Alumni Stories: “Where Are They Now?”

A self-portrait by Ludgy Jean-Baptiste.
Jean-Baptiste working in the Painting Studio at AFH.

He remembered, “It felt almost like a cheat code. A new path opened up and I saw I had more options than I had believed.”

He was amazed that he could get paid to make art — and that he saw himself represented in the mentors and other teens at AFH. He also loved being part of a community of other young artists, who came from all different parts of the Boston area.

A teenage Jean-Baptiste pictured at AFH.
The cover of COMIXSCAPE Volume 1, one of Jean-Baptiste’s books.

“I came to realize that a lot of this comes down to the ability to connect with people in an effective way,” he said.

Jean-Baptiste also sought out relationships with other cartoonists. While in college, he visited the offices of Dig Boston, a local newspaper, in the hopes of speaking to one of his favorite cartoonists, Tak Toyoshima. Toyoshima made time to meet with Jean-Baptiste and look through a portfolio of his comics.

The logo for XSCAPIST PRESS, the printing press Jean-Baptiste runs and has self-published his books under.

“I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to put these things together and collaborate with others without the foundation I got at AFH,” he said.

AFH has also impacted Jean-Baptiste as an art educator. “I’ll never downplay or forget [the importance of] having someone like Mikey [Guadarrama] be a mentor to me and what that did for me, professionally and personally,” he said. Because of his experience at AFH, Jean-Baptiste makes it a point to talk to his students about their passions and build relationships with them.

One of Jean-Baptiste’s recent comics.
Jean-Baptiste today!

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