Artists Allied

Randy Martinez is a man with a big personality. There is a special place in my heart for him because he was the first of the artists that we became friends with. I've always enjoyed his sense of humor, especially in his work.

On a very random note, Randy and I discovered while at Gen Con in Anaheim, CA that not only did we grow up in the same town, but we saw Return of the Jedi at the same time in the same theater... Small world.

Artists Allied: Spotlight on Randy Martinez
By Terri Hodges

1. The question that everyone wants to know, how did you become a Lucasfilm-approved artist?

I called on the great Prince of Darkness. Beat his ass with his own pitch fork and stole his bag of tricks... No, that is not what happened... As far as you know. :) It was a lot of patience, and for me, being in the wrong place at the right time. I literally knocked Steve Sansweet down at Celebration I. Once I saw his badge, my girlfriend and I shoved all my artwork in his face (I helped him up first, of course). He loved my work and helped me down the right path to getting approved. My first job was with Star Wars Kids Magazine.

2. Where do you hail from? How did you end up where you are?
I live in Hollywood, CA. I just woke up here one day and said "cool!"

3. Tell me about your family... Do you have siblings? Are you married, single or otherwise? Kids? Pets?
I am single, still looking for the right woman. No Kids, no pets, but I'm looking into getting a puppy when I move soon. A pug, or a bulldog.

4. Is anyone else in your family artistic in any way?
Both of my parents are artists.

5. What or who was your biggest influence?
Wow, too many to really list. My parents, of course. They introduced me to tons of different artists who all inspired me. Teachers, an ex-girlfriend (who is also an artist), Life.

6. Did you go to art school (and where) or are you self taught?
I started off going to Cal Lutheran University to play basketball. I spent a couple years there, and then decided to follow my art. I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute, with an Illustration and Design BFA. My parents were constantly challenging me with my art as far back as I can remember. The great thing is, neither ever told me how to draw or paint anything. They gave me tools and fundamentals and then let me find the answers myself. I feel lucky to have had that.

7. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I was born with this affliction. :)

8. On what Lucasfilm (in particular) and other projects have you worked in the past?
Lucasfilm work: Star Wars Kids, Star Wars Insider, just about every official Star Wars mag worldwide, Star, Topps Heritage and Revenge of the Sith Sketch cards, and I have several pieces of art hanging around the offices of Lucasfilm. Other work: LA Times, Cracked Magazine, Gag Magazine, Dragon Magazine, Amazing Stories Magazine, Guitar Center, official one-sheet for the feature film In the Blink of an Eye, Playroom Entertainment (board and card games).

9. If your home caught on fire, what would you grab while running out the door?
My computer and my Martin Acoustic Guitar.

10. Do you have any other talents you would like to share?
That I can say here? Yeah, sure. I play guitar and sing. I write songs. I am also a pretty good basketball player. As I mentioned before, I played a little in college. I'm nowhere near that level anymore, but I can hold my own with the some of the ex-pros I play with at the "Y".

11. What was your first job? What was your first professional art job?
My first job was my first professional art job. I worked at Six Flags Magic Mountain drawing caricatures in the park. I was 15 when I started. It was great because I went to work early everyday and rode rollercoasters for an hour before I started my shift.

12. What projects are you currently working on?
I just finished the Topps Lord of the Rings sketch card set. Right now I am busy designing an expansion game with Playroom Entertainment. It's based on duck hunting and it's a lot of fun. The original game, which I also helped design, is called "Sitting Ducks".

13. What is your favorite person or thing that you like to draw?
I love storytelling, so anytime I can say something, tell a story, or conjure up an emotion with my art, that is my favorite.
Least favorite?
My least favorite thing to draw is wallpaper.

14. If you were trapped on a desert island, name 3 people that you would want to have with you?
Jessica Alba, Jessica Alba, and, um, Jessica Alba. (Not the only artist who answered in exactly this way. Stay tuned to find out who the other was. - TH)

15. If you could do any other job, what would it be?
A musician. Music, even more than painting or drawing sometimes, can be soooo expressive and moving. All art is about expressing the soul. So as long as I can do that, I'm happy.

16. Here is your chance to name drop: Have you met any of your heroes? Anyone else of note?
I meet a lot of very interesting people, some famous, some not. I'm just not into name dropping. Those experiences of meeting people are for me. :) Except one. Meeting my Ultimate Hero. Magic Johnson. He was more than just a basketball hero to me growing up. Magic was an inspiration for me on how to live life. With enthusiasm, generosity and lust. Great, great guy. It was amazing because he exudes this aura of positive energy that you can literally feel. You feel great just being in his presence. I've never experienced that any other time in my life. I was a counselor at his basketball camp when I was in college, so I actually got to hang out and play some hoops with him. Meeting Magic was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

17. If you could live in any time in history, what would it be and why?
Besides this one? Um, probably around the 1880's and 1890's. The time of the Impressionists. Van Gough, Dega, Monet, Serat, Loutrec, Gougan... The list goes on and on. In terms of art, I don't know a more incredible and important time. So many changes and new ideas. Can you imagine being out in a Paris park, painting alongside Paul Gougan like he was Joe Blow? Gives me chills to imagine it. Oh man, I would love to be in a cafe at the end of the day talking with all these guys. I'd have to work on my French though.

18. What turns you into a big fanboy or fangirl?
I really don't consider myself a "fanboy". Star Wars is probably the closest I get to that, but most of the time I would rather watch the Lakers, Sienfeld or The Daily Show. Don't get me wrong, I like all the great art and creativity going on in the "popular arts" scene a lot. But my personal interests that excite me right now are in travel, learning and experiencing new cultures, laughing with friends and sharing love. I love Comic Con for the personalities. The art is really cool and all, but I love watching all the different people, and learning about this sort of subculture that has formed. People fascinate me.

19. Do you have any collections (geeky or otherwise)?
I seem to collect debt better than anyone. :) I do like to pick up those little "Galactic Heroes" when I find them. But I open them and play with them, they are so fun.

20. What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment? Wow. Hmmm. That is a tough one. My proudest moment was conquering my fear, moving out to Hollywood, and taking my destiny into my own hands.

21. And finally.. Tell us something about yourself no one would expect.
No one would expect that I look incredible in fish net stockings.. :)
Be sure to visit Randy's website!

Thanks for reading!
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