Whenever I see Peat's many fresh social media posts, showing new art, videos, NFTS, merch, talks, call-ins, and family bits, I am once again reminded that he is the irrepressible example of what it takes to be a 2020s artist that can make a living off of their work. Back in 2002, Peat had this spark when we first made contact.
He appeared to be a step ahead of the crowd with memorable stencils, hilarious videos, direct inspiration from late Pop Art and "Low Brow" artists, encouraging and supportive board posts, early adoption using social sites, topped off with massive online hustle and self promotion. Getting to know him, and hang out and make art with him over the years, I usually barely keep up with him when we visit.
Back in the early 2000s, Peat already had a style that stood out, and the fact that he now focuses on the eyez (his spelling) makes sense. Looking through his Stencil Archive submissions, dating back to around 2002, this style - and the eyez - shine through the years. He hooked me with his "Dead Fat Comedians" stencils, but his hilarious Mountain Dew Bill Hilly stencil, and the video of Peat as Bill Hilly himself painting the hillbilly stencil in his hometown of St. Louis, was the moment that I got totally hooked.
I still watch that video when I need a laugh, and still have the bottle with Peat's character on the label (I wore out the t-shirt he gave me).