We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Joseph Wheeler III. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Joseph below.
Joseph , thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Are you happy a creative professional? Do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to work for someone else?
Artist are the only people in American societies forced to wear multiple hats through most of their adult years vs so called regular job holders. All of my doctor, lawyer, insurance broker, and various corporate leadership friends have one thing in common. They came out of college able to repay their student loans and each had a clear path of job options related to their chosen careers. Artist are often forced into sub paying jobs not related to their path just to survive. This is mentally taxing. It makes Artist feel under appreciated and in some cases we are. Yet the strongest of us know that our gifts have a divine purpose and to fulfill our paths as Artist is a gift not a curse!
Joseph , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My proudest achievement is ONYXCON! ONYXCON is a 501c3 nonprofit for popular arts ( illustration, comic books/sequential art, interactive gaming, toys, and more like healthy lifestyle fitness and outdoor recreation initiatives! Born in 2009 as a popular arts comicon our focus has always been diversity with special emphasis on the impact, contributions, and presence of the African Diaspora in realms of imagination!
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Our strongest followers on social media is @ONYXCON on Instagram! We have over 13,000! Once we hit 10k we were cooking! We focus on curation of content that reflects our mission and so we mostly repost others works, art, videos, etc to give more recognition to works we feel should be viral. The challenge remains in ways to create sustainable monetization of our great number of followers so that we have a true annual budget. Being that we are no longer a live annual convention we need constant donations and other financial support. It is tough to get a fine out of our online followers. Mist seem to only be along for the ride while a select few donate to show real appreciation for our daily efforts to post fresh content!
In your view, what can society to do to best support artists, creatives and a thriving creative ecosystem?
Supporting real nonprofit arts organizations and supporting individual Artist is the greatest thing so called regular hob having stable folks can do. Rather than wait for your drawing, painting, performing, writing friends to blow up- invest in their careers early on and help them blow up! If you are able to assist in the next step in an Artist’s career, do so- do not be a gatekeeper!
- Website: ONYXCON.com
- Instagram: @ONYXCON
- Facebook: @ONYXCON
- Twitter: ONYXCONtruth
- Youtube: ONYXCON
- Other: @ONYXCON on Venmo to DONATE! And ONYXCON@gmail.com for our PayPal and to offer business!
All photos by Joseph R Wheeler III/ permission of ONYXCON archives ! Copyrights held by JRWIII /ONYXCON