|Photo by Jihee Kim|
The Odyssey of BlueBoy is an online weekly comic drawn to wake up the creative process. The illustrator, Joe Garber, takes suggestions of what next week's adventure is about. I made a submission and it became Week 8!
The Odyssey of BlueBoy was recommended to me by Artist Spotlighted friend Andy Musser.
When did you decide that illustration was how to wanted to make your way in the world?
I think I'm still deciding that, haha. It seems like every day I have to question and weigh the pros and cons. An ex-boyfriend told me once that I was like a sheet in front of a storm. That stayed with me probably because it's at least partly true. Illustration-type things is what I seem to keep coming back to. I wouldn't say I really chose it, but that seems like such a canned-answer. I've been drawing forever, which is also a canned-answer, but I just think that there's something about drawing for me, that specific way to express my thoughts and ideas, that I just find really exciting every time I do it. So it wasn't really a choice just a part of life that really excites me, I've definitely put a ton of work into it, too. I also animate as a day-job.
Tell us about your process, please.
My process seems to always be changing, but the base is always a strong idea. An idea that really resonates with me to my core, when you have that nothing else really matters, even if the art turns out a little wonky you still have that idea in your head of what you meant it to be, an idea that resonates with you. I always come back to objective and subjective as two basic forces in life. When I see a canvas in a coffee-shop somewhere that a person has carelessly splattered paint onto it seems like that would be an enjoyable experience for the painter, but the objective experience of looking at a piece like that is probably not going to be so good. And on the other end of the spectrum you might have some amazingly beautiful photo-real rendering of a vase of flowers, which looks like it might not have been so fun to make, but it still dazzles your eye. The first one has too much emotion and is to subjective, too sloppy, and the second has too much technique and is too objective and it doesn't stay with you or resonate. Beauty is found in a balance and balance is my goal. Not that these people should stop spraying canvases with paint or doing photo-realistic drawings of their converses, people need to express themselves in whatever way comes to them as an individual; that's the only way they are going to use their full potential or progress in a way that is exciting for them. But if you were asking about physical process I usually like to use ink on paper and then Photoshop to color things. Lately I've been doing gouache paints, too!
What do you like to snack on when you work?
I'm vegan so anything that doesn't have animal products. Lately I've gone a little too crazy over Jo-Jos. My friends might say that my favorite food group is calories. Pan-fried PB&Js! Oh my gawd, those are super good.
How do you break through creative blocks?
I think the best way to break creative blocks is to use them. Try to dig deep, find the feeling that's stopping you and incorporate it into the work. I find myself thinking things like "Oh my god, no one is going to like this (random thing I'm creating)" and I try to find the core of that feeling, like the fear of not being accepted, and I try to bring some of that into the work. I think that if a creative block does completely stop you from being able to work it's important to find what that core is and if you still can't get past it then you need to examine your intentions. When you have good intentions with a piece, you can't really go wrong. There's good and then there's great.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement is that I have become a person who wants to do this kind of work. A person who still has hope enough in life to value what I'm doing. As in The Odyssey of Blue Boy, the hopeless still haven't captured me, haha! They have come close though! Too real? Maybe. The non-heady answer, though, would probably be the most recent thing I've done which, right now is cartoon I'm about to release, it's called Home Town. Check my website for it soon!
Please check out Joe on his website, at The Odyessy of Blue Boy and Joe's new cartoon Home Town!