A Shadow in Art

This is Paul. He is a full time student, has a part time job and wants to be a graphic novelist. This is no unattainable goal, yet it’s no easy road.

I would like to tell you from personal experience that being a creator that has no visuals only the written word is really hard to make my work palatable to anyone. There’s multiple reasons too; no one has the patience or the time to read a full length novel, or won’t take my work seriously, or because I’m not credible yet. Whatever the reason be, it’s frustrating and makes it all the more infuriating because writing stories is what my dream is. My friend Paul shares a similar passion only he executes his stories through visuals. The basis of this post is to tell you that you should follow your dream and if there is a struggle with everyday life then don’t forget to jump the hurdle. I would’ve liked to have found a quote to end this paragraph so instead I’ll improvise! You may question yourself whenever you can, at your most beautiful or even at your most degraded but just remember what Ernest Hemingway said; “Courage is grace under pressure.” By the end of it, I’m sure the struggle will be worth it.

Let me just start off by saying that Paul is a very busy man. Trying to meet up with him works like a doctors office, you need to make an appointment to see the doctor. With Paul you have to plan dates ahead and confirm them by showing up.

Paul’s graphic novel that he is currently in pursuit of finishing is called Bananattack. To the right is Banana’s character done with G-pen and copic markers. On the left is a rough sketch of a panel from Bananattack.

Inks, G-pens, erasers and nibs are the tools or materials for Paul to use. He prefers to make his art and comic looking spiffy.

Shuffling through papers and traveling through past mistakes and/or imperfections.

Bob Atomic

I was unable to visit him in his artistic environment, aka his room. He tells me that artists are messy and that his room shows clutter.

Instead we settled for where we usually chat and work on art. He did what he usually does at a public table in the local mall.

FUN FACT: Banana’s have potassium.


Paul was in the zone, his zone. He concentrated…

His concentration had him turning the paper as he cross-hatched the chin and inked over the rough sketch of his creation.

He began to ink with his copic markers, and as he got to the skin color; we were stopped and I was asked to stop taking pictures by a mall cop.

So we moved across the street outside on a stone table and benches.

His mojo had been disrupted and he had been going slower. His process was practically killed. When you take it into consideration that at anytime this happens his progress gets dented.

Disruption has no face and could happen at anytime.

But y’ can’t let distress slow you down. Paul kept going.

And this is where Paul works; the Euphrat Museum at De Anza College.

This Friday at De Anza Euphrat Museum, Joseph Rodriguez is holding his first solo art show.

“How Reality Died Today.” You should drop by on Friday or look up the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/467694986598315/

Of course, do you think it was a walk in the park for him? No, no it wasn’t. He’s been working on his graphic novel for nearly 2 years; spending time building his fan base online, taking time away to go to De Anza College, getting a job which he told me that all the life savings and pay checks were spent getting materials to make Bananattack. Even after all that, I dropped in on him at a convention in downtown San Jose taking place in the convention center in the last weekend of May. There he sold his one shot at his booth; he sold about 30 copies out of 100 he paid to print, losing money and leaving him with nervous social awkward people to gaze and shutter.

Though following this path he has gained a lot of interest on the forum he posts at.

Paul has the highest viewed one shot on the forum. If you don’t believe me: http://forum.onemanga.com/forumdisplay.php?f=157&daysprune=-1&order=desc&sort=views

If there’s anything in your life that you are passionate about pursue that dream and achieve what you thought to be impossible. Just give it time and hard work and it should be worth the struggle, it only makes you strong.

~Stay strong my friends and set your goal to the be the center stage and build around that.


Visit Joseph’s Gallery: http://www.facebook.com/events/467694986598315/

Bananattack forum thread: http://forum.onemanga.com/showthread.php?t=101282

Help support Paul and Bananattack: http://www.facebook.com/Bananattack

And Here’s my book’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BelongOfficial