Connect with us


The Artist Responsible for Illustrating Little Bill, Varnette Honeywood, Is A Member Of Delta Sigma Theta

Did you know Varnette Honeywood was a member of Delta Sigma Theta? Honeywood, a famous artist who is known for her co-creation of Little Bill among other things was inducted as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Honeywood earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from Spelman in 1972, her Master of Science degree in Education, and her teaching credentials from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1974.

Varnette Honeywood

Honeywood and her sister Stephanie, were among the first to enter into the “Black-themed” art-greeting-card business and in 1975 they launched Black Lifestyles Fine Art, to publish and distribute Honeywood’s note-cards, posters, and prints.

Bill Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby, discovered Honeywood’s note-cards and subsequently a reproduction of her 1974 painting “Birthday” and many of her artworks were seen in every room of The Cosby Show that ran from 1984 until 1992.

Birthday by Black Painter Varnette Honeywood

Her paintings and other artwork also went on to form the backdrop for Cosby’s Kids Say the Darndest Things. According to her website, “Honeywood’s art career expanded and her notoriety was enhanced” and “Cosby had sparked Hollywood’s interest in Black art and Honeywood’s work subsequently appeared on other television series, including Amen, Golden Girls, A Different World, 227, and Cosby.”

Her artwork appeared in movies: Bustin’ Loose and Beauty Shop. In 1996, Honeywood created a collage for the dedication of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center at Spelman College.

In the 1990s, she illustrated the Little Bill books for beginning readers a series of 12 books by Bill Cosby. Little Bill turned into an animated television series and Honeywood designed the characters and contributed to and consulted on the program that was broadcast on Nick Jr., Viacom, CBS networks.

The Little Bill balloon in the 2003 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Little Bill won a 2001 Peabody Award, a 2004 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Series, and a best-selling series, Oprah Book Club list.

She earned an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Spelman College in 2005. 

Varnette empowered a generation through her works. Contemporary artists recognize her significant contribution to envisioning and shaping Black visual culture.

Honeywood passed at age 59 on September 12, 2010, in Los Angeles after fighting cancer for two years.

Share this article with your network and let them know about this interesting fact about Delta Sigma Theta.