Andrew De Lange is a graphic designer and animator. He is currently employed by Titmouse Inc. He is designing the upcoming cover for Sinical #6. Here is his interview from Sinical issue #1.
Andrew De Lange: visionary, genius, madman, artist. All these words could be used to describe what at the surface seems to be your typical Glendale, CA resident. Andrew would probably disagree with being labeled an artist though. As we probe the depth of his work, we attempt to decipher what drives his creativity and forms the foundation of all his myriads of artistic creations.
I first met Andrew about five or more years ago in the Los Angeles area through a former mutual friend who shall not be named. I, at the time, worked for a large independent record label. He lived at home and played keyboards for a metal band that did the Hollywood circuit. Through the love of cigarettes, pot, alcohol, and music, we quickly bonded. I realized soon after that there was more to Andrew than just what lay at the surface.
Andrew is a cool guy at heart, but the kind of guy you almost want to hate because he has a natural talent for all things art. I hate those kinds of people. His work never seems to be rushed or forced. It always flows naturally like it comes directly from this vast pool of collective artistic consciousness. After speaking with him in depth you realize that, that is, essentially how Andrew works.
I feel privileged that I have known him long enough to see his talents blossom. Since I’ve known him he has animated and done backgrounds for Mr. Sprinkles shorts for Acceptable TV on VH1, as well as work on the Sarah Silverman show and shorts for Brian Posehn. More recently he’s done backgrounds for the Ricky Gervais show. All the while he has scored numerous web shorts and continued to focus on what seems to be his ultimate devotion, his band Greenwich.
I haven’t had the chance to visit with him lately due to both of our hectic schedules (sorry Andrew), but I did get him to slow down enough after moving into his new kitsch home dubbed “Project Silver Lake” to talk about some of his art and music over the phone.
Jack Mallein: Not everybody knows this about you, aside from me, but… you are an active musician, artist, animator, graphic designer, and all around cool dude.
Andrew De Lange: Yeah, that’s true.
JM: What spawned your interest in the arts?
ADL: I could just draw. That’s all. Honestly, the only reason I ever got into art is because when I was a little kid I could draw. In elementary school, people would ask me to draw pictures and then they would trade me shit for them. It would be Sonic the Hedgehog or something like that and they would trade me baseball cards or especially Marvel cards. (laughs)
JM: Marvel cards are the shit!
ADL: Then from there, I just drew. That’s it. I played a bunch of video games also. So I’d draw Donkey Kong. There was no defining moment when I said, “Hey I’m going to be an artist.” I don’t even know if I should say this, but I don’t even consider myself an artist. Not like a “real artist.” Not something that I can do really well for money. I really consider myself as more of a musician. When I’m painting or something like that, what I’m really doing is experimenting with process.
JM: Right on. So what influences all of your creations… besides drugs. (jokingly)
ADL: Damn, I was about to say drugs! (laughs) I like depth and perspective… and monsters. I just think, “That looks cool.”
JM: Are there any books, music, or drugs that you particularly fancy that influence your work?
ADL: You mean in terms of music?
JM: Just as a whole?
ADL: I just have to make something all the time. If I’m not creating something I just feel like I’m fucking useless. I can’t really give you a specific person or event. I just try to tailor my life to my art as opposed to my life affecting me in certain ways so I express myself in certain ways. My life is usually controlled so my art is very much a controlled extension of me. You know, I don’t really know. I just get into these weird drone-like states. It could be something I’m listening to or it could be whatever, but shit just comes out. I really wish I could give you a specific answer.
JM: I still think you gave a good answer. What basically drives you is a compulsion to create.
ADL: Yeah. It’s just a constant urge to make shit. That’s why I’m involved in so much shit. I’m just trying to make something cool. You know? The shitty part is that I noticed in a lot of my art, that I’m not specific. I don’t stick to a specific genre or a specific medium, because of that I never got really good at one thing. The only thing I’ve really worked on is piano. I started when I was seven. I’m twenty-six. So that’s nineteen years. So that’s the one thing I was classically trained in. I had many teachers. Now I play in a band and that’s my base. We play a lot of weird rhythms, it’s really jazzy. It’s pushing both me and my drummer. I could say that I’m pretty good at piano. I’m still not a virtuoso. I don’t sit and learn Rachmaninov pieces. I don’t have any pieces memorized, nothing classical. There’s nothing jazz, nothing. Everything that I can play is my own shit, except movie themes. Movie themes or any song that I know in my head I can figure out. I guess my ear is developed in that sense. In terms of art, I won’t create a painting, but try a process out. I don’t take the steps in being mentored or learning that many people do. At my job, most people go to Calarts. People ask me what school did you go to and I say, “I just fucking drew.” I think people can see it in my art. You can see that I kind of created my own discipline. In certain ways it works and in some ways it doesn’t, especially when it comes to the industry. I’m still getting by. I think I’m still doing really cool shit. People tell me though, “Well if you went to Calarts, you’d probably draw that line a little differently.” Or “You would have composed this shot a little differently.” I don’t even know what the question was. Are we still on influences?
JM: I think we’re way past that.
ADL: That’s good.
Check out Andrew’s early works of animation on newgrounds.com, in particular, “The Bahhhhble P.2” and “The Bahhhhble P.3 Preview.” This work secured his first industry job working on Acceptable TV. Remarkable, considering these animated shorts were composed in his late teens. You can also preview some of Andrew’s scoring abilities in webshorts like “Eat My Shit” on youtube or Sarah Silverman’s animated shorts on comedycentral.com. Currently Andrew does backgrounds for Six Point Harness out of Los Angeles.
JM: What’s your favorite drug / album combination?
ADL: I would definitely say the next time you trip, listen to King Crimson – Level 5… on repeat… the whole trip. Might have to give that a try.