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QRD #49 - Christian Artists Interview Series
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Christian Artist Interviews:
Jamie Barnes
Alan Sparhawk
Jeremy Johnson
Joseph Kendrick
Scotty Irving
Joe Badon
Brian John Mitchell
Kirk Adam
Doug Tesnow
Bryce Eiman
Tara Vanflower
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Interview with Christian Comic Artist Joe Badon
March 2011
Name: Joe Badon
City: Slidell, La 
Comics: Behind Yesterday, Built
Websites: joebadon.blogspot.com, www.silbermedia.com/built

QRD – Do you try to keep your faith life & artistic life separate?

Joe – No, but when I do freelance art, there are times when my faith does not play a center part of creating the artwork.  BUT when I’m doing personal artwork, there are many times that faith enters into the creative process.

QRD – When creating your art do you feel closer to God?

Joe – There are definitely times when I have felt closer to God when creating art.  Like I said, it depends on the piece.  When the art piece has personal spiritual relevance then I will feel God pushing me along.  When I’m drawing to just to finish a job then it can feel very rote & fast-food-esque.

QRD – How has your art helped you grow as a Christian?

Joe – Art has given me the ability to naturally express my faith in a way where Jesus could (hopefully) express Himself through me.

QRD – How has your art effected your faith?

Joe – I think my faith has affected my art.

QRD – How are your faith & aesthetic ideas linked together?

Joe – Before I gave my life to the Lord, I have always looked at art as something that is beyond rules & have always tried to think “out of the box” artistically.  Congruently, I have tried keep my ideas about God “out of the box” & realize that God is not about rules, but about a relationship with Him.

QRD – What has been your experience being a Christian in an underground “artistic” community? Have you experienced any negativity towards yourself regarding your beliefs?

Joe – Definitely, Christians are looked upon as ignorant & close-minded in the underground art community.  The funny thing is that I am the most creative when I am closest to God.

QRD – How do you reconcile the idea of making ‘dark’ art against the perception that Christians making art “should” be creating art of praise or trying to ‘save’ people?

Joe – I say, “Read your Bible!”  The Poetic Books of the Bible: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Job are some of the darkest books of the Bible.  It is full of Praise & “lightness” as well, but God is a multi-faceted God.  God is Love; but He also has wrath, He weeps, He laughs, He is more than our finite brains can comprehend! 

QRD – How do you feel about your work being shown with & for people who have a completely different set of beliefs than you do?

Joe – That’s the reason I’m doing this! 

QRD – What’s your take on artists that refer to themselves as Satanic or Pagan?

Joe – I say they’re playing for the wrong team.  They haven’t realized the full potential of the gifts that God has given them.

QRD – What do you think of Contemporary Christian Art?

Joe – I think it’s stuck in a rut mainly out of fear of truly expressing themselves.  Christian Art gets stuck in trying to please the Christian Community instead of trying to please God.

QRD – How did you become a Christian? Can you share your experience?

Joe – Yeah!  At age 13, I attended a Catholic Charismatic Retreat.  At the retreat, the priest stood us all up in a line & began to pray for us.  Well, I had no idea who The Holy Spirit even was, but when the priest came up to me & prayed for me, I felt The Holy Spirit fall on me!  It was like 200 pounds of liquid Love had poured all over me & my whole body shook under the Power of God.
After that, I knew that there was a God; but I soon ran from God &, once again, lived for my own pleasure.
At the age of 20, I was playing in an experimental noise/rock band when, all of a sudden, all of my friends around me started getting saved!  My girlfriend (now my wife) got saved.  I started feeling the pull of the Holy Spirit.  But I didn’t want to give up the band!  Then, the lead singer of my band got saved & began preaching to me.  & every show we would play, he would preach throughout the show. 
Then, I got the phone call.  Billy, the lead singer, called me & said that he was quitting the band because he felt that God had told him to.  At that moment, I realized that I had to choose between the band & God.
So, I called all my band members & quit the band!  That day, I made a choice to serve God.  That was 12 years ago & God has been changing my life ever since!

QRD – Name a scripture that has personal significance to you & why?

Joe – Philippians 3:13-14
“Brothers & sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind & straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
This is one of my most favorite scriptures because it’s all about forgetting the past (good or bad) &, no matter what, just keep going.  No matter how many times you screw up, get back up & keep seeking after God!

QRD – How has traditional religious art influenced your art?

Joe – Not much, I am mainly influenced by fringy comic art.

QRD – Would you like to be more involved with creating Christian art?

Joe – Absolutely!

QRD – Do you ever intentionally or unintentionally have Christian references in your work?

Joe – Definitely, I try to slip Christian references & undertones in my work wherever seems natural.

QRD – How do fans & peers respond to first finding out you are a Christian?  How do you respond to people making statements like, “I thought you were too smart to be a Christian?”

Joe – Surprisingly, everyone I have worked with has been really cool with me being a Christian.

QRD – How do you keep up your spiritual life with the erratic scheduling of an artistic life?

Joe – Man, I haven’t figured that one out yet!  I think mainly trying to keep a natural relationship with God as much as possible.

QRD – How has Christianity helped you with dealing with the stresses of working in the art industry?

Joe – The Holy Spirit brings peace when you step into His presence.  This is a remedy for pretty much all stress in life.

QRD – Has your faith ever hindered your career in anyway?

Joe – There have been jobs that I have had to turn down because of my convictions, but there have been people that have wanted to work with me because I am a Christian.  I don’t see it as a hindrance at all.

QRD – Anything else?

Joe – Not yet.

Other QRD Interviews with Joe Badon:
Indie Comic Creators Interview Series with Joe Badon (February 2011)