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Learn how Hugh built his ca­reer around his pas­sion for Star Wars

How did Star Wars in­flu­ence your art style?

Tommy Jung’s evoca­tive Star Wars half-sheet was a bill­board poster in my town and one of the very first glimpses I had of any­thing Star Wars. It sent my imag­i­na­tion into over­drive spec­u­lat­ing about this new uni­verse. The films them­selves have in­spired my vis­ual style. Much of their suc­cess lies in their ded­i­ca­tion to pre­sent­ing a fan­tasy con­cept in as re­al­is­tic a fash­ion as pos­si­ble. I al­ways strive for the same verisimil­i­tude in my work.

Who’s your favourite char­ac­ter to draw?

Luke, Han and Leia are equal favourites, be­cause of my af­fec­tion for their char­ac­ters more than any spe­cific fa­cial qual­i­ties. Hu­man emo­tion is more chal­leng­ing to cap­ture and more re­ward­ing.

How did you land the job il­lus­trat­ing Star Wars comics?

I broke in when the field was some­what less com­pet­i­tive for Star Wars artists; I was al­ready es­tab­lished at Dark Horse through my In­di­ana Jones work just as the pre­quel hype was build­ing, so I was very lucky to catch that wave.

Any tips for as­pir­ing artists?

Put your best foot for­ward at con­ven­tion port­fo­lio re­views, take the crit­i­cism on the chin, lis­ten to it, and work hard on your craft. If you’re good and pro­mote your­self as ag­gres­sively as pos­si­ble, you’ll get no­ticed; work dili­gently and you’ll get hired. Don’t ex­pect to hit it big straight away, seek out low­er­pro­file gigs with small pub­lish­ers, be sat­is­fied with less money, build your port­fo­lio, learn how to meet dead­lines and be pas­sion­ate.

Hugh is a comic book illustrator who painted Star Wars and In­di­ana Jones cover art dur­ing the 1990s for Dark Horse.

Fol­low Hugh on Twit­ter: @Shug­gyMF

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