JoeLius DuBois is a 19 year old artist from Columbus, Ohio who has been creating digital artwork solely on his phone. He draws out an initial idea and then transfers it to his phone where he colors and perfects the piece on Procreate. DuBois has a few different styles – his most popular being a take on pop culture figures and logos, some of which can be seen below. Read our interview with JoeLius below the gallery of his artwork.
Lately you’ve been getting a lot of attention from your latest works that combine two unlikely cartoon characters – Bowser and Ord from Dragon Tales for example. How did you come into this style and why do you think people connect with it so much?
With the recent pop art pieces, I wanted to recreate basically a Venn diagram where you have two different characters/logos/objects etc. – but they both are similar to some extent in the middle. I think people resonate with them so much because it gives them a feeling of nostalgia and makes them feel good even if they don’t fully remember both of the subjects being compared.
Yeah, it’s definitely a great dialogue on nostalgia and pop culture. Do you see yourself working in this style for an extended period of time?
I go back and forth between a lot of styles, but I do see myself working on it for some time. I want to build more on the different avenues I can take with it.
How would you compare the creative process of your digital pieces and your drawings?
I [usually] draw in a sketchbook before I transfer that to digital. Sketching allows me to map out my ideas and how I want the piece to look before I do transfer to digital. I usually have to draw before I go straight to my phone. The creative process is similar – digital pieces just allow me to finish up and put more touches on the drawings I’ve already done.
Do you make all of your digital works on your phone?
Yessir, I’ve made all of my pieces on my phone with procreate since October of last year. I had to because my laptop broke, but it led to new creativity.
How have you been able to utilize social media as an artist? What opportunities has it led you to, if any? What does it mean to have such a large group of supporters?
Social media has been useful as being a platform to showcase my work — a free platform at that. It’s hard getting in galleries, so I enjoy showing my progress in art through social media. I’ve gotten more business in general from social media, but I enjoy the community of artists I’ve met through social media [as well]. It’s truly a good feeling knowing people are out here striving for the best in their art like yourself, forreal. I’m grateful that a large group of people have even resonated with my work to this extent. Sometimes it can make me feel pressured to post work fast or appease my art to what someone might want from me so that people are satisfied. I struggle with patience at times. In the end, the best thing I can do is stay patient and true to my creative vision.
What’s your overall goal as an artist? When will you know you’ve “made it?”
As an artist I hope to make people remember their humanity and enjoy the things they experience while here. Whether that be through nostalgia, stories, animations, etc. I would think I’ve “made it” if I’m able to provide for my family and sustain myself off my craft. In the future, I want to be able to have art centers for black youth and be able to hone their skills/expression & provide opportunities so that they can profit off of their craft. I want to be in a place where AI can pass my knowledge/skill onto the youth more often in the end.