Saskatchewan

A peek inside the cartoon debauchery of Regina's Daarian Woroniak

A love for creation fueled at a young age, an obsession with MAD Magazine and a desire to make weird characters even weirder are combined in Daarian Woroniak's grimy art style.

Creation has helped Woroniak find an identity

Woroniak, who first found out people would be willing to pay for his art when he was in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in British Columbia, now has a commission list months long. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

It was Daarian Woroniak's father who first found an adequate description of his work: cartoon debauchery. 

A recent example is a painted rendition of Scrooge McDuck entitled Greed.

Using the bright and bold colours reminiscent of Disney cartoons, Woroniak added in coins from McDuck's piles of money, chains and other status symbols of wealth that played into the painting's namesake. 

It's fitting that his father — a designer himself — coined Woroniak's style, as the pair has created art together for as long as the younger Woroniak could remember. 

He said he was always fascinated by his dad's ability to seemingly create whatever he wanted. Woroniak followed suit in his own way.

"I've always been doodling. If you were to look at my notebooks from elementary school, they were just covered. I did more doodling than I did work, typically," Woroniak said.

Daarian Woroniak works on a commissioned piece depicting a character from Spongebob Squarepants, subject matter that's captured his attention over the past year. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

The fascination with creation, an obsession with MAD magazine and a love of "making weird characters weirder" — while keeping them true to their original image — are fused together in Woroniak's grimy style. 

Woroniak uses a variety of mediums for his work, his favourite being wood or compressed particle board. In a way, he said, it helps keep the characters he creates true to their forms. 

Woroniak does woodwork out of his parents garage and does some of his other work from his apartment in Regina. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

Working with wood out of his parents garage is a process he said is enjoyable and gives his artwork a more homemade, unique feeling. 

Woroniak said he first found out people were willing to pay for his work when he was in a drug and alcohol treatment program in British Columbia. 

Woroniak says he likes to remove pupils, add zits and things like chains or other fashionable items to make weird characters even weirder. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

After working as a drywaller and a painter for seven or eight years, he said he realized he didn't have the energy at the end of his work days to put time into his passion for creation.

Although it's given him an income, Woroniak said his drive to create also gave him an identity, because now people see him as an artist and a creator.

"I just like to create," he said. 

"Hitting that nostalgia vibe, especially people I would never expect, like those in different age demographics, it's really cool to see that a certain piece that I made that I never even really thought would make someone happy, will make them happy. It's pretty awesome."

Woroniak says he prefers to use a type of compressed wood for his art pieces, as they have a more hand-made, unique feel to them when finished. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)
LISTEN | Woroniak spoke with Shauna Powers on CBC's Saskatchewan Weekend
He calls his art cartoon debauchery. Host Shauna Powers checks in with the Regina artist who uses vibrant colours and unique interpretations to bring to life cartoon characters we know and love. 10:56

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Eneas

Reporter

Bryan Eneas is a journalist from the Penticton Indian Band currently based in Regina, Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC, he reported in central and northern Saskatchewan. Send news tips to Bryan.Eneas@cbc.ca.

now