Lo­cal artist has Star Wars fame

Joondalup Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Force has been with Perth­based il­lus­tra­tor Mark Raats since he saw Star Wars in the 1970s.

His artis­tic tal­ents and love for the film even­tu­ally led to him work­ing with Hol­ly­wood heavy­weight and Star Wars creator Ge­orge Lucas, some­thing that would make fans green with envy.

Raats is mak­ing waves in the Star Wars com­mu­nity again with his hand-drawn 600mm x 900mm poster for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

A large ver­sion of the art­work was put on the side of a Mel­bourne build­ing to cel­e­brate Star Wars Day on May 4.

His other art­work in­cludes for Mar­vel films and In­di­ana Jones.

It was a love for draw­ing the north­ern sub­urbs res­i­dent dis­cov­ered as a child that took him on a path to work­ing with one of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest names.

“I have been draw­ing for as long as I can re­mem­ber; Mum found a draw­ing that I did when I was about four years old,” he said.

“There is a line of artis­tic peo­ple in our fam­ily; my Dad draws, my Mum draws and paints, and my grand­par­ents too.

“It was some­thing that I hoped would turn into a ca­reer path but when I was young I did ap­pre­ci­ate that mak­ing it in the world of art and mak­ing money from it was un­likely.”

Raats re­mem­bers the first time he saw the revo­lu­tion­ary orig­i­nal film when first re­leased.

“I was in the army when Star Wars came out; my dad saw it in London and he said ‘you gotta see it’,” he said.

“When I was on R and R I saw it and loved it, and wanted to work with Ge­orge Lucas.

“The sto­ries were great but it was the tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and the in­ge­nu­ity of Ge­orge’s that fas­ci­nated me more.

“In the 1980s I met the guys at In­dus­trial Light and Magic and about 26 or 27 years ago got my first job there and have worked on and off with them since.”

Raats said he had met Lucas only a hand­ful of times but trea­sured their con­nec­tion.

“I have met Ge­orge on a few oc­ca­sions but the meet­ings have been brief,” he said.

“He is an in­tro­verted, pri­vate man.”

Il­lus­tra­tor Mark Raats has cre­ated a hand-drawn poster for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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