“They’ll do their job well. I’ll guarantee that.” The story behind my clones...
January 25, 2014
My artistic study of clone troopers became an obsession that inspired over a month of full-time work. It began when my son Kent asked to have a “Clone Trooper” birthday party. I thought it would be awesome to “Herofy” a helmet or two to display at his party. Well, the first ones came out really cool and I thought, “why not continue”? And continue I did. Each design led me to another helmet that I HAD to create. I lived, breathed and dreamed clones until I amassed my own personal army! By the time Kent’s party arrived, I had enough prints to hang groupings from every wall and fill a multiple-opening frame that displayed 8 unique clones on our mantle. It was an amazing surprise for him and great fun for me as well. So much so that after his party I couldn’t stop! I continued to round out all of my favorite clones until I felt satisfied I had come to a good stopping point. Yes, I know that there are many more clones, but these are my favorites and the ones I chose to represent this vast, maybe endless subject matter.
I created these clones from the ground up in Photoshop. There are a few shiny and new helmets (for example the white phase 1 and 2 helms) but most of these troopers have seen action. I’ve not only recreated their unique hardware, markings and colors, but I’ve also reliced each helm separately to show my interpretation of the wear, scratches, dents, stains, smudges, and gashes that they acquired in the field. I did this through a process that included supplementing my own created damage with real scratched surfaces I’ve photographed in nature and urban areas near my home in Connecticut. As a professional photographer by trade, I have collected a huge library of original textures that I use creatively in almost all of my pieces to add depth, hue, shading, and a sense of realism. If asked why my art is different, I can always trace it back to my textures. Who knew that the scratches on a leather briefcase would look fierce overlaid onto the chin of a clone helmet? Or that a blurred sunset would create the perfect variation of light needed to illuminate a visor? The results seen in my work is explanation of why these seemingly random textures and combination of several textures can (with a maddening amount of experimentation) create a truly one of a kind image.
Now that my clone army is complete (for the time being) I’m sitting here thankful that Kent is into the same things that I loved when I was a kid. I have to be honest, if Star Wars was not my favorite movie and he was having an (insert weird new-school cartoon here) birthday, I probably would not have spent a month preparing for a surprise art gallery. But Star Wars is amazing that way. It is capable of bridging generations and provides an entire galaxy to escape into when this world is just not cutting it. So – if you thought I was slacking, shame on you! I have an entire army of clones for you to mobilize. They can be purchased in a composite, in groups of six, or sold separately. I hope you enjoy – Jango Fett and his clones have now been Herofied!
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