Friday, August 27, 2010

Celebration V Experience Part II of III: Portfolio Review!

Man, oh man. Lots more people to thank.

Dave Filoni poses for a quick picture, while some dude looks on. Thanks, Dave!!

As mentioned last week, I got a chance to talk to Dave Filoni briefly at the TFN party, and he even posed for a picture with me! Great, humble guy. It was a real honor! He also was kind enough to answer a question of mine at a Q&A portion of a panel he hosted the next day. It was really great to get feedback from him!

But come on, this trip was initially about one thing for me: The portfolio review with Troy Alders, head art director of Lucasfilm Licensing. This is what convinced me to go in the first place, and without it, I would've never enjoyed the star treatment I was fortunate enough to receive. So, how did it go?

Really, really well! Troy really came off like the type of guy that's really interested in helping artists succeed, and it was such a pleasure listening to him. We only spent 5 - 10 minutes together (my head was spinning, I'm not actually sure how long it lasted) because his message was brief: He didn't have any criticism for my work. WHOA, WHAT?! That was unreal to hear from him!

After asking for one of my art postcards (!), Troy imparted some advice:
  • Go talk to the artists in Celebration V's Artist Alley and hear how they got their foot in the door (Which I did....continued in Part III!).
  • Get in the faces of Dark Horse, Topps Trading Cards, DK Publishing, etc. because he thought my work was professional enough to get me work!!
  • Get to Comic Con. Luckily, it's two birds with one stone, as Dark Horse and co will be there in October!!
Catching Troy after the review!

I also got a chance to meet up with Kaela Croft (a few times, actually!) and Megan Crouse, friends from DeviantArt! Kaela actually waited in line for a portfolio review too, and also got some pretty great feedback!

Meeting up with Megan & Kaela, DeviantArt friends!

Most importantly, out of everyone, I have to thank my traveling companion, my co-nerd, band's drummer, best friend & brother, Joe Sorbera. Joe's been stuck to me through thick and thin, and we've been through hell and back together. I don't want to imagine the 72 hours of Celebration V without him, and luckily I won't have to. Thanks, man. From the bottom of my heart.
Goodbye Celebration V, & may the force be with you!!

But enough of that mushy crap, here's week 7's (of 15) Women of Star Wars digital sketch card...Jaina Solo!!

Next week will be my final Celebration V post...and it'll feature the official Star Wars artists that I had the pleasure of meeting! These are the guys I'm trying to join the ranks of, so you don't want to miss next week's update!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Celebration V Experience Part I of III: TFN & Rebelscum

I I don't even know where to start.

My first ever autograph signing. Thanks to TFN!!!!

While the portfolio review was the biggest deal of the trip, I have to update this week talking endlessly about how welcome and warm the TFN and Rebelscum folks were. These people treated me like royalty in exchange for a few hours of my time to do some art for them. The concept itself is still hard for me to wrap my head around!!

First off, the Rebelscum Wed night party was AWESOME. It was a low-key gathering at Miller's Ale House, where the conversation with total strangers felt more like a reunion with long-lost family members by the end of the night. The gang was SO GREAT to talk Star Wars with, and were so kind with their words and support for my career. I really can't thank them enough! Quick shout out to Scott, Ryan, Ruark, Drew, Sarah, Greg, and Kerry for treating Joe Sorbera and me like brothers.

Last of the Rebelscummers!

But then I have to move on to the folks from These guys...blew my mind. They arranged for me to come to their booth for an autograph signing session (All 100+ art cards gone!!). They displayed my banner at their HUGE and AWESOME party. They (Matt) called me on stage to thank me in front of the whole crowd. AND, they (Dajuan) dragged me through a sea of people just to introduce me to Dave Filoni, the director of the Clone Wars. Their kindness and support had to be one of the most touching experiences I've ever had the privilege of taking part in. Can't wait to do the Celebration VI banner for them!!

Posing with Matt & Dajuan in front of the bad boy itself!

Mega, super, ULTRA thanks to Ben, Dajuan, Matt, and the whole TFN family for the simply unbelievable exposure, the biggest welcome, and talking up the giant storm of kind words.

I also wanna give a quick hey to Jazz, our new friend who came all the way from Norway! Dude is one of the coolest people we had the pleasure of meeting! You should see that full sleeve Star Wars tattoo he's got goin' on there!

Joe & I catching up with Jazz

Finally, I'll talk about the portfolio review and meeting all the AWESOME artists in the next Friday update. LOTS of awesome news there!! But first, here's Week 6 of the (now!) 15 set of Women of Star Wars digital sketch cards...Padme Amadala Skywalker! She's sporting the Skywalker Legacy, Anakin's lightsaber! I've decided to start taking some artist liberties with these sketch look for some cool little things like this in future sketch cards!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Greetings From Celebration V! (Not Really)

Well folks, by the time this post is published, I'll have already met with Troy Alders at Lucasfilm for my portfolio review. I've worked my tush off the past month to prepare for the big event, but had a blast the whole way through. I'll talk all about it in next week's post, once I'm home and have internet access (I'm writing this a week in advance). I'm taking lots of pictures too, so it'll definitely be something different!

If you find yourself at Celebration V this weekend, be sure to stop by's table to see my banner, and don't forget to print and bring my winning badge! Any and all support would be appreciated! You can also pick up an artist postcard at's table.

Since this is the big weekend, I wanted to have a very special 5th Women of Star Wars sketch card planned for this week, so here's my favorite lady Master/Padawan team, Luminara and Barriss! Hope you like them!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rebelscum's Unofficial Wed Night Party Tonight!

Rebelscum's Scott Meyer has been painstakingly organizing the Unofficial Dinner for Rebelscummers. A few weeks ago, he approached me about doing this flier for the party, as well as convert an unused TFN badge, and also donate some original art for the prize of a trivia contest!

Check out the converted Ackbar badge for the event:

Can't wait to meet these guys! Everyone seems really, really cool. Wish me luck, as I'm getting on the plane in a few hours! =) Catch y'all in a few days!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebration V Final Preparation

Whelp, in less than a week, I'll be meeting with Troy Alders for a Lucasfilm Portfolio Review. I did some digging as best I could to prepare for this meeting, and stumbled across this SUPER helpful interview with him. Here's a snippet:
As Alders looks at the portfolio, an artist can expect his undivided attention as he may ask a few key questions about his or her ultimate goal as a creative professional and receive his honest opinion of how he believes this goal is best achieved, which may be crucial to their future success as a commercial artist. "It's always troublesome when artists come to me wanting a portfolio review and they really do not want my honest opinion after I have given it and it is not what they wanted to hear," Alders says. "Some just want a job and do not want to listen to my suggestions for improvement."
PLEASE read the entire article here. It's an extremely insightful read and I'm sure it'll help out anyone interested in preparing a portfolio for review in general!

Here's a brief rundown of my preparation for the meeting:
  • A current, carefully selected portfolio displaying (dominantly) Star Wars pieces. I've also arranged and designed the pages so that the presentation is hopefully as dynamic as the art itself. Pacing and display are extremely important.
  • All portfolio pieces are arranged in a book, professionally printed on high quality paper.
  • 1 of each of my 7 artist postcards, should he want to take one and contact me.
  • An audio recorder to record his feedback, should he be willing to be recorded. I don't want to worry about forgetting any criticism he may have, in case I falter at all and get too distracted by any negative feedback he may have -- or too excited! I'll do my absolute best to make sure I come with my thick skin intact, though!
  • While unlikely it'll be requested, an up-to-date resume. This includes my latest work with and! Thanks to them for helping me add two huge names to my arsenal.
As mentioned in a previous entry, this is the first time in quite a few years I'm displaying my work to an editor for work and critique. As you can imagine, this would be a pretty huge break for me (and I'd almost instantly achieve my goal I've been working towards for years now). It's hard not to look at this as a "make or break" scenario, but no matter what happens, this is what I want to do. If he likes my work, great. If he thinks I need more work and gives me pointers, also great! If he doesn't like my work, or thinks I'm not right for Lucasfilm....there are other Star Wars outlets. And maybe sometime down the line, when I've continued to mature as an artist, I'll try to meet up with Mr. Troy Alders for another review with Lucasfilm.

Wish me luck (even though there's no such thing as luck)!

And finally, without anymore talking about MYSELF, here's this week's 4th Women of Star Wars Digital Sketch Card...Asajj Ventress!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Howdy folks!

Special post today. While I'm away this weekend for a relaxing trip to Boston, I wanted to show this the moment I had the green light. I can finally show off the banner I've done for's FanForce & Jedi Council Forums:

Hope you dig it!!! Thanks to Dingo and Grimby the Hutt for all their help and communication throughout the process of finishing her up, and offering me the opportunity in the first place. Can't wait to see this baby in person at Celebration V!

You can ALSO check out the Jedi Council Forums CV page HERE, where you'll notice the current forum banner is my baby herself. =) Whether it's up at the time of this post is yet to be seen. I'll check when I'm home!

Finally, (the coolest perk of all, I think), here's the official article about me on revealing the banner.