do you think about when you do your work? What inspires you?
just try to make paintings that . . . I don’t want, see,
I don’t want to make a painting that someone says “Yeh,
I saw that before.” I don’t want that to happen so
if you see my painting you’re not going to see that painting
anywhere else and if you buy my painting you’re not going
to see someone else have that same painting because I do one
of that painting. And since I have a bad memory I can’t
copy the painting because I forget exactly how I did that
painting the first time.
each one is very unique. Do they come from memories or things that you see?
just … mainly I start with an eye. I draw an eye. Just, I draw basically the area where an eye would be and then a round head … When a painting begins it’s not going to ever look like it does when I finish it and I don’t know what … It’s not always good, it’s great if it looks … I don’t know … I can’t say… well I’m not going to sell it unless I think it looks good, unless I would be comfortable to have it in my house, in my room. Because there’s a lot of, not to be bragging, but there are a lot of paintings that I’ve painted I would put in my house, but they need to be here [Billy’s brother’s
studio at the Brewery Art Complex in Los Angeles]
for you guys to see.
do you get your materials, like your canvases?
canvases I get at Wal-Mart, they have the lowest prices. And
I … at one time I bought
a lot of paint.
you been drawing since you were a child?
father, he got my brother and I both drawing. Hey, I don’t
like to draw real people. I draw a head and an eye out here and
they say “Why’s the eye out here?” That’s
the way I wanted it. Or see, I make an outline of the body but
the arm is a little bit higher and then someone says “Why’s
that higher?” What I’m saying is my paintings can
never be wrong. If an arm or a leg is down here, or you have
three legs and one arm, then that’s
the way I wanted them. My
dad is a tree surgeon. But he had to retire. He fell down.
Not that he fell down, he’s getting older. Yeh, you can’t
climb trees when you’re
are you thinking about when you’re
doing your abstract painting?
Just making…I just
want it to look good. So, I get, I learn different
ideas for myself, test different
they work out.
long ago did you start painting?
started painting in 1999. You know in high school when you
have paint class? I hated
I didn’t like painting at all. Now
What do you think changed it?
I don’t know.
there something that happened in 1999 that gave you the motivation
to start painting.
my brother. See, Mark has always been painting and I, I’ve
always been drawing so he said “Hey, why don’t you
put your drawings into paintings?” Then that’s
when I started putting my drawings into
many paintings have you sold now?
I heard you say you’ve sold
them to people from different countries?
I’ve sold them to people from Germany, the Philipines,
Mexico and all around, like in Florida and New York, or “New
Yawk”, and in Kansas, and Illinois, because I’m
from Illinois so a lot of my friends
bought my work.
had a motorcycle accident. When
was 1984. August 21st. I was in a coma five weeks. I wake up,
couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. Even at suppertime when we’d sit, went to the table, they’d put me in a chair and I’d fall down because my balance was so poor so they’d
have to strap me in.
come a long way since then.
and then, then when I used to work out in high school, and
to get back
they had to, this hand could
not grab so they had to tie the
bar to my hands. Now I lift
more than I did in high school. I had to go
back to the hospital every Wednesday for therapy.
How many hours
a day do you draw or paint?
is my schedule for today. I wake
up. I walk to, or I go
out to my
paint the background
while that’s drying, I work out. And then, when I get done working out, I take a shower and then after I shower I come back and if it’s still wet I eat. And then, of course it’s dry then. Then, really before, after I, the type of painting I do the paint dries real quick. It’s
the oil that takes so long, months to
after you’ve worked
out you go back and start working
and then I work on the foreground until, say 5 hours, until suppertime
and then I
eat. Then if
I want to do
more painting I do it.
after supper you paint.
and watch television. Like I used to watch “Friends”. So I used to wake up, paint, work out, shower and go until 7 o’clock “Friends.” Then I eat supper, then I watch “Friends” and after “Friends” I just paint from say 7:30, ‘cause it’s
on only half an hour, until
sometimes 5 in the morning. It depends on how many
canvases I have.
you paint when you’re
I’m not. I’ve got no reason
to be sad.
because life’s been good to me. The only time I’m
kind of sad is when I don’t have a canvas. When I don’t
have anything to paint with, then I’m