Our Interview with Star Wars Artist Jerry Vanderstelt

January 23, 2013 at 8:00 am | Posted in Art, Interview, Star Wars, The Hobbit | Leave a comment

Jerry Vanderstelt is an artist who has a tremendous talent for capturing characters who look as real in a painting as they do on the movie screen. From Star Wars to The Hobbit, he’s worked on some great film franchises and with plenty more to come. We decided to take a moment to ask Jerry some questions about his work and what’s coming next. And don’t forget to check out our galleria post showing off a wide array of Jerry Vanderstelt’s magnificent Star Wars artwork.

Can you describe the process you go through to create one of your paintings?

Jerry Vanderstelt: Each piece has a different process, depending on the needs of the imagery I am shooting for, but typically I begin with a sketch, then once that is established and approved ( either by me or someone like Lucasfilm ), then I move on to the actual art.

I work with acrylics on illustration board, using airbrush and traditional brush work techniques.

How long does it typically take to complete one?

JVS: That depends on what the design layout for the piece involves. A simple portrait design like “Tears for Alderaan” takes about 10 days. My Celebration 6 ROTJ piece was about a 9 week job.

Is it hard to part with the originals?

JVS: Always : )

Where do you most often find yourself drawing inspiration from?

JVS: Inspiration usually comes from music that is tied to the art I am creating, like John Williams’ music for Star Wars, or Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit film score.

Do you paint during your free time? If so, what do you like to paint?

JVS: Free time? no such thing!

What was your first Star Wars art project?

JVS: The “Power of the Jedi” action figure packaging with Hasbro was my first offical Star Wars project. Kind of fun to still see that packaging floating around; brings back memories of that job!

Of the Star Wars paintings you’ve done so far, were there any that proved more challenging than the others?

JVS: The most challenging to create are the “unseen scenes”, which people respond to the most, but take a lot of research and preliminary work to achieve.

In your body of work, do you have a favorite?

JVS: I don’t have favorites really, they each have there unique flavors which keep this kind of work interesting and fun!

You attended Star Wars Celebration VI last year and your booth got quite a bit of attention. I know I spent some time gawking at the beautiful paintings you had on display. Do you have any plans for Star Wars Celebration Europe this year?

JVS: I’m glad you came by and liked what you saw there! I hope to go to Germany this year and participate in offering another piece of Star Wars art, but the artists attending have not been decided on yet : )

What did it mean to you to have George Lucas personally select your work for the cover of the Star Wars Art: Illustration book?

JVS: That was pretty special. The man that came up with the whole Star Wars Saga, made personal choices of what art went into that book, and I was blessed to have my Yoda piece chosen for the cover!

Are there any future projects you’re working on that you’d like to promote?

JVS: There are a few new Star Wars pieces on the horizon, but I cannot disclose what they are just now, but I did just finish up my Licensed artwork for The Hobbit that is near approval from Warner Brothers Studio. You can find the latest news and images of the project over at my Facebook page.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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