Bob Mueller ArtHome : Gallery : Emmy Winning Story : Tough Guy Cards : Media / Press : Finding Dick Butkus : Contact : Facebook
R.E. (Bob) Mueller 1956 - 21-- / was coming of age at the time of Woodstock in the late 1960’s. He began playing football on Vancouver Island, Canada where learned about Dick Butkus & the NFL.
At the same time he was an All Star Football Player - he was voted the top artist of his high school, devoting much of his energy to illustrating his NFL heroes. His team, the Saanich Hornets played 5 seasons winning the Island Championship each season with only one defeat over those 5 seasons. A teammate Eddie Murray went on to kick for the Detroit Lions.
The coach, Roy Vollinger was the most intense, charismatic figure in league and probably in the entire province. It is to his coach that the artist credits his life long interest to NFL.
Mueller went from playing football to training in Japanese Karate where in 1978 he achieved his Black Belt. He also spent 10 yrs working with his hands as a builder and carpenter. At the same time he was teaching and training martial arts for 25 yrs, accomplishing a 7th Dan with over 10,000 students.
All the time his latent passion for art manifested itself in many projects. Shortly after developing a new discipline in Yoga, the artist inside returned to his roots and began to paint.
From here a typical story of mid-life change took a number of unusual twists as Mueller’s art went from an interest to a obsession! In early 2004 he began creating paintings of his boyhood hero Dick Butkus for the second time in his life. For the next 18 months he painted over 20 original works of the HOF Linebacker. At the same time he began teaching a special workshop called “Finding your Butkus” to martial arts students across Canada.
In the following year, Mueller became “The Tough Guy” artist as he created his prototype “Tough Guy® Cards“ depicting the NFL Hall of Fame players of his youth.
After meeting Dick Butkus, his art and ambitions soared and took him to places he had never dreamed of thus convincing himself to take an even bolder step. Mueller penned a letter to NFL Films president Steve Sabol telling him of his 40 year odyssey to “Find his Butkus” and true purpose in life!
To his surprise NFL Films liked the quirky story and sent a film crew to Kelowna BC Canada in July of 2007. The team headed by director Keith Cossrow spent 3 days in the Okanogan valley filming Mueller’s story. The Films crew was amazing as they captured the artist’s story of passion and driven desire to live his dreams.
On November 26th, a day after his 51st birthday ESPN aired “Finding your Butkus” for the first time. The response was immediate and positive as millions saw the story. Cossrow, an Emmy winning director himself said that he had a very good feeling that “Finding your Butkus” would receive a nomination.
Sure enough, it was one of 5 nominees in the “Outstanding Long Feature” category for the 2008 Sport’s Emmys.
Mueller and his wife Erica immediately booked tickets to travel to New York City for the prestigious event. Then a strange thing happened. A few weeks before the April 28th Award Ceremony Keith Cossrow called the artist explaining that the competition to win the coveted award was the toughest he seen.
In fact, he stated that the other stories nominated were so good that the chances of “Finding your Butkus” winning were about 50 to 1 against. Undeterred Bob and Erica set off to New York to have an adventure of a lifetime.
Perhaps director Cossrow had forgotten that his film was about the toughest linebacker to ever play and perhaps the most optimistic artist one could ever meet. Against the odds, the NFL Films team won the top Emmy in 2008 and the artist’s story kept rolling.
The next day the Mueller’s were invited to Steve Sabol’s office where he presented the artist with a personal Emmy Award to take home. In a short speech before an assembled group of directors and producers, Sabol said the story was a classic. One that would be played over and over as it was a timely story of following your dreams and never quitting.
To this day that moment with Steve Sabol is seared into the artist’s memory as continues to create new portraits of sports legends.
Today, his painting style fully evolved, Mueller is actively creating NFL and NHL paintings. His work is in demand and becoming collectible as he has set a new goal to be the top sports artist in North America with 5 years.
Would you want to bet against him?
He has created art for:
For information about purchasing or hiring Bob Mueller simply email him at email@example.com
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Finding Dick Butkus :
© 2006 BOB MUELLER ART