LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Art has always been a part of the life of Billy Montes but later in life it has become more important, not only for himself but others.
After life hardships and the subsequent accepting of God, Montes, a tattoo artist, became an Associate Pastor at Trinity Church in Littlefield in 2010. During his life with Christ, he felt a calling from God to find a different way to use his art skills other than tattooing.
“You would think because I’m an artist it would come easy but this is a whole different realm for me doing this,” Montes said. “The tattooing is a different skill than what the the Lord is asking me to do. He asked me to paint.”
In April he began painting in public at an event hosted by an outreach ministry of which he is a part. The members of the audience began reacting in ways he never imagined.
“There were tears,” Montes said. “It was so emotional and it was awesome. People’s lives were changed that day because of a painting.”
Montes gave up his tattoo business and is now focusing on his paintings through a business he calls “Redeemed.”
“I took a hit financially because of my obedience to God,” Montes said. “Even then I felt like I was being tested to see if I would continue doing what he asked me to do or if I was going to run away and do what I knew was going to work for me. It’s been a challenge but what is amazing is the Lord is starting to unfold so many things in our lives right now. My whole heart is living for him.”
Montes said he thinks about each painting in the way it could speak to other people and what message it could send, although it’s often unknown.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to paint a certain thing,” Montes said. “Sometimes it’s a season I’m going through and I express myself through the painting. Sometimes something supernatural happens and I would just be sitting here looking at the canvas wondering what I’m supposed to paint and before I fall asleep wondering I will have a flash thought or vision of something on there.”
He paints in public at events or on social media or in the comfort of his home as his personal act of worship or prayer. Public audiences and social media followers give feedback on his works of art. Some people become emotional and others feel their lives have been changed.
“I wish I could explain all of that stuff,” Montes said. “I just know something is happening and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Montes said he had no idea his life would come to this, making a difference and a living through his paintings.
“I just did it because that’s what I felt I was supposed to do,” Montes said. “I didn’t know people would actually pay me for them and start buying and purchasing them. When I paint, I don’t paint to sell. I paint as an act of worship because I just love to paint and I’m doing what He told me to do. In that I see the Lord bringing provision.”
For Montes, the finished product is more to him than a decoration. It’s his life, he says.
Reedemed can be reached at 806-777-8156.