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San Diego artist Joe Phillips draws inspiration from many things

Joe Phillips creates unique calendars every year.
Photo credit:
SDPIX -- Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips is a San Diego icon even though he may not agree. He is an artist, illustrator, animator, designer and sculptor whose work is easily recognized with its colorful images of celebrities, comic book heroes and handsome men.

It has become a tradition for Joe to create a calendar each year and 2018’s titled “Boy oh Boy” is a 13 month pictorial of men and couples enjoying life or each other.

Joe also created original works for SDPIX’s December issue available now around San Diego. We caught up with him to ask a few questions about his work and what irons he currently has in the fire.


San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: How long have you been drawing comics Joe?

Joe Phillips: I've been drawing comics over 30 years, It's hard to say which are the most well known but I have fans from my mainstream comics like Superboy and Mr.Miracle to my gay-friendly work like House of Morecock and the Joeboys.


How long have you been doing these calendars?

I've been drawing them for nearly 20 years now.


What is the inspiration for each picture?

They are all different. Inspiration comes from many places, ideas from friends or pictures I've seen or day-dreams--too many to say one inspirational source.


How long does it take to complete the entire calendar?

Longer than I'd like.

Some images are quick and others linger for days and days.


Do you still do everything by hand?

Yes, I'm not a robot, computers are great but it's these fabulous hands that make it work.

I draw digitally these days directly on my monitor and color my images with different programs.


What do you think makes San Diego’s LGBT community so unique?

To be honest, I don't think they are.

They are like all GLBT communities, there are some local idiosyncracies living in a town with so much sunshine tends to have more skin showing and people wearing flip-flops at the club (you know who you are) but the core of the community is somewhat universal, I think it's why my art relates to people all over the world.


How long have you been doing artwork for SDPIX?

Since they asked me to, years ago.


What are you working on next?

I currently have art hanging at Lestat's in Hillcrest and will be doing a new book of my drawings in January or so (they take forever).


For more information on Joe Phillips click HERE and to purchase the 2018 calendar click HERE.

To see the SDPIX layout click HERE