Congrats to Allen Mudgett. His design Alien Soul Food took grand prize in The Flaming Lips design challenge. Get to know Allen a little better with this interview then check out all 6 designs that were printed from the challenge.
Hey Allen! Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? My name is Allen Mudgett, my nickname is Mudge and I am from Townsend, Massachusetts. Cut the state in half and I would be living on the most northern end of the centerline—bordering New Hampshire. I am a father of two beautiful daughters, who are now in their twenties. I love playing sand volleyball and disc golfing. I am addicted to keeping very busy as I've been doing freelance illustration since the late '80s for t-shirt and novelty companies. I've also done a fair amount of editorial artwork for newspapers and magazines at a time when they were once popular and still in existence;-) I've also done a ton of art for designs featured at some of those P.O.D. sites. Recently, I determined that I had fallen into a rut and wanted to challenge myself and get back into creating designs and illustrations with purpose. Threadless was my answer. The site constantly has so many really cool challenges of all types running simultaneously. I also love deadlines—keeps my adrenaline pumping and keeps me focused. Anyway, I decided about four months ago to drop everything that I was doing and immerse myself into Threadless for six months to see if it goes anywhere. There is definitely a learning curve here, and the talent that comprises this community is abundant and so diverse. I'm so glad that I took the risk. I wake up excited to get to the drawing board every day. Wish I knew about Threadless sooner. Are you a Flaming Lips fan? Have a favorite song? I am a Flaming Lips fan and I have to say that I really fell in love with their new album The Terror. I could almost pick any one of those songs as my favorite. The Lips have been around for decades and during those years they have experimented with new sounds and innovative ways to express themselves. Some of my faves through the years have been "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song," "Do You Realize?" and actually "Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die" from their latest release. Currently, my latest favorite Lips song to listen to is "The Golden Path." This song is actually an upbeat sounding single from a Chemical Brothers album from about a decade ago. Wayne is lead vocals of course. Pre-sale orders of your design benefited victims of the recent Oklahoma tornado. How does that feel? It feels great! I understand that Wayne Coyne grew up in Oklahoma, so I know how important this cause must be to him. It certainly is an honor that my artwork was chosen along with a few other great designs to be included in their humanitarian efforts. What inspired your design? I had the opportunity to listen to The Flaming Lips' entire catalog on Spotify while I worked on churning out four submissions for this challenge. I listened to the Lips over and over again. It was the music of The Flaming Lips new album The Terror that really inspired me on this particular design though. The Terror certainly seems very dark—leaving not too much room for an optimistic outcome for our existence. The Terror's message to me seems to be that we are all here struggling and enduring, just barely existing as there seems to be a lot of suffering going on out there in the world. Fortunately, we can still manage to make a genuine connection with others—all we need to do is to genuinely love and to allow ourselves to be loved. Find this love and one can make it another day. I chose the theme of Love = Nourishment in an alien world. Featured here is an alien enjoying the experience of playing music on a barren planet somewhere out there in the universe. The alien plays (Wayne Coyne's) double neck guitar to these nests of girafflings, which require this intimate bonding session as they are nourished with rays of love emanating from the alien's antennae. I know it's weird, but this was a Flaming Lips challenge after all :) I originally thought of nests of baby birds waiting for momma bird to provide their sustenance. They seem so needy—that they would perish without mother bird's care. Converting the birds to giraffe-like creatures was inspired by the Lips song "This Here Giraffe." I really love giraffes anyway. These are some sketches that preceded Alien Soul Food, which was my 4th effort for the Lips challenge. I grabbed elements from two of my other previous Lips subs to create this final design. One design led to the idea for the next and so on and so on. Started with caricature of Wayne playing double neck guitar with alien giraffe boa for my first sub. That led to my creation of the nesting girafflings on an alien planet for my next one. Used those elements in my final piece:) Part of the prizing is tickets to a Flaming Lips show. Will you be able to go? Are you excited? Can't wait. I am really looking forward to seeing the show. The Lips website has it that the band will be performing in the Boston area late September. Once that is confirmed, I am so there. I've never seen a Flaming Lips show and from what I hear it is an experience worthy of being on every fan's bucket list.
Congrats, Allen! Check out all the designs printed from this challenge.