Butcher Billy prints

INTERVIEW: Butcher Billy Talks The Mandalorian, Art, and More!

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If you exist in the fandom for Disney+’s The Mandalorian, you probably know about artist Butcher Billy’s work. After each episode, fans wait for his posters to drop, and they’re some of the most beautiful bits of artwork out there.

Collection of Butcher Billy paintings

It was, personally, one of my favorite times of the week. I would watch the episode, fall in love, and then wait to see what Butcher Billy had to create for it, and each week, I was left in awe!

I spoke with Butcher Billy via email about doing work for The Mandalorian and the inspiration that comes from the show in his beautiful posters that come out for each episode.

The Mary Sue: When you approach doing the posters for each episode, what do you look for to highlight in the poster in question?

Butcher Billy: While watching the series, I was always looking for that “money shot” on each one of the episodes. It could be a whole sequence, a relation between characters, or a combination of elements. Ultimately something that would encapsulate the chapter and translate well into the vintage style of movie posters, not just Star Wars but the whole 70’s/80’s vibe. What I like about The Mandalorian is that each chapter seems to dabble in a different genre. The first one, ‘The Marshal’, reminded me of classic monster thrillers like Jaws or Tremors. The structure in ‘The Passenger’ was a bit like one of those buddy comedies with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, in which strangers are forced to team up in order to survive. So I just let that kind of influence inspire me. And of course, I was always looking for that memorable quote to serve as a tagline for each piece.

TMS: What inspires you when you’re tackling some of these bigger projects?

Butcher Billy: It doesn’t happen that often, but when pop culture has the power to touch me in some way, it immediately triggers my creative urges. It’s basically like an itch inside my brain that will only go away if I sit down and start drawing! When I reinterpret or repurpose something through my art I feel like I’m giving back the inspiration. I think it’s just my way of becoming a part of something that moves me.

TMS: You work with some huge companies but what is one property you want to work with that you haven’t yet?

Butcher Billy: “Never meet your heroes”, it’s what they say, and I take it very seriously. Having said that, I guess I would love to work on vintage-themed projects for Atari or Nintendo. I’m aware that there are much cooler and bigger companies in the games industry nowadays (and also these two are not very known for acknowledging the work of artists), but the fact is they played such a huge part in opening my mind when I was a kid. I just feel that it would come full circle.

TMS: What excites you most about your work and getting to bring it to life to such a wide audience on social media?

Butcher Billy: Before the whole Butcher Billy thing, I used to work in advertising agencies as a creative director. Clients were local and very uninteresting. I became increasingly frustrated for not being able to work with themes that truly inspired me like music, movies, comics, games, tv, art etc. So I started experimenting with these subjects that I loved, just for fun, as a side project (that’s why I had to come up with a nickname and persona so the pop art wouldn’t be confused with the corporate work). And so social media played (and still plays) an absolutely essential part in spreading the word. Thanks to that, some time later I was catching the attention of big names and brands, that I would never even dream of getting closer. Nowadays I feel privileged to be able to continue being an independent pop artist, that still creates freely based on what inspires and moves me, and also get invited to work on cool projects in the industry.

You can follow Butcher Billy on Twitter and Instagram or check out his work at his website, and I highly suggest you do. I’m contemplating buying all his posters for The Mandalorian as artwork in my home, to be honest!

(featured image: courtesy of Butcher Billy)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.