they want,” said Brooke Garcia, graphic artist and MCC art program graduate. “Starting out in Kingman means they (artists/authors) will have stories that others won’t.”
Bell also talked about getting published and offered some advice for those building up their portfolios.
“Less is more when it comes to your portfolio,” he said. “The best I ever saw had 5 good pieces in it and that’s all they needed.”
More pictures from Mr. Bell’s presentation