A wonderful comic series inspired by The Flaming Lips lyrics and imagery by artist Andrew Pawley will be published here on thefutureheart.com throughout all next year – with a new issue every few weeks of 2013!
In anticipation, Andrew discussed his creative process with us:
“Captain Yeah! has been around for about a year or so in different forms. He first came to light as a piece inspired by ‘I’m Working At NASA On Acid’ which features a psychedelic skull/astronaut. Originally I was influenced by Aztec skull fetishes. From there he developed in different directions for a number of pieces. Sometimes human [as in ‘All We Have Is Now’, left] and sometimes skeleton [like in The ‘Some Kind Of Love’ work, bottom]. I like the fact that he has different avatars and can be flexible visually.
To be honest the comic book is taking a fairly random path. I like the stream of consciousness approach. I like to tell a story that explores free ideas rather than thump home a moral message. Mostly I like to riff off popular ‘sub culture’. The Lips obviously are a big influence, which can be seen throughout my work but I also enjoy the slightly quirky anarchism I see everyday on twitter etc. The fact that people have a voice is so important , even if they have nothing to say! I love the fact that I can connect with people in the States or Tokyo who have a similar outlook to life as me and we can share ideas. Not always directly but by some communal love fest!
1) Pencil sketches and character development. I will often doodle drawings and scenes on scraps of paper. I’m very bad for keeping a sketchbook and don’t like the pressure of documenting pages together. These will be very loose and once I’ve set a scenario I’ll tighten up the compositions and drawing. Sometimes this is on paper sometimes digitally using an application called Sketchbook Pro, which rocks. (I always use a graphics pen to draw digitally. Some compositional work I’ll switch to a mouse).
2) Once a layout is set I’ll work in Sketchbook Pro creating a rough layer in blue and lower the opacity. Next I’ll draw a clear black line using a pen which gives a feathered effect. A layer underneath is then applied to add the colours, textures and tones. This is the most enjoyable part for me as I like to mix colours, brush types and it allows me to be exuberant with colour. I will then add ‘effects layers’ on top, like blaster rays or ‘cosmic vibes.’
3) When the drawing is completed I swap over to Photoshop and apply a colour halftone filter which gives it the comic book printed effect. I also like to add a texture layer of an old paper page to give the work an aged effect. The text boxes are added last although their placement is considered in the first compositions.”
“The music I listen to means a great deal to me. The Flaming Lips have been my favourite band for some time. I first heard the Lips at art college years ago when a friend invited me to this ‘weird art music party’, I had to bring my CD player! Turned out to be three either geeks with a four CD box set. They needed a fourth player for the full experience! “Zaireeka” freaked me out and I’ve been a convert ever since.
The thing about the Lips is two fold. First their music is so visually strong, it is dripping with possible ideas to riff off. All the cosmic magnificence and humble human awareness totally fills me up every times. The second thing is their attitude towards the world. Every time I see a tweet from Wayne or if I’m watching some youtube clip of the band talking the positivity is immense. I always want to get on and create something.
When it comes down to it, this is a pretty shitty world at times and that is why it’s important to share a bit of hope.
The whole thing is summed up by the song title ‘Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Internal Existential Fear’. That really says it all, don’t you think? The universe is huge beyond comprehension. We are little, but still a part of it. Get up every day and do something!”
“I recently started making animations, of which “Watching the Planets” and “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” are the first ‘completed’ pieces. I totally loved making them and plan to make lots more. I’m currently working with a friend of mine who is a fantastic musician. We plan to have something done soon…”