At only 18-years-old, with over 10 thousand followers on Instagram, graphic designer, JoeLius DuBois Porter is already leaving his mark on the creative world.
Porter’s budding success can be attributed to both his artistic ability and his business-oriented mindset. He believes that it is important for artists to learn how to promote themselves affectively, in addition to honing their creative skills. Additionally, Porter’s creativity is wide-reaching. He understands that artists do not have to be confined by creating only one medium of art, so, he strives to learn how to sculpt in addition to creating digital media.
Through his recent, four-part miniseries, Porter reimagined famous Disney characters, giving them real-life struggles as slaves forced to work tirelessly for Walt Disney. Porter sought to exemplify how art is truly created from the perspective of the artist.
“I like switching things up…I like thinking about how I would picture simple things as an art piece, and then switching it up into something new to make people think,” explained Porter.
Porter believes that artists hold an immense power: to create culture as they want it created.
He said, “I can create what I want to create. I feel like I have the power to change things. It’s like you’re pushing the culture every time you release something.”
However, when Porter first began practicing his art, he was held back by “art block.” Art block is a feeling of emptiness, during which creatives find themselves lacking the ideas that fuel their artwork. Yet, now Porter views art block as a positive thing. He understands that art block is not an ending to his creative ability, but a message that he needs to go out and experience more of the world.
“I still have art block, but I don’t see art block as something bad. It’s just that you haven’t experienced enough to create a new piece. So, I’m kind of excited when I get art block because I want to see the new piece that I’m going to be able to create on the other side,” said Porter.
In the future, Porter hopes to open up an art museum catered to Black youth. He wants to invite Black teachers to speak and teach the students about opportunities that are often reserved for more-affluent, white creatives.
When asked why creativity was important to him, Porter responded, “creativity pushes your mind forward and expands your thoughts. If people weren’t creative, I don’t know how we could progress as a society. Because if you’re not creative, you’re not thinking of what else is possible.”
View some of JoeLuis Porter’s graphic deign work below: