Artist Proof: Billy Hayes aka Chicken Billyis required by ‘local law’ to let you know he is a Texan Artist. He lives in Fortworth, Texas, with his wife and Cowdog ‘Jasper’. He’s been painting in the Lonestar State since he was a kid. When asked to describe his artistic style, this was his response “Here is the recipe, take Hanna Barbera, Hulk Hogan, History Channel, James Brown, Fort Worth Zoo, B.B. King, Hank Williams III, Jesus Christ, a pair of cowboy boots and a pair of jeans, some Mexican beer, your choice, and put them on a surface only using flat vector shapes. Well then… there you have it. Taste like Chicken!”
Artsprojekt: What inspires your art?
Chicken Billy: Life! The people, places and the face of everything. The moments that stop you cold and make you look. The weird, wonderful, sometimes bizarre and sometimes mundane. I never know what will jump out and strike. Lately inspiration has been ancient masks from various native cultures in the americas. Last week it was Bob Seger tour t-shirts from the 1970’s. You laugh but “Against the Wind” is some heavy stuff, very dramatic.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
CB: Technique is the easy friend that keeps my work consistent. It is a very forgiving and organic process. The content is the ever changing way I interpret my subject. The two work easily together to tell a story or create a cohesive design in my work.
AP: Describe your first experience of making art and how it affected your life’s journey.
CB: My first experience with making art was more than likely doing a step by step out of a Ed Emberley book. I still have my little devil thumbprint character from back in the day. I would say Ed and his books helped me learn the basics of drawing simple shapes.
AP: Describe your most recent experience of making art.
CB: Lately I have started to take all my work to the digital realm. Although it starts with pencil on paper the end results are vector shapes. Once I have the digital vector version I can do many things like sending my designs to Artsprojekt or to a blog, magazine or book publisher. The convenience of having my work in a digital scalable format helps me get it in more place and faster.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
CB: That is a tough one. I don’t have a daily art or artist routine. Like many artist I have many other things going on in my life. It is not a secret that I have a day job. The reality of the situation is my art is created on breaks, at night or whenever I can steal a moment to create. I keep it simple, pencil on paper. Once I have something I am happy with I scan the drawing and redraw it and color it on the computer. The result is a clean design that I can use for many applications.