Layaway Days: Art collecting on a Budget
I recently had the chance to speak with one of the more creative artists out there, Billy Kheel. I've posted Billy's art before, but to summarize, he creates unique pieces by using felt material. His subject matter varies and includes but is not limited to: tacos, Eazy-E album covers, sports figures, and plays on words (Bo Jackson Pollock). To see more from Billy, click on the links below.
LD: Have you found that social media has introduced new collectors to your work and art collecting in general?
BK: Definitely, social media and especially Instagram are such a great gift to artists and art collectors. Not only can new people find my work, but when I meet people they can check out my work on Instagram and let me know what they think. I also think Instagram provides a great opportunity to tell your story as an artist.
LD: Do you have any advice for new art collectors or individuals who are contemplating entering the hobby?
BK: Yes - you are the curator. There is so much art at your fingertips. Have confidence in your reaction to art, feel inspired, challenge yourself. Collecting art will inspire you and change your life for the better. Don't be intimidated and don't care what anyone else thinks about your passion, because it is unique to you.
LD: The subject matter of your work is pretty diverse. How do you come up with your ideas?
BK: All of my ideas come directly from my experience. I live in LA and am inspired by the landscape and culture here. I played sports and am inspired by the stories and characters of the sports world. I want to take my experiences and passions and use them in my art to encourage people to think about them in a new way.
LD: You posted a photo on Instagram, where you dropped ‘The People’s Elbow’ on a friend. Is there a vintage WWF series in the works?
BK: Ha! Yes I am big wrestling fan, especially from the golden era when I was a kid. I have made art featuring Jimmy Superfly Snuka and Jake the Snake (you can find these on my Instagram @bkheel) and am always looking for new ideas for wrestling artwork. I love the drama of wrestling, it seems like everyday the real world is more and more like the wrestling world.
LD: Do you trade with or collect the works of other artists?
BK: I do trade and collect other artists and I want to do more of it in the future. I love living with artwork. It's amazing how your life changes as you live with art and how the art changes to you as you live with it. As an artist, it provides great inspiration for me but even beyond that it enriches my life and the life of my family and people that come to my home.
LD: What can we expect from Billy Kheel in the future?
BK: I'm working on some crazy stuff that I can't quite talk about yet. But I'll let you know as soon as I can. I would say that in general I am looking to push myself beyond my comfort zone and get my work out to as wide an audience as possible. I feel that it is so important to create artwork and get it out to people so they can react to it - whether they want to buy art or like it on Instagram or are inspired to make their own art. Creativity is so important we always need more of it in the world.