Picture of the month

Picture of the month
Life is circular

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Michelle Billingsley

Michelle Billingsley is a young artist on the rise who produces a weekly cartoon strip entitled Joe and just who is this kid I asked.
" JOE! (the self-title character, whom the story centers around) is a sarcastic and mischievous 10-year-old, known among his loved ones for being the lil' brat in their lives. Whether he's with family, friends, or at school, Joe frequently finds his way into trouble. He usually has a smart-aleck response to get him back out of it, but that doesn't always work. This kid is definitely the poster child of punishment."
She adds "So far, my comic is inspired by true stories. My family and friends are hilarious. There's not a day that goes by that something funny hasn't happened."

So I asked her how she became interested in cartooning. "There was local television minishow called the "Fox Kids Club." Kids would submit drawings of cartoon characters, and win a gift. Everyweek there was a winner, so, I wanted in on it. There were a few times that I actually won, and I never made it to the station to claim my prize. I use to draw every character that appeared on Darkwing Duck. I recorded the show just to press the "pause" button to draw them. That's when I knew I was interested in cartooning. I've been drawing for 20 years now (man, I seem old), and I'm only 26. The internet is my teacher.There are some fine tutorials on the world wide web, and if it wasn't for them, my art would have never improved.Eventually, my work will only get better."
While she gives praises to her mother who also has artistic talent,she names one of her big influences as Lynn Johnson the creator of the cartoon "For Better or For Worse". She says "I've enjoyed reading her comic for the past 16 years. Words can't describe how much this woman inspires me.If I can obtain any amount of success with my strip, she will be the second person I would thank. Gotta put God first, ya know?
The comic isn't my only project, but it is the only one that I'm consistent with. I've written about 5 books, and one screenplay (believe it or not). I think the screenplay is cheesy, and no one will ever see it for as long as I shall live. I'm also in the process of writing 2 graphic novels, although, I don't know if I want to handle the art.It's too much.If you're wondering have I ever been published, I haven't."
I don't doubt that Michelle will find continued success in her endeavors.Now for those of you who are interested in art but have not pursued it,she says "The ability to draw is one of the most beautiful,God-giving talents.Don't waste what the man upstairs has blessed you with. You have it for a reason!"

As a person who doesn't read comics often I found myself taking notice of her other characters.She does an excellent job of incorporating the parents into the script.Joe is the third of four children, he has an older sister and brother as well as a baby sister.All have had strips written from their point of view.This work reminds me of a black "Family Circus" only updated for our times. Check out her site for yourself.