TIMOTHY PATRICK BUTLER
b. February 21, 1968, Pittsfield, MA
Portland, Oregon-based illustrator, graphic designer and art director, owner of XIII Design, LLC.
2016 Portland RACC Official Muralist
Timothy Patrick Butler was born on February 21, 1968 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was raised primarily in Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts, where his imagination was nourished with heavy doses of Godzilla, Star Wars, comic books, Dungeons & Dragons and Dune. A good deal of his adolescence was also spent attending First Pentecostal Church, which served mostly to sharpen his appetite for more earthly and interesting pursuits.
Shortly after receiving his Bachelor's degree in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Butler moved to San Francisco and attended the Academy of Art College where he earned his Master's degree in Printmaking. As part of his thesis, Butler independently published a book of his drawings entitled The History of Formerly Salty Areas. Butler's small, detailed pen drawings and gouache and oil paintings employ bizarre imagery that evokes a strange mixture of Albrecht Dürer, Monty Python and botched science experiments.
Since graduate school, Butler has worked as an illustrator, designer and art director in the music and entertainment fields. His list of clients includes Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, Slayer, Metallica, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, LucasFilm, Burton, Budweiser, Sega, and Hustler. He has exhibited in galleries and museums on both coasts of the United States, including the Triton Museum of Art, Dark's Art Parlor, Revelation Gallery, La Luz de Jesus and Forbidden Gallery. His original works are collected privately around the world. He currently resides in Portland, Orgeon with Allison, his confidant and concubine of more than twenty-eight years. He has no children because he doesn't want any.
M.F.A. in Printmaking, 1994, Academy of Art College, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
B.F.A. in Painting, 1990, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
2004: Thunder Lizard Sushi Stomp , Skeleton Art Gallery , Santa Fe, NM. Group exhibition.
2003: Get Your War Off, Culture Cache Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Group exhibition.
2000: Unearthly Delights , Forbidden Gallery, Dallas, TX. Group exhibition.
2000: While You Were Sleeping, La Luz De Jesus, Los Angeles, CA. Group exhibition.
1999: Deviant and Fugitive Works, Revelation Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Group exhibition.
1997: Shrimpwich, Independently organized exhibit, San Francisco, CA. Group exhibition.
1997: Untitled Exhibit, Adobe Book Shop, San Francisco, CA. Group exhibition.
1997: Tittedd Pam, Independently organized exhibit, San Francisco CA. Group exhibition.
1997: BCC Alumni Exhibition, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, MA. Group exhibition.
1997: Dark Vision II, Dark's Art Parlour, North Hollywood, CA. Group exhibition.
1995: The History of Formerly Salty Areas, AAC Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Solo exhibition.
1993: 9th Biennial Drawing And Printmaking Competition And Exhibition, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA. Group exhibition.
1993: In This Hole Lives The Wicked King, Black Square Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Solo exhibition.
1991: Untitled Exhibition, Ritual Arts Gallery, Boston MA. Group exhibition.
1990: Drawn And Quartered, Tower Gallery, Boston, MA. Group exhibition.
1989: Bloedel Scholarship Finalist Exhibition, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA. Runner-up. Group exhibition.
1987: Bloedel Scholarship Finalist Exhibition, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA. Grand Prize Winner. Group exhibition.
1987: Untitled Exhibition, Berkshire Artisans Gallery, Pittsfield, MA. Group exhibition.
The History of Formerly Salty Areas (ISBN 0-9644469-0-1), San Francisco: Cat Box Productions, 1994. Contains 68 drawings dating from 1991 to 1994. Available at XIII•SF.com!
The Chicken State University Alumni Bulletin And Schedule:
a (formerly) thrice-yearly newsletter.
Where do you get your ideas?
I don’t know.
How long does it take to finish one of your drawings?
A long, long time.
Do you have a "world" that your characters live in?
Vaguely, yes, but I don't adhere to it strictly. Some of my characters are related in strange ways. Check out Encyclopedia Butlerica for more "info".
Why do you draw penises/vaginas?
It would seem unnatural to exclude them. Why doesn’t anyone ever ask why I draw hands or mouths?
Do you take a lot of drugs?
No. My intoxicant of choice is red wine, with Anchor Steam beer a close second. All of my artwork is conceived and executed in complete sobriety, in-between bouts of giggling.
Do you do your own framing?
Yes, and I hate every second of it.
Do you use a rapidograph?
Well, I used to use a 6x0 Koh-I-Noor rapidograph, but then I switched to Hunt 104 hawk quills, which i like much better than crow quills these days. Older drawings used some rapidograph and more crow quill.
Why do you work so small?
It started out as a matter of practicality, cuz lugging wet oil paintings on the T in Boston was a big pain in the ass. I used to carry a big hard-bound sketchbook with me, and ai figured that if I could transport my works in progress between its pages, it'd be a hell of a lot easier.
There are three main reasons why I continue to make very small drawings and paintings - first, that's kind of my thing after all these years! Secondly, there's the issue of storage... I don't have room to create or store a bunch of big work. Lastly, for the amount of detail I want to have in my art, doing big paintings or drawings would take me way too long. It's bad enough as it is!
Of course, I am currently working on a 2x3 foot panel in oils which I started in 2009. You'll see it someday. I think.
Don't you ever make mistakes?
Christ, yes, especially in pen and ink work. The darker the drawing, the more full of mistakes it is.
What is gouache?
Gouache is opaque watercolor paint. If one selects the right pigments, it’s as permanent and lightfast as oil paint or acrylic. It's sort of like painting with dry peanut butter.
Do you have any advice for someone starting an art career?
Learn to draw. Be extremely self-critical. Work really hard. Go to a good art school. Learn from the criticism of others. Be great at what you do. Be great at things you don’t already do. Be easy to work with. Make lots of friends. Bite your tongue - really, really hard. Know what’s current in your field, even if you’re not interested in it. Be flexible. Be persistent. Be patient. And the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is, “Lower your standards and raise your price.”
What does MCMXCIX (or whatever) mean?
This is the year that the piece was finished, expressed in Roman numerals. The year 2000 was "MM".
What do you do when you’re not drawing/painting?
I own a graphic design and illustration business called XIII Design LLC, wherein I do work mostly for rock and roll and video game clients. I like to play video games and drink wine and travel and read history books. I also follow baseball . I usually get fidgety when I’m not doing something constructive, though. I'm bad at relaxing. I'm a workoholic.
Who are your favorite/influential artists?
Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymous Bosch, Martin Schöngauer, Peter Breughel, Beatrix Potter, Hans Bellmer, Marcel Duchamp, Leonardo DaVinci, Jan Van Eyck, Arthur Rackham and Peter Paul Rubens. I also appreciate Indian and Persian miniature paintings.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Mostly Goth, Metal, Electronic and Classical.
Did you have a bad childhood?
No, but I didn’t really like being a child. I always hung around with adults or older people when I could. They're quieter.
Why do you wear black?
There isn’t any one reason. At this point, it’s mostly out of habit, coupled with the fact that all of the clothes I own are black.
What does your mother think of your artwork?
Um, she's dead. But she was very supportive!