Grime is everywhere these days. Graffiti sprawls across plaza walls, TV screens flash with gritty urban dramas and every venue in the UK is being blown apart by the enigmatic rappers of the scene.
The latest surfacing however is online, via the mind of California based DELADESO. With his own self branded ‘Digital Death & Grime’, LA native Richie Velasquez is taking the web by storm with his potent style of illustration. By taking an existing image and creating his visual over the top, Richie creates eye-catching, innovative designs. I caught up with the man himself to look further into this unique approach to art.
COZY: First things first; after perusing various pieces, it is impossible not to notice just how fresh and unique your work is. How did you come to develop the ‘grime’ style?
DELADESO: There’s a few ways the idea came around. There’s actually a lot of ‘grime’ here where I’m from – Inland Empire has one of the highest crime rates in California, so it makes sense to relate my art to the area. Also, in the UK there is such a big ‘grime’ music scene, so I kinda thought if they have their own such style with music, I can create a ‘grime’ scene with visual art instead. I try to make it something that’ll last, not just exist as a trend. Identifying it as ‘grime’ makes it a lot easier to find too, what with hashtags and stuff on twitter. It’s genius. People can search anything to do with grime and they’ll find my art.
COZY: For sure, social media in general is such a powerful tool. One click of a button and any artist – visual, musical – can reach a huge audience.
DELADESO: Of course. I actually give a lot of thanks to social media for helping me to get my art out there.
COZY: Have you always been interested in being an artist? Or was there a certain point at which you took to it?
DELADESO: I was always interested in just being a wide person. I like art, but I do all kinds of stuff to do with filming and editing too. My first interest was editing, but it all just ties in together – art, filming, editing. It’s all visual!
COZY: I always say it’s good to have many strings to your bow. The more skillsets you possess, the deeper you can delve into your creative nature.
DELADESO: I always say this to my guys too. We have to be versatile, we have to collaborate.
COZY: A big part of art of all forms is inspiration. From where or whom would you say that you draw the most influence?
DELADESO: Yeah, I mean initially the grime thing started out as kind of fan art. My inspiration comes from whatever existing image I’m illustrating over – I’ll pick out an image of something or someone that I’m a fan of and take it from there! People might see it as ‘grimy’ or nasty but I see it as beautiful. It’s paying homage to the image or the person. I’m really just a fan artist that got lucky!
COZY: Happy accident, huh? Well, the way it’s working out it all seems to be a great piece of luck with your art getting this much recognition.
DELADESO: Definitely, and one good job leads to another along the way, making new contacts and finding new opportunities.
COZY: I agree 100%. Working in any craft or industry I find that it’s all about who you know. One important connection can lead to a hundred new opportunities.
DELADESO: I try to say this and give advice to a lot of people. Another important thing is to be genuine; if you aren’t genuine with your art then people can see this, and it doesn’t reflect well. Be aware of what you’re doing, you know.
COZY: Many artists often look to use music as inspiration for their designs – are there any particular sounds or genres that you prefer to listen to during your process?
DELADESO: A lot of random stuff! Every line I draw seems to follow the beat or pattern of what I’m listening to. The type of music also determines how fast you move your pen or your mouse; it’s all dependent on tempo. Sometimes when I’m doing a commissioned piece I might not listen to anything at all. I’ll get so into the zone that I’ll eventually catch myself not listening to anything.
COZY: Lastly, where do you see yourself going with your work? Do you have any particular goals that you want to reach?
DELADESO: Aw, man! Every day is different. You always wanna take on something new and learn something every day. I’m learning to tackle things one at a time, and it’s difficult. You do wanna take on as much as possible but you need to know what you’re capable of doing first. Every day is different, but you always need to push yourself also.
Deladeso is seeing his art spread across far and wide across the internet at an impressive pace. Be sure to follow him across the social media range in order to keep up to date with this unique graphic artist, and make a visit to his online store to pick up one-off originals.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/DelaDeso
Instagram – http://instagram.com/deladeso
Interview by Fraser (@3RDMXXN)