Billy Childish is a man of many talents, being born in Chatham in Kent in 1959 he had a difficult upbringing with much of it documented in books, his music, and poetry. Childish was accepted into 4 different art schools on the strength of his work alone. One of those schools was the world-famous St Martins School of Art in London, this would have a huge effect on his career and life moving forward, although not in the way you might think. Childish was expelled from the St Martins School of Art in 1982 for several reasons, one of which being, his refusal to paint in the School premises. Childish drew the attention of a young Tracey Emin and they had a relationship from 1982 through until 1987. Emin had cited Childish as one her most important influences, and she, in turn, influenced his work and life along the way. Not least with his own art movement created in 1999 along with Charles Thomson which came to be known as the 'Stuckists'. They had a manifesto and a clear idea of what they wanted to create. Their movement was to buck against the rise of conceptual art and return to figurative and traditional painting. Childish left the group in 2001 after a short three-year tenure, unhappy with how the group was being portrayed by the media.
Billy Childish has been great friends with Peter Doig who he has known since his school days and the two have been tremendous supporters of one another careers. Doig wrote the foreword to Childish's 2008 biography titled: Billy Childish: A Short Study by Neal Brown.
Childish signs his prints with a gallows and hangman's noose.