Creative Acts of Transformation Act 1 The Introductions
Art is surprising. Art is creativity. Art is truth.
And ultimately, art is a reflection of the artist himself.
As our Creative Acts of Transformation Project gets underway, we wanted to introduce the artists who will create these amazing exquisite corpses.
First up: Billy Dallas Patton, working under the theme “Worst. Gift. Ever.”
Q: What did you think when you were asked to create the “Worst. Gift. Ever.” exquisite corpse?
A: I think I answered “yes” before they finished asking the question! I was dying to get my hands on a Cintiq Companion®, especially the full Windows® version, because it would allow me to use Manga Studio® and Photoshop® and see how that worked. I’ve been playing with the Cintiq Companion ever since it arrived and enjoying it a lot.
Q: Have you ever participated in an Exquisite Corpse before?
A: This is my first experience in an exquisite corpse event, ever. I didn’t know what stage I would be working in, but it appears that I’m the first. So this is all new to me!
Q: What will it be like to not finish a piece of work?
A: Not finishing the illustration and then not knowing who is going to complete it is exciting. I always know what I’m going to do to with it, but I’m very excited to see what other people will do with my idea.
Q: Have you had any experience handing off work to be completed?
A: I had some experience when drawing comic books. I was the penciler. So I would take the writer’s script, lay it out, and draw it. Then I passed it to the inker and then the colorist and then the letterer.
I’ve kind of looked at the exquisite corpse instance in the same way. I don’t have a lot of other experiences collaborating like this, but at work, we recently did an art jam where we painted on one canvas. It was really a lot of fun.
Q: Have you ever been accused of giving the “Worst. Gift. Ever”?
A: Oh shoot! I’m not sure that I’ve been guilty of giving the “Worst. Gift. Ever.” But that’s probably because the people I’ve given the gift to have been nice enough not to say that it’s the “Worst. Gift. Ever.” Although if you use this, you may find out!
Q: What got you into art?
A: I went to fine art school at Bowling State University. And what drew me into going to fine arts was drawing at a very young age. I grew up in a small town: 1,100 people in Arlington, Ohio. Most people didn’t have any experience with art. As I got older, I was curious about things I didn’t know about, so I naturally gravitated toward that path. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized that this really was something I could do every day for the rest of my life.
Q: When was your first “ah-ha” moment as an artist?
A: You generally have a lot of ah-ha moments because you try to reach a new level on a daily basis. The earliest one I remember was in second grade. I wanted to copy a drawing of Yosemite Sam, and the only thing I had to draw on was the back of old wallpaper because my father didn’t buy me any art supplies. He thought it was a waste. I had a pencil and a black crayon. And I was laying on the floor and I managed, in second grade, to draw an almost perfect replica of Yosemite Sam. And that’s when you stop and say, “Wow, that’s pretty cool!”
I’ve had many of those as you leap forward in your career. And I call that a jump. And that’s what you live for. Those are the most satisfying days.