We’re back with another artist interview! Most of you know that I am a self professed Star Wars nerd to the nth degree. In my internet travels I came across a unique interpretation from the movie A Christmas Story. Being from Cleveland (where the movie was filmed) and loving the Christmas spirit, I immediately fell hard for the print, Black Bart Gets His.
Wanting more of the same, I dug deeper into this artist’s portfolio. And what did my wandering eyes discover? Another mega-ultra-super Star Wars nerd! Click here to see what I mean! Oh the joy, elation, ecstasy! And so without further ado, Joshua Budich, the amazing artist, but more importantly my compadre in all thing Star Wars!
Nerdlocker (NL): Tell us about yourself.
Joshua Budich (JB): I live and work in the DC/Baltimore area with my wife, four-year-old son, and Scottish Terrier. I have a degree in Fine Arts, but when I was in school the whole “dotcom explosion” was happening, so my initial plan was to be the greatest web-designer of all time! Stock options, my own Segway, hot tubs full of loot. Alas…that bubble burst a long time ago. Although, it paid the bills for a while, you can see, my true passion is for illustration. My wife and I are big do-it-yourself’ers, and many would say overachieving first-borns, so we grow our own food, can our own preserves, brew our own beer, grind our own meat, bake our own pizza, and produce our own art. Other than my art, I love a cool beer and quiet nights at home with the fam.
NL: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences?
JB: As a resident of Neverland, my inspiration comes from the things that help me to continue to never grow up. My son being my biggest way to vicariously relive my boyhood, I also surround myself with all the plastic trinkets of my childhood. My office houses my Star Wars action figure collection and is my primary location for all things creative. My goal is to create art that people actually want to hang on their walls, which is why I’ve steered clear of the whole political action poster, and focused primarily on movies, musicians, and pop-culture. Although I love a happy accident in my pieces, my process tends to be heavily regimented, and I focus a lot on craft and technique in my work.
NL: Who are some of your favorite artists?
JB: Classical; I like Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Slightly more contemporary; Warhol and Lichtenstein. Contemporary (print designers); Aaron Horkey, Chuck Sperry, and Tim Doyle. Other (comic books); Art Adams, Simon Bisley, Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes, and of course, Jack Kirby.
NL: In a lot of your movie-themed prints you really find a way to capture the essence of the character as well as reproduce a live person (the actor) in an extremely realistic way. What is your method for achieving this? Do you watch the movie a million times? Do you pause still-frames so you can draw the character? How you do it man?!
JB: Thanks! It’s both a gift and a curse to depict people as they actually appear. Portraiture, I’ve found, when done in a realistic way, tends to bring loads more criticism then when you can caricature/creatively represent a person successfully. It’s taken me a ton of practice to figure out which lines work, how many lines to add to females faces before they start to look too old, and how far to take the styling of a face before it simply doesn’t look like the person anymore. Needless to say, it continues to be a learning experience for me!
Yep, a lot of the time I use photos and screen-stills as references, and then impart my own stylistic flourishes. I always watch and re-watch the movies I do prints for so I can capture not only the features of the characters, but also the best way to depict the mood of the characters and the film.
NL: What posters/art do you have on display in your house?
JB: Way way way too many to name! Since the birth of our son, it’s been our mission to surround him with images to inspire and bursts of color to make life that much more enjoyable. One of my personal favs is Strawberry Luna’s Scottish Terrier-inspired print that my son swears is a portrait of “my Mama and my Puppy.” I also have a rather extensive collection of Star Wars-inspired art; Adam Hughes, Matt Dye, Rafa Jenn, Hydro74, just to name a few. Other pieces include a few originals by Bill Scoular and Samuel Lowder, prints by Fairey, Doyle, and Jason Thielke. It’s kind of a hodge-podge of just a bunch of stuff I think is really cool.
NL: Star Wars or Star Trek and why?
JB: I picked Star Wars, in the beginning, mostly because the toys were so freakin’ cool! And, I’m not going to start anything over which is better, ‘cause I ain’t got no beef with Trekkies. In fact, I was a huge fan of The Next Generation for a long time, and the latest Star Trek movie wasn’t too bad. Maybe it’s the humongous marketing machine that is Lucas that got me hooked into the mythos, characters, worlds, toys, etc. of Star Wars and made it stick as my personal preference; where I get my sci-fi rocks off.
NL: Okay, enough posturing, onto my Star Wars Nerd-out questions:
Which Episode is your favorite and why?
JB: I wouldn’t be a true fan of the Star Wars movies if I didn’t proclaim from the tallest mountaintop that Episode V is, by far, the best Star Wars movie in the series. And, it is! The character development, burgeoning love-story of Han and Leia, the puppet-mastery of Frank Oz, epic lightsaber combat, the “I am your Father” moment, the “I know” moment…Episode V has it all!
However, if you want straight out bad-assery and the type of lightsaber wielding, blood-thirsty Sith-on-Jedi combat you wish was in the OT, I love love love Darth Maul. I still get chills when that second crimson-blade reveals itself for the first time. Now if only Jar Jar could’ve been cut in half at the end…“Meesa feeling bombad. Oh no! Meesa dead!” Good times.
NL: Who is your favorite character?
JB: I’ve always liked the bad-guys; Vader, Maul, even Sidious, Ventress, and Dooku have their moments. Genndy Tartakovsky’s version of Mace Windu is amazing.
Secretly, I crush on Aayla Secura.
NL: Do you stop at the movies or are you a fan of the extended universe (books, comic books, cartoons)?
JB: I’ve fallen hard for the new Clone Wars series! This is the type of Star Wars action that should’ve been in the movies! I also love reading into the mythos of the SW Universe. I’ve read a few of the books, but mostly I’m a cartoon type of guy.
NL: People knock Episode I – III, but I always argue that we wouldn’t get this amazing resurgence nor the even more extended universe without it. What are you thoughts?
JB: I completely agree. Had it not been for the release of the Prequels, I probably would not have gotten back into the series with the fury that I did, and certainly would have never passed on that passion to my son. Can you imagine, one day when our sons are eight, nine, or 10 years old, and we say, “Son. You gotta watch this 40-year-old movie, with NO CGI and horrendously bad haircuts, and trust me…It’s the coolest sci-fi series of all time.” No way! They’d laugh even harder at us, and call us crazy old men. For all the cutesy crap that Lucas put into the prequels (Jar Jar Binks), and even in the OT (Ewoks), he’s a genius when it comes to getting young children hooked on Star Wars. The prequels helped me to reinvigorate my own love of the series, and now I’m passing that on to my son, who, when Lucas releases the OOT 25 years from now, will pass that love onto my grandchildren. IT NEVER ENDS!
NL: Jek Porkins. Seriously, what was he thinking? How can you get blown to bits before the Imperial Fighters even join the battle?
JB: You gotta love Jek Porkins! If there’s one character ANY ONE Star Wars geek can definitely pull off with cosplay…it’s Jek Porkins.
NL: Impressive. Most impressive. We should probably stop the Star Wars and let the normal people back into the interview now. What do you do in your free time?
JB: Free time? Wha what’s that? When there is “free” time as you call it, I like to play with my son, watch movies with the fam, go out for dinner. Nothing too exciting, but such is life.
NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
JB: Wanna bring a tear to my eye? Just play “The Promise” by Tracy Chapman.
NL: What is your favorite movie?
JB: Tough question! Depending on the mood I’m in; Star Wars for geeking out, Anchorman for laughs, Delicatessen artsy fartsy, Fight Club for getting fired up, Princess Bride for setting the mood.
NL: What is your favorite video game?
JB: Right now, I love the Batman Arkham Asylum/City games. The fighting system is super innovative! Portal is a total brain bender, and Stephen Merchant is brilliant, it’s right up my alley; I love visual puzzles. Assassin’s Creed, any in the series. Metal Gear Solid, for a taste of game-making perfection (is it art or video game?). Anything by Ian McClelland; Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac. And, of course, anything from the early years of Nintendo and Sega Genesis is good for a laugh or to kill a few hours.
NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
JB: Another question that’s virtually impossible to answer! I’ll have to go with my old standby as a kid, Captain America. I just really like the classic-style of Nazi-stompin’, good ‘ol America superhero. His costume design is brilliant. His weapon-of-choice is unique. Doesn’t get much better.
Thank you Joshua! We love what you do and can’t wait to see more! For details on his very latest work for the In the Garage group show, click here.
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Now we’ve been teasing this for awhile, but we are finally able to unveil the whole print exclusively to our fans. For your consideration, Brutally Cool:
These are on sale now. Click here to buy it hot off the presses! Joshua has also been gracious enough to donate five copies to Nerdlocker for a fan appreciation giveaway! Stay tuned for details!
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