Andrew Jeffery Wright
Some of us at Oaf HQ are codgers and have fond memories of the 90’s Wrestling scene and all of its exuberant characters and costumes. It was a unique time when a man in glitter fringing, wet-look curls and sequin sunglasses was the epitome of masculinity, this is also before RuPaul’s Drag Race. This wrestling scene, in a very shallow sense, has proven to be a creative resource for us at oaf HQ for many a collection and we get to celebrate it once again with artist Andrew Jeffery Wright. Check out how Andrew’s interpretation of our wrestling inspiration evolved and became one of our favourite products from the Lazywood collection.
Hey Andrew, how are you doing?
Hi. I’m doing pretty good. Thanks for asking. How are you doing?
Toad & Stomp are a firm favourite of our Lazywood collection, how did you start to generate your ideas & characters for this theme?
Oh brother. Well, I drew from the desire I’ve had ever since I was a little kid to have a bod like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. I never was able to transform myself into one of those shapes, but for years I have enjoyed drawing muscled-up bodies. So, I just went into my head, not my mirror and not my computer, and started sketching.
We get strong arcade game vibes from your Lazywood characters...did you have any favourite games growing up?
I was a freak for video games as a kid. Some of my favourites were Ms. Pac-Man, Q-Bert, Dragon’s Lair, Star Wars (vector graphics arcade game), Dig Dug and Centipede.
"Accidental thoughts are what drive my creativity"
What are the key themes you find yourself coming back to over & over again in your work?
Aliens, dogs, cats, commentary on the art world and on corporations, color waves, muscles.
Where are your favourite places to go for inspiration?
Physical places don’t necessarily inspire me. Accidental thoughts are what drives my creativity. They come when they want no matter my location.
Humour is a big part of our brand and in your own work. How important is using humour in your art?
Humour is very important to my art. I even feel my abstract wave images have a similar energy to my representational sight gags and short narratives. When thoughts come to me and I feel a drive to make them into something, it’s almost exclusively funny ideas that drive me to create.
What three words would you use to describe your art / illustration style?
Wabi-sabi, funny, vibrations.
Labs with Abs...amazing! What was the inspo behind this?
Thank you! Some years ago I was in a bookstore and it was calendar season. I was looking at the variety of calendars and I noticed there was a large selection of dog calendars and labrador retrievers made up most of them. I also noticed there was a large selection of hot dudes with tight abs calendars, and it struck me, if I combine the two most popular calendar concepts into one calendar it’ll be the most popular calendar there is! So I started making Labs With Abs calendars and about 200 people a year buy them.
Can you sum up your lockdown experience so far in three words?
Gained ten pounds.
Any key things that have helped keep you sane through lockdown?
I met a super nice, sweet person 3 ½ months before lockdown and being around her has made life a lot of fun. She plays drums in the band Long Hots. I like their music a lot! If you feel like it, give it a peep: longhots.bandcamp.com/music I also work part-time as an Art Coach for adults with disabilities and it's considered essential work, so I have been working all through lockdown, mainly through computer zooms and assisting them with their Instagrams. Here are three artists I work with I think Lazy Oaf fans will enjoy:
Anthony Coleman, Bayaht Ham and Woodley White
So being around a great person and assisting other artists has kept me positive through it all.
We’d love to know what a day in your life looks like, can you take us through your current day-to-day?
Wake up at 9:00 am.
Go on the computer and set up a zoom meeting with an artist.
Grab some morning snacks and a seltzer water.
Art Coach for several hours from my bed office.
Eat something that slightly resembles a lunch.
Drive my car to a mural location.
Paint alone for several hours while listening to talk shows on YouTube. Why are we pretending they should be called podcasts still? How many of us have downloaded one onto our iPods recently?
Anyway, after painting, head to my girlfriend’s house and have dinner while watching Peep Show or Glow Up or Pose or Schitt’s Creek. Then chill listening to records, and talk and sketch out a comic idea.
Maybe take a shower?
Go to sleep at 12:00 am after spending a day where I may have only been in contact with 5 people.