Billy has called Kansas City home for the past four years, but before that, he lived in Los Angeles, where he started leaving "artoverts" around the city. "I would leave these paintings in some public place with an attached note," Billy explains. "The note encouraged the finder to take the art piece home, visit my web page, and hopefully pay for the thing. I was hoping to get some stories out of it, but it never really worked. I went back to one place and someone had even stomped on the piece!"
Billy's paintings and cartoons capture both the whimsical and dark with bright colors. The subjects are strange and lonely, sometimes adorned with written non sequiturs, which are often misspelled. His work is part Tim Burton, part Basquiat, an artist Billy definitely grabs some influence from. "Basquiat is a big influence," he says. "Any time I see his work, I just want to run home and paint! The spelling part, though... I'm awful with spelling. Maybe it's more of a dyslexic thing. So it's kind of liberating to put my words on the pieces."
As for the Burton aspect, many of Billy's pieces include subjects like dinosaurs with missing teeth, tiny canaries caught in the grasp of large, monster-like hands, and cartoonish bugs with 11 feet. "The paintings I like most are the ones that come out of the blue," he says. "If you look at the heads and chests of birds, the shape is so cool. Then I start thinking of other things that are shaped like them. Then I think of another idea to go along with that. It's like a dance. I love that part!"