Though based in the Gulf, I “Billy Joe Fernandes” has a close connection to my roots in the State through my thought-provoking cartoons and art sensitizing the Goans on the issues that they face.
Being a Goan, where the Portuguese culture is still being cherished and adored, it was an honor for me to present my artwork to Mr. Antonio Costa. Got to meet His Excellency, Hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal, António Luís Santos da Costa. Grateful to the management of Casa de Goa, Lisboa for giving me this opportunity.
The Goan Cashew Feni is a unique, traditional liquor distilled from the fermented juice of cashew apples. The Goan Feni is fully organic free from artificial flavors. The first step in making Feni is by crushing cashew apples manually. Juice from crushed cashew apples is collected and stored in an earthen pot or copper pot which is left for fermentation. Then, the juice is distilled by boiling on a woodfire. The juice in the pot undergoes various steps of vaporization and distillation, where only 4% of the fermented juice becomes alcohol.
Sao Joao or São João is a Catholic festival celebrated in Goa. With people leaping into and swimming in, wells, streams, and ponds as a form of tribute to St. John the Baptist. The feast of San Joao is celebrated on 24th June every year. Every individual wears crowns made of leaves, flowers, and fruits called ‘Kopel’. People rejoice with the spirit of San Joao singing Konkani traditional songs and playing the “Ghumot”.
The Goan Carnival is a one-of-its-kind celebration in Goa. Depicting the beautiful Goan culture and Portuguese Heritage. The Carnival is a week-long festival, with a grand procession headed by King Momo followed by colourful masked parades hit the city streets across the state with beautiful large floats and participants dressed in fun costumes. There are traditional dance performances and some electrifying music to enjoy along with short gigs and plays about local Goan culture.
Born in the Goan Village of Sirsaim, Bardez, and having a Master’s degree in Commerce & Diploma in Logistics, I never thought I would take up cartooning to an extent that I am today.
The drawing was a part of our curriculum but never took it seriously. The real work began when I moved to Dubai and started feeling the awe of missing our Motherland Goa. These energies had to be channelized somewhere and thus came to life Billytoons Goa.
When in Dubai every evening has been a journey of new creations. Cartoons have filled up my space. And time has been flying past.
Since the last decade, I have been away from Goa, and this fondness has created some of my beautiful works portrayed out to the world.
Creating a new style of cartooning with no prior experience is something I am amazed at. The moment I sit with the iPad and start sketching, ideas just flow in and the characters are ready.
I am a Tea lover and catch upon my close buddies over a cup of tea…. You are most welcome to join me for a cup of tea for a susegad evening.