The call for Art for the 2018-2019 Art, Beats + Lyrics Art Exhibit Tour was open and I submitted my design: two Aztec characters holding a boombox.
Very simple and to the point. The wall design was to convince the curator to give me some room to paint my classic Azteca Moderno illustrations.
I got the call a few weeks later that my art was selected. I was asked to prepare the artwork in vector format because instead of a wall, my art was going to grace the sides of a cube lit from the inside.
That immediately got my creativity flowing and I decided that I would redesign the initial characters and bring in three more characters and create a long composition that would wrap around the cube.
I had the cube template.
Three solid sides and one side that was split in half. I wasn't sure how I was going to make the illustrations flow but after sketching out each individual character on Sketchable App, I exported each piece and played around with the design on Adobe Illustrator.
I presented the sketch and it was immediately approved. I thought to myself that from this point I would need only a few hours to create the final illustration.
Since I needed a vector illustration for the final design, I decided to work in Adobe Illustrator Draw on my iPad Pro so I can later export the pieces and make adjustments in Adobe Illustrator.
Chalchiuhtlicue, Goddess of Water, Life and Beauty.
Chicomecoatl, Goddess of Agriculture and Plenty.
Aztec Warrior, classic character of the Aztec Empire.
Quetzalcoatl, God of Learning and Creativity.
Tezcatlipoca, God of Destiny. With the boombox in the classic LL Cool J pose.
What I thought was going to take me a few hours, became 30 hours of work. I focused on the detail because the final design was going to be on a cube that measured 3 feet by 3 feet on each side, that meant that every bit of color and line work would be clearly seen. So I had to really show out!
The full complete Azteca Moderno 2018 for ABL Art Exhibit Tour.
I like the result so much, I made a few iPhone wall papers!
Dubelyoo, the curator of Art, Beats + Lyrics did some adjustments with the text and completed the art installation. We checked out the set up and the art on the cube looks amazing!
Look for the #AztecaModerno installation in the upcoming Art, Beats + Lyrics art exhibit, take pictures and tag me on instagram: @DELTATANGOMIKE
GET THE GEAR! https://society6.com/product/tezcatlipoca-old-school-hip-hop_stretched-canvas
And next time you are in ATL, ask me for a free sticker.
I enjoy drawing comic book superheroes and the opportunity to create a mural design based on Marvel and DC characters was a too awesome to not make the best group shot I have ever drawn!
12 characters total: Wonder Woman, Batman, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Cyborg, Flash, Aquaman, Supes and Captain America.
My process begins with Sketchable App on the Surface Pro 4. I start with a sketch and build the drawing little by little, I like the flexibility of drawing in layers with very easy to use tools like the pencil and ink.
First layer is composition and anatomy. Second layer is line cleanup. Third layer is detail. Then comes the flat colors, shadows, highlights and a few extra layers for deeper shadows. I keep each character in their own layer so I can move them around for the best fit and composition.
I had an idea for the overall look and feel, but it takes a bit of experimentation to get a good look. I spent at least 10 hours, a little bit at a time, mainly on Sketchable and then finished on Adobe Photoshop.
And then 9 hours painting, whew!!!
Valere Studios spent four days in Atlanta interviewing me in the studio and around town.
"DTM combines his Mexican heritage (from the murals of East LA to the stories of the Aztec Empire) with his passion for comic books (Batman, Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley). "
Since arriving in Atlanta right before the Olympics. I have found my art style, between bold comic art and realistic features, and my message. The message is simple, the retelling of the Aztec Gods.
This short film tells a bit of that story.
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