The weekend is here and it’s time for a little infusion of art, colour and Star Wars! This week I get to show you the elegant and understated works of artist Jason Reed. You will find a few nods to Clone Wars and Natalie Portman as Amidala but it is clear that Jason’s biggest loves are notably the original movies and particularly Princess Leia. I think we are feasting our eyes on some of the best depictions of Leia we have seen so far in the series but I will leave that up to you to judge!
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well hello there! My name is Jason Reed, I’m an illustrator and art geek who loves movies, television and anything visually to do with science fiction/fantasy. I’m 38, and reside in Sacramento, CA.
How long have you been drawing? What got you started?
I’d say I started “actively” drawing around 12-13 years old and was inspired mostly by my favorite television shows. Much to my parents chagrin, I was fastly becoming a cinema/TV buff and spent way to many hours watching, and re-watching episodes of obscure 70’s British science fiction (namely Doctor Who and Blakes 7). I found myself wanting to express my love for these fantastic, other worldly shows on paper and quickly began “teaching” myself to draw what I was feeling on the inside. Eventually my love of TV/movie characters spilled over to celebrities and finally into a overall love of portraiture. After high school, I decided to seek formal art training and attended the California College of the Arts (based in Oakland and San Francisco) getting my BFA in Illustration in 1996.
Do you always use the same mediums?
For many years my medium of choice was pastels. At the time I was doing more of an Art Deco/Cubist style. When I decided to return to the world of “traditional realism”, I found I had to work very large to attain the details I was striving for. I quickly abandoned pastels and switched to colored pencils and acrylics (applied both through diluted washes and the airbrush). I’ve recently become “hooked” on copic markers, a very high grade marker that gives me wonderful watercolor effects while still preserving the detail work I love so much.
What attracted you to Star Wars?
Well, like so many other artists I was swept away by the visual grandeur of the films. As a six year old watching Episode IV for the first time, I was taken aback by all the amazing ships, characters and locales the film offered. I was an immediate fan and couldn’t get enough of the film. In fact no other contemporary movies at the time existed for me. When my parents would asked me what movie I wanted to go see over the next several months, the reply was always, “Star Wars”.
Do you have any plans for Star Wars: The Old Republic?
Currently, no. Although I recently submitted a concept for the Celebration con in Orlando this year which featured both Darth Revan and Malgus. Love the SITH!
And will we be seeing any SWTOR art from you?
Never say never, but currently there is none on the drawing board.
Do you do commission work?
I’m always available for commissions. I’m mostly requested for sketch cards but I love doing larger pieces (up to 16×20) as well. Interested parties can feel free to contact me at my email address: mjilus @ yahoo DOT com. Feel free to drop me a note at my deviantART space as well or Facebook.
Do you have a favourite among your images?
I would say that one of my more recent pieces I’m most proud of is a depiction of Padme and Leia entitled, “Bespin Days, Coruscant Nights”. I had been going through an art “slump” at the time and this piece marked the turn toward renewing my artistic interests. For me, I had reached a mastery with the mediums I was using to a degree I was finally happy with. All in all, it really captures my love for both these regal women. Princess Leia is definitely my favorite SW character. Feisty and strong-willed yet feminine and graceful.
What is your advice to a young artist starting out who wants to draw Star Wars art?
Don’t be intimidated. Whether you like to express your SW art realistically or more abstract always stay true to your self. If you do that, what you express on paper will really resonate. You can’t hide passion!
Thank you Jason for sharing your art and your thoughts with us here at TORWars. I would definitely recommend swinging by Jason’s gallery for more of his awesome art works. There is particularly one Wolverine image I wouldn’t want you to miss!