When I was young, the dream of being able to make a living solely as an artist was nothing short of crazy to me.
While recovering from cancer my junior year of high school, I incorporated my business and set out to do just that...
Over the past 34 years, I've dedicated my life to inspiring kids of all ages to identify their gifts and use them to the fullest of their potential, regardless of the obstacles they will encounter along their path.
I look forward to what treasures the future holds.
A heartfelt thanks to all of you for being a part of my dream.
- Timm Etters
Founder & Owner, Timm Etters Studios, Inc.
Born in 1968 in Elgin, Illinois, Etters is a leading, internationally recognized artist with a focus on murals & public art. He has endured a great many struggles in his lifetime, yet still aims to encourage people everyday through his art and stories of his life.
Like many artists, by the 3rd grade, he knew he wanted to be working in the field of art when he grew older. That was also the time it was discovered that he was color blind. This was a life-changing and very difficult situation that caused serious doubts as to whether or not he could ever become an artist. By 5th grade, local artists Scott Anderson and Lynda Wallis were gaining his attention and under the teaching of his high school art teacher, Etters shifted gears and became more influenced by such artists as Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, and the Renaissance Masters. By the early to mid-1980s, his influence had changed once again, this time in the direction of the art of the New York graffiti scene. Artists like Futura 2000, Dondi, Lee, Seen, and Zepher began to be the focus of his creative interests.
While still a junior in high school and recovering from Stage IV cancer, Etters founded "Artwork by Timm", the basis of what is now "Timm Etters Studios, Inc." The company was inspired by a combination of those many years desiring to be an artist and the compelling lyrics of the classic theme song of the Hip Hop movie "Beat Street". This song gave Etters the direction he needed to form the foundational pillars of his company today.
As a student at Chicago's American Academy of Art, he met up with yet more graffiti artists, particularly "Rooster" & "East"... Etters himself was already an established name in the local graffiti scene and quickly bonded with these fellow artists. He lasted only a semester at the Academy, but from there, as a close friend once put it, "...he took those inspirations and experiences and launched into orbit!!"
For over 30 years, Etters has focused his energy on public art and working with children and students of all ages. His time is now balanced between painting and teaching in the classroom. Over 300 of Etters' murals can be found in over 250 public and private schools in the Chicago area. His fine art and reproductions can be found in the United States, England, Denmark, & Greece.
His work has been featured in multiple international art publications and over 285 local newspaper articles. Local television channels as well as the school television broadcasts at the high school level have covered his work over the years. College students have interviewed Etters in video and print media seeking the answers to their well prepared questions about life and art.
He has proudly & professionally endorsed Badger Airbrush, Co. and has travelled the world demonstrating their products. This relationship has been a strong one since 1996 and continues to this day.
He and his wife Vicki currently reside in Volo, Illinois with their three dogs, Yoda, Obi, and Lenny.
Here is a small collection of PDFs that tell Timm's story from different times in his life.
Some are journal entries from his days battling Stage IV Cancer, some are memories of good times gone by, and others are just stories worth telling.
I hope you enjoy them, regardless of why they were written...
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS... (pdf)Download
'85 CHICAGO BEARS & "SWEETNESS" (pdf)Download
HIP HOP, CANCER, AND MICHELANGELO'S SOUL (pdf)Download
2008 -"TIME FOR KIDS" MAGAZINE (pdf)Download
2010 - "NAPERVILLE MAGAZINE" (pdf)Download
2011 - "PINSTRIPING & CUSTOM GRAPHICS MAGAZINE (UK) (pdf)Download
2018 - "NAPERVILLE MAGAZINE" (pdf)Download