This picture was done as a gift for a good friend. Wanna hear the story that inspired it?? Well, here it goes:
There I was with Old Ben just having a quiet drink in a scruffy South London boozer and minding my business when some foreign tough nut walks past and manages to knock the drink out of my hand. After saying something to me i couldn’t understand (I couldn’t even work out what language he was speaking) the man he was with comes over and says that his friend doesn’t like me. And that he doesn’t like me either.
I’m sure they were chatting nonsense but this guy reckons they were wanted men who were not to be trifled with so i promised him i’d be more careful. But that wasn’t enough and he has to go and escalate the situation by shouting death threats at me. At this point Old Ben steps in and tries to chill the situation by saying i’m not worth bothering with – but that isn’t enough for Mr Tough Guy. Realising what is going to happen next i try to move carefully back as things are just about to turn ugly. The rest, as they say, is history…
It’s all true. I swear it!
Title: Old Ben strikes again
Media: Screen print, watercolour, acrylic, ink and paint pen
I was sat there just minding my own business and having a look through some bits and pieces left on the side in our ‘studio’ (note use of inverted commas!) when i came across an unused R2D2 stencil that was done in advance of our recent Star Wars commission but not used for the final piece. Now, as i had spent the time in creating and cutting the stencil I thought it damned lazy that I hadn’t used it so set about rectifying that mistake as quickly as possible (it was also because we hadn’t got anything on our flickr for a little while).
‘Nobody understands me!’ is the result of that decision and whilst not perfect (but then what is?) I’ve got to say i’m quite happy with the end result (the shadow underneath is probably my main bone of contention). I wasn’t really sure how to give it that little id-iom twist until I thought about how the astromech droids (artoo units to you and me) communicate in their odd little combination of clicks and whistles which, despite the fact that most people in the Star Wars films seem to understand them, are generally unintelligible – and nobody ever speaks back to them in this language (which seems like bad robot design now i think about it!) So then i had a small flash of inspiration – I would have the robot thinking ‘Why does nobody understand me?’ in a completely unreadable text.
We finally managed to get our Star Wars commission finished this week (see here and here for earlier blog entries). It was done as a commission on an 8ft x 5ft wall for a 6 year old Star Wars fan extraordinaire (yes, he even has the Star Wars bed sheets like i used to have). As he was more of a fan of the newer films I thought it best to stick to the new look clone trooper (originally designed by Genndy Tartakovsky for the animated/comic series) and throw in some design elements.
The clonetrooper on slate (see here) has also now been framed and is also hanging in pride of place on the other wall. The best part was obviously finding out how the recipient felt about his new mural. He was pretty excited and will apparently be the envy of all his friends! All in all a most satisfying conclusion…
You can check a very, very short video (just 15 secs!) below. We couldn’t use our video camera as the room was too small and it could only focus on a small area of wall so we just put some still shots to a great little Star Wars soundtrack…
We have recently been asked to do a Star Wars commission wall in someone’s house for their son and this Stormtrooper is just one of many stencils i will be cutting in order to get this piece done. It’s quite nice to work on a Star Wars commission as there is so much iconic imagery to use. We’ll mainly be using the characters from the animated/comic Clone Wars series that were originally designed by Genndy Tartakovsky(who also designed Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory) but for now i’ve just got to come up with a suitably snappy design… I’ll get more pics up as and when we manage to get round to getting it done.
Also, I think the slate works really well. That was another lucky womble find. There is plenty more for me to grab too but it’s pretty heavy so it’ll have to be a couple of return trips. The demands of being an artist eh?
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