Featured Artist: Max Barthelemy

One Paly senior’s journey as a comic artist


A piece of paper and a set of pencils are all Paly senior Max Barthelemy needs for his artistic endeavors. Drawing has always been a passion of his and something he has had an interest in his whole life. Barthelemy’s artistic inspiration was ignited at a very young age after his uncle gifted him some comics.

“I got some comics from my uncle, like Spider Man and Batman, and I just wanted to recreate those characters in that style,” Barthelemy said. 

Comic art was one of the first drawing styles that intrigued Barthelemy Ever since he began reading comic books he has been practicing and perfecting his personal artistic style.

“I draw every day after school, every day during school, on assignments and in notebooks all day long,” Barthelemy said.

Although currently Barthelemy primarily draws in a minimal graphic style, when he was much younger, narrative illustration used to be an art form he enjoyed mimicking in his free time.

“I find a lot of inspiration [for narrative illustration] through poster artists, concept art, as well as a lot of Star Wars books and video games,” Barthelemy said. 

A piece Barthelemy is especially proud of is  a Western-themed comic series that follows his personal favorite comic style.

“Generally, I tend to follow a minimal graphic style because that’s what I’ve found works best for me personally,” Barthelemy said. 

For this piece in particular, Barthelemy plans to publish so he can share the final product with a greater audience.

“I’m going to print out some physical copies of the comic, and I’m also going to find a site to publish it: maybe something like Webtoon,” Barthelemy said. 

This publishing plan has been a major step up from where Barthemely started as an artist, as he initially would only keep his art within his immediate circle, including his friends and family. With the comic book series, he will display his art to many others far beyond his immediate friends and family.

Barthelemy broadcasts some of his work on an art-themed Instagram account . As for the integration of technology into the artistic world, something unique about the future of drawing is the ability to draw digitally and create new forms of art that were never possible prior.

“When I work digitally, I use Procreate on the iPad which allows me to, essentially, simulate a lot of different materials,” Barthelemy said. 

On the other hand, when Barthelemy decides to sketch on paper, he prefers to work with a more simple set of materials.

“I’ll also use fine tip pens and alcohol markers for drawings on paper,” Barthelemy said.

Barthelemy continues to push himself everyday to get better at his craft. This year, for instance, he decided to take an anatomy and physiology class to strengthen some of his weaknesses surrounding certain aspects of drawing.

“I’m taking human anatomy and practicing drawing anatomy in perspective [to improve my art],” Barthealemy said. “So, being able to [practice drawing] from all angles and from different heights is a challenge and something I’m trying to get better at.” 

As of recently, Barthelemy’s favorite comic books to read when he is not drawing, himself, are “Hot Guy” by Matt Fraction and “Nightwing” by Tom Taylor.

“I love how the art styles are simple, yet compelling,” Barthelemy said.  “There’s just as much detail as there needs to be to tell the story, and it has simple and stunning graphics.” As for Barthelemy’s future aspirations, he aspires to continue accomplishing his goals as an artist and working towards establishing himself more in the field.had a lifelong dream that one day he hopes to accomplish when he is more established as an artist.

“One of my goals has always been to have my name in an art book, at the bottom of the page, [saying] ‘This page drawn by Max Barthelemy,’ Barthelemy said.

Featured Art by Max Barthelemy

Check out the podcast episode! – Interview with Max Barthelemy

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