by: Cris Dobbins
The month of May brings us Austin-based artist BJ Heinley, who puts his computer to use to create intriguing, new perspectives on sometimes already existing art. Listing the Commodore 64 among his early inspirations, his take on his work, if forced to sum it up in 5 words (which we did), is “Non-Traditional Low Resolution Explorations”.
Growing up in the 70′s and 80′s when computers were just coming into the mainstream, in the era of Pong, Atari and the Commodore 64/128 as well as coin-op video games like Donkey Kong, Track and Field, and Spy Hunter, he became interested in making colors and pixels do his bidding, which led to him getting into coding. He recounts, “On the Commodore, it was the splash screens that got me the most excited. They were so amazing. It was a low-rez world. I wasn’t interested in the coding part, though…it was just a means to an end. I loved drawing and painting so I was continually finding software that allowed me to draw at a higher fidelity on these magical machines. I continued traditional art, of course, but my quest to express myself in an illuminated way has been ever-present. At some point around 1997, I feel like I was able to itch that scratch, and began getting interested in getting my work off of the computer out into the real world. This is where I’m at currently. Print Punch is helping me accomplish this!”