As well as being one of the top fantasy illustrators around, Joe Jusko is also a devoted fitness enthusiast (and a great guy!). I thought it would be fun to ask him a few questions to post here.
Me: Boris and I have always been interested in the human physique, first through our own experience with bodybuilding, then in fantasy art physiques, but we know of artists for whom it was the other way around. What came first for you--bodybuilding or paintings of highly cultured physiques?
Joe: I read comics and drew from a very early age, so I was always intrigued by larger than life physiques. I started lifting in junior year of high school after I bought an issue of Iron Man or Muscular Development with Mr America Kalman Szkalak on the cover. I was amazed by him and wanted to look like that. Unfortunately I discovered that not everyone could attain that type of condition without the proper genetics (or lots of, ummmmm........"help"). LOL
Me: After spending a long time at the easel, do you feel more like you want to get up and exercise or do you feel more lethargic?
Joe: I prefer using training as a relief from work. I normally stop about 3PM and work out. I put in a Parabody smith machine, treadmill and a set of Powerblock dumbbells to make the transition easier. I loathe going to an actual gym. Too much prep and travel time, wasted time waiting for equipment, etc. I much prefer working out in my own space and at my own pace. I find I'm stronger and more focused later in the day, also.
Me: When we have tight deadlines looming, it's easy to feel like skipping the gym, but we usually push each other to stick with our exercise plans. Do deadlines interfere with your exercise program?
Joe: I'm a bit of a compulsive personality in that if I'm cramming on a job I don't like to stop. If I do, I get distracted 180% in the opposite direction. I do tend to forego the gym if I'm pressing at work. That, in turn affects my diet as I mentally tie them both together. I find it very difficult to keep a healthy diet when not exercising for a period of time as I think one feeds the other. That mentality has made my overall condition fluctuate back and forth over the years. I'm back in training mode now and hope to stay there. You two are lucky in that you have each other to spur yourselves on. It's not always easy if your partner doesn't share the interest.
4. What's your favorite snack?
Favorite snack or junk food? I like mixing up two scoops of chocolate whey protein powder into 8oz of plain, non fat yogurt. It tastes almost like chocolate pudding and you can really have it whenever your sweet tooth acts up with no guilt. My cheat/junk food fix is PIZZA. If I could eat it all day, every day I would. LOL Unfortunately I can't as I'm cursed with a really slow, slavic metabolism and put weight on by just looking at pizza. As you know we have incredibly sedentary jobs, also and if I didn't work out I'd be 500 pounds! Even so, I'll be 50 in September and find it increasingly difficult to drop weight when I put it on. What used to take a few weeks takes considerably longer today.Joe at 23 dressed as Captain America
Thanks, Joe! And I'm seriously jealous of your Powerblock dumbbells. Have to check into that!