Craig Drake, whose work you might have seen featured all over the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, has a new solo show at Hero Complex Gallery starting this Friday. His work has a classic 80's feel while taking on pop culture from TV, Film and beyond. Craig was nice enough to answer some questions about the upcoming show and himself.
TTDILA: How would you express yourself with having another solo show a year after the first, quite the accomplishment. Perhaps you could express it by drawing yourself with champagne flowing over yourself.
Craig Drake: That sounds like I'd need a special soft focus lens and right out of an Emmanuelle movie.
CD: I am sworn to secrecy but I can tell you, it's partially an extension of themes I wanted to draw for the last solo show and never got time to. Much of it draws from pre-internet films. 1980 - 83 was the greatest. Although, I've got some modern pieces in there too.You have many different pieces of work so far from Star Wars (just at Star Wars Celebration) to anime to comics. Are you a fan of it all or just pick what others are fans of? If a fan, what fandom have you had for those subjects...other than creating art about them.
CD: Life long Star Wars fan. I knew early on I wanted to eventually work for Lucasfilm as a result of collecting "art of" books as a kid. In 2007 the dream became real. "I've seen things..." As a kid I was mega altered by those films.
On hoping you do like anime and other stuff please tell me some of the more current series you're a fan of. I swear if you write back about not having the time...
CD: Not a HUGE anime fan, but I like the good stuff. Classics like Akira, Ghost in the Shell and Blood the Last Vampire. Beyond that not so much. Although I will say Space Dandy and Cowboy Bebop breaks the mold. I enjoyed those. I LOVE Studio Ghibli, but don't classify it as anime. Just incredible craft of story telling like no other.
Your work, when it comes to ladies, seems a bit flirtatious, do you try and capture the physical form of ladies as sensual as possible, same goes for the robots you make. You make sexy robots.
CD: I think flirtatious is a good word to use! Early on I wasn't aware of some objectification I may have drawn in my work but I definitely like to have a bit of that flirtatious tension, even in the machines I depict.
We never see two characters from separate properties meet each other in your work, is that rule.
CD: HA! If there was a good concept for this I'd consider it. Mashups can go wrong real fast!
You did do a lot and I mean a whole lot for the Star Wars Celebration, did you have freedom with that or were you thinking like the Rebel Alliance; I'll put damn Ewoks all over my art!
CD: I had a fair amour of freedom for sure. There were character changes but very minor, for example We swapped a Boba Fett for a Stormtrooper
Are you involved in anyway with Moonbeam City coming to Comedy Central, the show looks very much like Patrick Nagel's work as well.
CD: Don't actually know about Moonbeam!
CD: Hero Complex Gallery is family. I really mean it. Adam and Soua both who run it. And Adam has been instrumental as a creative collaborator. We spawn ideas all the time.Any other talents than being an artist, do you have or have ever had a pop synth band?
CD: YES and yes. I'm a huge synth nerd. I grew up outside of Detroit and watched the electronic music scene prosper. I've been collecting synths since the 80's. A couple years ago I finally acquired an Arp 2600, the synth responsible for R2-D2's sound, created by the great Ben Burtt.Did anyone in art school say, "Hey, your work belongs back in the 80's." Now they have a shitty job and you come by and hold up money at their window at graphic design at some nameless company. Or did you make friends at art school?
CD: Luckily no haters from art school! (least that I know of). There's 80's in my work but hopefully just the good stuff. I'm always trying to evolve it. Pre- internet times rule.
Meet Mr. Drake in person and try and get him to play some synth with you at his solo show this Friday.
Craig Drake Solo II
Opening Reception, Friday, May 22nd 7-10pm
Hero Complex Gallery
2020 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90034