Article and photos by John Copley and Alberta Native News
(From the Alberta Native News collection) – Bill Roy is a talented 52 year old Saskatchewan-born, Métis artist whose art ranges from whimsical to dark and from simplistic to complex reflecting his many layers of emotions and experiences. Roy has a past to overcome and future that has no limit. “I discovered my artistic ability with a crayola crayon and a clean kitchen wall when I was just five years old,” explained Roy. “I guess I’ve pretty much had a pen or pencil or paintbrush in my hand ever since. I know that my work is appreciated in some circles and though some have said they find it a bit dark, there is the lighter side that keeps me prodding forward, seeking a path to a better way of life that includes my children, my culture and my freedom.”
Roy’s family, like so many other Aboriginal families in Canada, has been severely affected by the Indian Residential School era, and over the years he made a lot of bad choices. But he has worked hard to turn his life around and control his demons; his art has been a stabilizing factor. Whether he’s creating a wall size mural or a small logo or over 15 years worth of cultural illustrations in Alberta Native News, Bill Roy lets his imagination soar in his art.