Joe Lee didn’t have a sudden, single moment that inspired him to create the illustration for the 23rd Annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival. Instead, the dreamer and designer of this year’s Festival artwork simply drew from a concept that’s been simmering for years in the nooks and crannies of his mind.
“Funnily, I have the basic idea for the design lodged in some corner of my brain for years,” Joe explains. “The lotus flower being bloomed from musical instruments with our courthouse circling about the musical vegetation just seemed to be a natural fit.”
As a 22-year veteran of our 23-year Festival, Joe understands what the Festival symbolizes to the Festival community. His Lotus involvement consists of both a “joyous audience member and looooooooong time volunteer” in all but the first Lotus Festival. Joe’s Lotus contributions extend into Lotus Blossoms, as both a committee member and a performer with “Airs of the World” and “Jungle Joe’s Flea Circus.”
The circus seems to be a recurring theme in Joe’s world. As a freelance illustrator, cartoonist, and writer, Joe’s most recent noteworthy projects are LeGrande Circus & Sideshow Tarot Deck and Booklet for U.S. Games. In addition, Joe has written and illustrated several books for For Beginners Publishing – with over 15 titles including “History of Clowns for Beginners” and “Dante for Beginners.” Finally, Joe’s illustrations can be found in the Herald-Times and “Our Brown County” magazine. When he gets bored, the Indiana native fills his time with part-time work for the Bloomington Township Trustee’s office.
Though he is hard-pressed to select a single favorite Lotus memory, Joe poetically portrays what it means to be a part – any part – of Lotus World Music & Arts Festival.
“Being a small part of the celebration as I wrangle my fleas into death defying acts, but just being part of the movement, the dance of diverse humanity enjoying art and each other – that must always be my favorite memory,” Joe describes the Festival experience. “Here’s to the next memory!”
Find out more about where to purchase this year’s t-shirt and pin, as well as other cool Lotus merchandise.