One of my favorite artists talked to Dan Brooks at StarWars.com about creating the artwork and badges for Celebration Anaheim. He discusses the process from concept to the beautiful final poster artwork (right). From the interview:
“I initially was given quite a bit of freedom to tackle a theme,” Drake says of the early process, “and that’s how I came up with the first version, featuring Boba [Fett], Vader, and the stormtrooper.” His inspiration came not from a specific love of the bad guys, though. It was borne more out of the spirit of Star Wars Celebration. “I really thought of it from the fan perspective,” he says. “You know, at those events, people dress up. Especially the 501st Legion, with everyone crafting their costumes. It seems to be the stormtroopers, Boba Fetts, and Vaders are the heavy focus in terms of costumes. Those are just iconic, wonderful shapes to actually illustrate. And I think through that process, we quickly decided, these are neat looking, but we actually wanted to include human faces and build it out like a traditional movie poster with a variety of characters.”
It was great to see Drake inspired by the fans, but what struck me about his fandom version (below) was that it included no characters cosplayed by women despite the fact cosplay is a fan activity associated usually with women. In all the discussion recently about women being part of fandom all along, and many wondering how that demographic wasn’t recognized by the franchise, even things like an artist’s first inclinations stand out to me.
That’s something, in the future, I hope to see change from the mindset of creators. Obviously, Leia made it onto the final poster, but too often the starting point creatively for stories, art, and merchandise lacks a gender balance that truly reflects Star Wars’ fanbase.
In addition to Craig Drake, numerous talented artists will be selling their Celebration exclusive pieces during the Art Show. The names of the artists are available at the Star Wars Celebration site. If you aren’t already, time to start planning for Anaheim.
Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She is one of four authors on the upcoming Ultimate Star Wars from DK Publishing, has written several feature pieces for Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and RebelForce Radio Presents Fangirls Going Rogue.
Tricia Barr’s novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library’s successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena’s Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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