Welcome to the fourth in our series of interviews chatting with the stars of the Artists Alley at July’s Celebration Europe. Next up it’s Joe Corroney.
JN: What was the inspiration behind your Celebration Europe piece?
JC: I always wanted to illustrate a Boba Fett and Slave Leia scene. I love coming up with Expanded Universe moments which are not seen in the films. These little stories that could potentially happen I between scenes or from another character’s perspective. It makes drawing Star Wars exciting for me and its a fun challenge to come up with fresh ideas for main characters and a different take on the stories we all know and love so much. I thought this particular scene would work great as my new print for the thirtieth anniversary of Return of the Jedi this year at Star Wars Celebration Europe II.
JN: Once you’d decided on your piece and got approval, what was involved in bringing the image to life?
JC: Since my illustration style is usually pretty realistic usually I knew I wanted to illustrate from model reference for this artwork so I contacted a costumer friend of mine, Victoria aka Scruffy Rebel (her online name), and we set up a photo shoot with her and another 501st costumer, Bbf Replicas (his online name). They turned around some great shots for me that my colorist Brian Miller and I were able to work from for the main character poses. From that point it was just a lot of man hours between the two of us to get the artwork completed and ready for the upcoming event.
JN: Off the top of your head, can you think of a Star Wars scene that you haven’t yet tackled that you would love to bring to life?
JC: There is one image I came up with that I really still want illustrate from the Luke and Vader confrontation on Cloud City in Episode V, the “I am your father” scene. It’s such an iconic scene in film history and its been illustrated so many times but I came up with sketch that shows it from a different perspective that I think fans might respond too. It ties in with my two other Vader pieces, The Great Remorse of Darth Vader and The Sorrowful Pity of Darth Vader, as the third piece in the series. I should get around to illustrating it eventually.
JN: With Episode 7 less than two years away, how excited are you to be looking forward to new ships, characters and worlds to interpret?
JC: I’m very excited for that opportunity. I can’t wait to see where the new movies take all of us as fans and myself as an artist and a creator. I still have trouble wrapping my head around it knowing there are new Star Wars films on the way after believing for so many years that the six movies were going to be the entire film saga. It’s still kind of unbelievable. But I’m definitely going to embrace it with open arms and an open mind and I feel fortunate knowing that Star Wars will most likely continue to be a big part of my career for many years to come now.
JN: If you could only draw one Star Wars character for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
JC: Wow, that’s tough. I don’t think I could draw just one character for the rest of my life, even as much as I love Star Wars. If I really had to, I think it would be a Star Wars character that I created, like Kai Justiss for example, or maybe another background character from the movies or the Expanded Universe that really doesn’t have a lot of backstory yet and maybe hasn’t been given much of a spotlight by other artists and writers. This way I could really enjoy getting to develop and flesh out the character for years and years without too many established restrictions.
JN: You’ll be in the artists alley with your fellow artists. That always has an amazing vibe, friendly and vibrant – totally NOT a wretched hive of scum and villainy. How much do you look forward to these kind of events, especially the Celebrations?
JC: I love going to conventions and interacting with fans and sharing my art with everyone on a more personable level. As great as it is talking online with fans and interacting with them on a daily basis on social media like Facebook and Twitter and even getting that immediate gratification of instant feedback when I post my artwork online it’s still not the same as seeing someone’s eyes light up, shaking their hand and feeling their excitement in person about something you’ve created. Nothing really compares to that. As artists, a lot of us work and live in our own little bubbles most of the year and even though we have fans and followers online to interact with we really don’t get out that much because we’re usually tied to our desks working and drawing all of the time. It’s important for me to get out whenever I can when a convention comes up so I can feel inspired and geek out with the fans and my fellow artist friends.
And nothing is better than a Star Wars Celebration event, an entire convention dedicated to just Star Wars! Those are always the best and most fun for me.
JN: Imagine you could go back and draw the very first Star Wars poster, to hype the release of the film back in 1977. What would it look like?
JC: You’re asking this question as Topps is working on a similar project with some of my artist friends right now! What a funny I coincidence, or do you have extra sensory Jedi abilities like being able to see the future? Just remember, always in motion the future is. Unfortunately, I’m not part of this project but I am working on some new Star Wars art based on the “A New Hope” radio drama by Brian Daley. The project was just announced by Topps and it’s called “Star Wars Illustrated”.
I think technically I’ve already provided an answer to your question since my limited edition print for Star Wars Celebration Europe in London in 2007 was my take on a movie style poster for the original Star Wars. I followed that up with my versions of movie posters for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi for Celebration V in 2010 and VI in 2012 respectively.
JN: Which of the six films, 2 TV movies, 3 animated series, LEGO specials and one holiday special means the most to you?
JC: Ha! I don’t think anyone could say the Holiday Special means the most to them unless they really, really love that Boba Fett cartoon or two hours of untranslated Wookiee dialogue with Art Carney and Bea Arthur.
As much as I love The Empire Strikes Back, and its the far superior film of the saga with the best story, the best art direction, best acting, best lighting, best music and so forth, it’s really always Episode IV A New Hope that means the most to me. It was my introduction to a galaxy far, far away in 1977 and it’s responsible for me becoming an artist and putting me on this path in life. It’s the film that inspired me the most, it gave me direction at such an early time in my life and it will always feel like the most magical Star Wars film to me.
You can visit Joe at JoeCorroney.com.
Joe Corroney Interview Copyright 2013 Jedi News. No part of this interview can be reproduced without prior written consent from Jedi News.