Butcher Billy is a Brazilian illustrator and pop culture obsessive looking for the perfect cut. He combines his love of post-punk and new wave music, politics, comic books and Warhol to create new and occasionally disquieting pieces. No wonder Charlie Brooker is such a fan…
How would you describe your style?
Paranoid schizophrenic pop art.
When did you first discover your creative talents?
Probably doodling monsters from Ghostbusters on my school notebook in 1984. I wasn’t even old enough to go to the movies – just by seeing pictures in magazines.
What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
Money, mostly! No, really – I believe I’ve got a serious addiction to create stuff. I start to feel really weird if I don’t design or draw anything in more than one or two days. I like to think that this need that I have just happens to end up crossing with my business side, which is very fortunate. I suppose I don’t make art so I can make money. I make money because of my need to make art.
Who and what are your main influences?
Stanley Kubrick, Salvador Dali, David Bowie, Jack Kirby, Shigeru Miyamoto, Roy Lichtenstein, Quentin Tarantino, Steve Ditko, Charles Bukowski, Toulouse-Lautrec, Tony Wilson, Robert Crumb, Rene Magritte, Tim Burton, Sal Buscema, Osamu Tezuka, Malcom McLaren, Frank Miller, Andy Warhol.
What soundtrack do you like to work to?
I usually listen to podcasts when I’m working, but I just got my copy of the limited edition double vinyl reissue of the ‘Trainspotting’ soundtrack- and it’s orange. Just beautiful! Can’t stop listening and looking at it.
How did the Black Mirror series of work come about?
I started watching this brilliant series on Netflix and immediately felt really inspired. So I created a single piece based on White Bear, just for fun. That went viral on Twitter so I decided to keep doing more, which eventually turned into the full 13 episodes of the series. Charlie Brooker started retweeting all the designs to his base of a million followers so it all went from viral to absolutely fucking crazy. He asked me how to buy prints – I sent them as a gift to his office in London.
What’s your background?
I studied Graphic Design in college, lived in England for a few years and worked as an art director and creative director in ad agencies.
How’s the creative scene in Brazil?
I know there are fantastic professionals, but honestly I wouldn’t have much to say. For some reason, despite living here, my market and base of followers are mostly overseas. I think the Brazilian creative scene and I don’t get along that well.
What art do you most identify with?
If you have to label it, I suppose Pop Art. Street Art. Comics. That’s a really unfair question with the vast amount of all kinds of art I like in the world.
What comic books do you dig?
I’ve been reading a lot of reissues of early‘Hellblazer’ comics written by Jamie Delano. I like John Constantine a lot.
You have a real rock ’n’ roll feel to your work. Were you ever part of a youth culture movement?
Never. I believe I must have been a really conflicted teenager. I used to go to underground nightclubs and listen to electronic music in the 90’s – despite always being a huge post-punk and new wave fan. I eventually learned that all of that was related somehow.
What do you dislike about the art / illustration world?
No free drugs. I was promised free drugs.
What attracts you to your subject matter?
I’m not sure. It could be a character, a song, a phrase, a movie, a book, a videogame, a TV series, a comic book, a musician etc. It has to have a certain iconic quality to it – something that makes it larger than life and appeals to the collective imagination.