IRMO, S.C. — When walking through an Irmo restaurant, I saw Joe Javis sitting at a table by himself with four pencil sketches spread across the table. I sat down with him and after taking out his ear buds from the music he was jamming to, Javis told me his story.
The day before the first grade when Javis was 6-years-old, he begged his older sister to draw on the front of his canvas book bag. "She would not draw it, and she was sitting there reading something and I got aggravated and I cursed," Javis remembers, "and mother saw me and she tore my butt up so I went into the room and started drawing it myself."
Since then, Javis said he has probably done a million pieces of work here and there from painting to charcoal and now just pencil.
“I take my art even when I go to the restaurant in and out of the car with me every day," Javis shares, "It's just a habit [its] part of me now. Its almost like its an addiction for me.”
One of his favorite things to do if he is out drawing is sketching something quickly for kids. When a kid is crying at a restaurant he will draw them a silly cat or person to make them smile and it makes him feel good as well.
Javis says, “I just love drawing. It relaxes me. It just puts me in a good place in my mind. I could sit here for 4 hours and it seems like 30 minutes. Its just real relaxing to me its like watching television enjoying a show.”
While he sometimes gets paid for his work, he loves to draw South Carolina churches free of charge. "I usually draw them, frame them, early Sunday morning I set them on their door step,” Javis explains, “My goal is to draw most of the churches in South Carolina, if not all of them. There’s a lot of churches," Javis admits sheepishly.
Javis has even drawn out tattoos for people or portraits of houses. He says he likes to work on four things at a time so he can take turns with them, perfecting every facial pore or brick on a building.
“I love drawing, I wake up drawing I go to sleep…I just love it."