Friday, January 21, 2011

Interview with the Gould!

Hey guys! If you take a stroll over to the Official Site, your eyes will be treated with a slew of the slick art done by none other than digital/traditional Star Wars art guru, Grant Gould! Besides being a super talented artist, he's an all-around nice guy (Remember, he went out of his way to get me in touch with Topps!), and was able to find some time for an interview for you fine folks!

How long have you been doing art for Star Wars professionally? How did you get your first break?

My first Star Wars related gig was the "Revenge of the Sith" card set in late 2004/early 2005. Tom Hodges helped me get my foot in the door. He got me in touch with Topps. I signed on for a thousand sketch cards, which was ridiculous! I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So it was quite a crazy experience, but totally worth it.

What artists' styles have inspired you in developing your own unique style?

Some of my favorite artists who've inspired me are Wendy Pini, Jim Lee, J. Scott Campbell, Art Adams, and Joe Madureira -- just to name a few off the top of my head. I think I was also really inspired by a lot of stuff from my childhood, like G.I. Joe, Star Wars (obviously), X-men comics, ElfQuest, Robotech cartoons, and Dungeons & Dragons. I'm sure all that stuff has mixed and mashed into my drawing style in some way.

How did you come to realize that drawing Star Wars professionally would be a niche for you?

I'm not sure -- I just enjoy working with the crew at Lucasfilm and, and a lot of great opportunities have popped up that I've latched onto right away. Being a lifelong Star Wars fan (I was three when the first film came out), now that I'm actually involved with some of the merchandise, comics, etc. I've really tried to go out of my way to become associated with the brand. I mean, it was literally my dream as a kid to draw Star Wars stuff, so I'm embracing it completely.

If you had the chance to pitch a Star Wars project to Lucasfilm/Dark Horse, what would it be? What era would it involve (Clone Wars, Rebellion era, Post-ROTJ, etc)?

Oh, man, that's a really tough question, because there are a hundred different ideas I'd love to pitch to Lucasfilm or Dark Horse. :) I'd definitely prefer a post-ROTJ era, because I feel like there's so much that can be done. I'd steer clear of the Skywalker/Solo gang and create something with all-new characters that we can latch onto and fall in love with. You don't need lightsabers or sith to make it interesting -- it's a big universe.

What's currently your favorite Star Wars themed illustration you've done?

Hmm, that's another tough question, because I'm my own worst critic and it's hard for me to say I'm really happy with any of my drawings. I guess I'd say my "Ahsoka vs. Grievous" Galaxy card has a special place in my heart. It was my first base card for a Galaxy set, and that was a huge dream come true for me. And I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

You're clearly a super talented comic artist, as we can see in the Official Site's digital comics accompanying the seasons of the Clone Wars series -- Do you have any other comics out there on comic store shelves? Any personal projects?

I had a creator-owned graphic novel come out awhile ago called "The Wolves of Odin" ( ). I keep meaning to do the 2nd book in that series, but I just haven't found the time yet. But hopefully that will happen sometime in the near future. I'd love to get more comic work out there -- it's just the problem of there never being enough time to work on personal projects.

If it isn't too top secret, what are you working on next in terms of Star Wars, be it personal or professional?

I just finished up some art for the latest Galaxy set, and I've got some more Clone Wars webcomic work on the horizon, but other than that, nothing to announce yet. I'm always looking for new gigs and trying to squeeze into whatever Star Wars projects are out there, but sometimes you just have to play the waiting game and see how things unfold. :) But hopefully there will be lots more Star Wars goodness coming in 2011!

You can check out more of Grant's art at his DeviantArt, or his blog. You can also become a fan of him on Facebook. Thanks to him for spending the time to answer my questions!!

And to cap off an awesome interview from Grant, here's my 10th and final weekly Expanded Universe digital sketch card, my FAVORITE E.U. character, as well as one of my all around favorite characters anywhere, Kyle Katarn! Hope you guys dug this set of 10 cards!

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