We met Lucy the Confused Girl through Vice Magazine. Focusing on the trials and tribulations of a young, absent-minded and care-free girl named Lucy, this weekly comic series garnered attention both with its story and drawing style. Though Lucy, the series’ protagonist, has an unusual gang (a tiger and an alien), her daily experiences seem too familiar. We chatted with Akvile Magicdust, the young and talented name behind this amazing series that witness the adventures of this trio who live in a trailer.
Could you please tell me more about yourself? How did you start drawing?
I’m an illustrator and comics artist based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Besides drawing every day, I skate, daydream and try to live a life outside of my studio as much as I can. I like glitters and the color pink, and I appreciate sunshine a lot.
I started drawing when I was a child, I think like everyone. The only difference is that I didn’t stop when I grew up, and now it’s a real job for me. I am super happy for this every day.
Have you always been thinking about doing your own zine?
I did my first zine with friends when I was 17 years old I guess; it was the most natural thing to do because I was hanging out with creative people – someone was taking pictures, someone writing, some drawing. For that zine, I interviewed a street artist from North America called Other (a.k.a. Troy Lovegates). He was a big inspiration at that moment, so I found out that doing creative stuff with friends is just a different kind of conversation, connection.
How did you come up with the idea of Lucy The Confused Girl and what was the character building process like? And how did you start working with Vice?
I broke my leg skateboarding and had a lot of time to draw and dream so I just sent some comics to Vice art editor Nick Gazin, and he liked them. It was a pretty hard time for me. I was sitting at home a few months just obsessively drawing but the Vice thing really cheered me up.
I had been carrying the stories in my mind for some time already but when I got asked to make a weekly Vice comic I had to think who would be living in these stories. Lucy is just a spaced-out girl, and I often identify with her. But it’s definitely not an autobiographical comic. Some things that happened to Lucy have never happened to me. I wanted to have a queer character, so I thought that alien could be a genderless friend of Lucy. I also thought that it would be nice to have someone seeing the things we do in this earth from a really objective and distant view, though I didn’t really used this quality of his later. Tiger is a best friend. He can be a real asshole but sometimes can also give a really good advice (like my best friend).
Lucy is having daily life experiences and facing problems like all of us. Does your work have an autobiographical aspect?
Some of them yes. Others came from talking to my friends who are dealing with stuff… I guess I am just trying to catch the universal problems like bad luck with love, friends that you can’t trust, intolerance and small daily dramas.
For example, in the comic where Lucy is working as an art teacher and is encouraging children to burn the school down came out of my experience working in a summer workshop with kids. One day I realized that I am in the forest with seven kids spilling a burning liquid on the cardboard house (gunnery factory) they’ve made. They wanted to burn and bomb it – it was a pretty awkward situation, kids went wild and excited. It was fun, but I guess their parents wouldn’t be happy that all we do in the art classes is burn down the cardboard houses and film them. It’s definitely against the rules of safety.
I came up with the idea for other story “Skaters vs surfers” while going out to bar with some skaters, they were asking random girls: “Who is sexier, skaters or surfers?” It was a fun night and just that sentence inspired me to do the comic where Lucy, alien and the tiger go to the town where all the residents are zombie skaters and surfers. Tiger wants to be sexy and go with surfers forgetting his friends.
So basically, all the stories are 20% real life experiences, 60% fiction, 10% night dreams and 10% white magic.
We know how Lucy and Tiger met, but how did she meet with the Alien?
I think they met at a party, pretty casual. Lucy is a tolerant girl, so she didn’t care about his blue skin tone.
In some frames of the zine, Lucy, alien and tiger are criticizing social media. Do you agree with them?
Through my characters, I try to show different aspects. Their opinion is not always the same as mine. Sometimes I just put the words in their mouths to start a discussion or just play around.
I do like social media. I think it can empower and inspire people. But it really depends on how you use it. I just don’t follow lifestyle bloggers and people who upload too many selfies or food pictures. I am really happy to live in these times when I can see other girls skating on Instagram, chat with someone who is drawing similar stuff as I do but lives on the other side of the planet, put a zine together; or just keep updated the relationship with the people who I’ve met but live far away.
But for sure, it’s a tricky thing if you spend too much time in the Internet. That world is way more perfect than real life; it might make you feel not good enough, not beautiful enough. It covers some social needs. It’s dangerous because some people forget to really go outside and spend time with the people who are closer. Real life is super inspiring for me. Every day I spend some time skating or just hanging out with friends, you know I can take a picture of a butterfly and use it in my comics later.