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HomeArtsJuxtapoz Magazine - The Wizard Of Barge: A Six-Pack With Dakota Cates

Juxtapoz Magazine – The Wizard Of Barge: A Six-Pack With Dakota Cates

Dakota Cates (aka Wizard of Barge) is one of my favorite artists I’ve discovered through social media. Like most people who crave dopamine, I spend too much time staring into the digital void; However, when my incessant scrolling rewards me with WOB’s art, I’m always glad I went on the endorphin hunt. Funny, poignant, beautiful, and at times a little crass, Dakota’s strange world of wondrous wizards and wacky creatures never fails to disperse the storm clouds of modern malaise. I recently took a mystical journey into his DMs and we threw back a six pack of questions.

Michael Seven: How did you come up with the name Wizard of Barge? Did you consider any other names before landing on this?
Wizard of Barge
: I love fantasy and magic, and “Barge” was my skate crew’s rallying cry in Houston. If you’re afraid to try something – just go for it, man! I had no idea it would become my stage name until it was way too late to choose a less confusing name. Oops!

Her art has a rather upbeat tone to it. Is anything upsetting you?
I’m sure I’m just as pissed off as everyone else, but that’s exactly why I like to bring positivity and humor to my art – to fight the fucking Chaos Lords that wreak havoc on our lives. It’s kind of a reminder to myself not to take it all too seriously and just enjoy the ride. There’s enough shit out there to watch without me blocking your eyeholes.

Something wrong

Which artists have inspired you in developing your individual illustration style?
I got into art through skateboarding so you were a huge influence on me early on along with the likes of Ed Templeton and Neckface. I’ve also fallen in love with a lot of fantasy artists like Skinner, Moebius, Frazetta, and really anyone who draws crazy creatures.

If you could work on a project with an unlimited budget, what would you come up with?
I grew up watching cartoons, so this is probably high on my bucket list now. I’d love to create a complete universe around my characters and see what they’re up to on any given day: follow some goblins as they play pranks in a dungeon, watch some cultists door-to-door trying to recruit new members the end times. You know, everyday events in the Barge realm.

If you had a time machine, what advice would you give to the 12-year-old version of yourself?
Follow your stoke! It’s too easy to look at your dream job and think: That doesn’t happen to people like me. It kept me from really getting out there and trying until I gave up that mindset. Oh, and don’t trust farts!

Who would win in a fight between Harry Potter and Gandalf?
Gandalf all day man! He fights armies of orcs and giant demons while Harry, uh… does his homework?! And how are you going to call yourself a wizard without a long, magical beard? I mean, I don’t have either, but that’s just genetics. Thanks father!

Check out more of Dakota’s art on Instagram: @Wizard of Barge or visit his page:



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