Butcher Billy also called Billy The Butcher is inspired by the retro feel of 70′s, 80′s and 90′s design-related pop culture, including comics, movies, TV, music, videogames, magazines and everything visual. Billy Butcher is using digital creation tools and social media trends to emulate and promote such vintage visual concepts. That contrast is a mashup itself.
Hi Billy, today MoW selected 3 of your artworks from your project « The Post-Punk / New Wave Super Friends » that is inspired by music artist and pop culture icons. Can you tell MoW why you decided to create about those music artists ?
As a child of the 80's I was heavily influenced by everything from saturday morning cartoons on TV to the music coming from the radio. Ian Curtis or Johnny Rotten are as iconic to me as Superman or Batman. Real people or imaginary characters, the incorruptible ideals of perfect superheroes or the human flaws and desires sometimes so desperately depicted in song lyrics - all of those influences affect us to the point of defining our character and personality, career paths and life choices.
How did music impact your life ? Why is music important to you and your art?
I've always been a big fan of cinema, games, comics, tv and arts in general - but I must say I have a special relationship with music. I remember been just a little boy and reading music industry magazines - I didn't even know the songs or artists but I was interested in the stories, life style and everything about that world. I guess I was always fascinated by cult icons - the way they can be larger than life, more than just normal people and become characters in people's minds. It's mainly the reason why I chose to be a designer in the first place.
If you had to choose one, which of your artwork from this project would be your favorite ?
The ones you selected are among my favourites, but I'd also add The Sid & Nancy Nintendo Lost Levels
Can you tell MoW more about the techniques you used. How old is your technique? How did it start? How long does it take you to make an artwork ?
I’m basically inspired by the retro feel of 70′s, 80′s and 90′s design-related pop culture, including comics, movies, TV, music, videogames, magazines and everything visual. Not coincidentally the pre-digital/pre-web eras. I just love the imperfections of the early creative process. Mainly I like the fact I’m using digital creation tools and social media trends to emulate and promote such vintage visual concepts. That contrast is a mashup itself.
It's mainly the reason why I chose to be a designer in the first place. I use to say I was born in the late 70's, grew up as a child in the 80's and a teenager in the 90's, so probably I'm a living mashup of all the pop cultural references from these decades. I was pratically raised by television and all that came plugged on it, like VCRs, videogames, geekiness and alienation.
The hardest part in doing a series design project is to have the idea. The idea itself has to be quite simple (as the best ones are), but to actually come up with a simple and great concept that no one had had before is quite hard on the internet these days. I have to admit I like to poke fun at serious statements. It's probably why so many people label my work as controversial. As a lot of it is based on the clash of concepts, I target the figures that people seem to care the most. It's all about messing with peoples perception of their icons and influences in pop culture. When I started doing it I knew there would be some kind of reaction. Most people find it amazing, so much more then I ever expected. But as the content of some projects can be a bit controversial to some, they can get really annoyed. For myself, I have to admit that any passional reaction to something I've done is great. I'm in this business to get people confused. If 50% of the viewers really love something I did, and 50% hate me because of that, it's the moment when I feel like a true artist.
Do you listen to music when your working ? If so what kind of music ?
Usually when I'm working on any music-related project I listen to the songs to get inspired. Not coincidentally it's always something to do with punk, post-punk and 80's stuff - that I really like.
What is the song you liked the most lately? Album ? What was the last gig you went to ?
Well, lately I've really liked a song by Arcade Fire - "Wake Up" - I've listened in the trailer of the movie "Where the Wild Things Are". I must have watched that trailer a million times because the song was so awesome and totally matched the scenes. So when the movie was out I when to see just because of the song - only to realize it wasn't on the soundtrack. Damn marketing departments!
My last gig was a Prodigy concert - insanely awesome by the way. Yeah, I'm actually quite fond of EDM - I was a teenager in the 90's so I went through all the rave craze.
Are you a musician yourself ? If so can you tell MoW more about your music projects ?
No, I do not play any instrument. I'm a frustrated musician, as much as I'm a frustrated graffiti artist - I guess that's why I try to put so many of that on my artworks!
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