Fresh new ways to make interstellar imagery for the silver screen!
o many it might seem like the dream commission. But I definitely felt some trepidation when I was asked by ImagineFX to illustrate a Princess Leia magazine cover, based on 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope.
I’m not great at capturing likenesses and I wasn’t absolutely sure I could pull it off. But in the end, the lure to work on the famous franchise that had influenced me and so many artists of my generation was just too tempting to turn away. I was determined to make it work. Somehow. Besides, it’s always good to challenge yourself as an artist.
I began the task by sifting through online photos of A New Hope, looking for a screenshot that might inspire a strong mental image for a magazine cover. I found myself drawn to the classic opening sequence of the film, particularly the hallway scene in which Leia transfers the secret Death Star plans to R2-D2. I felt the lighting and dark values of the hallway might harmonise well with some similarly lit vignettes of Darth Vader and perhaps two spaceships battling above Tatooine.
Compositionally, I had to be aware of the magazine’s title and text placements, a typical consideration when illustrating for comics and magazines. But I enjoy working through these limitations, searching for the ideal layout as if it were a puzzle to be solved. A good composition can make a cover work. But a great one can make it sing. And I started out hoping to achieve just that…