We linked up with super-talented Shadoe Delgado. He hit the ground running last year and wowed toy and design folks. While he is new to the scene, Shadoe has already made waves with his unique customizations and skills. Check our interview with him after the jump!
Shadoe, describe the moment in time that first got you interested in sculpting.
When I was a sophomore in high school I took a ceramics class. One of the assignments was to make a room out of clay slabs, so I made this room based in a future where people didn’t exist and there were these two creatures I made rummaging through a trash can. It was the first time I had the freedom to make what I really wanted, and I was surprised at what came out. I didn’t really have the means to fully explore this until 6 years later in art school. At that point I realized I was more of a tactile learner and the idea of making things in 3 dimensions, for me, gives them that much more life.
Are you self-taught, or classically trained as an artist?
I’ll be finishing up my Associates in Fine Art this semester. But until I started art classes, I was more or less self taught, looking up online tutorials and YouTube videos. Then I saw what some of my friends were making in art school. It was pretty impressive and it was a good motivator to go to art school.
What figures or toys do you remember playing with as a child? Do any of these play a part in your style today?
I played with Ninja Turtles, Beast Wars Transformers, Jurassic Park and X-Men toys. It was fun having the turtles ride the dinosaurs and X-Men fighting giant transforming robots, I’d create all these different scenarios and adventures. Playing with those toys, making buildings out of cinder blocks and wood and digging holes in the ground for mini-lakes and streams and using tall weeds as trees and forests, I’d get carried away and spend hours alone with my toys.
When I make my toys and sculptures it’s a way of reliving that experience; to have an internal dialogue with these creations, thinking about where they’re from or where they’d be found, as well as how they would sound and move. It doesn’t have an influence on the style but more of the reason why I create.
Describe your creative process for us. Do you sketch ideas out initially? Play with some sculpting clay and see where it leads you?
I usually play around with clay and do some sketches. When I have something specific in mind, I do a series of sketches and sculpt out some maquettes so I can work out any issues I might encounter, such as stiff joints, or stringing issues (since most of my ceramic pieces are marionettes). I have to figure out how everything fits together and maintains the ability to move. When it comes to the toys, it’s mostly intuition so I start building.
One of the major impediments as an artist is the ever-present “creative block”. When that hits you, what helps you get that drive back?
I like to do other things, such as looking up artist blogs, looking at picture books, watching movies, playing video games, and talking to other artists. I used to encounter creative blocks a lot during my first two years of art school. At my school we have these foundation classes that stress technique. I was under the impression everything had to be perfect or photo realistic. I would force myself to work really hard in this fashion but it seriously inhibited any creative thoughts I’d have towards my art.
Eventually I said screw it, and decided to do what I wanted to do. So I let my work get loose, stopped worrying about symmetry and created my own sense of proportion. Seeing what other people do really helps with this and if I see a certain aspect that I really enjoy, I appropriate it and skew it a bit to firm my own sense of style.
Are there any current artists (both in and outside of the vinyl toy scene) that you admire?
There are so, so many! First off, The Army of Snipers and the Circus Posterus/Stranger Factory collectives. All of the artists involved are very talented and I love how they’re utilizing the collectives to support one another. Also, Eva Funderburgh, Deth P Sun, Candice Tripp, Shaun Tan, Ashley Wood, Don Pendleton, Brian Despain, and so many others.
Name five things that are currently in arm’s reach on your desk or workspace.
Coffee cup, Peanut butter cookies, art/reference books, migraine pills, and my computer.
Is there a new skill, medium, or vinyl toy you have yet to try out and want to utilize for an upcoming piece? If so, how do you plan to incorporate it or use it?
I’d really like to get into encaustic and resin casting. I hope to focus a bit on my fine art sculptures and incorporate encaustic finishes; we’ll see how that goes. I also have a project I’d like to do in resin, but I’m not really sure how to do that either. I’m teaming up with a friend of mine to create a resin toy and illustration print release.
What are you up to in 2013?
I’ll be moving from the San Francisco bay area back to Arizona and hopefully save some money to build a studio. Other than that I’ll just be making sculptures and toys, working on the projects I mentioned earlier. I’ll also be hitting up a convention or two to help get my name out there and meet more amazing artists. Oh, and I’m also in the process of making a toy for the release of my friend Leo’s Game, “Ball Point Universe”. People can learn more about the release through my Facebook page as the release approaches.