The Occult Adventures of Being a Pen Warrior

As you might recall, Titus Pens iDoodle 2015 was a phenomenally successful 21st century cultural event about on-the-spot ballpen art competition. Its root can be traced with so much...

As you might recall, Titus Pens iDoodle 2015 was a phenomenally successful 21st century cultural event about on-the-spot ballpen art competition. Its root can be traced with so much success and support from local art communities by bringing the largest gathering of young emerging artists with shared passion and interest.

Daryl Victoria is a Manila-based artist whose work captures the perpetual steampunk style in flux by art directing the cover of Doodle Arts Magazine iDoodle issue. He combines figurative illustrations, comical drawings, and careful line art to generate maximalist visions of his subject. His works are sensual impressions of a visionary mind and explores innate emotions by giving life to an individual’s will to succeed in life. Here we asked him some serious and witty questions.


Doodle Arts: Many of your pieces, including Pen Warriors, feature anthropomorphic characters performing human actions. What are the challenges of giving emotion and humanity to the theme of the cover story?
Daryl: The absence of visual references I could infer to form an emotion is a challenging task. The dynamism in their actions when applied to things that normally don’t express a particular trait is a long row to hoe. They are not humans, but I have to personify them as humans. It’s not everyday you see smiling bread toasters or identity-confused fire hydrants plotting for world domination.

Doodle Arts: Your doodle art gives an interesting twist on reality. As an illustrator, what ideas do you look up to create strong subjects that will capture the subjective feeling of the audience?
Daryl: In most of my work, I offer surrealism and unorthodox tradition that will adhere to what people consider as real. I pick a certain feature of the subject to exaggerate and play my art style while leaving the key fundamental aspect that will suggest its accuracy in reality. For example, my drawing of a spider can be a working-class arachnid with identity of an 8 hairy legs, 6 eyes with thick-rimmed glasses, carries a briefcase while working in Wall Street and still hates cappuccino.

Doodle Arts: What’s running on your head while doing this piece?
Daryl: I suddenly remembered probably a cornucopia of movies and video games flashing before my eyes with cinematic actions of epic clashes between good and evil. One video game, Fire Emblem: Awakening, sets the peg for it. All I had to do is to make a diverse artist of warriors in their own right—braving the elements and battling the forces that pose threat and difficulty. And I never really thought about winning. Being a part of something valuable to the community had already made me feel like a champ.

Doodle Arts: Describe a little of your process. How do you determine the look of the characters and where to add emphasis?
Daryl: Stories of fantasies or science fiction inspires me. I sketch the initial composition without details at all. Details tend to lost you if you overlook it on the early stages of your process. I prepared a main protagonist character that depicts the nature of a brave artist who is willing to conquer all artistic challenges in the art scene. With the main character on the centerpiece, I gave him a back story where his friends got devoured by a ferocious dragon that lives in Artblock Mountain. Dragon is a representation of the challenges and the so-called art block in an artist’s life. The protagonist has sworn oath to avenge his comrades so he rallied a band of fearless pen warriors who came across the Land of Doodles to slay the evil dragon and retrieve the ink blood. Given the back story, I can easily determine the feel of the work, the tone of the color, and the mood of the subject. Give them a story until you give them life.

Doodle Arts: Your artwork underwent several color changes. What’s your reaction on the final art in print?
Daryl: The final art print was superb! I love how it turned out. Honestly, the color changes in CMYK kinda ticked me off. It’s an inferiority complex I have developed after I deal a lot of hardships in color and visual acuity. Everything is a learning process and this one taught me a lot on how not to rage-quit after trying to fix the color for the 352nd time.


From left: First composite of Pen Warriors in RGB; Second version of Pen Warriors in CMYK; Third version of Pen Warriors after color separation.

Doodle Arts: Any rituals you have when you do art?
Daryl: I get my morning coffee, enjoy my 30-minute chill under the sun, and sacrifice a chicken to Cthulhu to bless me with an art block-free day while listening to psychedelic rock and ska music. In general, there’s nothing much things I do other than the usual fiddling with my ray guns and trying to rebuild my micro particle accelerator. Oh wait, I thought this was the Mad Science Today interview. It gets my gears going.

Doodle Arts: Between your style and technique, how else do you want to grow as an artist?
Daryl: I totally believe that I got stuck with the comical side of things with a little bit of dark humor. I tend to look at things in a laid-back, slightly optimistic manner. I mean it’s great, but I have to work more on the content of my work. I need to think more of something that would reach more peoplea wider demographic that makes them easily relate to what I’m trying to express.

Doodle Arts: As a pen warrior, where do you think your art can take you? What will you fight for?
Daryl: As I learn to focus on the present times where I get to inspire people, create new things, and stay happy while practicing my discipline, I no longer look far ahead. I used to dream to become one of the big boys in Blizzard, Ubisoft, Wizards of the Coast, Bethesda, or even maybe Pixar. Suddently, I figured out that I don’t have to be at the tippity top of my game to be happy. I’m confident that I will arrive to a safe and prosperous place if I keep going to that one direction. I will continue to fight for freedom from the monsters of our thoughts. They are the distractions that are responsible for diverting our sights from what is fundamentally important.

Doodle Arts: You draw energy from broccolis. Can you give up broccolis for world peace?
Daryl: Without broccoli, there is no world peace!

Doodle Arts Magazine iDoodle Issue Cover

Doodle Arts Magazine iDoodle Issue Cover

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Dibs Leaño is a professional writer, journalist, and managing editor of Doodle Arts. While not working as content manager, she prefers to play computer games, feed her cats, vandalize restroom walls, draw doodles for special occasions, whine for more and plan for world domination. Follow her on Instagram, @dibsidoodles.
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