Friday, March 26, 2010

My Year At The Institution Series

Press Release:

Dan Billen created portraits of the eight men he cared for while working at a facility for the developmentally disabled as his senior project at Washburn University.

While working at the institution, he formed close relationships with these men and made small portraits of them as gifts before he left. Billen explains,

"I had poured my heart and soul into each one of the portraits, and they now represented the loving relationships I once had. I eventually showed them to my college painting professor who encouraged me to continue the project. Using the original collages as studies, I enlarged the smaller designs to 4ft x 4ft on large panels, using much of the same techniques used on the smaller ones. My hope was that people would see these guys larger than life and in brilliant color, like I always saw them. I'm using this series as a way of honoring these people, and to present them as important members of our society. These are people we should not turn away from simply because of their outward appearances."

Several of these men attended Billen's senior exhibition and were honored publicly, as Billen had hoped.

Click here for a youtube video on the project.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blue Collar Self Portrait

This is the "Blue Collar Self Portrait" I did of myself when I used to clean parking lots for a living. Can't you see the despair in my eyes?
Made completely out of materials found in the maintenance shop of the company I worked for at the time.
Winner of Washburn University's annual Pollack award. Featured in Creative Quarterly magazine. Now part of the Mulvane Art Museum's permanent collection.

3D collage

If you're having a birthday, consider this my gift to you.

Originally created for jones huyett Partners ( as a self-promo piece for clients. It's part of my "Dessert and Coffee" series.

My Glory Moment

Press Release:

“Paper Dali” was created to help promote the year’s largest fund raising event for Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum through various mediums including, TV, outdoor, postcards, posters and T-shirts.

The “Paper Dali” awards journey started by receiving a Gold ADDY Award at the local American Advertising Federation Topeka Chapter Awards in February. The illustration was then sent to District 9 competition encompassing advertising creative work from Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. With the District 9 Gold ADDY Award, “Paper Dali” was then forwarded to the national ADDY competition where it recieved a National Silver ADDY Award (the highest award given for the illustration category in 2009).

With over 60,000 entries annually, the ADDY Awards are the world’s largest and arguably toughest advertising competition. “Paper Dali” creator Dan Billen, and President and Executive Creative Director, Gary Jones, were among the 800 individuals from advertising agencies across the country in attendance. A huge win for Dan, Gary and jones huyett Partners.

WONDERMENT collage series


I recently heard a friend say "I have to see it to believe it."

I can remember as a child looking at the stars waiting to see the alien ship I knew was going to appear at any moment. And losing sleep the night before Christmas listening patiently for the tinkle of bells outside my window. And feeling certain every house we moved into was haunted.

We're all grown up now, but deep inside we will never stop believing in something beyond ourselves. We know it's out there somewhere.

Purchase the 24"x36" print shown above. Limited edition of 20, signed and numbered. Printed on archival paper with ink that will not deteriorate or fade with time.

$50 shipped.

Email for details.