Chris Del Degan
An interview with the artist behind the Paradise Found collection from our Summer 2020 release.
WRAPPR: Have you always wanted to be an artist?
CHRIS: I've always known that making art is my happy place, though it took a long time to believe that I could forge my own creative career path where creativity is central. No matter what else I try to do, art is the reprieve. I think that the moment I realized that I could combine art and entrepreneurship was when a dude in my grade 7 class asked me if I could draw a naked lady for him for money. An 'aha' moment, if you will.
W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
C: Drawing is something that has been part of my identity since the time I could hold a crayon. Even though I liked being team captain or solving math riddles, I LOVED making art. It made me feel more like me. I applied to the Arts York program at Unionville High where I got to study and make art every day. Our high school even offered life drawing, so I got to draw nudes! Then more dreams came true at OCAD U where I earned a degree in Graphic Design, which I love because it pairs the creation of art with the solving of problems. After working at agencies like Bruce Mau, then in-house as Chief Creative Officer, I gave into the great calling to work for myself. Wondermatter is celebrating 5 years in business in 2020!
W: What type of work do you do for your clients?
C: My work is a balance between creating brand strategy, logo design, illustration and fine art.
W: Which of those do you enjoy most right now?
C: I love the mix! Unearthing core values and employing tools borrowed from psychology and business will anchor a design with a strong concept and ensure that the piece is communicating with consistency and clarity. I adore working with other small businesses and entrepreneurs, as I get to help craft a dream life directly for the decision-maker whose hopes and dreams are on the line. I take this role very seriously. A few years into running my own business, however, I realized that I had become so focused on strategy and digital artwork that I hadn't held a paintbrush in too long. Since that day, it's been a personal mission to incorporate handmade artwork for the sheer joy of it, and it's become a personalized signature of Wondermatter's work.
D: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
C: Honestly, the work that Wondermatter does now is all work that I would be doing just for my own pleasure, with no money involved, and if nobody knew. For fun, I like to follow this principle; do one thing that is out of your comfort zone (something you've never tried before!) and one thing that you know is soothing or uplifting (a go-to fave technique or activity!)
W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?
C: I hope I'm remembered for helping to make people's dreams come true, and for making the world a more beautiful and loving place. Something I'll be working on as long as I'm here.
W: What is your creative process?
C: In my creative process, the only work for me is to get out of my head, to silence the harsh inner critic and get out of my own way. If I'm lucky, some force works through me, if not I still had fun.
W: What are you planning to create next?
C: So many exciting projects coming up! Helping beautiful restaurants and hotels open up like flowers once this global storm has subsided.
W: What is your biggest indulgence?
C: My biggest indulgence has become various ways of taking time for myself, to recharge my creative batteries. I used to feel guilty for taking breaks. Now I understand that my best work can follow a bit of indulgence, so starting the morning by digging in the garden, or taking a midday bath or shower with a tea or white wine (don't knock it till you try it).
W: Where do you find inspiration?
C: Inspiration is hiding everywhere, if you can open up to it. Mother Nature does inspiration best, she's such a force of perfection, including rebirth and death, growth and dormancy, light and dark, all of life.
W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
C: Wrappr is such a powerful concept, and I feel honoured to be a part of something that makes the planet more generous and less wasteful. I'm beyond excited to share my designs with my loved ones and to spread more beauty and joy. The time is now!
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
C: Right now we're in the midst of a global crisis, and it's shaking us all to the core. Every little detail about the way we live needs to be reevaluated, and it is a silver lining to this horrible human suffering that we may emerge with a will to do less harm to our planet. There couldn't be a better time to give generously, and without creating literal trash. Mother Earth and your loved ones will both appreciate the gesture. 💞