Eddie Apollo's illustrations have a retro attraction
Eddie Apollo's stunning animation for Collette Cooper's Lost Soul music video has such a confident style you would never guess it's Apollo's second animated work since teaching himself the craft last December.
The video is being made by actor and director Sadie Frost, who discovered Apollo's work after making his first animated promo for Outer Stella Overdrive's Camel Blue (with Frost's son Raff Law as singer and guitarist). The Camel Blue promo features a pop-art vibe and stylized images of iconic London icons like the Underground Roundel and a red double-decker bus, as well as animated versions of the band members and the iconic Camel cigarette logo.
Although animation has paid him attention, Apollo names illustration as his main occupation and became interested in drawing from a young age when he created his own comics, characters, and album covers. It took a leap of faith and learning to animate to direct the Outer Stella Overdrive video, but Apollo successfully created a trippy stoner vibe that goes well with the edgy urban sound of the band.
For Lost Soul, Apollo created an apocalyptic cityscape with burned out cars, burning fires and dark characters. As the video progresses, it becomes less dystopian and more dreamlike, depicting Cooper as an enlightened deity who flies down from heaven to kiss Frost, who throws himself into a cameo role as a naughty angel.
"At the end of the video, when she comes out of the apocalyptic world, she moves into the Age of Aquarius, a world of positivity and enlightenment," says Frost of the plot of the video. “I wrote myself a little cameo in which I come down from heaven as an angel. Collette's finale is her character who transforms into a cat. We all have these different journeys and we transcend all of them. We have all lived in times of despair and darkness – what I wanted to convey is that we all have hope. "
"It was great working with Sadie on this video," says Apollo. “She had a lot of great ideas for the plot, which made it exciting to come up with images that fit her vision. We went back and forth on a few rough storyboards and designs that evolved a lot from the first cut to the last. "
Illustrations by Apollo
Apollo cites legendary manga artist Hayao Miyazaki, who founded Studio Ghibli, as an early influence on his work, and some of his surreal imagery in Camel Blue and Lost Soul can be traced back to Terry Gilliam's iconic cut-out animation for Monty Python's Flying Circus .
But perhaps a more obvious inspiration is Jamie Hewlett, whose unique cartoon-style Apollo was discovered when he bought his first album Demon Days from Gorillaz in 2005. “The idea of a legitimate cartoon band blew my mind and definitely influenced my interest in character creation,” he says. “I was also heavily influenced by anime, especially the works of Satoshi Kon and Hayao Miyazaki, and classics like Akira and Ghost in the Shell. My dream would be to be a storyteller like her one day. "
His most recent collaboration with Frost is an animated clip for their new yoga company Yin & Tonic, in which versions of Frost and her business partner Frances Ruffelle play Sufi roles, accompanied by a seven-minute meditative yoga track titled Sunset.
"Sadie wanted an animated loop of a yoga movement called Sufi Rolls, a slow body roll against the backdrop of a surreal sunset that slowly changes colors," says Apollo. "The feeling she wanted was a very peaceful and psychedelic animation loop that went with the song she gave me as background music."
Illustration of Apollo that he animated to sell as an NFT
The pandemic and the resulting bans didn't stop Eddie from making music. In addition to animating the music videos for Outer Stellar Overdrive and Collette Cooper, he founded a creative collective with a group of long-time friends – Prtyonpolaris. He even found time to dive into the brave new world of NFTs and create an animated illustration by hip-hop artists Tyler the Creator and A $ AP Rocky that was sold on the Foundation's marketplace.
“The piece I made was an animated loop of an illustration I made,” he explains. "To do this, I had to import all of the layers into Blender (a free, open source animation program) and use them as a puppet so the characters in the drawing could move as the camera moved through the image as if it were a 3D scene . "
If he can achieve so much during a global pandemic, I can't wait to see what he does after the lockdown.