There are so many talented Star Wars fans out there that create beautiful pieces of Star Wars art. However, there is a smaller number of these Star Wars artists that create consistently awesome art. One of these artists is Shane Molina who does art of stormtroopers, starfighters and more:
I am a self-taught artist, residing in Vancouver, BC. I do artwork full-time and have been blessed with this talent that I may support my wife and kids!
How long have you been a Star Wars fan? Can you recall your first Star Wars memory?
I have been a Star Wars fan for about 22 years now, and to this day I can recall my first Star Wars memory! I was 8 years old and found a special collection of VHS tapes in a box. I opened it up, to reveal the most amazing movie poster art I’ve ever seen on a video cassette. The original Star Wars VHS artwork, by Tom Jung, caught my heart and attention immediately. Running to living room with Episode IV – A New Hope,in hand, I chanted and screamed towards the TV and pushed Star Wars into the VCR player. My life and artwork at that very moment changed forever, a treasure was discovered!
What did you think of The Force Awakens? Where do you hope Episode VIII will go?
The Force Awakens was definitely an amazing take on Star Wars for this generation. It felt like Star Wars aesthetic to me and brought a huge punch back into the Star Wars Universe. Even though the movie resembled a lot of worlds and storyline as the previous episodes, J.J. Abrams certainly did a great job in capturing the drama, action, and comedy that Star Wars is made of.
I really hope Episode VIII will show the First Order developing a new weapon that does not have a small easy weak spot! [Laughs.] They should definitely learn from their past mistakes, from the Empire’s Death Star, the second Death Star, and their very own Starkiller Base! I am also hoping there will be an epic battle between Luke and the Knights of Ren.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character? And which is your favorite character to create art of?
My favorite Star Wars character, hands down, gotta be Yoda! He’s definitely a force not to reckon with! Always was drawn to his “goblish” appearance and his awesome teachings to Luke on Dagobah, all mysterious and wise. Especially his quotes can really guide one’s path in life!
My favorite character to create art from is for sure, the stormtrooper! Even though not a main hero or villain in the Star Wars saga, these troopers always looked wicked to me. There is just something about their iconic armor that always pops in any situation or form. I always love adding a “grungy war” look to show off what these stormroopers went through in battle, gives it more of a story and a catching appearance.
When did you first start creating Star Wars art?
I first starting creating Star Wars art at the age of nine, drawing different characters and x wings! By the time I was eleven, I had been gifted an amazing Star Wars book that sparked the flame to the world of imagination. This book was the original “Star Wars : The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels” by Bill Smith and illustrated by the talented Doug Chiang. Doug’s line art influenced me a lot and opened a new door to detail for me.
Different Star Wars artists focus on different elements in the saga, what fascinated you about troopers and vehicles?
The moment I saw the beginning of Episode IV as the Rebel Blockade Runner was escaping the Imperial Star Destroyer, my heart and mind was overflowed with awe. I began wanting to dive into that part of the galaxy, thus began my fascination of troopers and vehicles in the Star Wars universe. Finding out later, from my dad, that all the vehicles were scale models, my mind was completely blown. There was such an art involved in creating this marvelous movie, I wanted to be a part of it! So I started to draw the vehicles, and gave it my own little twist of detail.
Which are your favorite Star Wars art pieces that you have made?
I have so many favorite Star Wars pieces I have created! I find myself lost in the world of each one, [smiles]. If I were to pick my top three favorites it would be my “Scouting Snow Hunters”. This one shows two Snow Troopers standing by a Scout Transport (ATST). They are searching for downed rebel snow speeder pilots trying to flee.
Second, it would be my “A-Wing Hangar Bay”. This one I love the detail and how R2 D2 is installing a minigun to the A-Wing. Last on the list would be “You’ve Got One Right Behind You!” I love how this one turned out, with the X-wing fighter trying to get away from the Tie Fighter that’s right on his tail!
Do you have any favorite artists or influences in your work? How did you arrive at your style?
As any other artist, I have so much that has influenced me to where I am today with my artwork. But I most certainly do know my top favorite artist are! Starting with my uncle, Jude Godin. This man is astounding when it comes to character creativity and environments. At a young age, I would just sit and watch him draw with a pencil and watercolors, breathing life into his piece of art. Being a child knowing you have talent in your family, made me want to fill those shoes even more!
Doug Chiang’s wondrous line and marker work took it to another level for me. His precise detail and catching shadows, made everything in the vehicle design world seem even more awesome than it already was.
And last, I have the obviously great master… Ralph McQuarrie! This extremely talented artist created Star Wars visually for all of us. It would have been an honor to ever have worked next to this man. His painting skills are phenomenal to me!
My style just emerged one day, I do not know how…! [laughs]. Sometimes when I draw I am mostly thinking food! I just wait till my hand stops waving the pencil or paint around. It has a mind of its own most of the time when I’m creating my art!
How do you usually go about making your art? What’s your process/timeline from start to finish?
I usually go about making my art by building “a lot” of scale models! I build various models, from fighter planes to scout walkers! Another way is playing Star Wars Battlefront on the Playstation 4. Some of the gameplay really gets my mind going! I would also have to add reading comics and looking through my collection of “Art of” books I have in my library, is the strongest way I go about making my art.
What’s my process in creating my art?! Well…using the Force! [laughs!] I have several ways of creating my artwork. Mainly I start with a rough light sketch using a Prismacolor non-photo blue pencil on paper to get my mind flowing, then go over it with either a graphite pencil or normal 2B pencil for the line work. I then transfer it to my computer, and digitally color it using my brushes in Photoshop! I recently got my hands on a new Ipad Pro where I literally do all my drawing and coloring on it using the program ProCreate!
What have been some of your favorite experiences as a Star Wars artist?
Being a Star Wars artist is a fun thing to do! So many great experiences come your way. One of those experiences is watching my kids grow into it. They love dressing up as various characters from the movie and getting them all the fighter craft and iconic heroes from the original trilogies.
I started to develop an awesome fan base for my artwork really fast when I started to share it with the world. I am always humbled that someone would like to buy my artwork from me! *big smiles. I believe Star Wars is all about spreading joy and pure fun in life.
My Star Wars art was later discovered by Matthew Purdy, a great friend of mine now. Meeting Matt was a unique and great experience for my Star Wars art. Right off the bat you can tell he loved my artwork, he had a certain taste and value in an artist, and I was truly honored he chose me to sell my work in his store! This led to signings that involved the Star Wars 501st. Legion. Watching all the adults and kids come over to my booth and see the authentic characters always put a huge smile and glow on my face, watching their faces all dazzled and amazed.
Importantly, none of these experiences would be possible if it were not for my wife, who takes the time and admires my art! She actually reads and studies up on each vessel and character in the Star Wars world, so much it has taken us to playing Star Wars Battlefront together! All my friends are amazed how I got a beautiful woman, who will actually watch and enjoy all the episodes of Star Wars without being bored or falling asleep!
Are you working on any more Star Wars art? Or have any planned for the future?
I am always working on Star Wars Art! At the moment I am drawing a dewback with two sandtroopers journeying across the Tatooine desert! It a fun one. I won’t give too much away… but I’m creating a special Rogue One action art series that will be released in the near future, before December ;)! So far they are looking epic as the movie is hoped to be!
How excited are you for Rogue One?
I am so stoked for this movie!!! *Huge Smiles! The past trailers have left a “bang” on my heart! From the U-wing to the shore troopers, this movie feels like a big present waiting to be opened on Christmas Day! I have always been a war movie junkie! The moment I saw the footage I got an awesome Battle of the Pacific feel! Thank you to all those amazing people bringing us this movie this Holiday! Woooooo!