I met Mike sometime in the 80's (insert wholly fabricated war story, here). When I became art director at Digest Group Publications I opened the door for him there where he produced some great art and proved himself to be the definitive artist for the Aslan alien race. I pulled Mike with me over to do work for West End Games on Paranoia and ultimately the Star Wars RPG.
Mike's Star Wars work left the rest of us in the dust. The opportunity to work on that license seemed to make his already considerable illustrative fires burn even brighter. We were there as the doors began to open on The Expanded Universe, allowing both of us to leave out fingerprints on the visual look of some key characters and hardware. Mike was one of the first artists to bring Mara Jade's image to life.
These days Mike's ( caesar120.deviantart.com/ ) still doing some sporadic gaming work, as well as taking on private commissions. And his work still embodies all those elements that make space operatic SF so much fun to dive into.
- Listening to: Bagel Radio
- Reading: Biocentrism by Robert Lanza
- Watching: Arrow
- Drinking: To lost friends and family
And he's good as ever!
I hope artists like him and yourself will find a revival to make your talents work for you again like in the past. SF needs a cultural shift back to appreciating illustration and talent whether hand drawn or 3d/computer based of a true emotive real caliber. I just watched an amazing docu on Drew Struzman...wow, why the movie industry stopped using talent like that for quick crappy photoshop work from college grads is beyond me. Hopefully the audience will soon recognize that a fast new technology tricks from the Adobe bag doesn't equate to quality work.
A revival? I hope so as well, Hethatis. It would be a great thing to find a steady stream of paying work again. I don't feel that my skills were ever "in demand" so to speak...and that wasn't important to me anyway. I reveled in the opportunity to create. Not just for myself, but also for others. I would love to get back into creating in the Star Wars universe. I've tried knocking on the door of Fantasy Flight Games...but no one answers! *smile*
As for Drew Struzan...I'm not surprised that the movie industry quickly turned their collective backsides. That's the nature of The Beast to quickly lose interest and abruptly change direction. I'm willing to bet, however, that Mr. Struzan has continued to create fantastic art with his trademark excellence and inimitable style.
Speaking of Star Wars, what are your thoughts on the upcoming episodes 7, 8, and 9 as well as the show Star Wars Rebels?
I really like Clone Wars, but as much as I liked it I hope Rebels will feel like the original Trilogy rather than just the Clone Wars in a different time.