Artist Spotlight: Daren Thomas Magee

February 21, 2019

It’s finally time to shine the spotlight on Daren Thomas Magee–another of our newest artists that is now a member of our tight-knit RCC family! Daren is an introspective and visionary illustrator and designer from Ojai, California. A master of blending the natural with the supernatural, Daren creates thought-provoking work that inspires us to become closer together as humans and, in turn, connects us to a higher consciousness.

His RCC card designs have been flying out the door and that’s no surprise to us! Read on to learn more about Daren, his work, and his inspirations. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Daren!

Were you an artist as a child? What is the first memory you have of realizing your artistic creativity?
I have very early memories of drawing little scenes that I would play along with, I would make sounds and envision action happening within the scene as I drew. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. Thanks for that! I think there has always been some creative outlet for me growing up. I’ve always enjoyed creating, bringing things that didn’t exist into existence. I think that’s our greatest gift in this existence.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is existence. I am in constant awe of the fact that we exist. Be it divine intervention or a seemingly impossible complex series of natural events that led us to being right here right now, we’re here and that blows my mind. I am using my fingers to tap little plastic squares that translating my thoughts into 1’s and 0’s communicating my answer to your question and displaying it on a screen…..whoa! Yeah, that’s inspiring.
“Forest Hands” by Daren Thomas Magee
Tell us about your artistic process. Technically speaking, and inspirationally. 
Before my child was born in March of ’18 most everything I did was hand drawn with paper and pen. Very detailed, stipple based work. As the reality set in that I would no longer have the luxury of working so intimately I decided to put more effort into creating more simply and move my process over to the computer. I discovered that I was able to create at such a faster rate with a computer and was fortunate enough to figure out how to emulate that hand drawn look within a digital scape. So it was a very fortunate thing to have been pushed out of the place I knew so well and be forced to adapt to my new surroundings as a father.
Inspirationally speaking, I never go into a piece knowing what its going to be. I always start off with a blank canvas and will throw a shape or a line on the screen, move it around, distort it, mirror it, just play with it until something strikes me. Inspiration born out of a lack of direction.
What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created and why? 
I think this piece called ‘Pleasant’ may be my favorite, not because of what it is, but because of what it represents. This was the first digital piece I made after the realization that I wasn’t going to have time to create the way I use to. It embodies the simplicity that was all I had the time and energy for. I surprised myself after it was finished at how something so minimal can be so pleasing. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of creation and gave my artistic drive and new voice to speak from.
“Pleasant” print by Daren Thomas Magee
What was the most important piece of advice you have ever been given?
‘Always speak your truth.’ My Grandmother was a very outspoken woman. You always knew where she stood on things. This is something I still struggle with but when I am able to pull it off the feeling I get is ‘right.’ It lifts the weight that hangs on my shoulders from not speaking my needs for fear of putting someone off or causing ‘trouble’ for someone. We are all sovereign creatures and we all have needs and theres no reason those need shouldn’t be met.
What story does your work as an artist and a designer have to tell?
The story that I would like for people to pick up on in my work is that this existence is so utterly mysterious that it can’t and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. No one knows for sure how we got here or where we gone when its over, just that we have this time in the middle to be in these bodies, to have these capacities to create, to think, to innovate, to play with our environment. I think its an extreme honor to have this limited amount of time to really experience this existence as profoundly as possible.
To view more of Daren Thomas Magee’s work for RCC, click here to visit our shop, or visit his website, Real Fun Wow.