Star Wars Artist Spotlight: Mike Winer

Inktober is currently underway and one artist participating in this is Mike Winer. He’s creating some cool Star Wars art each day for this. Here is my interview with him:

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In what part of our galaxy do you reside? Are you creating art full-time?

I am from Oregon in the United States.  I am not creating art full-time but would like to be a full time artist.  I have a full time job doing retail, but would like to break away from that to become a full time artist.

When / how did you become a Star Wars fan? 

You could say that I have been a fan of Star Wars my whole life.  The first movie I ever went to was Star Wars: A New Hope.  I was 1 years old and spent most of the movie in the lobby.  Growing up with Lucasfilm [movies] I have always loved Star Wars.

What parts of Star Wars fandom most interest you / are you involved in?

I am most interested in the movies and T.V. shows.  I am looking forward to the new Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game.  I have quite a few of the books both old cannon and new.

 How did you begin making (Star Wars) art?

I got into doing fan art of Star Wars when I started doing digital art.  It is an easy subject for me to go to as I really enjoy the content.

Are you excited for Rise Of Skywalker?

I am more of a fan of the films that George Lucas made.  However, I am looking forward to the conclusion of the Skywalker saga.

Are you excited for The Mandalorian?

I am extremely exited for The Mandalorian.  I have been wanting someone to make a live action Star Wars series.  I think that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will do a great job on this project.

Do you have a favorite Star Wars character (to make art of)? 

I would have to say that Boba Fett is my favorite character to draw and paint.  

Boba Fett by Matt Winer

What are some visual elements that you’ve found make Star Wars art / design unique? 

Star Wars is a visually striking movie.  That being said I feel like it is an artist playground.  With it’s unique looking characters, creatures, vehicles and locations.  And the sheer amount of content that has been created over the years.  There is no limit really to what you can produce as a piece of fan art.

How do you go about creating art?

I work digitally on a Wacom tablet using Photoshop.  I start with a rough sketch and sometimes do this with pencil.  Then I build up the painting using layers, however I don’t use a ton of layers on my paintings.  I usually have a rough drawing layer and then draw over that again with a refined drawing.  On a layer just below these I will make a new layer that is the base colors.  On top of all the other layers I add in shadows using a multiply layer and a mid tone gray.  Then I create a layer on top of these to build up Highlights and contrast.  As for my Inktober Style drawings I only use a Rough, Ink, and Highlight layer.

What advice would you give to any aspiring Star Wars artists?

If you are a new Star Wars artist and new to drawing I would say that there is no shame in tracing or copy.  People don’t even need to see these fan arts.  It builds confidence to do your own works and help you find your own style.  Repetition is the best way to learn.  You will discover things about your own art and art in general just by doing.  One of the hardest things to get over is why your art doesn’t look anything like the character you are going for.  Don’t give up and keep drawing.  The only way to improve is by doing art.  Become a fan and immerse your self into the Star Wars universe.  Your pieces will shine through better if you are truly a fan of the IP.

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Check out more of Mike Winer’s art (and the rest of his Inktober series) and follow him on his website, Artstation, Twitter

Read more artist spotlight interviews here.

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