Great Scott! It’s Superhero Day! And, in honor of The Flash, Quicksilver and A-Train (to take care of fans of DC, Marvel and The Boys) we thought we’d see just how fast Charlotte comics artist Eraklis Petmezas could sketch a hero. And, he attacked it with blazing speed.
We’ve had a ball with our “Equal Time” series, sponsored by OrthoCarolina and inspired by their new online system that takes just five minutes to make an appointment.
Since January, we’ve hired eight different Charlotte artists whose mediums range from music to henna to chalk art to create something cool in just five minutes. Each of them has done amazing work … and, as if he himself had superheroic speed, Petmezas proved he was up to the task.
“I tend to draw pretty quickly,” he said. “Keeping it at 5 minutes and trying to create something decent was challenging, but fun.”
Watch Petmezas Work
Lifelong passion. Part-time pleasure.
Call it “love at first stroke,” but Eraklis Petmetzas was head over heels with cartooning and comic book art as a child. But, it wasn’t his only creative love. His passion for art was too great for just one love.
“I’ve always loved art of all kinds: film, music, books, etc.,” he said. “However, comics took hold at a very young age and never let me go. They’ve helped me through many tough times and have been my constant inspiration and passion.”
His story of falling hard for comics and art at a young age isn’t unique to Petmetzas. What distinguishes him is that it took root and he’s never let go of it, even when others told him it was time to leave comics and sketching behind.
“At some point, we are told to curb our imaginations, whether it’s to fit into society or a career path,” said Petmezas.
After spending his 20s and 30s moving up and down the East Coast, Petmezas moved to Charlotte 15 years ago to be closer to family who lived here. After finding work — today, he’s a contract business analyst at Spectrum Reach — Petzmazas went looking for fellow creatives with a passion for drawing comics.
Assembling a Creative Super Team
Arriving in Charlotte, Petmezas didn’t immediately find his people. Instead of giving up, he assembled his own collection of comic art champions.
“When I first came to Charlotte there was a small creative community,” he said. “I started Sketch Charlotte to meet more creatives, and I’m thankful it’s been going strong since.”
For more than a decade, Sketch Charlotte drew 10 to 15 local creatives each week. The group assembled to sketch together, encourage one another and have fun. They appeared regularly at local comic book shows and events.
While COVID-19 has required the group to meet via Zoom, Petmezas is planning a triumphant return this fall as the group celebrates its 15th anniversary. The potential of returning to in-person weekly meetings excites Petmezas, as does the burgeoning creative community he sees at work in the Queen City.
“I’ve seen the creative roots take hold in Charlotte,” he said. “So many more opportunities and great avenues have opened up. We are supportive of each other and the creative spaces that continue to grow within our city. I look forward to what the arts scene will be like in the next 15 years.”
The Joy of Drawing
He may not wear a cape or a cowl, but Petmezas feels transformed and empowered when he’s holding his pen or pencil. It feeds his soul and carries him through the winds of change that come with life. And, that’s pretty super.
“Whether it be one of my illustrations or comics, I feed off that energy to get me through the times that may not be great,” he said. “Art and the individuals I’ve met along the way have been my saving grace. I will always be thankful for that.”
“I love telling stories, and through my art I can do just that. Whether it be for an audience of one or 1,000, I’ll always continue to do it.”
Break the Sound Barrier with Eraklis Petmezas
This creative sprint was powered by content sponsor OrthoCarolina. Use their new online appointment system here.
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