I had the pleasure of chatting with the brains behind the DeltaMagna, Mag, to get a better idea of what drives her and how her artwork comes about. You may be familiar with some of her artwork when BBC staff did a quick look at her business in 2022. Based on the popularity of that article and that she’s a generally cool person you should know about, BBC wanted to do a sit down and get to know her and her art better.
Interview with DeltaMagna
Me: So, first off, where does the name DeltaMagna originate?
Mag: People always ask me this and expect some sort of cool, hidden meaning, but honestly, I just decided to mash some cool-sounding words together and came up with DeltaMagna!
Me: Everyone, superhero or villain alike, have an origin story. What’s your background or origin story?
Mag: I started posting my art online when Tumblr was still a thing. I think I was about 19, and I was mostly drawing fan art of various video games and sprinkling my own little original characters in here and there because I had always loved expanding upon the existing stories that were told in games.
When Metal Gear Solid V came out, I played it, became ravenously obsessed, went back, and played all of the other Metal Gear games, and immediately fell in love with the series. I did what I knew best and started creating my own Metal Gear characters and posting art of them on Tumblr. The most notable (and my favorite) was a mercenary gal by the name of Emma. I created this whole backstory for her in which she had fought in the Rhodesian Bush War and became a mercenary in Angola, then joined the Diamond Dogs. She was a badass lady with questionable motives and a questionable past because, hey, I think morally grey characters are interesting.
Suffice to say, the people on Tumblr did NOT like that, so I moved my art over to Instagram. I was hesitant at first, but almost right off the bat, people there had so much more appreciation for my art. I said to myself, “Alright, let’s just go full send with this,” and decided to really embrace what I had always loved drawing the most: badass ladies!
Me: The portfolio on your website shows you’ve been busy the last few years with collaborations and imagery for various companies. You have some seriously killer artwork! How did that all line up for you?
Mag: I owe it all to word-of-mouth. People here and there would get commissions from me, they would recommend me to their friends, those people would recommend me to THEIR friends, and so on. There has never been a shortage of work for me, thanks to this awesome community, and that’s the greatest feeling as an artist. I have done all sorts of artwork for all sorts of people and businesses, which I absolutely love because I never know what kind of cool stuff I’m going to get to do next.
Me: What drew you to the world of pin-up artwork?
Mag: I love drawing the female form! I mean, as a woman, I love drawing hunky men, too, but I really just love all of the ways that femininity can be represented in women. Even the most badass-looking ladies I’ve drawn that are all geared up and thirsty for blood still have a touch of softness to them in a way that can only be attributed to simply being… well, a woman! That probably comes off as sexist to the majority of people in the art sphere nowadays, but I stopped paying any mind to them years ago because the only people I do art for are A) myself and B) the people that appreciate it. Everyone else can just… close their eyes or something.
Anyways, pin-up art has always been a way to represent this notion; the most innocent pin-ups to the raunchier ones all possess this flair that is just so inspiring to me. I have never looked at a pin-up and said, “Ew, that is so vulgar and I feel so objectified as a woman because of this.”
Of course, to me, there IS a difference between pin-ups and straight-up porn that’s like, “Is there a reason this lady needs to be naked?” There has to be an artistic element to it that’s really hard to articulate. With every pin-up I create, I strive to invoke the same feeling in others that I feel when I see a good pin-up, which pretty much just means sitting there and saying, “Yeah, this is nice to look at.” I don’t know; maybe men see pin-ups differently than I do. In fact, I invite people to DM me or comment on one of my pieces and tell me what they think makes a good pin-up because I always love hearing from people!
Me: I know you get some insights from your Patreon supporters, but where else do you find your inspiration for your artwork?
Mag: I get a ton of inspiration from my fellow artists here in the Instagram community. Battle Secretary’s page is always a gold mine. There’s a reason my patrons keep suggesting B-SEC’s Kelly for the monthly polls, and she keeps winning.
The Weapon Outfitters Instagram also is a fantastic source of inspiration to me. I think he and I are pretty much on the same page with our appreciation for the unique beauty of a geared-up, gun-slinging gal. I also am a very casual history buff, so I love doing pin-ups based off of various eras of history, military-related or otherwise. The Revolutionary War era is one of my favorites, and of course, a classic WWII-era pin-up is always fun to draw!
Me: What are you working on now that excites you?
Mag: I’m currently working on a project that is, surprisingly, not at all related to pin-ups. It’s a story and comic project called Lotus Eater that I’m working on with ashen.lilly (on Instagram). It’s a story set in the 1980s and follows a slightly alternate Cold War-era timeline in which a PMC gets wrapped up in some paranormal shenanigans. I’m really not doing the story any justice with that synopsis, but you can check out the website www.readlotuseater.com if you’re into that SCP/tactical/80s vibe. We’ve posted a few chapters so far and post a lot of art and concepts with each new chapter that we put on the site.
Our goal is to eventually print it as a series of books, have an art book, create a graphic novel for it, and EVENTUALLY make it into a series of games. It’s been a passion project of ours for several years now, and it feels great to be able to finally share it with everyone.
Me: What project or art piece of yours is your favorite? Which one holds the most meaning for you?
Mag: The piece that has the title of “my favorite” is always changing. I have this thing where any art piece of mine that’s older than about a month looks like garbage to me. But I think maybe all artists can relate to that.
The rare piece that still looks as good to me after a month as it did when I first made it usually has the crown of “my favorite,” and right now, my favorite happens to be the WWI-era Marine pin-up I created! She was a Patreon prompt that I didn’t think was going to turn out that great, but everyone went wild for. So many people have come to me and told me all of the various things about her that they like the most. Someone said her nose, someone said her hair and the bow that’s in it, someone said her knees…? Like I said, I love hearing from people about what little things they like about my pieces.
As for the piece with the most meaning, it’s tough to settle on just one piece that is the most meaningful to me when so many are dear to me for so many different reasons… Actually, I think the piece that has the most meaning at the moment is one that I’m still working on! In my most recent Patreon poll, the winning prompt was to draw all of 2022’s poll-winning characters sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal. I’m only about halfway through drawing all of them at the moment, but drawing these characters that are representative of each month of this past year and all of the growth and excitement that I experienced each of those months feels so nostalgic and bittersweet.
[Since the original interview took place, the piece has been debuted and as expected, is wildly popular and incredibly detailed. You really need to check it out. And not just because of the girls.]
These silly pin-up girls feel like best friends to me, and it makes me want to sit down for a holiday meal with them! Most of the characters wouldn’t even exist without the patrons that came up with them, which makes me so immensely grateful for the amazing, creative people that support me and inspire me.
Me: What’s next for you and your company?
Mag: Gosh, if only I knew the answer to that! I’ve been very chill with my expectations this past year or so. I tabled at a few conventions in NC and VA this past spring, which was a lot of fun, so I might be doing that again in 2023.
For the most part, I just intend to keep doing what I’m doing; I’m going to keep chugging away with writing and drawing for Lotus Eater, and of course, there will be no shortage of pin-ups, either. There will be more cool projects with more cool people. I’m very blessed as it is to simply have a very solid and dedicated group of friends and supporters who enable me to keep doing what I do.
Me: What’s one thing you want people to know about you?
Mag: I am painfully introverted. Please banish any notion of bubbly e-girl artist from your mind. I am a rat, and I live my happy little rat life. I post myself so rarely that most of my followers, and even people I talk to regularly, think that there’s a guy running this account, and I’m totally okay with that. I find that life is a lot more enjoyable when you stop trying to be someone else.
There’s a lot of pressure on female artists nowadays to create some sort of online persona for themselves that isn’t representative of who they really are. Everything these days has to be a show, and it has to be marketable. Be true to yourself, live your life the way you want to, and place value on the lasting relationships you form with others rather than the way you APPEAR to others. This took me years to learn, but I am giving you this advice RIGHT NOW, FOR FREE! Take it!
Chatting with Mag about her artwork was so refreshing compared to some interactions that happen in this industry. She is a stellar honest woman, even though she calls herself a rat, and her artwork is equally spectacular. You need to check out her Instagram and even get supporting her on Patreon.