Another thing we love here at SomewhatNerdy is Star Wars, so it was only natural for my second Valentine’s surprise to be a Star Wars related post.  I have the pleasure to present to you an interview that I am still in shock that I managed to get done.  I love this artist’s work and I am just really excited that he did this interview with me for our SomewhatNerdy family to enjoy.  The name Joe Corroney should strike a bell, but for those of you who may not know his work, he has done art for Star Wars, Star Trek, the Phantom, GI Joe, and various other titles as well as sketch cards for Star Wars and the Avengers.  He has done a lot of work with the Star Wars Celebrations as well.  Enough of my rambling, it is my honor to present to you my interview with the very talented, Joe Corroney.

1.  What is your name and where are you from?
I’m Joe Corroney and I’m originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. I was born and raised there, but now I reside in Northern Ohio.
2.  What made you decide to draw for a living?
I think it was a very active imagination and a need to recreate scenes from Star Wars after I saw it as a small child in 1977. Star Wars is responsible for setting me on the path to become an illustrator and a comic book artist.
3.  Who is your favorite character to draw?

That would probably be a toss up between Darth Vader and Boba Fett. I like Darth Vader because his costume is dark and dynamic and it fits my graphic, high contrast drawing style. But I also enjoy that character’s story the most of anyone else in the saga—the light and dark side aspects to his nature, his fall from grace and redemption.  For storytelling purposes, it makes him a great character to work with.  Also, because he’s a masked character, you have to rely on body language or certain dynamic angles instead of expression when working with Vader in illustrated storytelling.  It’s fun and challenging at the same time. And I like Boba Fett because there’s so much incredible detail that makes him fun to draw.  And as a comic book artist, I really enjoy going over the top with detail whenever possible.  And from a personality standpoint, he’s the bad boy of the Star Wars universe. He’s the “man with no name” western character who has no real allegiances to anyone but himself.  You don’t want to cross him, but at the same time you want him on your side of the fight when it comes down to it.  All of that makes him really fun to work with in scenes.

4.  What companies have you worked for?

I illustrate a lot of Star Wars art for Lucasfilm and their various licensees. I also draw a lot of comic book art for IDW Publishing for Star Trek, True Blood, Doctor Who and other titles. Other companies I’ve illustrated for include Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Becker and Mayer! Books, Random House, Topps, Boom! Studios, Moonstone Books, Image, Cryptozoic Entertainment, Upper Deck Entertainment, IDG Entertainment, X-Box, Titan Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, Paizo Publishing, the list goes on and on…

5.  What are you currently working on?

I just recently finished illustrating Star Trek: The Next Generation – Hive for IDW Publishing. It’s a four part series that tells the story of the final battle between the Borg and Starfleet. I’m also working on new Star Wars artwork for a few different projects I can’t really discuss at the moment. Though I can tell you I’m working on new print artwork for Star Wars Celebration Europe II in Germany this July. I’m also illustrating some new trading card art for DC Comics, new covers for Boom! Studios Steed and Mrs. Peel comic book series and IDW’s new X-Files series.

6.  Where can we find examples of your work?
All of my artwork can be viewed at my official website and
7.  Are there any surprises for the future?
I hope not! I’m not a big fan of surprises unless they’re good ones. If you mean artwork surprises, I’m not sure if saying I’ll be working on more Star Wars or Star Trek artwork in the near future is really a surprise.
8.  How does it feel to see some of your art recognized by Star Wars fans from all around the world?

It always amazes me and humbles me at the same time. I really don’t take what I do for granted at all. And I don’t do as many conventions as I used to back in the day. So when I do get out to shows or signings and meet fans and they let me know how much they enjoy my work or if they have a favorite piece I’ve illustrated it’s really a pretty great feeling. Since I work in my studio all year round and I live in a little bubble in my own imagination all of the time the only real interaction I get with fans is online. I enjoy that a lot too but it’s different when you can feel that gratification from a fan in person, when you see them smile or you get to shake their hand and you can tell its completely genuine.

9.  Which do you enjoy drawing more True Blood or Star Wars?
I love drawing for True Blood, I’ve been a big fan of the show since the first episode aired on HBO back in 2008, but Star Wars has been with me since the beginning, long before I even had a career or knew that I was going to be illustrating for it professionally. And with Star Wars being so universal and showing no signs of ever stopping or slowing down, it will probably still be with me when I’m an old man too.
10.  What advice can you give to anyone who may want to illustrate as a career?
If there artists out there interested in drawing comic books, Star Wars or pursuing other licensed work then I’d suggest get your portfolio approved by a publisher who has that license, someone who is producing Star Wars or material for Lucasfilm for example. It’s just like sending a portfolio to any editor at a comic book company. Send your best stuff to them in the mail either on disc or as high quality print outs. Perhaps email them small jepgs directly or, even better, links to your best pieces in an online portfolio or personal website. It wouldn’t hurt to have a few of your art pieces related to their property to show them how you can handle their characters and are familiar with the content they are producing. Just don’t let it all be the same material. Showing them a variety of styles, themes and compositions will present to them how flexible and versatile you can be and will hopefully entice them to call on you to adapt your unique vision to their projects. Sometimes at comic book conventions publishers, editors and art directors will review portfolios personally and those are good opportunities to get your work seen by the company themselves.

If I had any more advice it would be to find what it is that drives you, what inspires you and what you’re passionate about and pursue it at any cost. For me it’s always been Star Wars and comic books, all the fun stuff I loved as a kid. Because those things inspired me at such an early age and I never lost sight of them it’s allowed me to be successful in a career as an artist. I’m really grateful for that.

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