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Star Wars Series | The Force Awakens

Star Wars Series | The Force Awakens

Philip Sultana
June 15, 2016
1 Comment

To celebrate the premiere of the new #starwars movie I decided to challenge myself - so I illustrated scenes & spaceships from the #theforceawakens trailers. At that point no one had seen the movie yet. I managed to illustrate and share a piece every day for 8 days leading up to the movie premiere - 17th December 2015.

I couldn’t wait for the film to come out. I had booked my seats for the premiere and there was nothing I could do until then. I knew that the trailers didn’t spoil anything (thank you JJ Abrahams + Disney for that) so I kept on replaying them everyday. At times I had them on loop as a background during work because I was loving the reworked sound track. As time passed by, to me these scenes from the trailer became iconic and instantly recognisable even though the film wasn’t released yet. I was about to take a screenshot of the tie fighters sunset scene and set it as my facebook cover photo. However I ended up opening illustrator instead.

I had no idea that I would end up with a whole series of illustrations. The first piece sort of set the tone and aesthetics of the rest. For the first piece (Tie Sunset), I illustrated the whole scene, more than I actually needed, and then jumped in photoshop and masked it into the silhouette of a tie fighter which was also done in illustration.

For the rest of the pieces I could work smarter and started with the silhouette first. That way I knew how far I needed to go with the scene illustration. Some silhouettes were harder to fill than others. For some I had to either tweak the silhouette or the scenes from the trailers. So to answer a very common question I got; no they are not traced and if you actually superimpose them on the trailer they won’t match perfectly.

As soon as I posted the first piece the response from my friends on Facebook was so positive that I challenged myself to come up with a new one everyday. This was a crazy challenge because at the time I was working late at work and I was also I trying to get my new place ready to move into.

People started asking me whether I’m selling prints and so I set up an account on society6 and shared a link. All of a sudden people were printing my illustrations on mugs, tshirts and framed prints. People from the other side of the world were ordering my prints. I couldn’t believe it.

Fast forward a couple of months, I was sick and had to spend some time off work at home. Bored of doing nothing I decided to upload this series on behance ( Until then the traffic on my behance page wasn’t very busy. That changed when I got an email from the curating team at behance saying that the series was getting featured and that my work would be visible on their home page. That instantly skyrocketed the exposure and the amount of positive feedback motivated me to start working on a new personal project. Now that I’ve got people’s attention I want to raise the bar and improve on my previous work.

Philip Sultana

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