IUPUI student writes amazing drawings on dry erase board at IU Health

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Unlike so many other whiteboards that William Minion had at the IU University Health Hospital, the one in the basement operating room had never written anything on it. So one day, Minion, who works in environmental services, succumbed to the call of the blank canvas. He picked up a dry-erase pen and began to draw.

About four and a half hours later, that July day, the whiteboard featured an intricately designed iguana intended to be ephemeral. Over the next several months, the iguana was wiped out, followed by a horse, a bird, and more recently an elephant.

Surprised hospital workers responded favorably, picking up the marker and writing their appreciation, with notes like “Love love love this” and “Thanks 4 art” in a heart.

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The positive reactions surprised even Minion, a 20-year-old student at IUPUI.

” I did not expect that. I just expected it to be something I put there. … Then people would walk around and say, “Oh, you’re the mysterious guy”. People would leave messages encouraging me, ”he said. “I was a little bored for a weekend, but it’s become something I have to do now.”

One of her many fans is Dr. Meghan Lark, a first-year surgical resident at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Shortly after entering hospital in October, she was on her way to the basement operating rooms and stopped dead when she saw the elephant walking.

“It’s kind of the exact opposite of what I thought I would find there,” she said. “I was so taken by it. It was a breath of fresh air when I looked at him. … I just felt like the world should see this.

William Minion, who works in environmental services at IU University Health Hospital, has one of the most unusual canvas - a whiteboard outside an operating room in the hospital's basement.  Yet his creations amaze those who meet them.  The IUPUI freshman uses a sharpie marker to draw intricate pictures of animals, from elephants to iguanas, decorating the board to the delight of surgeons who discover his work.

Lark went out of his way to find Minion and asked her if she had her permission to post a photo of the elephant on Twitter.

His initialTweeter collected over 940 likes and 104 retweets.

Minion, who has worked for IU Health for almost a year, loved to draw from a young age, inspired by her grandmother and mother who are both equally artistic.

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Home-educated with no formal art education, the West Side resident created commissioned works, sketching faces from photographs with an attention to detail that stunned people in the hospital who encountered his work.

Most of his customers have gone through his Instagram and Facebook accounts. He has sold coins all over the country, he said.

William Minion, who works in environmental services at IU University Health Hospital, has one of the most unusual canvas - a whiteboard outside an operating room in the hospital's basement.  Yet his creations amaze those who meet them.  The IUPUI freshman uses a sharpie marker to draw intricate pictures of animals, from elephants to iguanas, decorating the board to the delight of surgeons who discover his work.

When drawing faces, he prefers to use pencils as he loves the way graphite allows him to represent the texture of the skin. But the dry erase board was a new experience.

“On a whiteboard, I noticed that I can really push the texture,” he said. “If I draw something with a texture similar to that of a lizard, I can get the best results. Something with rough skin that doesn’t have fur.

He has already learned a lot about dry erase marker media. He can create different textures or hatches by holding the marker at different angles or rubbing some of the ink with his finger.

Occasionally, part of the artwork is inadvertently erased by a passing cleaning sleeve. Minion will then spend time polishing the artwork. Some of his nurse and doctor fans have added dry-erase markers to the board, ensuring he has enough supplies.

William Minion, who works in environmental services at IU University Health Hospital, has one of the most unusual canvas - a whiteboard outside an operating room in the hospital's basement.  Yet his creations amaze those who meet them.  The IUPUI freshman uses a sharpie marker to draw intricate pictures of animals, from elephants to iguanas, decorating the board to the delight of surgeons who discover his work.  Doctors and nurses often leave appreciation notes.

His most recent drawing, the elephant, lasted around 12 hours. Often he would stop at the hospital between classes.

For now, he is studying paramedicine, but Minion said he’s also interested in taking art lessons. Eventually, he hopes to show his work and one day create murals.

If none of his hospital work has become permanent, that doesn’t bother Minion, who takes photos and videos of his creations as he works. Usually he waits a few weeks before erasing his work and starting over.

“I put it in place, let it sit for a minute, and then I have to move on,” he said. “It’s gone but not forgotten.”

Contact IndyStar reporter Shari Rudavsky at [email protected] Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter: @srudavsky.



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