Kaleb is a native Texan, coming from “the small town of Junction, wedged between the lush hill country and the vast expanses of west Texas”. His parents were school teachers, born in the ’30s, and were a bit older when they had Kaleb:
“Can you imagine my dad, who’s this older man’s man, works outside in his shed, you know, outdoorsman, and here I come, this weird little kid in the ’90s!”
Kaleb’s always stayed true to his pursuits who started out acting in school. He got accepted into the theater program at the University of Texas, and though he was passionate about acting, he really wanted to learn more about filmmaking. He changed his major to Radio, Television, and Film and since then he’s written numerous scripts, acted in a few things, worked on various films, and now he’s delving into the art scene where you can be sure to find his paintings at various spots around Austin.
His paintings are psychedelic, tripped out, swirls of color that you can get lost in for hours. They’re a little like Jackson Pollock meets The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; a visual treat, for sure. Procure a piece while you can!
Kaleb Edward Willams
1. How did you get into your craft/hobby?
I come from humble beginnings. I was an actor throughout school and I was accepted into the theater program at UT, but I felt like I could only go so far with acting. I really wanted to learn more about scriptwriting and production, so I changed my major to Radio, Television, and Film. I’ve dedicated most of my life to that, but about 4 years ago I had a roommate who had some canvas and paints and asked if I wanted to paint one night. I ended up painting this Clive Barker inspired piece of a man in chains with his head getting ripped off. I even still have it. After that, I got really into it and people were interested in my stuff, so I started selling it.
2. What are your influences?
I don’t really have any visual influences, but Van Gogh, for example, wasn’t revered until after he died which I’d be OK with.
Also, Hunter S. Thompson’s The Proud Highway Saga, his books of lost letters which were published posthumously, inspires me because he always went after his artistic pursuits full-force. He never didn’t write for a living, ever.
3. How does your creative process work? Do you have a ritual or routine you subscribe to?
I don’t really have a routine. I just put music on, I don’t even make a playlist. I just let the music play from my computer of the albums I’ve ripped. One thing I do, though, is select the colors I want to use for the piece and just let it flow.
4. What do you get out of it on a deeper level?
I don’t really have to worry about crafting a narrative. With scriptwriting, it’s so exacting, you have to say something, so I’m constantly thinking about what it is that I’m trying to say when I write, but painting can be so open. It’s kind of a release in that sense. I don’t have to think about it, I just let it flow out of me.
5. How has it changed your life, even minimally, in your day-to-day?
Well, I quit my job. It made me realize that I can do it.
6. How do you handle failure? What keeps you motivated?
I really see it as that I haven’t failed by continuing to create. The compulsion to create is what keeps me motivated.
7. Do you have a website? Do you sell cross-country/internationally?
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Etsy shop
Here’s Kaleb’s playlist: