with Christian Comic Artist 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.
QRD – Name a scripture that has personal significance to you & why?
Joe – Philippians 3:13-14
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.
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