Good morning gums! Are you ready for today's new illustration? If not, that's too bad, because our artist certainly delivered the goods! Dentists, teeth, decay, drill, lovely little pleasures that Delia Barrio sure didn't forget! As she positively responded to our interview, we decided to share her full story with you. Those who read it until the end would be awesome. And well-read.
-Okay here we go Delia, hold on tight to your seat because it's going to be the questionnaire of your life! How old are you?
-Where do you live?
-I currently live in La Jolla, California.
-Can you share your story with us?
-Once upon a time... I was born in Santa Rosa, California. I've been drawing ever since I can remember- my mom said she started teaching me how to hold a pencil when I was two. My parents divorced when I was 4 or 5 (I don't remember) and shared custody over me. I would travel between Cazadero and Forestville, the respective locations of my parents' whereabouts, and attend school in Guerneville- a town located between the two. In grammar school I took a drafting course that taught the basics of visualizing objects in three dimensions. I was also teaching myself how to draw on our shiny, new Windows 3.1 PC. That was a terrible OS; we got '95 as soon as we could. I graduated with the art award and computer tech award as well as a band participation medal. Good times. Once I got into high school, I took multimedia- where I taught myself 3D modeling and animation. Apparently I was the first student to ever produce an animation demo reel in that high school. The only other art course I've taken was sculpture where I produced a teapot in the shape of an electric bass. I miss that teapot. Most of my high school career was spent in band and choir classes. The band room entryway would be littered with drawings and comics I had posted depicting the crazy adventures of my crazy band mates. "Bacon Strips" as we called them. I failed English my junior year, not because it was difficult in any way, but because my teacher had an acute Napoleon complex. She was 4' 9" tall- exactly one inch shorter than myself- and liked to make her classroom a living hell. I began to cut class and hang out in the band room instead. What, me? A band nerd? No way, man. Whatever gave you that impression? My senior year consisted of more band and a non-profit project by my English class. I was asked to create the cover for a pamphlet about ...something. It was like helping other people or whatever. All I remember is I had to draw a close-up of two people holding hands with flowers in the background. It was pretty gay. After graduation I wanted to attend Animation College, but could not afford it. So instead I dropped out of junior college and moved to Southern California. Look, I don't know- it seemed like a good idea at the time. This is where I met Erik, my now boyfriend of four years- and I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both of my wrists. This has slowed down my art process significantly, but has yet to stop me from drawing altogether. Shortly after we met, I returned to NorCal to attend a vocational training course in AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop. My dad planned on hiring me to draft blueprints for his construction business. It took three months of waking up at five thirty AM. and driving an hour to and from class, but I managed to receive my vocational degree in digital architectural drafting. I still have yet to put that to any use whatsoever. But hey- at least I know how to retrofit an existing foundation with rebar and concrete. Surely I'll need to use that knowledge one of these days, right? Soon after moving back to San Diego, Erik and I moved to Santa Monica where he had a short career as a 3D modeler and render guru. I did a few jobs for his studio, but rarely did the work amount to anything substantial. After about eight months, Erik's lung collapsed and we spent a week in the hospital while he went through surgery and recovery. This was the same week that the terrible fires broke out in the SoCal area. It felt like the world was falling apart. Very surreal. Hardly four months later, Erik was hit by a drunk driver in a nearly fatal accident. He's amazingly lucky that he survived. After that incident, we decided we hated the Los Angeles area and the stupid luck it was bringing us, so we moved back to San Diego. For another 16 months, I worked as a florist in a local grocery store. It was fun... kinda. I really enjoyed the customer interaction (meeting people helps fuel my ideas and creativity for the characters I create), but the work itself was pretty awful. I have permanent scarring on my right (drawing) hand due to repeated injury and constant contact with water and ice while at work. About a month after we moved to La Jolla where Erik found another job, this time with Shilo - a major commercial 3D animation studio-, I quit my job and have been trying to find a steady graphic job ever since. The poor state of our economy did not help, it made finding any job difficult. So needless to say, I'm still here looking for work. Hey, I didn't say the story had a happy ending. No refunds.
-Heavy stuff. So now, what do you do all day?
-Be awesome. No actually, I currently work from home as a freelance designer and illustrator. I've done odd jobs for a few animation and game studios, but nothing that's actually made it into other mainstream media. I'm currently looking for a more solid job, though. It'd be nice to have some steady income.
-What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
-What I enjoy most is character design. I try to put an emphasis on personalities and designs that work together so they come off as believable, no matter how unrealistic they may actually be. (Though more relatable characters are my forte) I've been working more on digital painting and full illustration recently. (I can't afford real paint or I'd do that, too.) I'd really love to illustrate a children's book. Kid's books were a huge part of my life when I was growing up, my dad would read them to me every night. They're always so fun and whimsical, it'd be great to work on something like that. But I think, more than anything, I want to make a video game. The ability to interact directly with characters and environment is something you can only do in a game- film and other media sources only allow for you to watch. To fully experience a fictional world, simulation is the way to go. *thumbs up*
- *Thumbs up too* What about your projects?
-Projects. I have three major projects in the works. Curiah City - my main baby brainchild special mojo spectacularrrr. This project is nearly eight years in the making and has recently been getting a major overhaul/re-write. I started this idea back when I was in high school, since then my tastes and style have changed and matured so drastically that it's been necessary to update and change many of the story's elements. However, a few things remain the same. The location: it takes place in a fictional Southern California city. The aesthetic - it's cartoony, silly, and crazy at times- but still manages to be believable enough for the audience to relate to the characters, despite their strange situations. The genre- it will still be a sitcom with a dash of paranormal horror tossed in for good measure. Driver Zed- my first real project based on a terrible pun my dad made when I was practicing to get my driver's permit. The story is about the ongoing adventures of an intergalactic taxi cab driver and the bizarre worlds and characters he meets along the way. Recently Erik and I have been toying with the idea of making this into a short film, or at least compositing enough concept work in order to pitch the idea to one of the studios we're connected with. Could be fun, I hope it works. Bomb the Town- a videogame mod that Erik and I started back in 2005, but had to cease work on once we started to move around. We had all the plans to create our own videogame studio and even several people willing to invest in us, but due to life strains we weren't able to follow through with the idea. I would still absolutely love to make this a reality. I think creating a video game is one of the best ways to bring characters to life. You can interact with them- that's something you can't do in film.
-Since when does your blog exist? Why did you create it?
-DeviantArt has been around since the dawn of time. I joined up shortly after my friend Hannah discovered the place. I've watched this place grow and change for over seven years, have been a staff member, and even designed a bit of artwork that was used in the site's layout. (it has since been removed with newer updates) Like any community, it has its ups and downs, but for the most part is a great and easy way to share your art and meet other like-minded people.
-What do you like in your life? What are your passions, hobbies, little pleasures..?
-I have a truly, deep rooted passion for music. While my carpal tunnel syndrome prevents me from playing any of my instruments for more than about ten minutes at a time, I have still never lost that interest. I feel that music has the ability to instill emotion at a much deeper level than other forms of creation. It helps me visualize emotions so I may better put them down on paper. I am an avid collector of songs, I don't really have a specific genre than I prefer. I'll listen to anything from southern ragtime to dub rock and ska- sometimes even rap and hip hop or classic jazz. Whatever sets the mood, I'm on it. Music aside, what also drives my creativity and passion is a nice scene. Landscapes, cityscapes, waterscapes - anyscapes. I'll find beauty in anything or anyone, so long as the conditions are right. A nice setting can really drive my mood and ambition. I try to surround myself in things that are harmonious. I sound like a real woodland hippie right now. I can accept that. Lastly, I'd have to say I really enjoy driving. I blame Erik for this mostly- but even before he got me interested in cars, I really enjoyed putzing around in my little white '91 Ford Escort wagon. It just feels downright nice to be out and about, the scenery changing, knowing you can go anywhere you want. Freedom I guess. Something akin to that.
- Now we want to listen to the Beatles. Why did you decided to send an illustration to FML?
-Several friends of mine looooove Fmylife and I've been a good fan of it myself. I feel that finding humor in the worst situations can help one overcome just about anything. Also giving people something to compare their own bad situations to helps ease some of that stress. Nobody is alone when it comes to bad luck, we've all had our share. Being given the chance to draw something up for this site was really an honor! I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to get around to it. You know, life has it's things that pop up and get in the way. That's what this site is about, after all.
-You sure understand us. Last question Delia, why did you choose this FML?
-I have an extensive dental history. In my lifetime, I've had three teeth removed (one was an adult bicuspid which has left a lovely gap on the upper left side of my jaw), four cavities filled, had my upper jaw widened to fit my teeth, headgear to fix my overbite for two years, and braces for eight. After all of that, my teeth are still crooked and ugly. FML.
Anyway, we love your illustration Delia, thank you for creating one for us!
Now go visit Delia's DA : http://delya.deviantart.com/
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including a link to your website/blog. If you don't have one, attach some of your drawings. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with Alice, who will tell you what you have to do!