Art Attack Friday: Rio McCarthy

You may know her from the C Blogs, you may know her from Tomopop, and you may even know her from the official Capcom Unity blogs. That’s right! Rio McCarthy is this week’s Art Attack Friday star.

Rio’s art skills go beyond just the pen and paper, as she likes to dabble in everything. Her big thing right now is making awesome videogame themed hats. She’s made everything from Parappa the Rapper hats (scroll down a bit), Mega Man hats that went straight to Inafune himself, and to very special hats for the Dtoid staff.

Hit the jump to for an interview with Rio where she talks about how she found Destructoid, the hat making process, her obsession with RetroForceGO! and more. 

DESTRUCTOID: First off, introduce yourself to the 5% of Dtoiders who may not  know you already.

Rio McCarthy: For those I haven’t had the privilege of meeting or speaking with, I’m Rio, a fellow Dtoid obsesser. 😛 Most of what I do on Destructoid has to do with video game and anime related crafts. I mostly hang out around the C-Blogs and post comments on front page stories in between doing all my artwork.

How did you find out about Destructoid and what made you stick around?

Destructoid I kind of just stumbled across. Thankfully Google loves to put them as my top result for almost anything gaming related I search for and I started coming here for all of my game news. I think this was about really late 2006 or early 2007 when I first started lurking around the site.

How long have you been drawing for? When did you figure out “Hey, I can draw cute things”?

I’ve been drawing since about the time I was 3. One day I’ll have to try and find all of my little kid sketch diaries, though I’m sure you wouldn’t find much other than pages filled with Sonic the Hedgehog fanart. I guess I’ve technically always been more drawn to drawing cute things even back when I was drawing Sonic. I’ve never really been into drawing much morbid and grotesque art even though I do enjoy looking at it. I guess the cuteness just attracted itself to me. 😛 

Speaking of cute things, you seem to have an obsession with the RetroForceGO! team …

Hahaha I have no idea why but for some reason when I’m stuck and can’t think of anything to draw I usually have RetroforceGO! on in the background while I work anyways, so I just default to doodling images of them until my artist’s block passes.

How did you learn how to make such killer hats?

I actually only learned to sew earlier in the year, around March or so. I’d wanted to sew for a long time as I really like fashion design and really admire the people who do beautiful cosplay work. It takes a lot of hard work to eventually gain the skill of that detailed of work so I thought I better start simple. I decided I’d start with hats and work my way up. Funny enough, I’ve just kind of stuck with hats so far.

How long does it take to make a hat on average?

It really just depends on which of the hats I’m working on. If it’s very basic it can get done rather quickly and at most just take me a couple hours. Though if it’s extremely detailed, like a certain hat I finished recently, it can take up to two full days. And yes, I mean two almost full 24 hour days. So it’s very varied and really just depends on what design I’m working on.

How many hats have you made so far? List them all!

1. Winged Kitty Hat
2. Genma from Ranma 1/2
3. Chocobo from Final Fantasy
4. Lolo from Adventures of Lolo
5. Lala from Adventures of Lala
6. Tomopup hat for Tomopop contest
7. Dolphin hat for Chad
8. Amaterasu from Okami
9. Destructoid Hat for Dtoid 2nd Anniversary
10. Koromaru from Persona 3
11. Slime from Dragon Quest
12. Bub from Bubble Bobble
13. Parappa’s hat from Parappa the Rapper
14. Elecman from Mega Man
15. Cutman  from Mega Man
16. Iceman from Mega Man
17. Skullman from Mega Man
18. Star from Mario
19. Shark hat for Hamza
20. Nekokoneko hat for Tiff
21. Metroid hat for Dyson
22. Amigo from Samba de Amigo hat for Niero
23. Chewnicorn from Viva Pinata hat for Workman
24. Tornado Man from Mega Man 9 for Capcom (which was given to Inafune himself!)
25. Splash Woman from Mega Man 9 for Capcom (which was given to Infune as well)
26. Wiki from Zack & Wiki for Capcom
27. Mega Man hat for Capcom

I just sent 10 Mega Man hats off to Capcom earlier in the week.

Which of your hat creations are your favorites?

It’s really tough for me to pick favorites since a lot goes into making each one. Though if I had to pick, I think my Destructoid hat is probably my favorite, especially with as many people as it got to meet at PAX. Sadly, I plan to never remake that one because it was one of the biggest pain in the ass ever. I really like my Genma hat as well, which I dub my “Pissy Panda Hat” that I wear when in a bad mood to cheer up. The hat I’m most proud of though is definitely the Amigo hat that Niero now owns, as it took more time than any other hat and I really love the way it turned out. 🙂

Do you take requests?

It really just depends on how busy I am. You can always feel free to shoot me a message and see if I’m up for doing it at that time, but don’t be offended if I say no. Granted, I’ll say no more nicely than that. XD But I can never guess what I’ll have going on, as I just finished a really big order but still have craft shows to get ready for, so something’s always cooking. It’s just sometimes are less busy than others. 🙂

What other crafts do you like to work on?

I’m always up for trying new crafts, so I’m almost always working on something different. Lately, in addition to hats, I’ve been painting ornaments and selling them in my Etsy store. I also do canvas paintings as well as traditional drawing and Photoshop work. I really enjoy painting and customizing random objects and totally making them my own, so you never know what I might come up with next. 🙂

Hamza Aziz