Lots of art-related stuff going on in my world these days, so, for those of you who are interested, here we go!
Sometime in the next couple of weeks, you'll be able to pick up a couple of products on which I spent a lot of time last summer. First, Topps Company's new Star Wars: Galaxy 7, for which I did the key art and several base cards. I also did some sketch cards for this set, but the number was minimal; somewhere around 20, I believe.
Additionally, fans of the Dark Side can be on lookout for The Book of Sith, Becke&Mayer's beautiful new volume exploring the history of the Sith Order. I illustrated the chapter on Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters, and while I can't show you any art before the book's release, I can tell you that I'm excited and proud to be a part of such a wonderful project.
Currently, I'm also proud to be doing some top secret work for the paperback edition of Ernie Cline's amazing Ready Player One, my favorite book of 2011, and one which I recommend without reservation. It's awesome.
Sometime in the next few months I'll have some licensed Bettie Page related work available through both Versicolor (an up & coming player in the trading card industry) and the folks at bettiepage.com.
In addition to the Bettie Page work, I'm also doing some more trading card related art for Topps, but it's not Star Wars, or Indy, or Lord of the Rings. Nope. It's sports, specifically, baseball. I've wanted to do some sports-themed stuff for a very long time, and I'm super excited to be portraying the following athletes: Jackie Robinson, Frank Robinson, Cal Ripkin, Jr., Mariano Rivera, and Alex Rodriguez. Look for that work this summer!
In another Topps related development, I've acquired the license to create a Mars Attacks! poster in celebration of that property's 50th anniversary. The artwork itself is still in the "rough" stage, but I'm looking forward to sharing the finished piece with you as soon as I can.
FInally, I recently created a tumblr account in the hopes that I would update it more often than I do this website. If you follow me on twitter, you'll get a notification when I update.
Let's go back in time!
Started playing around with some album cover mashups; Did a few Star Wars related pieces as well as a Harry Potter/David Bowie image, and a Bob Dylan/Scott Pilgrim work. The reaction was pretty good, and both the Potter and Pilgrim pieces are available from me as prints: $20.00, signed & shipped.
I also began work on the KeyArt for Topps Company's Star Wars: Galaxy VII series of trading cards.
I accepted a job illustrating a chunk of Becker & Mayer's new companion piece to The Jedi Path, The Book of the Sith. I handled the Nightsisters section, which features the writings of Mother Talzin. Somewhere around thirty paintings, most of which featured characters and situations I was unfamiliar with. It was fun to learn a little bit about the expanded Star Wars universe, and I'm looking forward to the fans' reaction.
I spent much of June getting ready for ComicCon - Putting together some new pieces, finishing up this year's retro-themed Star Wars poster, and mentally preparing myself for the Con. I also flew out to New York City in June and tried out for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Unfortunately, I didn't pass the introductory test, and slinked (slunk?) back to Montana with my tail between my legs.
ComicCon, as usual, was a blast. In addition to hanging out with my good friends Heather and Spencer, I had a fantastic time talking with fans and meeting the occasional celebrity. (I even spent a few moments with Edgar Wright, who was kind enough to tell me he loved the album mashups.) It was, in every aspect, the best convention I've ever attended.
Because I'm a "never say die" sort of fellow, I stopped in Vegas on the way back from San Diego to audition for Millionaire again. Things went better this time: I passed the test and was selected for the contestant pool.
I finished up both the Sith work and the Galaxy VII stuff. As soon as I have the go-ahead to show anything, you'll see it right here.
In late August I got the call from Millionaire, and on September 7th, I taped my appearance. I didn't win a million dollars, but I did walk away with enough cash to pay off some debt. More importantly, though, I had a great time, and got to cross another item off my "ambition list".
Wow, here we are in the present already.
I spent the first weekend in October in Dallas at Fan Days, a Star Wars convention put on by the awesome folks at Sci-Fi Expo. As usual, the show was fantastic, and I got the opportunity not only to hang out with some old friends, but to also meet some new ones, including Ernie Cline, the brilliant author of Fan Boys, and my new favorite novel, Ready Player One.
On the horizon: Both The Book Of Sith and Galaxy VII will be out soon. Additionally, my work appears in this year's Spectrum (fulfilling another longtime ambition), and I'll be participating in a gallery show with artist Brandon Bird and a large crew of eclectic creators.
Finally, I now have a tumblr account. Since it's easier to update than the website, it will be there that I post my newest work first.
Thanks for reading, and thanks again to all of you for your interest in my work!
I just found out that I'll be Chicago next week for C2E2. I'm SUPER excited about this, and looking forward to meeting all of my fellow pop-culture fans.
I'll have a variety of new and recent work available, and while I won't be doing commissions at the show I will be accepting a few, and will be happy to talk with you about what I can do to make your 2D vision come true.
See you there - March 18 - 21!
Updated the site with some recent work. Click here to be taken to the new pages without passing Go.
I was in Dallas a couple of weeks ago for the Sci-Fi Expo. The theme was "The Women of Science Fiction", and the guests included Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Nichelle Nichols, Yvonne Craig, and Erin Gray. I had a great time, even if I did stutter and stammer and turn red and sweat every time I was within six feet of any of these amazing women.
I've spent the cold winter so far working on a few different projects, including lots of Star Wars related pieces for Topps, a poster for thinkgeek, and a couple of things I put together just for fun.
Spring and Summer will bring a new Star Wars poster, an ebook (details to follow), and, possibly, some blu-ray packaging for a top-secret project about which I cannot speak.
Conventionwise, this year, I'll be in Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, and hopefully, Toronto in August. Dragon-Con looks good as well.
More to come shortly.
So, now I know the power of viral.
On April 9th Coudal Partners did a short write up on my Periodic Table of Imaginary Elements. Gizmodo picked it up, as did slashdot, and from there it took off. I had over a million hits on my website the first and second weeks of April. There was so much traffic that I began to wonder if I must have accidentally posted a shot of Britney minus underwear or something.
Anyway, to those of you who found this site because of my Imaginary Elements piece, welcome, and thanks very much to those of you kind enough to purchase a print. (Oh, and to answer a question I've been asked many times; Yes, Unobtanium is on there - Its two letter abbreviation is PA.) Incidentally, while the poster was officially a hit, I do have a few left - Click here for details.
Here's what the summer looks like:
In July I'll be, as always, at the sold-out San Diego Comic-Con, sharing space with my pals Heather Theurer and Spencer Brinkerhoff under the Wildstorm/Tempest banner. I'll have prints, posters, cards and a few cool surprises. When I know the booth number, I'll post it, and I hope all of you in San Diego will stop by and say hi.
When August rolls around, Star Wars will be busting out all over here at russellwalks.com. August 1st brings the unveiling of my Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary print. Limited to 100 copies and available for $75.00 from starwarsshop, each 12 x 16 piece will be signed by me. I'll also have 10 artist's proofs available, and will post pricing and other details at the beginning of August.
I'll be in Orlando for Star Wars Celebration V August 12-16, and in addition to the usual Star Wars and non-Star Wars stuff, I'll have a couple of special items: First up is a piece of CV Key Art, an image that you'll see on a variety of merchandise, including retail posters, t-shirts and messenger bags. What I'm most excited about though, is that it will also be issued as an extremely limited giclee (Somewhere around 80 copies) personally signed by me. I can't tell you anything more yet, except for the fact that the subject of this piece appeared for the first time after A New Hope, but before The Empire Strikes Back. Additionally, I've also been tapped by Lucasfilm to create another print, limited to 250 copies, and priced at between 40 and 50 bucks. This piece will be available only through me, and while I can't show it yet, I can let you know that you guys told me what you wanted to see, and so that's what I did.
Finally, I've been asked by the lovely and talented Ashley Eckstein to contribute some design work to her new venture, Her Universe. I'm looking forward to sharing what I come up with.
People of Toronto, I'd like to thank you for your hospitality last week at Wizard's Toronto Comic-Con. While the attendence wasn't close to what I was told it would be, I still had a great time. Without exception, every person I met was warm and welcoming. Apparently, FanExpo Canada is the convention to attend in the Great White North, and because I enjoyed my time in Toronto so much, I'd like to announce right here that I'll be attending FanExpo, and that I look forward to seeing all of you again.
While I was in Toronto, I unveiled my latest "non-painted" piece, The Periodic Table of Imaginary Elements. In, like, science terms, it's 36.09709129556 centimeters squared (which breaks down for you non-science types to 19 x 27 inches) and contains 122 fictional elements organized by genre. It includes everything from Corbomite to Kryptonite and is limited to an edition of 500. Printed on 80 lb. stock, it's $25.00 shipped rolled anywhere in the U.S, and while I'm happy to ship abroad, as well, actual shipping charges will apply.
Most of you who visit this site know that 2010 is the 30th anniversary of the 2nd best of the Star Wars films (after, of course, A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back.
As a kid in the dark times before the internet, I remember reading magazines like Starlog voraciously, praying for some sort of news about ESB. At one point Lucasfilm had a toll free number one could call (800 521-1980, for the trivia buffs in the audience. Additionally, it's important for my self-esteem for you to know that I remembered that number - I didn't need to look it up.) for information about the film, and I remember that since it was always busy, I set my alarm for three a.m, and got up several times a week to call and listen. I even taped it, although the cassette has been lost somewhere in the mists of time.
I mentioned in my last update that as part of Lucasfilm's official anniversary celebration, I've been asked to contribute a piece to a limited editon set of 12 paintings commemorating Empire. Details are here, and I've been given the ok to announce that my piece, depicting Luke's revelation in the cave, will be released in August.
I also wanted to let you know that I've been lucky enough to be asked to contribute "Key Art" for Star Wars Celebration 5. This is official artwork that will appear on t-shirts, posters and other merchandise, and while I can't tell you what the subject is, I can say that it's a VERY accurate depiction, thanks to my friend Art Andrews at therpf.com.
Pretty good - We're only a month and a half into the new year, and I'm already updating. Wow....
On the schedule:
The end of February brings Topps Company's brand new Star Wars Galaxy 5 series of trading cards. I did six painted pieces for the set, each one a retro image depcting what I think the movie poster might have looked like had Star Wars premiered in an earlier decade.
I've released two of these images as posters over the last couple of years; I'll release another this year. Which one? I'm not sure, so I'm leaving it up to you decide. Send me an email telling me which piece you think would make the best poster. I'll print the one that gets the most votes.
I also did a total of about forty different sketch cards for Galaxy 5 in a variety of styles, using everything from gold-leaf to laser-cut, adhesive backed vinyl.
In March, I'll be a guest at the Toronto Comic-Con. It's my first trip to Canada, and I don't know anybody there, so please stop by and say hi. I'll have cards, prints and posters available as well as a couple of special surprises, and I look forward to seeing and meeting some new friends. (Plus, the lovely and talented Erin Gray, the girl of my teenage dreams, will be there as well. So I've got that going for me, too. Which is nice.)
Incidentally, I have one commission spot available for pickup in Toronto. If that's something in which you're interested, let me know.
Finally, this summer is the thirtieth anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, and I'll be doing something very special with the crew at Lucasfilm to commemorate the release of this wonderful movie. Watch this space or starwars.com for details.
As I age, time seems to move faster and faster, and I guess that's because what Einstein said is true; It's relative. My daughter is almost three, so every year that passes is a huge chunk of her life. I'm, uh, well past that, so obviously every year is a smaller part of the whole. Anyway, when I want to dpress myself, I think about how, when I was a kid, summers seemed to go on forever. To quote the great Bill Waterson, "The days were just packed". (Oh, and speaking of Waterson, I stumbled upon this page the other day. Kinda cool...)
I'd like to thank everyone I encountered this summer during my trips to San Diego and Chicago. I normally work in a kind of vaccuum in my little Montana studio, so for me the best thing about doing the couple of shows I do every year is that I get to meet tons of new people who share the same interests. It's like a three day sugar rush, and by the end of the con, I'm like a kid on November 1st - completely sugared up, a little sick to my stomach, and already looking forward to next year.
A couple of quick reminders: I still have a few copies of The White Album available. Feel free to drop me a note if you're interested. Signed copies are $20.00. I have two copies signed by the entire crew of artists; They're $75.00.
The Saul Bass flavored Star Wars poster I did this summer is available, both at starwarsshop and through me. My copies are signed, and $40.00 shipped. (The 60's flavored piece is available as well, but only through me at this point...)
On the schedule:
Six cards for Topps' upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy V (The links points towards the Galaxy IV promo page, but I'll update as soon as Topps does.)
Star Wars Fan Days III in Plano. I'll be there, and I've got one commission spot left. Email me for details.
Finally, secret negotiations are under way for something secret. shhh..... I'll tell you as soon as I can.
Summer's coming, and here's what to expect from the creative staff at russellwalks.com (Which, as always, is only me...)
The White Album is a collaborative effort I put together with help from a fantastic group of fellow artists and Beatles fans. The concept is simple - Using the band's music as inspiration, each of us created three pieces. I collected those images, talked to each creator, and put together an artist's statement for each work. I designed the layout and also wrote the introduction. The book's being printed right now, and I can't wait to see the finished product, which will be available for sale at the San Diego ComicCon. In the meantime, you can read an excerpt from the introduction here.
Also coming up this summer is the second piece from the Retro series of Star Wars posters I've been working on over the last year or so. The first image is still available, both through me (if you want it signed), or through starwars.com. The second piece, an homage to the great posters of the 1950's, in particular those from designer Saul Bass, will be unveiled at the ComicCon. It will also be available at the StarWarsShop.
When you're in San Diego, I'd love it if you'd take a few minutes to stop by and say hi. I'll be with my good friends Heather Theurer and Spencer Brinkerhoff at the WIldStar/Tempest booth right in the middle of the action.
Finally, on a personal note, my son, Matt, graduated from High School last night. Now, I know he's my son, and that my views are certainly colored by a little paternal pride. I am also certain, though, that he is one of best people I have ever known; honest and forthright, and courageous and strong, and that I'm lucky to have someone like him for my son. I know that whatever he does he'll succeed, and that wherever he goes, he'll change lives for the better.
I love you, Matt, and I'm very, very proud of you.
I could pretend that I spent the entire seven months since my last update working on this brand-new website, but that would be untrue. I've actually only been working on it for six months, squeezing in a few minutes whenever I can.
For anyone interested, I designed and built this site myself; however I know very little about CSS or Java or HTML. I'm a Dreamweaver guy, and I put together this website with Adobe's CS3 software package (I've since upgraded to CS4, but haven't started working with it yet. I'm looking forward to it though, since, from what I understand, the old Macromedia stuff has been integrated much better into the Adobe package). Ok, enough with the computer geek news - On with the fanboy stuff!
I'm sure it's obvious from the work I do that I'm a huge pop-culture fan, particularly the science-fiction based stuff. This website is sort of an homage to the things I love, and if you look carefully, you'll all sorts of little references to the movies and books that have influenced me. (About fifteen minutes ago, it occurred to me that I didn't use North Central Positronics for anything; I assure you that that will be taken care of in short order.) I'd love to hear your thoughts about the direction I've taken here; if anything about the look or navigation particularly irritates you (or appeals to you), please let me know.
The last half of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 were really busy for me, mostly with work from a galaxy far, far away. In addition to my work for Topps on the long awaited Star Wars: Galaxy VI set (For which I did the box art, six painted cards, fifteen or so foil cards, forty sketch cards and ten die-cut helmet cards), I've also got a brand-new poster for sale at the starwarsshop. Depending on sales, it's just the first piece in a series of retro-themed Star Wars works. You can see more here.
Yikes - SIX months since my last update... At least I can honestly say that they were six busy months, filled with work and with family business, and, most importantly, happiness.
I wrapped my final Indy piece about 10 days before the movie premiere, and for a month or so the stores were filled with little Indy portraits created by me. At one point I walked into our local grocery, and could see my stuff in a 360 degree radius - a little surreal, but also really cool.
My friend Dave Wells and I also began work on a webstrip. You can see our preliminary discussion at tenthunders.com. Our plan is to put the entire process online, and as we work, we'll be listening and responding to input from anyone interested enough to let us read their thoughts.
Currently, I'm in the beginning stages of some Star Trek stuff, and have just submitted my first cover sketch for issue number 1 of The X-Files. (I'll be doing the variant cover.) Also on the schedule: The box art and at least one painting for Topps Company's upcoming Star Wars Galaxy series of trading cards.
The San Diego Comic-Con is next weekend, and I'll be there, in a booth, with a TON of stuff, including a brand-new, licensed Star Wars poster, as well as some original art. Please, please stop by and say hello!
Happy New Year from all of us here at Russell Walks Illustration. Which is me. Only me. So, Happy New Year from me.
First up, my close personal friend, screenwriter/baseball player/ adventurer/astrologer David Wells, has recently begun a blog based on his experiences as a mercenary working for Blackwater USA in Iraq. Actually, almost none of the previous sentence is true. While a google search for David Wells links to people of the same name who are astrologers, baseball players and adventurers, my good buddy Dave is none of those things. He is a screenwriter, though, and he does have a blog, and he's got some interesting things to say. Go and read. Now. I'll wait.
As I write this, I'm knee deep in Indiana Jones. Currently, I'm doing the point-of-sale Indy art for Dr Pepper, Kelloggs, and one more major company. I've also signed on for a few sketch cards with Topps, and I'm still working on the Trends poster.Without spilling any of the top-secret information to which I am privy, I've gotta tell ya -This movie looks awesome! Harrison Ford looks great, and the scenery and sets are beautiful. I can't wait!
Keep your eyes on starwarsshop.com for this. It'll be the 2008 Hyperspace exclusive t-shirt. Bonus points for anyone who's not a Hyperspace member and can tell me the significance of the number 52577.