Brad Barnes became interested with art at a very young age. He and his brother would draw. As he grew up he began to develop his skills. He thought at one time he would go into animation and work for Disney, but he learned more about himself and what he wanted to do to make an impact in the world and desired to take another avenue.
Growing up he didn’t see many books in stores for children that represented African American children other than books that shared oppressive moments for those characters, whether historical or fictional. He doesn’t credit blame to the authors and illustrators during that time, he has simply purposed to create children’s literature that African American children will be able to see characters portrayed in a positive outlook and children of all races and backgrounds can enjoy for the plot and relate to the characters.
Many times there are cultural story lines that only those who are African American can relate to, but an example of the recent Marvel movie, Black Panther, is a great example of something being produced to show the culture of black people from different parts of the world and still have a plot that was able to resonate with people of any race. Brad has come to terms with his desire to accomplish this task for black culture. He has also overcome fear of what he is doing. He would have just as much passion for a Hispanic or Caucasian author creating positive story books with African American characters.
His passion for writing and drawing helps as he is working as a self publisher. Brad is not ashamed of his relationship with God and applies many of his beliefs as he creates character personalities and their morals as it relates to the plot of the story. He believes a lifestyle can be apologetic and contemporary. Meaning, Christians can be in the world living day to day and not be of it. When he creates his stories for children, they are not necessarily christian novels speaking scriptures in dialogue, but he draws from the love of Christ as he creates his work.
Being his own boss has positive and negative sides. It can be challenging at times, but he loves that there are platforms for so many such as social media, Amazon and more to share illustrations, books and more. One of his books, “Honee Bear and the Honey Pot”, was recently released for audible download. It’s available on Amazon and iTunes. Brad believes in his vision and works hard everyday to bring that vision to life. “Whether I can write it or draw it it’s apart of seeing that come to past,” stated Brad.
When asked what he would say to you, our readers, to encourage you to be bold achievers Brad stated,“There are different things that you are passionate about and you talk yourself out of it. If you have a vision, take up the road and go after it.” Whether you choose to go a traditional route or find ways to work your vision your own way, don’t think about what could be and sit on a dream. Instead, pray for direction and vision and watch God work as you work just as he is doing for Brad.