I had the honor to sit with artist and visionary, and most of all a human filled with talent, wit and grace– Daren Thomas Magee of Real Fun, Wow! We discuss his start as an illustrator and designer, the fun things he’s up to in 2021 (hint: more sound than ink), and the two things he’d carry on a mythical, deserted island.

Fun fact! Two years ago today, Onda co-hosted a Whole Food, Whole Hemp Dinner Series in Ojai, California. You can check out our reflections of it, here. Daren happened to design our flyer, so we pulled from the archives to marvel at his magic and taste.

Can you give us a little background of yourself and how you got into graphic design and illustration?

I learned the very basics of graphic design in high school, nearly 20 years ago. Illustration was always something I played around with as a kid but I never took either of these practices all that seriously and certainly never conceived it would be something that I would someday be interviewed about! It wasn’t until around 2017 that I had become fed up with not living up to my potential and wasting a lot of my precious time and energy on doing unfulfilling work for others that I made a promise to myself that I would make a (semi) serious go at being an artist.

What is your favorite way to get into flow?

Turn off my phone. For god sake, that thing is the ultimate destroyer of all things creative.

Any fun projects you’re working on now?

Since I have amassed such a large body of work a wonderful publishing company deemed it worthy enough to compile into a handy little book which should be coming out sometime this year. I’ve been trying to take a little break from the design/illustration side of things and focus on presenting myself as an individual and seeing what I can offer through that form, so my friend and I have recently started a new podcast called ‘Mystical/Cynical’ where we pull apart both of those topics through our own experiences.

Okay, say you’re stuck on a deserted island and you have only two objects in your possession. What are the two possessions?

My iPad Pro with Apple Pencil (assuming, in this imaginary scenario, there are some means of charging it) and an iPod with all the music ever created throughout human history. That would hold me over for a little while.

Thanks for tuning in!

You can see many of his iconic graphics on his Instagram account, @realfunwow. Listen to his podcast with co-host Jaymee Carpenter right here, Mystical Cynical Podcast. And finally, to support Daren’s work so he can keep on giving us these magic-kissed mystical moments, head on over to his online shop, realfunwow.com.

Such a valuable resource in these trying times. Thank you Onda for upholding such high values and delivering such a quality product.

– Daren, @realfunwow 🙏


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