Para Siempre – Lea Heinrich
noviembre 1, 2016
#29. PARA SIEMPRE / ETERNALLY. Six dreams by Dorett. Illustrated by Lea Heinrich.
Edited by elmonstruodecoloresnotieneboca.
INTERVIEW WITH LEA HEINRICH
(Interview by Roger Omar. September 2016)
-Hi Lea! Do you remember any recent dream that connects you with your childhood?
Just a couple of nights ago I dreamed that the conservative German
village that I grew up in had turned into a desert dry ghost town,
destroyed by time and possibly wars. Me and my two younger brothers
were little kids again, exploring the new wild shape everything had
taken on. Despite the apocalyptic scenery we were excited and in high
spirits. We found vagabonds living in the ruins. Turtles were crawling
in the streets. There was a party. Nothing was the way it used to be.
-What makes you still feel like a child?
Drawing to the sound of music, laughing really hard, lifting a rock
and checking out the world of spiders and larvae who live in the dark,
dancing silly, eating what my mom cooks.
-I´ve seen a couple of your own dreams drawn (in your comic “Who are you?” and in dorettandlea.tumblr.com). Do you remember your dreams easily? Do you write or draw or use or think about your dreams regularly?
Yes, I often remember them vividly. At times I can´t believe the craziness my subconsciousness is brewing up but other times my dreams are really eye-opening scenarios. I drew the short comic “Who are you?” in a transitionary period of my life. I had finished my studies, traveled the US East Coast for a while and found myself washed up in the streets of New York City, not sure where to go and what to do next. At night I would continuously dream about hands and fingers. I would lose mine, or see somebody with some additional fingers. I started to google possible meanings of these dreams and found it quite interesting. When later a giant duck showed up in my dreamworld to return my lost fingers to me I felt that the time of wandering was about to come to an end. But it was a rather rare thing for me to draw a comic about it.
-You were living in Brooklyn at the time you illustrated the dream leporello “Para Siempre/ Eternally”. Was Brooklyn an inspiration for drawing or a distraction (too much to see)?
I am generally inspired by the people and places that surround me. I love to observe what people do and say, what they wear and how they live. Brooklyn is perfect for being so multisided and diverse. For me there is no such place with too much to see.
-Dorett (the girl who wrote the dreams) is from Ecuador. You found an ecuadorian devil mask (in the process blog there´s a photo where you appear wearing it) and took it as inspiration for one of the illustrated dreams, an image that you placed in the center of the leporello. What´s the story of this mask, and how close is the mask´s design with your own designs?
At first, after reading Dorett´s dreams, I was uncertain where to find the connection between this young girl from Ecuador who was now living in Spain and my German self who had just moved back to the US of A. With such different cultural backgrounds how could my drawings come up close to her imaginary world, a place so special and personal? The Ecuadorian devil mask was the inspirational key that I needed! Those knitted, multicolored balaclavas make creatures that could easily appear in my comics. I felt a link between my illustration style and this kind of Ecuadorian folk art. At a rooftop party I showed pictures of the masks to my friend Bowe who is a fashion designer. “Oh nice!” he said “I have one of these at home!”. He certainly owns the biggest vintage clothing and costume collection I have ever seen but still: what a great coincident! I borrowed it and wore it a few times with friends. I really hope we´re not all doomed now.
-You said that your studio in Brooklyn was placed in a quarter full of latin-americans. Has this added some taste for illustrating the dreams of an ecuadorian girl?
Definitely! Latin music sounding through the hot summer nights, open church doors where Bingo games in Spanish are hosted, bodegas with Piñatas hanging from the ceiling – the perfect background noise for illustrating “Para Siempre”. One day I was walking through Ridgewood, Queens, realizing that I was passing through an Ecuadorian community. I took the chance to try Llapingachos with fried egg, avocado and salad, a typical dish from a small Ecuadorian restaurant and it was delicious! I loved this about the leporello project, that it made me explore the community I was living in with even more awareness.
-Some of Dorett´s dreams seem to be religious-inspired: god announcing the world will be destroyed, the devil sending Dorett back to earth, a small bird warning Dorrett not to eat the tree´s fruits… Were you aware of this sense of religiosity while planning the leporello or there was something else that attracted your attention?
To be honest the religious elements were a bit of an obstacle for me in the beginning. Memories of old, dusty bible illustrations came into my mind at first. And it could also be a sensitive subject I thought. All just another reason why finding the Ecuadorian devil mask was such a relief. It gave me freedom and from there on I had fun with peanut shaped angels and a dreamer that explodes after eating the forbidden
-While planning the leporello, how did you want it to look (to be
read) on paper? Was it clear on your mind? Did it change during the
From the beginning on I wanted the leporello to be read like a comic.
Since all the dreams are narratives it seemed appropriate. I made some
backgrounds continue behind the panel separations to connect the
stories into one big image and to create a flow for the eye to follow.
-You chose a purple pantone. Which purple things surround you right
now? What feelings do you relate to this color?
I can´t see anything purple here. But the garden has some flowers that
will flash in deep purple when the sun is up tomorrow morning. I like
the colors ambivalence. Red and blue, warm and cold, good and bad.
Like anything could happen in a purple dream sequence.
-In the cover of “Para Siempre” the dreamer appears sleeping gently
while being surrounded by sharks. Place yourself in this dream: Is
there anything that protects you that others may fear?
That´s an interesting question! I have been traveling alone quite
often in my life and always felt safe enough in the world to continue
going to faraway places. Maybe there were sharks around me sometimes
while I was confident just like the sleeping dreamer and nothing bad
ever happened to me either.