Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Craig Drake Solo III Interview

Craig Drake furthest on right

Craig Drake's work has adorned the Hero Complex Gallery twice before in his own solo shows and will again starting this Saturday for a third time. His work has found its way all over the net and on your phones with a very iconic, very 80's style  that makes whatever character he chooses stand out. Craig took some time over the Labor Day weekend to answer the following questions as he finished up the last minute touches to his latest show.
TTDILA: Drake, how often do you have jokes about your name like, "Hey Drake, where's Josh?,"  or "Oh, look it's Sir Francis Drake over here!" Often? 

Craig Drake: I haven't gotten those, but often get Drake the hip hop artist jokes but my favorite is the Seinfeld reference, being called "The Drake" 

Loved the Batmobile piece you did for Mondo, did you by chance study it at the Peterson Auto Museum up close. From what I recall they just took off a jet engine and attached it to a car. Are you even LA based?

Dang it. I didn't even know the 89 Batmobile was there... I would have flown down from SF just to go study it in person. Growing up outside of Detroit, car shows were part of life. Autorama was the big one. They had many Hollywood cars including the 66 Batmobile and Mark Hamill's Corvette from Corvette summer. (So yeah that was the 70's)

Going into capturing the characters or vehicles you present to us, what is your process of studying them. An online search, sitting down with some popcorn and enjoying the film? 

All of the above! The best is drawing right from film. It's the most accurate and enjoyable. I've even looked at 3D models however, those tend to be inaccurate for final reference but great for sketching and blocking composition. 

Is there any of your work of your friends or family in your style? Any special pieces you've been commissioned to do for a private collector. Like someone's family above the mantle of their fireplace? 

Only ones I made for my mom back in the 80's. A pen and ink drawing of a Moose. She loves them. 

Last interview we talked about your love of synth music are you listening to it while doing your work? Have you done some cover art for music albums? 

I listen to records almost exclusively. Soundtracks of all variety, but synth soundtracks are my tops. Here are the main ones I listened to for solo III:

Clockwork Orange
The Knick
Terminator 1
Ghost in the Shell 2
John Carpenter's Lost Themes
Revenge of the Ninja
Shogun Assassin 

Of your previous solo shows, what was one of your favorite pieces and why?

I keep going back to Buffy as a composition that's satisfying and inspirational. Her likeness came out pretty ok too. 
Delorean is my other one I love. But it's more that I love it's design. I'm an 80s kid all the way. 

To me, your art can be very touching and remind me of why I love a film, because that character is now stuck in my memory, they're part of my history and I'll remember them. Other than a great sense of nostalgia what do you hope people get from your art?

Aw, thanks for saying so!
I tend to do singular minimal portraits. When you love a character or even vehicle, you want it all to yourself. Imagine walking into a large empty room  with no decorations, no distractions except the thing you love. Only you and Buffy... Only you and the Delorean all to yourself. That's the feeling I want to capture in many of my pieces. The world is too visually noisy.

Craig Drake Solo III
Opening Reception, Sat, Sept 10
Exhibtion starts at 8pm
Hero Complex Gallery
2020 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90034

One of the co-owners of the gallery has told me that their mixing it up for Craig's third show, so it's not just the same sort of exhibition you usually get from around town. The Craig Drake Lounge is suppose to change up the experience and make it more of an evening out then just a quick stuffy get together to see new work.