Walker, 88, passed the moniker on, and still refers to Billingsley, 55, as “Kid.” The tag carries some baggage for Billingsley, who says his emergence as a wunderkind artist did not make him the most popular kid on the block or with art teachers whose own aspirations he had already surpassed.
“It sort of isolated me,” he said. “I gave up part of my childhood.”
Ray was one of the speakers at this last NCS Reuben Awards weekend. He talked how his prodigious skills (he started drawing professionally while in his early teens) came to isolate him during his teen years instead of making him an inspiration to kids around him. Interesting personal history.