Cincinnati artist, James Billiter, has a unique eye for preserving the past. His work blends an Art Deco spirit with a modern approach, giving his illustrations a sense of architectural vibrancy.
Born in 1976 in Madisonville, Billiter grew up in an artistic household. His love for printmaking began early on as he watched his mother Claudette work as a commercial artist in the pre-computer era of pre-computer of paste-up and marker compositions.
He graduated from the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning in 2001. It was here that Billiter’s passion for providing affordable and accessible artwork for everyone began. He started Billlter Studio to pursue his love for custom typography, pattern, illustration and printmaking through which he offers limited-edition yet affordable collectible prints.
Billiter takes an “applied art” approach to design: once a concept is developed for an audience, he brings his ideas to life through hand-crafted methods. For example, “the ink used in one of his Fountain Square prints was mixed with water scooped straight from the fountain. And each print of “Cincy Beer City,” contains the remnants of a flight of beer.’ (CityBeat). The studio also allows Billiter to explore his wide-ranging interests in printmaking, sign painting, ceramics and sculpture. The themes of his work spans architecture, nature, cycling, music, brewing history and more.
He has worked with Cincinnati businesses and organizations such as Procter and Gamble, Duke Energy, The Woodward Theater, Incline Public House, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, The Taft Museum of Art, Arnold’s Bar and Grill, Rhinegeist and Cincinnati ArtWorks on artwork that celebrates our local culture and our heritage.
His work can be found at BilliterStudio.com as well as numerous Cincinnati craft events and at Cincy Shirts, Ampersand Gallery, Deerhaus Decor among others.
Billiter believes that the city’s heritage “grounds us in who we are as a culture: our common history, myths and values.”