Joe Badon If truth be told, deep down inside me is a wannabe artist yearning to break free. I can feel him now - this very minute - kicking away at the walls of my stomach, trying his best to burst through my rib-cage and then take me over like a creature possessed. But I could be wrong you know. I ate a lot of beans last night whist speaking to my artist pal, Joe, and I most probably have a lot of trapped wind. Here, check out what me and Joe said during our bean-feast.
Joe Badon On Amazon

1) When was the first time you knew that you had the talent to draw, Joe? And how did you develop your style?   I remember in elementary school, I got 3rd place in a drawing contest. That really motivated me to draw a lot all through out my childhood and young adulthood. Now that I look back on it, 3rd place is pretty lame! Ha! But it motivated me nonetheless.

As far as developing my style: ever since I can remember there was comic books in the house. My dad would collect underground comix like Zapp comix and I was mesmerized by artists like R. Crumb. My older brother collected the main stream comics and I would study artists like Art Adams, Sergio Aragones, Cynthia Martin (Star Wars).

Once I got old enough to bug my parents to buy me comics, I started collecting Ralph Snart (click here for review). Marc Hansen's artwork is probably the single biggest thing that helped me to think outside of the box and develop my own style.

2) What are your artistic aspirations?  I want to eventually publish my own original comics (where I write and draw them and have complete creative control). Until then, I'll be happy to just draw for a living.

3) If your style of art was a movie, a piece of music, or an object, what would it be and why?   I would like to think that it would be a movie written by Jared Hess, directed by David Lynch and scored by John Zorn. Jared Hess because of the nerdy weirdness. David Lynch of the Twilight Zone/mental patient feel. And John Zorn because of the "think-outside-of-the-boxiness" and the layering of influences.

I would hope that my art conveys those feelings. One can only hope.

4) What was your first piece of commercial work? And what did you take away from this experience.   It was a pretty funny experience. I had done a few personal commissions and then I got an email to do a cover. I spent a ton of time on this piece and I was so excited to see it published. And then I got to see the cover and it turned out that they used the bottom half of my drawing and they had got another artist re-drew the top half.

I've learned that if somebody pays me for artwork, then they can do whatever they want with it. They can put smiley faces all over it and cut it half for all I care.

I've learned never to take it personally.

5) Being a bit of a comic book buff myself, I find that your style of art is somewhat similar to Seth Fisher’s work? Who do you feel that your artwork is like, and why? Wow, thank you! Seth was a beast! I get compared to Geoff Darrow a lot. And Seth and Geoff are very similar. I think I get that a lot because I don't use a lot of negative space/shading in my inks. 

I also get compared to R Crumb a lot. I think that was because of my early reading of Zapp Comix and Ralph Snart. I would like to think that my style is combination of Geoff Darrow, Marc Hansen, Keith Giffen (Trencher), Darwyn Cook, Sam Hiti and Genndy Tartakovsky. I always strive for a look that is a layering of artistic references and not a copy cat look of another artist. 

6) What is your own personal opinion on telling a tale through your illustrations?   My main goal when drawing sequential art is 2 things:  [1] Think out of the box artistically. [2] make sure that the reader can tell what's going on.

It's frustrating reading a comic book that you can't tell what's going on in the story (i. e.: the angles are weird, the close ups are too close, etc...)

[ Joe Badon On Amazon ]
7) Who are your personal inspirations in life?   My wife, My kids, Jesus, My mom, My dad, My pastor. Without my wife and kids, I'd be flipping burgers.

8) If there was one thing you could change about your work, what would it be and why?   Ugh... where do I start? One thing? I liked to draw 20 times faster. That would be awesome!

9) During your time as an artist, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   My wife and kids. When you have to support a family, it keeps you focused and legit.

10) Do you have any tips or advice for an aspiring artist?   Work your freaking butt off! It doesn't matter how good you draw. It matters how hard you work. I've seen great artists that never get jobs because they have 2 pieces of completed artwork in their portfolio and are too lazy to finish anything.

I've seen crappy artists get a lot of work because they are out there hustling and they're drawing up a storm!

  • DON'T BE A PERFECTIONIST! Get work done, that's the most important thing. Companies care more about completed work than perfect work. 
  • PUT YOUR STUFF OUT THERE. Put your portfolio on as many websites as possible. Post "Services Offered" Ads on as many websites as possible. Email your stuff to publishers and writers. 
  • GO TO COMIC CONS. Get other artists to review your stuff and take the criticism, don't take it personally, and remember that some artist's opinions are just their opinions and some critiques are legit stuff. Usually if you get the same criticism over and over from multiple people then maybe you should listen. 

Wow! Thanks for that Joe. You words are as earthy as your art. So when you have the time dear reader, please check out Joe's website, Or alternatively you can do the twitter, the facebook, and the deviantart thing. Trust me. You will not be disappointed.