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Joe Average Biography

Joe Average the artist & activist is famous for having bright, colorful pictures.
Courtesy of Joe Average
Joe Average hanging out.
Courtesy of Joe Average

If Joe Average's artwork reflects his personality in any way then he probably whistles in his sleep and skips instead of walks. His bright, upbeat work has been in Vancouver's International Airport, in bus shelters, on the side of Food Bank vans and flapped in the breeze as banners on Robson Street in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Finding Your Passion

The 53 year-old always liked to draw. "I've been drawing since I was a kid," says the soft-spoken artist. "I'm dyslexic and usually dyslexic kids find an art they are good at." Joe Average's been a professional artist for about 13 years. "The turning point from doing my work as a hobby was when I was diagnosed HIV positive. It was what inspired me to see if I could make it. When I was diagnosed the doctors didn't know if I had three months, six months or a year to live. I've been doing art ever since."


Fighting The Good Fight

Joe Average, who describes his artwork as playful, fun, colorful and happy, has obviously impressed a lot of people with his work. In 1996 he created the "One World, One Hope" image for the 11th International AIDS conference in Vancouver. That image was picked as the first AIDS awareness postage stamp. Kidzworld founder Allen Achilles, whose name is actually Alasdair Achilles, has been a fan of Joe Average for many years and has been collecting his artwork along with that of fellow Vancouver painter Tiko Kerr.


Joe Average has become somewhat of a celebrity for those who have anything to do with HIV/AIDS. He's also well known for his generosity. His artwork, most of which he's donated, has helped raise awareness and money for a long list of charities. You can find Joe Average's artwork on T-shirts, posters and canvases he's donated to organizations like AIDS WALK, Friends for Life Society, the Canadian AIDS society and so many more. He also goes to schools and tutors and hangs out with the art classes.


Words Of Inspiration

For those of you who want to be a painter like Joe Average, a cartoonist, a photographer or ANY other kind of artist - Joe has some advice: "Do it. It's a great job. Very rewarding. It's tough to make a living but if you're passionate and it's what you want to do most in the world... If it's all you want to do, pursue it as far as you can." Listen to Joe. He knows what he's talking about.


Do you know any artists who make an impression on you? Is there someone you think Kidzworld should profile? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


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