Rafael Isaac Delgado, jr. was born in Managua, Nicaragua, in the dry months of 1978. After the Revolucion in ’79, he migrated to the United States with his mother, while his father stayed behind.
Situating in Los Angeles, California, Rafael was greeted by his first generation-American family. Growing up ‘pobre pero contento’, Rafael never truely dealt with the fact that they were poor. Surrounded by lots of love and support, he made the best with what they had. Lacking many toys as a child, Rafael began creating his own toys. Whatever he saw he drew into paper toys. With great detail he would draw cartoon characters from his favorite shows to play with.
As he entered grade school, Rafael was a fairly good student with lots of creativity. Absorbed in the workings of his own imagination, he craved solitude. Rarely even watched television. Throughout his early childhood he continued to imagine and create.
During the discovery of girls and other social distractions, Rafael’s motivation and inspirations for the arts were put on cruise control. Mainly drawing pictures for friends he wanted to impress. Sailing at a slow pace for a few years, he soon discovered the freedom of expression in ‘Urban art’. This point in his life opened the doors to graphic design and visual communication. Skateboarding and graffiti became a major influence, possessing both of the elements in which he relates to.
After high school, Rafael pursued further education in graphic design and attended Brooks college, where he would pick up the tricks of the trade. Typography and logo design became his major interest. During his college years, Rafael experimented with many different mediums. The freedom in collage art quickly attracted him. Implementing his knowledge of graphic design, Rafael began creating works of art that possessed his interest in both, collage and typography.
Travel and explorations of cultures have brought lots of inspiration. With the knowledge he’s gained, Rafael has established entrepreneur ventures in the arts, developing his own line of graphics and skateboards, while continuing to create works of art. Feeling confident with his progress, Rafael began to exhibit his art in hopes of sharing his vision.
Rafael Isaac Delgado, jr. an emerging new talent from Los Angeles, has been creating works of art that are an expression of himself reacting to the world around him. With an extensive background in graphic design and a keen observer of everyday life, Rafael is using that perspective in a new collage technique that he refers to as ‘painting with paper’. Created entirely from magazine pages, the works come to life exuding brilliant color and energy. I had a chance to speak with Rafael and here is what he had to say.
Tell me a little about yourself.
Well. Lets see. I’m 37 now. Visual artist, Graphic designer, Entrepreneur, self-proclaimed Philosopher, and a kick-ass chess player. There are very few things I take too serious. Life’s to short for all seriousness. But a good game of chess is very serious to me.
How did you get into art?
I’ve been involved in art all my life. It’s an interest I really enjoy. I love it. Imagining and creating has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I have no control of these feelings to create. I am constantly thinking of images, colors and ways things come together. Compositions are always going thru my mind. Soon after I felt confident with my vision and begun participating in art shows. I really appreciate peoples sincere reactions. I hope to continue exhibiting my work.
What’s something the average person wouldn’t know about you?
Ha! That’s a good question. Well, I like to listen to the Bee Gees when I’m working on my art. He He!
Tell me about the technique you do.
I have experimented with all sorts of mediums. I came across collage, and the freedom of expression in collage is the greatest. Blending my interest of illustration and graphic design with the technique of collage, I developed this form. Composing works with colored magazine pages, but digressing from the traditional collage technique, my technique is ‘painting with paper’. Collage is my medium. I illustrate the composition and then paint it using magazine pages swatches I cut out. I enjoy seeing the unexpected emerge in the process. It’s like working on a puzzle. The finished piece is in my mind. I just need to put it together on a canvas.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspiration from life around me. I am a keen observer of everyday life and how it makes me feel is what I express through my art. I’m always in good humor and I think that’s why I use lots of bright colors. My art is an escape for myself and that’s what I want the viewer to feel. A smile across a room, a conversation with a stranger or a rock on the ground. All these things bring inspiration. I don’t have a specific genre or influence that solely brings inspiration. Life is my inspiration.
Quick questions………Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi of course. Ha Ha Ha.
Half empty or half full?
Half full. Almost there, know what I mean.
Tigers or lions?
Neither…..I LIKE turtles!!!
What are your plans and goals for your work?
So far I have created things that interest me. I have kept my work private. However, at this point in my life, I feel confident with my work and I would like to begin to share my vision. I am definitely going to continue working with this technique because this is only the beginning of my art, my style. I am still experimenting. Every piece I do sparks a new idea and it’s getting better and better. It will definitely take a lifetime, but I really look forward into what it becomes. My goal is to have my work in a museum of art in the year 3000 and spark inspiration for future generations. ‘Viva la revolucion de arte’.
Any final words of advice for the people reading this?
Yes…..Do What makes you happy……ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN!!!! Peace
Interview by Mr. S. Paug Getti – Nov. 2011
updated – Jan. 2016