Billy O'Reilly, aka Billistrations, is an Irish artist based in Australia.
His illustration work mixes the sublime with the extreme, and feels like a smack in the face with a flipper followed by a gift of a chocolate bar wrapped in an edible rainbow.
Huge thanks to Billy for sharing his art insights with us! Before jumping into his interview below, check out his fantastic work for sale on his RedBubble shop.
What's the latest piece of art that you have put out into the world?
What drives you to keep creating?
- Mastering my craft is a big driver. This would include learning new techniques, optimising my workflow and honing the base mechanical and muscle skills needed to constantly try and produce work of a higher standard and in a shorter time period. I have recently started time boxing my work so that I just post what-ever I have got done within an allotted time. This helps me focus in the moment, to drive innovation in my process. (where am I wasting time, etc) and it allows me to move on. Some of the work I have posted I am not happy with, but completing it (Posting it up for others to see) and moving on has been very constructive and healthy for my practice. Nothing will ever be perfect but I can accept it for what it is, learn a little from it and move on to the next thing. The wonderful part about practicing a craft like this is that you will never be done. There is always more to learn and explore! For example I still need to learn a lot about color. Watch this space!
- Getting positive responses from people is always nice. I try not to get addicted to it or seek it out as it starts to defeat the purpose and joy in the work. (Chasing dem likes like a divil) I can't deny it being part of the motivation though. The most fun version of this is when a friend or family member suggests an idea, I make my interpretation of that idea and then experience their reaction in person. That's a great buzz!
- Experiencing flow is also just a lovely place to be, sometimes it's harder to find flow then others but I am always trying to adjust my practice to help find it. When the motors running smoothly it's a very meditative and invigorating at the same time.
Is there another artist's work that you would recommend, and why?
Yes, many! First one that comes to mind is Jamie Hewlett (Tank GIrl, Gorillaz). He was a big influence on me growing up. His work is just bloody great. His work is like a refined balance between Manga, western comic books, fine art line drawing and beautiful movie concept art. The work is expressive, beautifully crafted, well balanced and has a very strong unique voice.
Do you have any advice for creators that are just starting out?
Be consistent in your practice. (Read this book "Atomic Habits")
Accept sincere compliments like an amazing gift.
Make art of things you love and for people you love.
Where can we find your work?