Joey Romero is a 31-year-old artist living in Orange County, CA. He has been “doing art” for as long as he can remember, and always had a particular love for illustration. Over the years Joey has worked in a variety of industries, some where he got to use his artistic abilities and others where he didn’t. In 2009,he decided to take a huge risk and go out on his own full time by starting a small business. Now, nearly 4 years later, he has built a name for himself and has a steady stream of clientele that heprovides graphic and web design work for as well as illustrations.
HenryCavill.Org: Has drawing been a passion of yours since childhood?
Average Joe Art: I would say so. I’ve been drawing for as long as I could hold a pencil (or crayon) in those days. My older brother Clint was a pretty good artist, so I used to bug him to draw me all sorts of things. He would usually oblige, but as he got older (there’s a 9 year difference between us) his interests shifted, and he didn’t always have the time to draw for me. One day, he sat me down and kind of showed me the basics. He would give me “homework” to do, which usually consisted of tracing coloring books and drawing shapes. When he would come home, he’d sit down with me and give me his opinion. Once I was introduced to comic books – it was over. I would just draw the things I saw.
HCO: Have you always been a comic book fan?
AJA: Definitely. I think my first interaction with comic books were the little booklets that were included with the He-Man figures from the early 80’s. You’d buy the figures, and then they’d come with this 10 page book that told a brief story. I remember begging my parents to buy me even the most obscure characters because I wanted to read the books. My brother would also give me his old comic books to read, and I was hooked. Not only did they fuel my love for comics, but also my love for reading in general. Before I could read, I would ask my parents or siblings to read to me, and it was typically comic books over storybooks.
HCO: What led you to drawing Superman and specifically Henry Cavill as Superman?
AJA: I can’t wait for the movie. When the original teaser image was released a few months ago, you couldn’t really get a good look at Cavill as Superman (I guess that’s why they call it a teaser). I had seen some set pics posted online that completely sold me on Henry as Superman, and when the trailer came out, there was so much Superman goodness, I wanted to do a series of illustrations – I just needed a solid image. When the Empire Magazine was released with Henry on the front, I thought "bingo" and got to work. It’s a great pose, and really gives us our first good look at the new Superman. Plus, I wanted to take a crack at drawing the new costume. Trust me, as more images roll out over the week/months, there will be PLENTY more artwork!
HCO: What are your impressions of Henry as Superman/Clark Kent?
AJA: As Superman – I’m completely sold. I’ll be honest. When he was first cast, I was REALLY skeptical (as I always am). I even still have the Entertainment Weekly magazine with Henry on the cover that says “Meet the New Superman.” When it initially came out, I thought “this is the new Superman??” He just didn’t physically look the part. After I saw The Immortals, I was bit more sold, because he seemed to have bulked up for the role. I still wasn’t 100% sold, because there were no official pictures. There’s a fine line between being in great shape, and being Superman. I’ve been a Superman fan for such a long time, that I study EVERYTHING about him… how are they going to style his hair? Will he have the spit curl? Are his eyes going to be blue? When I got a look at some set pics of Cavill in full costume filming the movie, I initially thought he was wearing a muscle suit – the dude was BIG. Come to find out, he completely changed his physique for the role to have a more physical presence as Superman compared to some of the other actors that have portrayed the Man of Steel. I’ve always thought that since he’s an alien, he doesn’t need to be “bodybuilder big”, because his power doesn’t come from lifting weights like Batman. Reeve, Routh, Cain, etc., all have a slightly more lean build to them. I’ve gotta say, Henry definitely looks like the comic version to me. He’s got a great facial structure as well. He’s got that Superman jawline which is key.
As Clark? I haven’t really seen too much of him as Clark. I heard a rumor that he wasn’t going to wear glasses which I think would be a HUGE mistake. I’m also curious to see how they downplay his physical stature as Clark Kent. I’m hoping that he’s not just Superman in street clothes. I’d like to see two completely different characters.
HCO: What do you think the comic book community’s reaction is to the upcoming MOS movie?
AJA: From what I’ve seen, it’s been pretty positive. I don’t think I’ve seen a single negative remark about Henry, Amy, Michael, et al. I did read a snippet from Mark Millar in which he said that he has very high hopes for the movie, and that he thinks Cavill looks dead on for the role. As far as the reaction from people I know? I think we’re all just excited to see Superman throw a punch, and battle an actual physical enemy this time. Superman Returns left us all wanting more. Lifting islands, and catching planes is awesome, but I want to see Superman duke it out in Metropolis and to see the destruction a battle like that would cause. From the looks of the trailer, it appears as if this movie has that ten-fold.
HCO: Would you be excited about a Justice League movie?
AJA: Honestly, I’m not a fan. I think the success of The Avengers movie was based on several things. First and foremost, Marvel had a plan from day one to build individual movies, and then bring their characters together. They kept the same actors (mostly), and tied them all together so an eventual Avengers movie made sense. Secondly, most of the characters aren’t these super powered beings like inthe Justice League. I mean, in all fairness, Hulk is the only real super powered character on the roster. Even though Cap has enhanced abilities, he’s not in the same league (power wise) as a Superman, Flash, or Green Lantern. With a potential Justice League movie, I think you run into too many problems, and it seems too forced. I mean, Cavill MIGHT be the only returning actor. I doubt Bale would come back as Batman, and quite honestly, I’m not interested in yet another new Batman just yet. Another issue I have is that since these characters are very God-like (except Batman), I feel like they’d be competing for screen time and attention. There are just too many powers going on and too many super powered beings on the screen at once. I’m sure if done properly, it could be amazing – even top The Avengers, but I also think there’s a reason the movie has been started and stopped this many times. At some point, WB is just trying to cash in on the success of other movies. I’d rather just see a new Superman film series develop for now.
HCO: How does social media fit in with marketing your business?
AJA: Social media plays an essential role in what I do. Back in the day, when I was a teenager and trying to freelance on the side, I would literally go through the phonebook and call random businesses out of the blue and offer my services. That worked on occasion, but it was SO time consuming and kind of impractical. Now, with Twitter, Facebook, etsy, etc, you have these places to showcase your work and drive attention to. Twitter especially is key, because I can reach such a broad range of people. I love that it also makes high profile people completely accessible. I mean, not all of them will respond, but I’ve been pretty lucky with getting most of the ones I tweet to respond. I think it’s really cool, and extremely flattering when these people that I admire, take time out of their day to look at some of my work, or help share it with their followers. Twitter has literally been a godsend for me.
HCO: Where do you showcase your work?
AJA: Several different places. My main site is www.averagejoeart.blogspot.com. That’s sort of a portfolio site where I add all of my artwork, and do some write ups explaining the process, or mindset behind each piece (careful, I can be wordy). What’s cool is that you can go back in time on that site, and see things I did several years ago, and compare them to what I’m doing now. Hopefully you’ll see some progression. I also have an Etsy site where I put a lot of my artwork up for sale as prints. I’ve gotten a pretty good response with that as well, and I think it’s cool that these people are willing to give their hard earned money for something I created. Lastly, I have a Facebook. I like using this because it allows me to interact with people, and get feedback on what I’m doing. Usually people are really cool, and offer constructive criticism, but every now and again you’ll get someone who’s just trying to be negative. It kind of comes with the territory, I guess.
Twitter/Instagram: www.twitter.com/averagejoeart / www.instagram.com/averagejoeart
by Tai F.