Like many others, Eddie Del Rio grew up fascinated with Star Wars and now lives his childhood dream of working as a concept artist for Lucasfilm in California. His ArtStation Pro portfolio website is filled with stunning artwork from past projects like Godzilla, Skull Island, Star Citizen and more.
Discover more about Eddie and his work in his interview below.
What is the best art advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I have received is this: Don’t chase what you think people want to see, do the work you want to do. Create what you want to create, in the style and skill set you wish to create it in. I see people always guessing what a future client prospect may want to see. Then tries and emulates a certain style. Artist will force themselves to do environments, when what they really have is a passion for characters. They try and emulate a style and look that doesn’t truly represent you. I did this early in in my career. And it got me far, but I was never really happy. I thought I needed to be “well rounded”. But in the end, I began to lose myself and my voice. I was told by a friend that I should just focus on the the one or two things that I wanted to develop and push. So, I put all that old work away and focused on the work and style I really wanted to produce, both personally and professionally. Then, all of a sudden, I began to feel happy about my work again. Not only that, but with this new found joy in my work, my art got a lot better and I found even more success in my career! I was satisfied personally and in turn, it showed in my work. The byproduct was work that translated into professional success! It was a win win!
What is the part you enjoy most about your job?
The best part is simply the ability to create for a living! I feel very lucky and grateful to be able to make a living off of the talent and skill I’ve accumulated all these years. I know you asked for the one part I enjoy, but I must include another part that brings me joy. That would be the other artist that I’ve gotten to know all these years in the industry. It’s an amazing to chat with others that all share the same love for creating, expressing ourselves and the ability to tell story through visuals. Even though we have that one important creative drive in us, we are all so different and unique! That difference shows in the way we all individually articulate each other’s own vision. I’m enamored by all the talent of these people that I feel lucky to call friends and colleagues. I’m truly excited to spend time with these artist and just as excited about other artist I will be sure to cross paths with in the future!
Tell us the story about one of your favorite portfolio pieces.
It would probably be my Mech racer in the hangar Bay illustration. It’s my most favorite because it’s one of the first keyframe illustrations I did for my own personal project. I spent a while developing the mech in the stand alone illustration. I had tons of sketches and I went all over the place with the design. I had one of my good friends, David Hobbins giving me input. He is an amazing mechanical designer and I am very grateful to have his eyes and ears on the design.
Once I had the design worked out, I needed to delve more into the story. I was just starting to mull over those ideas and themes I wanted to covey in the story while I was working on this piece. There was a lot of notes, plots and character ideas bashing around in my head. I clearly remember the process of just starting to design the world, both visually and story wise. So this piece is very important to me! It was just the beginning of a mountain of work I’ve done over the last several years. Most of it unreleased. I’m hoping to release more of the work in the future.
What do you think it takes to have your work be noticed in the community?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I honestly have no idea. It seems like the community is so vast and mixed these days, it would be hard to say. Everyone has something that they like. I know what I look for though. What grabs my eye is a unique design that’s executed in a unique way. I want to see ideas more than someone’s techniques any day! You can always add the flash, the bells and whistles and such later. A cool story idea, or designing something that’s both functional, and cool looking is hard to do. So when I see work like that, it excites me and it makes me want to follow that artist and see what else they have to say.
That said, I guess my images that have gotten the most attention are usually my really tricked out environment paintings. But I never start something with the intent of “what do people want to see”. When doing personal or self promotion work, I just try and do the work that makes me happy.