We had the good fortune of connecting with Billy Kheel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Billy, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work life balance has definitely changed over time, especially when I had kids. I moved my workspace to behind my house so that I could be more available for my kids and so that I could return to work easily if I was in the middle of a big project. An unexpected perk of this move is the inspiration I draw from my family. My kids are some of my favorite collaborators now.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of portraits made of layers of fabric in my art. I think of stitching onto things like a graffiti artist thinks of painting on different things. I like to think I’m tagging a jacket or a jersey with my art like a graffiti artist tags a bridge.

I’m most proud that I’ve been able to work with large companies on projects that I still think are cool.

I’m most excited that technology offers me the opportunity to spread my art and things I care about with so many people. Lately, I’ve been really concerned about the Brittney Griner situation and I hope to use my art to help get her free.

I got to where I am professionally by working at it every day and being open to new opportunities. I have learned there are no shortcuts and that even when an opportunity doesn’t work out it is still great preparation for the next one.

I want the world to know that my story illustrates that there is always a more creative way of looking at things. Whether its a boring piece of craft felt, an ugly river or a retired jock, there is some creative angle that will make it more interesting and hopefully spark creativity in other people.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first day in LA we would start art really local – grab lunch at Playita, hit the Secret Headquarters comic book shop and get a strong coffee at Tropical. Then they could come over to the studio before we go get oysters at L & E. We’d never even get in a car.

The next day we’d head down to the arts district downtown. Go check out whatever is going on at Hauser & Wirth, stop by the OTI Gallery and grab an ice cream at Salt & Straw.

On the third day I’d take them to go visit the Happy Foot Sad Foot sign at Y-Que in Los Feliz. From there we could check out Skylight Books, and then go get some chicken wings at Ye Rustic Inn.

Then I’d kick them out. As my grandmother used to say, “Company is like fish, it starts to stink after three days.”

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would have to say my family needs a big shoutout here. I am so grateful for the the support and love they give me everyday.

Website: bkheel.com,

Instagram: @bkheel

Linkedin: bkheel

Twitter: @bkheel1

Facebook: bkheelart

Youtube: YouTube.com/bkheel

Image Credits
Chris Fulcher (main Photo)

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