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Guy Billout

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

​Academy of Art University

Friday, May 20, 2022

Instructor: Dr. William Kloepfer

Class: GLA 629 OL1

Assignment: 14.2 Final Paper

Student: A. Aljoheri


Artist: Guy Billout (American, born in France, 1941).

Date: 1982.

Medium: Gouache and ink on board.

Credit Line: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine.

Dimensions: 27.9 x 20.3cm (11 x 8“)

External Link


Guy Billout Born in 1941

The Highly Decorated French Artist & Illustrator.

He is a painter and a stuntman with clean, precise, modern, and impressive art. His illustrations are among the most mind-blowing, sometimes because of their realism and sometimes because they are against the mind. From his point of view, all people are ignorant and perhaps this view is what allowed him to unleash his imagination and draw with absolute freedom and dazzle us with each of his unique drawings, and he also has funny drawings that challenge physics and logic. Most impressive of all, he was not born into an artistic family. His father was a journalist and his mother was a bookseller. He is the contemporary French illustrator and painter Guy Rene Billout.


His Life

Guy Billout was born in a small town in the center of France on July 7, 1941, where he had a conventional education. He studied art because of his ability in drawing and advertising at the Ecole des Arts Appliqués of Beaune, in the Burgundy region in the 1950s. After his graduation in 1962, he moved to Paris and worked for the advertising agency, Publicis as a graphic designer for four years. Then he made the most important choice in his life he moved to New York City in 1969 and begin a career as a full-time illustrator with a portfolio of 12 illustrations, published in New York Magazine. He lives with his wife Linda in Southern Connecticut.

The strangest thing about his story is that when he came to New York he was scheduled to introduce himself as a graphic designer, however, some friends had another opinion that he wasn’t an exceptional designer and they recommended him to become an illustrator instead. Where he applied their wonderful advice and became one of the greatest illustrators of all.

There are three artists who became his heroes since he entered art school, and here, they are Raymond Savignac, André François, and Ronald Searle.

Title: Three Children on the Ice

(Image of Edition 98/300) on from Washington Color Gallery, Bethesda

Artist: Guy Billout

Date: 1990

Medium: Serigraph, on BFK Rives white wove paper

Dimensions: 27 × 20 1/2 in

68.6 × 52.1 cm


His Artworks

Billout made annual reports, corporate brochures, advertisements, children's books, and more as a freelancer. His first work was assigned by art director Bob Ciano at Redbook Magazine in 1969. His early illustrations were done with watercolors. Later, in his career, he used airbrushes to create a smooth gradient. Now, he is using Adobe Photoshop as a medium to create digital illustrations.


Title: Sheriff's Shadow

Artist: Guy Billout

Medium: Watercolor, airbrush, pen, and ink on paper

Size: 19.1 x 13.3 cm. (7.5 x 5.2 in.)

Title: America's Upbeat Mood

Artist: Guy Billout

Date: 1984

Medium: Watercolor on board

Dimensions: 29.5cm x 22.6cm (11 5/8" x 8 7/8“)

Credit Line: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine

Title: Quadrature

Artist/Maker: Guy Billout

Date: 1998

Medium: Watercolor and airbrush on paper

Dimensions: 23.7 × 17.1 cm (9 5/16 × 6 3/4 in.)

Place: United States (Place Created)

Culture: American

Object Number: 98.GC.171

Copyright: © Guy Billout

External Link


watercolor and airbrush on paper,

28.2 x 24.4 cm / 11.1 x 9.6 in

watercolor and airbrush on paper,

29.4 x 22.3 cm / 11.6 x 8.8 in


His books

Billout was given freedom in editorial works at The Atlantic Monthly magazine for 24 years. As a writer, he wrote the first children’s book in 1973, followed by many books with different titles like:

  • 1979: By Camel or by Car: A Look at Transportation

  • 1980: Stone & Steel: A Look at Engineering

  • 1981: Thunderbolt & Rainbow: A Look at Greek Mythology

  • 1992: Journey

  • 1998: Bus 24

  • 2002: Something's Not Quite Right

  • 2007: The frog who wanted to see the sea

  • 2007: Breakthrough Thinking: Brainstorming for Inspiration and Ideas


His Performances and Appearances

  • 1998: The BFB gallery, Paris.

  • 2002: Médiathèque Jean Jaurès, Nevers, France

  • 2003: Palais Ducal de Nevers, France.

  • 2006: Centre Culturel de Decize, France.

  • 2012: Petits Papiers gallery, Paris.

  • 2015: An Girard gallery, Paris.

  • 2016: Ecole Estienne, Paris.


His Awards

  • Three Gold Medals and three Silver Medals.

  • In 1989, he was awarded the prestigious Society of Illustrators with its honor, the Hamilton King Award in 2013, and inducted into the hits Hall of Fame in 2016.



We are very fortunate to have lived in the age of this wonderful artist and to see his talent giving us the most beautiful illustrations of all time.



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