Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) began his career as a commercial artist. His love for cartooning was instilled the summer in high school when he apprenticed in Walt Disney's animation department making in-betweeners" for Goofy, Pinocchio, and other cartoons. He illustrated posters for Universal Pictures, worked in the advertising department of Rexall Drugs, and drew a cartoon strip for his base magazine while serving in the Air Force during World War II.
Thiebaud enrolled in college and began painting seriously in the late 1940s, befriended Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline while living in New York in the 1950s, and started teaching at the University of California, Davis in 1960. He was likely more influenced by 18th century still life master, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, and 20th century artist, Pierre Bonnard, than by his contemporaries. However, fellow Californian and representational painter, Richard Diebenkorn, is thought to have influenced Thiebaud's use of color and flat geometric planes. He continues to live in California with his wife, Betty Jean, and paints daily.