Star Wars Artist Spotlight: Morgan Yon

Star Wars Artist Spotlight: Morgan Yon

There are so many talented Star Wars fans out there that create beautiful pieces of Star Wars art. One of these artists is Morgan Yon. He recently won second place in the first ever ILM Art Department Artstation Challenge.

Industrial Light & Magic, Wacom and ArtStation teamed up to give thousands of artists the opportunity to experience the thrill of working as a concept artist in the world of Star Wars with the ILM Art Department. Through a series of challenges including The Moment, The Ride, and The Job, ILM’s Art Directors challenged artists to imagine key moments, new vehicle designs, character and droid designs, and epic battles within the Star Wars universe….Starting with 3,888 entrants, The Moment and The Ride stages of the ILM Art Department Challenge narrowed the field of artists until just 224 started the final phase—The Job. This difficult series of challenges tested artists with short deadlines, changing briefs, and surprise Director changes to simulate the experience of a dynamic production environment.

Morgan YonIn what part of our galaxy do you reside in? are you a full-time artist?

I am living in the city of Montpellier, France. I am a full-time employed concept artist at Ubisoft for now almost 9 years. I used to work in Paris and London as well and I ended up in the beautiful south of France. I work sometimes for freelance inquiries in my spare time but this is something becoming really rare in my schedule !

How long have you been a Star Wars fan? Can you recall your first Star Wars memory?

Since the first movies. As I grew up in early 80’s, I grew up with star wars movies. I actually don’t know why but I had intact memories of Return Of The Jedi. This movie became one of my obsessions. I always like to draw spaceships from this movie and I remember trying to create my own cardboard game by drawing and copying the original Star Wars spaceships and troopers…Many years later, I ended up on Star Wars art books…It blew my mind and I was dreamin’ of being one of those guys who created art for this franchise.

How would you describe your experience in the ILM Art Department Challenge?

That was demanding ! I spend a lot of time trying to figure out precisely the briefings and focusing about storytelling. That was the main issue for me by entering this challenge, to be able to tell a story on each frame. Being a part of almost 4000 people working on the same scene was amazing as well. Results came and I was literally shocked…being recognized by people I admired since I was younger is something I can’t even describe.

The Last Survivor by Morgan Yon

What inspired you to create this concept? ^^^

I’d say I wanted to depict a funny and insolent moment. I love pictures that have several readings. I truly love the mood inside the Tantive corridor, look at the saturation and colors…that’s amazing how this shot is beautiful…contrast, level and mood…that blew my mind…Then I had a lot of fun to imagine this mini story with the rebel soldier…Hell of a day for him ! I spend a lot of time working on his posing and expression, that’s the key-point for this picture.

What was your favorite piece(s) you created during the challenge?

The one I spoke of before and I like the image with those huge tank shape vehicles in the desert emerging from the sand. I almost hear the sound and feel the power of these vehicles. I like the color scheme as well.

The Ride by Morgan Yon

Do you have any favorite artists or influences in your work? How did you arrive at your overall style?

I don’t have one favorite artists but hundreds ! I love to browse art websites everyday to find inspiration and new visuals to look on. I really like to be surprised, and I love finding something new. I don’t think I have a particular style, I try to paint as beautiful as I can till I reach the moment I am bored…I focused a lot on the way our eyes go through the picture, tips I learn from art school were really helpful today in my daily job. I like to stay a bit blurry, very sketchy in some parts just because I feel it’s way more living ! I struggle a lot when I try to detail pictures, I lose very quickly the energy I had in my first sketch and then the painting becomes more and more frozen. I like to say it’s a battle at each image !

Attack Of The Wampa by Morgan Yon

Are you working on any more Star Wars art? Or have any planned for the future?

Nope, I am working on something completely different right now at Ubisoft, but that’s something I really like in my job : switching universes !!!

What did you think of The Force Awakens? Where do you hope Episode VIII will go?

I consider Star Wars as an epic adventure, and that was an intense one with Episode VII. That is what I am asking for Star Wars Episode VIII. I need emotion and epicness. I still have today some goosebumps after watching the Rogue One trailer. I know what a film trailer is targeted to, but that is working extremely fine on me…Concerning Episode VIII, I need to know about Snoke…

How excited are you for Rogue One?

You can’t even imagine. Just hearing the Star Wars main theme piano notes from the trailer is a blast ! I love it !

You can check out all of Morgan Yon’s additional art he created for the ILM Challenge here.