Ask an Artist- Is there life outside of Star Wars and Comics?

Today’s Question comes from Lesley Farquhar in California, She asks,

“Outside of Star Wars and comics, are there other areas of pop culture that inspire you and what are they? What new direction would you take your work in if you had a lot of extra time?”

Thank you for asking this question Lesley. I do so much Star Wars and Comics art that very few people know that I have several OTHER interest. One of the hardest things about being a professional  artist is you  you have to find a market where you can sell your art and where people are buying. If your lucky, like I have been, you find a market that you also love. I was lucky to find a market in Star Wars, and it has been great! But, as the old saying goes, “Man cannot live on Meat and potatoes alone”. This is so true with art. Doing just one thing all the time  gets REALLY boring after a while and you long to create something different. But as I was saying, when your career depends on a market you have found, you have to make an extra effort to find time to explore other interests.

Martian Attack

A reprint of my Martian Illustration from my book “Creature Features, draw amazing monsters and aliens”

Pop Culture in General is a great interest of mine, the psychology  behind the fan following  pop culture is fascinating to me and there is a little of that in every piece of art I do. I think to be able to connect to fans in the pop culture, with your art, you have to understand pop culture. I really like to study and get to know all the different area of pop culture, even if I don’t personally get involved with any given specific pop culture genre.
But, Personally, for my own tastes I do have an interest in a few pop culture areas. Of Course Star Wars and Comics, but I also like Tron, Indiana Jones, Classic Transformers, Classic He-man, and Alien (UFOs).

But I have to say, if there is one thing I get excited about at conventions is really good art based on the Classic movie Monsters. Godzilla, The Wolfman, Frankenstein, Creature Form the Black Lagoon, even the really bad B movie monsters. I’ve just ALWAYS liked those old films and creatures. Perhaps it’s because they really were able to do a lot with limited resources and  creativity. Furthermore, since a lot of the old make up and effects don’t look real, they really had to sell it as being real through the acting, lighting and music. Now days, you can fix everything in post, but back then, you HAD to get it right when you shot it. Something about that made everyone involved really commit to every scene they shot so the audience would just be so into the movie that they look past the obvious rubber snout or plastic fangs.

New direction? Wow, that is something I could go on for days answering. I wouldn’t ever stop doing what I do now (Star Wars, Comics), but I would really like to also do art inspired by my other interests that I am REALLY geeky about.  Rock and Roll and Basketball.
If there is anything I geek out over more than Pop Culture its Rock n Roll and Basketball.  I have such a passion for these things.

I have always loved Basketball. While I was an aspiring artist in school I was a star basketball player in High school, and went on to play College basketball at Cal Lutheran University. I know it seems like a contradiction, but while I was a JOCK I was also a Comic Book and Star Wars GEEK. While I was passionately working on my post moves for basketball I was dreaming of one day making art for Star Wars. Socially, it was a little awkward being around a lot of the other A typical Jocks because I was so comfortable being into geeky things. But I had an advantage, I was a one of the better athletes and I was bigger than everyone, so it was rare that anyone really ever teased me.   A little something VERY few people know about me is when I was in High School, I was a bit of a superhero to the other geeks on campus(at least I like to think I was). While many jocks would use there size and strength to pick on or bully the geeks, I used my size and prowess to protect those getting picked on for being different. No one ever wanted to mess with me, so bullies would usually back off of the geeky kids when I was around. By the time I was a Senior, I was the captain of the Basketball team and just about every one of my teammates were open and comfortable with being into geeky things. Instead of going to the keggers after the games, most of us would go to someones house and watch the Star Wars Trilogy or Indiana Jones all night. So for me, being a Geek and being an Athlete has always been my thing, and that is why I sometimes where my sports gear to comic book conventions.My Lakers Jersey, IS my Geek wear:)
Rock and Roll has always been a passion of mine too. I mean, I just can’t imagine life with out music, and I couldn’t live with out rock n roll. It’s living art and I can’t ever get enough! I play Guitar and sing, and I love rockin’ out when ever I get the chance. I just love it!In fact, if I was able to anything else other than being an artist it would to be a professional musician.
If I had the time, I would probably expand my art portfolio and include these genres. In the mean time I sometimes try to mash up my favorite pop culture things with my passion for Music and Sports:)

Sith Rocks

Sith Rocks was my limited edition print for both Star Wars Celebration IV and Europe. I used it for both shows as I was also illustrating the CVI Key art, as well as the Celebration Europe key art. This is one of my favorite pieces.