Though Ricky Barajas started working as a graphic designer at the Santa Barbara Independent about two years ago, he’s also written a number of stories for the paper along the way, from critical reviews to roller-skating memoirs. His biggest piece yet is this week’s cover story on DJ Javier, starting on page 18.
How did you hear about DJ Javier? I first heard about DJ because of a pop-up shop he had for Canto Vision a couple of years ago. My partner has been a big fan of DJ’s but was out of town on the day of the sale, so I stopped by to pick up a shirt for him. I ended up really liking DJ’s designs, so I got one for myself too. After that, I kept up with him and his art on Instagram.
How do you hope he impacts Santa Barbara and surfing culture? I’ve had my fair share of unfortunate events while here in Santa Barbara. I can only hope that DJ’s message resonates with people that take their comfort for granted. I never sought out surfing for a lot of the same reasons that DJ talked about when I interviewed him, but now I’m considering it as something I might try to learn, and maybe other BIPOC in town could join too.