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 Ksenia Zelentsova who makes a lot of Star Wars Rebels illustrations…
I live in Moscow, Russia. I’ve been working full-time as a freelance artist since I graduated from university a couple years ago.
How long have you been a Star Wars fan? Can you recall your first Star Wars memory?
I’ve been a casual fan since I first saw the original trilogy. But the first Star Wars film I ever saw was The Phantom Menace, and it made a big impact on my imagination and the way I perceive the Star Wars saga. I remember watching TPM with my father as 8 year old, and he just had to tell me that little Ani would grow up to become Darth Vader (I hadn’t seen the OT yet but I knew who Vader was), and I refused to believe him, and I stayed in denial for years.
What did you think of The Force Awakens? Where do you hope Episode VIII will go?
I loved it! The only thing that didn’t sit well with me was the lack of world building details that were present in the prequel-era Star Wars (namely episodes I-III and The Clone Wars). We didn’t see any of the legacy alien races besides some characters from the OT, like Chewbacca or Nien Numb. I really hope that in the future Star Wars films we’ll get to see some elements of the Prequel-era incorporated into the storytelling as well as the spirit of the Original Trilogy.
What did you think of Rebels season 2 and the finale? What are you looking forward to in season 3?
It blew my mind! I’m a huge Rebels fan, I’ve always preferred animated series to live action films as a format, so as a Star Wars fan Star Wars Rebels makes me really happy. I can’t wait to see where season 3 takes us, but most of all I’m excited to see the storyline about Sabine and Mandalorians that we’ve been promised.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character? And which is your favorite to create art of?
My favorite Star Wars character are the clones. Seriously. All of them. The Clone Wars series did a wonderful job developing these characters, and I just can’t help finding them absolutely fascinating, and impactful. And I love drawing them! I also really enjoy drawing Twi’lek and Togruta characters.
When did you first start creating Star Wars art?
I think it was not long after the first season of Star Wars Rebels premiered, that’s when I started being really active in the fandom. But I think it’s safe to say that I occasionally doodled Darth Vader and some other iconic characters before that in my life 😀
Which are your favorite Star Wars art pieces that you have made?
The Ahsoka and Vader piece that was a reaction to the Shroud of Darkness episode of Star Wars Rebels. A lot of emotion went into that one. There’s also the “Left Behind” picture, and again, because of the emotions that motivated me to draw that scene. I also have a soft spot for a watercolor commission I once did of Kanan and Hera. It was supposed to be a cross over with The Mummy of sorts, and it was a lot of fun.
Do you have any favorite Star Wars artists or influences in your work? How did you arrive at your style?
Not really, to be honest I’m terribly uneducated when it comes to the history of the art of Star Wars, so I wouldn’t say that I was influenced by any Star Wars artist. As for my style, the only artist that I can name that had a very clear impact on my art is Kubo Tite, author of the manga Bleach. I discovered his manga at an early age, and his art style left a big impression on me.
How do you usually go about making your art? What’s your process/timeline from start to finish?
I rarely spend more than a couple of days on one picture, usually much less, 4-7 hours depending on how complex the picture is. If the picture is big and takes me more than a few days, I tend to overthink it and end up really unhappy with it, so I try to finish before I get to that point.
What has been your favorite experiences as a Star Wars artist?
Being a part of the fandom, and making friends! I’ve been able to connect with so many wonderful people through Star Wars and sharing my art with them. For me, art is about communication.
Are you working on any other Star Wars art? Or have any planned for the future?
I’m working on new things all the time! And I never know when a new idea comes to me and I sit down to draw something that I haven’t planned until that very moment. But I also have some things planned, too. Mostly related to Star Wars Rebels 🙂
How excited are you for Rogue One?
Can’t wait! I’ve been lucky enough to see the Rogue One panel at SWCE in London, and the energy surrounding that film was very inspiring, so I’m excited.