A Star Wars Story

Meet Star Wars Artist Mike Pasquale and Win His Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Art!

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Meet the 800 pound gorilla in the room: Star Wars artist Mike Pasquale. Mike is a talented and prolific artist whose eye-popping art style caught our attention. Given that today is #GoRogue Friday, Mike has teamed with us to bring you his makingstarwars.net exclusive Rogue One: A Star Wars Story print featuring my personal favorite characters, Chirrut Imwe (played by Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (played by Jiang Wen)!

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Mike’s work on this piece is truly breathtaking. The detail in the background, complete with Stormtroopers and Shoretroopers on the beach, is awe-inspiring.

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We will be giving away THREE of these prints–one each for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–so be sure to enter below. Before we get there, I thought it would be great to get to know Mike and his fandom. Be sure to visit Mike’s ONLINE STORE and pick up some of his incredible prints that feature not only epic Star Wars characters, but span pop-culture and geekdom!

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Mike Pasquale: Well, my friends know me as Gorilla. I’m currently a freelance designer and illustrator here in NYC. I studied at the School of Visual Arts in hopes of becoming a comic book artist and animator, but have spent over a decade working in the Toys & Collectibles Industry. I have created and developed many collectible lines, ranging from designer vinyl toys and plush dolls, to action figures and full-scale prop replicas. I’ve recently shifted gears and created 800 Pound Productions, a design studio dedicated to my true passions for comic book art, cartooning, custom toys, retro gaming, and lots of Star Wars fan art.

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How did you become a Star Wars fan?

MP: I’m not sure. Star Wars was one of my earliest memories as far back as I can remember. It was always around me from toys and books, to bedsheets and pajamas. My parents loved the movies, but I think my mom connected to it more, and noticed that I loved it even at that young toddler age. She definitely fueled my creativity early on, and would always surprise me with an action figure, coloring book or stickers; anything with Star Wars on it. I even wore a Yoda Halloween costume for three years in a row! As I got older I enjoyed it even more with a clearer mind. Re-watching the movies over and over, reading books and watching documentaries, I just studied and learned more about the characters and anything else I could about this incredible universe.

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Which Star Wars film is your favorite and who is your favorite character in the saga?

MP: Return of the Jedi without a doubt! Most OT fans will say ESB, but for me it will always be Jedi, mostly because of my mom. It was an unforgettable moment when she took me to see it in the theater for the first time. I was completely blown away by all the effects, creatures, costumes, and especially Luke’s new role as Jedi Knight. I think I yelled and jumped out of my seat when I saw that green lightsaber. I remember looking up at my mom after every scene with a big smile from ear to ear. Greatest movie ever.

Luke has always been my favorite character with Artoo not far behind. His voyage from farm boy to hero really struck a chord with me even at that young age. The “everyman” destined for greatness, pursuing his dreams and rising above all odds. It left quite the impression on me. What hasn’t been said about Mark Hamill’s performance? Just amazing. I loved the tales with him after RotJ too; Dark Empire, Heir to the Empire, The New Jedi Order… even the Jedi Knight video games all made the kid in me run around the room with pure joy!
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If you could pitch your own “Star Wars story” what would it look like?
MP: It would look… AMAZING! LOL I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about my own story. There are things I would love to see expanded upon, like the actual events that occurred between Episodes VI and VII. I’ve always loved the animation and storylines in The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. The Hayao Miyazaki themes fit well into the Star Wars universe, so I would probably pitch something along those lines. Going back to Luke’s journey to rebuilding the Order maybe. I keep hearing rumors that there might be some of that in development, but I would love to illustrate a comic or be a part of the animation that will be taking on that era. Anything with the OT characters and a new team of padawans sounds awesome to me!
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I first found your art because I thought your style was really unique and fun. How did you develop it?
MP: Well, I guess it comes from a lot of sources. I was big into comic books when I was around 12 or 13, and all I wanted to be was a comic book artist. The guys who founded Image Comics were HUGE back then, and I learned a lot from studying their lines. I was submitting pages to Marvel, DC, and Image only to get shot down, so when I attended art school, my focus shifted to animation. Studying Disney, WB, anime, even Beavis and Butthead. I learned a lot about character design and shape and form. So I guess the combination of the two is how I developed my style. I sometimes shift more towards comic art and sometimes more cartoony, depending on the material or mood I’m in. It was put to good use even more so when I entered the toy industry and had multiple projects that required me to be either stylize or be more realistic in my designs.
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Where do you draw your inspiration in deciding what to draw? 
MP: It’s really hard not to draw inspiration these days. As a comic fan, seeing all these amazing shows and movies being developed at an alarming pace is mind-blowing. Every time I see a new trailer or leaked image, I run to the drawing board! I’ve learned a lot from talking to fellow artists as well. The advent of social media really helped with that. I follow a ton of outstanding visual development artists that always amaze and astound me. New techniques or lighting situations that you can’t help but give it a shot. The Star Wars fan artist community itself is an inspiration. So much amazing art by the coolest people on the planet will always continue to push my creativity.
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Huge thanks to Mike for sharing his time and incredible talents with the makingstarwars community! See more of his great work and support his talents by picking up some of his prints at his ONLINE STORE. Want his art free? Details below!
HOW TO ENTER
Twitter – All three steps are required for an eligible entry. You may tweet as often as you wish for additional entries!
  • Follow @MakingStarWars on Twitter
  • Follow @800lbProds on Twitter
  • Tweet: “I entered to win the @MakingStarWars exclusive #StarWars #RogueOne print by @800lbProds! #MSWGiveaway”
Instagram – All three steps are required for an eligible entry.
Facebook – All three steps are required for an eligible entry.
One winner will be selected from each social media platform. One winner per household. Enter as often as you wish. Must be 18 years of age. No purchase necessary to enter or win. The more you enter, the more points you earn and the better your chances of winning. Contest ends Friday, October 7th at 11:59 PM Pacific.
May the Force be with you all!

Ron is an editor and content contributor to MakingStarWars.net. He loves Star Wars because it is the definitive modern day mythology and...because it has the coolest toys! Ron is still waiting for the day when engineers finally build a real lightsaber.