Chicken Billy (US)

Chicken Billy (US)

Colorfull, that is the least you can say by looking at this chicken posters ! It really changes from the black/white/ sometimes red posters you can often think about when you think of rock posters. It will surely be a torture to ask Billy to work for...hummmm, let me think...the White Stripes for example :) Funny colors and shapes, this is what Billy's work is all about, as a breath of fresh air

What are we listening to when we come to visit you?

Country Western and Funk/Soul mostly. Weird combination but I like it. Eugene McDaniels, Hayes Carll, Sharon Jones/Dap-Kings, Hank III, the Budos Band, Eleven Hundred Springs, Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra, Jason Boland, Saravah Soul, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Smith.... and that's how the list goes.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

Digital design artist Chicken Billy from fabulous Fort Worth, Texas. I make poster advertisements and other spectacular designs. Some might say, I am the Muhammad Ali of poster design in my eastside neighborhood.

When did you start drawing?

As a kid I started playing around with art supplies. Markers, Crayons, Color Pencils, Pastels, anything to make a mark. Ed Emberley helped me big time in the beginning. He was a huge influence for a longtime, say kindergarten through third grade.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

Both, schoolbook margins and coursework. I went to school at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas studying Art and Advertising Design. John Daniel, Peter Andrew and Robert P. Kinsell are my professors of influence.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living?

Part art and part teaching. Freelance design work for various clients. In addition I teach graphic design classes a few days a week at Tarrant County College.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?


Where does your influence come from?

Music (local and international) and visual art. I also like a good night out on the town or a house party where I can talk smack with this guy I know, Alex Adair. He is good for many ideas! My friends help me to cultivate ideas. Many ideas come from life in general I would guess. It's the small silent moments that make the most noise!

Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

Here is a list of my favorite artist/influences: Pierre Bézier and his indirect contribution to Adobe Illustrator, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his bold graphic posters, Piet Mondrian for his color as spiritual reflection, Alphonse Mucha for his decorative style, Joan Miró and his flow of subconscious ideas, Tim Biskup with his fractal paintings and I also like Todd Slater's poster designs with big images made by little shapes and objects.

What are the principal steps in your work?

Sketch out rough ideas, Select an idea, Define the idea, Refine the drawing (My lines are super tight!), Scan, Make Vector and Color, Print.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

I start most posters with a sketchbook and pencil. I like to rough out ideas first, then tighten up and define. When I am ready, I take my line art to the computer to add color.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

It varies from poster to poster. If the idea is right it only takes a few days. If there is a struggle, it might take up to a week. It depends on the details of the project.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it?

Oil painting is not my thing for sure. However I can get you that majestic horse, waterfall, sunset in my own style and medium no problem.

For which band have you already worked for?

The Album Leaf, The Budos Band, The Tryst, Ariel Pink, Jucifer and others.

For which band would you love to work?

I would love to work with Sharon Jones, Binky Griptite, Bosco Mann and the rest of the Dap-Kings. Can you call Daptone records and put in a good word for me?

Do you choose the artists yourself?

No. Usually the promoter is the one picking favorites.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

As many artist have said before, the idea is the most difficult. Finding that rare beast of an idea that is all things. It must suit the music, band, etc.

You feature in the new gigposters 2 book, how did you find yourself involved in it ?

To be part of any art scene you have to contribute and or participate. Over the years I have done a little participating. I would like to think I got in the book purely on my artistic merits but I know it is much more than that. If you support an art community, most times it will support you back.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

Yes indeed I think I am part of a "Graphic Scene." I also think the people over at, American Poster Institute and Flatstock are the true "Poster Graphic Scene."

A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?



Prints for sale:

Real Life at the Grackle Art Gallery in Fort Worth, TX:

The best praise you received lately?

This interview is nice. Thanks!

What can we wish you for the future?

Like Pearl Bailey sang, "It would be so bright and sunny with a five pound box of money!"

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website

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