Interview With Billelis
Your interest in art starts manifesting with graffiti, afterwards you decide to study digital art at University. What does art means to you?
A passion and enjoyment of creative exploration has resulted in my hobby becoming my full time job, which was always the dream.
With a particular focus on complex patterns, you turn your works into elaborated masterpieces. We can’t but notice that there are three recurring elements: skulls, roses and gold. Can you explain the meaning of each?
I have always been fascinated by dark art and gothic art. I wanted to mix elements that are representative of morbid and deadly subjects, but give them a sense of beauty, life and elegance.
Is the macabre style from your artistic aesthetic symbolizing a personal dark side of yours?
Perhaps. I have always preferred darker styles of music like metal and dubstep alongside anti hero comics and films. It’s good to be different.
After your studies you chose to specialize into 3D illustration. What programs do you employ for developing your creations? What are the pros and the cons of 3D?
I work in cinema 4D, render in Octane and also ZBrush. I can’t see cons. Pros for me is the ability to create any angle, light or texture possible to visualise my illustrations. There is so much power with 3D and I always try my best to get as realistic as I can.
You had successfully created visuals for brands such as Nike, Coca Cola, Netflix and Red Bull. What would be a dream collaboration?
I would say big metal bands for me, but also visuals for shows like Game Of Thrones or Harry Potter book cover redesigns.
Your cover for Planet Rock Magazine featuring Ozzy Osbourne was also used at Download festival as stage visuals and advertising. Usually does music play any role in your creative process?
Music plays a huge role. Metal, dubstep and classic hip hop are always okaying in my studio as I work. Plus these genres of music tend to have the most creative artwork.
You had the pleasure working alongside a group of leading artists to realize a visual campaign for Dynaudio. What have you learned from this project?
I had full freedom to create anything I wanted and I didn’t know what the other artists were doing so I can’t say I learned a lot, but I can say that I had a blast!
After collaborating with many agencies, in 2018 you decided to set up your own studio. What excites you most about being a freelancer?
I feel like what I love the most is the freedom to work when I want, in my own space and I dictate my own rules. Don’t get me wrong working for agencies did teach me a lot, but it was time in my career to skip the intermediate people and do it all my self and do the work I would like to be associated with. It can be stressful at times as work can fluctuate, but having a rep (Nerd Productions London) really helps.
You had also illustrated cover books for great writers such as Laura Sebastian, Jennifer A. Nielsen and Sara Holland. What are your favorite readings instead?
I haven’t had the chance to read all the covers I have worked on, as there are so many, but so far Ash Princess is my favourite. I also love reading comics, such as Spawn.
What stimulates your imagination?
Tattoo art, books on human and animal anatomy, music covers, fellow illustrators, classic paintings and sculptors.
How would you describe your artistic life in a digital decade and how do you perceive the future of art?
My artistic life is a mix of media and inspirations trying to show a classical look using digital means. I think the future is looking great for animation, VR and installation art.
Ask us a question.
Why do you love robots so much?! :)
All images, courtesy of artist: Billelis