Art Focus: A very Vader Christmas

Late 2012, Lucasfilm LTD tapped me to create 12 brand new paintings for the official Star Wars Style Guide. The style Guide is a data base that all officially licensed Star Wars merchandisers can choose art or photo graphs to use for their products like T-SHirts, Greeting Cards, Wrapping Paper… really anything. Potentially all of these official Holidays illustrations can be all over the place for Halloween and Christmas 2013 and beyond! Pretty Cool huh?

Today’s Art Focus is on my Illustration called “A very Vader Christmas”.

Okay, this is my favorite of the all the Star Wars Illustrations I created. I really wanted to create at least one piece that was different than the rest and could be rememberable over the years. It’s no accident that many of my best ideas are inspired by music. I’m also a musician so a lot of my ideas inspired by ideas I’ve gathered from classic music albums or concert posters. One thing I know has never been created for Star Wars was a Star wars Christmas Album. Well, there was that 45 record  called “What do you get a Wookie For Christmas (when he already owns a comb)”. And actually I thought of illustrating that, but I don’t think many people would get the reference. Also, I honestly didn’t think it was that funny, but I liked the idea of a classic christmas album theme. So I googled “Christmas Albums” and looked at covers going back to Nat Kiing Cole, and as recent as Twisted Sisters Christmas Album. There has been A LOT of christmas albums, so I simply wanted to note what the common themes were, what was used most often. It didn;t take very long to start imagining the scene. The Roaring fire, the christmas tree and all the christmas decorations. But who to feature? I first thought Yoda, but Ralph McQuarrie had already done a famous Christmas Yoda years before, so i didn;t want to go there. Again, Chewbacca came up, Boba Fett, and even Jabba. But I thought you know, if your gonna say “Star Wars” all over the world you gotta do a christmas scene with Vader, which is a really funny mash up to begin with. But that wasn’t enough. I really had to knock this out of the park and make it funny, and charming at the same time. So I really paid attention to the CROONER ALbums, which always feature the singer in some huge CHristmas sweater or turtle neck, sitting in some cheesy, overly cool pose. It was starting to become clear. Finally, I came across a few Harry Connick Jr. Christmas Album covers and there was piano, and I thought… That’s it!  Now thatI had the concept, I did a quick rough, but Lucasfilm was not quite understanding what I was trying to do, so I fleshed out the sketch more and they got it! I was so happy becase I knew this was the one! This one would really be memorable!

Once the concept was down, we started adding the details and there are plenty in this piece. The Christmas tree is filled with Star Wars Orniments, hard to see at this size (sorry this is as big as I’m allowed to post). The Stalings on the fire place are for Han, Leia and Luke. Also on the fire place is a framed image of teh classic christmas Yoda by artist Ralph McQuarrie. The Yoda image is a nod to the great Star Wars artist. As it so happened, Ralph McQuarrie passed away while I was painting this piece, so I felt it was only right to pay homage to him. The bust on the mantle is of the Emperor, and the sheet music on the Piano is the Star Wars Theme.

I would love to see this iece used as a Real Star wars Christmas Album… how cool would that be?

A very Vader Christmas

20 X 15 Acrylic on Illustration Board.
Available for purchase (Please contact me for pricing by using the form below)

Official Star Wars Holiday Art ©LucasfilmLTD

Official Star Wars Holiday Art ©LucasfilmLTD