Artist Jake Bartok on Illustrating Jedi and Sith Stories
When it comes to Star Wars books like Stories of Jedi and Sith, it’s not just the stories themselves that stand out – the illustrations are what bring the authors’ words to life. Illustrator jake bartok is responsible for the illustrations that appear on the covers of the book as well as within its pages, and it is – as it always is – simply brilliant.
The artist, far away in the distant realm of Australia, agreed to answer some questions for Dork Side of the Force about his art, his work on Star Wars and his hopes for future projects.
Dork side of the Force: Your art beautifully captures the heart and soul of Star Wars around every corner. What Star Wars themes and ideas inspired you to start creating artwork based on these characters and stories?
Jake Bartock: Thanks! This is 100% my intention. The themes that resonate with me the most have to do with the rebellion or the Jedi – I’ve always been drawn to the good guys – and the idea of hope against thick and thin.
Dork Side: What was the artistic creation process for the stories of SOYBEAN and its covers like? Were you able to read the stories before creating the art to go with them? What was your favorite part of working on the art for the book?
JB: I was able to read the drafts of each story before starting the art. I also got to see original costume test shots, prop rotations, and production stills that most people outside of Lucasfilm have never seen – it was so exciting and it sure was one of my favorite parts of the process. This helped guide the direction of the art and helped me decide if my versions of the characters should look heroic, aggressive, or thoughtful.
Throughout the process, I worked closely with Lucasfilm to ensure character and costume details were accurate, and I loved the collaboration.
Dork Side: You have now contributed an official, original Star Wars book illustration! And after? What is your “dream project”? If it wasn’t already!
JB: Making art for a Star Wars book has been my dream project since childhood. It’s always surreal to see it on a shelf next to other books that I love. In the future, I would honestly like to continue working in the wider Star Wars universe – I feel like working on this book was, as Ben Kenobi said, my “first step into a wider world”.
Star Wars: Jedi & Sith Tales is available now wherever you get your Star Wars books.
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