Tom Spina from Regal Robot shares a custom art project where they got to create a life-sized bust based on rare Bib Fortuna concept art, working with Paul Bateman and the original drawings by Ralph McQuarrie.
The iconic artist who created this artwork has long been an inspiration for me, and his influence permeates the look of our favorite films, from the ships and locations right down to the characters. To be asked to interpret one of his creature designs was an amazing challenge and one we leapt to tackle!
It was important to me that this felt like it could be off in the background somewhere in Jabba™’s Palace in the film. That what we created felt not just like the inspiration sketch, but like something that could’ve been made at the time of the film and used on set. Working with Chris on this commissioned art was an absolute joy and he sent us this in-depth and extremely kind review of the experience…
LIFE SIZED CONCEPT BIB FORTUNA BUST EXPERIENCE BY CHRIS ROPKO:
“Tom Spina and his immensely talented team at Regal Robot created, on my behalf, perhaps one of the coolest pieces of Star Wars™ art that exists!
The idea for this project popped into my head one day while I was enjoying the wonderful illustrations in the absolute must-have Star Wars Art book published in 2016.Bib Fortuna™ has always been one of those classic, mysterious Star Wars characters who had quirky and commanding design, but not a lot of backstory to inform the audience (a la many of the Cantina scene folks). When I saw all of the different conceptual iterations sketched out, it really made the character that much more interesting for me, but the one drawing that hooked me was a color version of a gnarled, alternate universe Dickensian looking dude. It immediately stuck with me.
When Regal Robot announced their Custom Character Studio, I thought that this would be a really unique drawing to bring to life.My biggest concern was the lack of source material – there is only one concept drawing of the character, as depicted, that exists. I reached out to Tom and talked through the idea with him and he was onboard, no doubt.
An interim step that Tom took was reaching out to Paul Bateman, a concept artist, former colleague, and friend of the original artist who created the sketch. Tom asked Paul to help him conceptualize the original drawing from different angles to try and give the character more depth – the end result was such an incredible interpretation of the original work; it was mind-blowing to see.
Just think about it for moment: in most productions, the concept drawings are used to guide the prop creators and designers until a final form is settled on, which becomes the version that is consumed publicly. Regal Robot was asked to do the complete opposite – create a three-dimensional product that is faithful to a two-dimensional drawing. We spent a lot of time upfront discussing very minute details of how the final fit and finish should look, but his process to get there was actually quite simple – get a big block of clay and start sculpting until it looks right.
Take the link below for more images of this awesome piece.