I live online. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Reddit or Netflix. Every now and again I will stumble across a page or account which really grabs my attention. It could be an account that specialises in memes or a feed that is just puppies in Superhero outfits. Now, those little boredom busters are fun for a while but I have recently found a little part of the Internet that is never dull and always inspiring.
Jonathan Belle is a Superman fan like no other I have seen before. Not only does he share a passion for my hero but he also shares so much positivity and creativity with his posts that he has become one of my favourite people to “follow”. Oh, he also spends most of his time wearing a fantastic Superman suit. Interested? You should be.
You may have had this question asked to you a lot but it’s also one that I like to ask fellow Super-fans. Why Superman?
I like superman Because of his attitude towards others. In my eyes he is basically the epitome of The Golden Rule. And He is the symbol of Hope. Two things I strongly believe in is to be hopeful, and treat others how you would like to be treated.
Now, I think I have seen every single photograph of you in your suit and they are all fantastic and I would love to see you release an art book filled with them all! What made you first want to step into the suit and how did it make you feel?
I wanted to wear the suit because I want to inspire people honestly. On a number of levels. One reason being that everyone can be Super. Another reason being is to Keep Hope Alive. And yet another reason being that is I can walk around in public wearing something I love, so can you. And it made me feel alive.
Did you make the suit yourself or did you receive any help?
I found a man named Jason Evans who had an etsy shop that makes the suit. And I commissioned one from him.
What have been some of your most memorable interactions while out on the street?
Haha. Well it is always fun catching people taking pictures of you while they are pretending they aren’t. But honestly when people come up and ask to take a picture of me or with me it always feels nice. I like to believe it is because they understand what the main mission is.
Any bad ones?
There have been some negative experiences yet, however I don’t like to talk about those. Reason being I don’t like to give power to negative situations.
Sometimes you go to very isolated locations to get the perfect photo, have you ever got into any sticky situations?
Not really. Before the suit I used to go out and take pictures in the same fashion. So I am pretty much used to it by now.
Do you have a favourite photograph/edit?
I don’t. Pretty much every photo I take or edit I make is a learning curve. And that is one of the funnest parts.
You inspire people daily. Who, or what, inspires you?
Music. I would say illustrating song lyrics and the feelings they invoke is one of the challenges I love when it comes to photography. Being able to visually see how I enterally feel is a challenge. And music gives me that challenge daily.
Now, I have seen you photograph yourself in some stunning locations. Do you have any favourites and do you have a dream location that is on your photography bucket list?
I specifically started off this Superman Journey in the Pacific North West because I love the outdoors and mountains. As of right now my dream location would be to get some really good shots in New York. And after that I would love to get photos in front of all the Major Monuments across the world.
When I see photographs of you walking down the street, I am reminded of the Superman:Grounded storyline where Superman walks across America and tries to reconnect with Earth’s people. When you are suited up, and walking around in public, where does your mind go?
Honestly, my mind goes everywhere. A lot of times i am suited up for pictures so my mind is there. And when I am running errands wearing it my mind is on the errands. Sometimes I forget I am even wearing it honestly. I have gotten so used to it I forget sometimes.
Sometimes you give some wonderful motivational words of encouragement on your posts and they always give me, and your followers, a boost. How do you motivate yourself when your day isn’t going as well as it should be?
I like to remind myself that the emotions I am feeling in the heat of a bad day will not stick with me through the rest of my life. And it kinda puts things in perspective for me. I also listen more than I talk to people. So a thing that helps me is I will recall a story of a bad day from someone else and put everything in perspective. Obviously everyone has their own lives and by no way is everyone comparable. But when you start to realize that most people probably have had waaaay worst days than you and have gotten through them, it is easier to come to terms that your bad day will be over soon enough.
Speaking of motivational quotes, do you have a favourite?
I do not. There are so many motivational quotes for everyday life, I couldn’t possibly single one out.
Other than Superman, have you ever dressed as any other heroes and who else would you like to take on? Also, do you feel your personality would change in a different suit?
I have worn Hancock the first time I went to SDCC. And I’ve dressed up as John Stewart before. But honestly, I am me, I am not Jonathan wanting to be Superman wearing the suit. I am Jonathan wearing a Superman suit to help inspire others. It is not a costume for me. It is a way of life.
Now, what villain would you like to dress as?!
Hahah I wouldn’t.
I have worn a Superman suit once out in public and I felt invincible! I can remember a child coming up to me and they asked to see my fly. I told a little white lie and said I had the wrong boots on! Have you ever been asked that and do you have any other favourite memories of children meeting you when in costume?
I have been asked if I can fly, but no-one has asked to do it in front of them yet haha. And yes it is always a funny reaction. Because when I am out running errands it’s usually me turning an aisle in a grocery store when children will just flat out stop and stare. One child straight up backed into another shoppers shopping cart staring at me and walking backwards. Just recently at the last location I shot at, a father was out with his two young sons. One of the sons saw me and said “Hey dad, it’s Superman!!” His dad was busy taking photos of the view so he didn’t turn around and just said “sure son.” Then he heard me walk up, he turned around and said “Oh $#@%!”.
Now, it’s an old question but a good one! Other than flight, what superpower do you wish you could have?
Probably Teleportation. I can travel so much with that ability!
When you’re not inspiring the world with your fantastic photos and motivational words of wisdom, what are you doing? How does Jonathan/Superman relax and unwind?
I love to travel! And I love taking photos. The process of traveling to take photos is one of the most loved things I do. Other than that I am either practicing photography or photoshop skills.
Now, here is a scary question! IF the internet went away tomorrow and Social Media was only a memory, how would you express your creativity?
I would probably make that art book hahah. Social Media is great and all, but in the end it is me with my mission. If I have to move to a bigger city to be seen more in person so be it. If I have to try and get photos in coffee shops, so be it. It is nice to be able to have to ability to reach masses, I can’t lie about that. But what it comes down to is the ability to inspire one person at a time. And if I can do that, then I am satisfied.
Jonathan, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions but I really want to say thank you for your content. Your posts always inspire me to continue to share my passions and always try a little bit harder and take steps out of my comfort zone.
If your Social Media accounts need an influx of creativity and positivity, you can keep up to date with Jonathan’s adventures by clicking on the following links.
If you need any more reasons why you should let Jonathan into your life, check out this talk he gave and try not to be inspired.