Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our fifty-sixth guest is an amazing artist and friend of the site – Tim Wann.
Lightsabre – Tim, welcome to Lightsabre.
TW – Thanks a million, Mark. As always, it’s a pleasure contributing to the site.
Lightsabre – Tell us something of your career. When did you begin drawing?
TW – I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I got my start very young drawing comic book characters, always trying to draw like those great artists did. I was highly influenced by the silver and bronze age of comic artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and John Romita, through to the more modern style masters Frank Miller, Jim Lee, and Alan Davis. Comic art was and still is my well spring of inspiration.
So for the most part I’m self taught, but I’d like to think I had the greatest art teachers within those comics. As years went on and higher education called, I branched out into photo realism and life drawing, and eventually exploring new mediums such as oils, sculpture, and watercolor. However one always goes back to their roots. I get no greater joy than to create art from my imagination with old fashioned pencils and inks. I guess my style now falls into ‘fantasy art’, which is a stone’s throw from comic book art. So, a zebra can never really change his stripes, I guess.
Lightsabre – What is it like to be a part of the Star Wars phenomenon?
TW – The best part had to be witnessing the sheer magnitude of it all. I vividly recall being immersed in this fantastic world of aliens, villains and heroes, which to my 4 year old brain was just amazing. It all seemed so real and possible in those tender years, but yet so imaginative and dream-like. My older brothers had the toys, play sets, albums, you name it! So our rooms, like most boys in those years, were nothing short of Star Wars central and decorated top to bottom with all kinds of Star Wars fanfare. I think growing up in that time really carved a niche in the psyche that showed what the imagination can do, and to always trust it.
Lightsabre – You work in differing mediums and styles, as evident through your amazing Wannsworld website. Tell us a little about your style and approach to your art.
TW – I wish I had a simple answer or one that’s more impressive… but honestly my approach is sometimes just taking the pencil to paper and see what happens. Rarely do I ever have the idea completely fleshed out in my head. Sometimes I do, and I really need to seize the moment on those, because they are few and far between. But more often than not I go into a drawing with a bare minimum of an idea, or none at all. It sounds rather haphazard, and it is, but it works for me. I like to let the chips fall where they may and let my subconscious do the work. The drawing only really becomes complicated for me when I’m close to the end and need to tie it all together or clean up loose ends.
TW – I usually don’t like to judge movies, simply because I know how hard they are to make and how much time, energy and creativity go into them. And I respect anyone that attempts making one, especially one on this kind of scale and expectation level. So no offense to the hardworking people at Lucasfilm, but Sith only really made me want to see more story. The back story told, while interesting, felt a bit like connecting the dots to a story we pretty much already knew. I find the expanded universe of material much more interesting because it really explores fresh territory while keeping the mythos in tact.
I guess I just like looking forward rather than backward. To each his/her own.
Lightsabre – With the television series on the way, what are you most hoping for?
TW – I’m hoping the show can recapture some of the magic that the original trilogy had. More character development and fewer technicalities. Bring the fun and adventure back into the mix. I think with a television show they can really hammer out story arcs and crossovers while still having the time and flexibility to make the characters the main focus. There is so much that can be explored, it’ll be exciting to see where they go with it.
TW – I’d say probably Chewbacca. Like Samwise in Lord of the Rings, I seem to gravitate to the trusty side-kick characters and find them more interesting. Boba Fett is a close second, but only with Jeremy Bulloch doing the voice.
Lightsabre – Tell us something of your other interests outside of Star Wars?
TW – As you mentioned before, I’m an avid artist… so professional and freelance artwork dominate most of my time. Additionally I’m a drummer of 14 years, enjoy playing most sports, and really enjoy hitting the video games from time to time. My wife and I also love to travel and take some adventures together when we can.
Lightsabre – Like myself, you were married in Sin City, Las Vegas. Tell us something about the big day.
TW – Speaking of adventures! What else can I say other than it was glorious. Absolutely picture perfect and we feel truly blessed that so many friends and family could join us in the event. I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and frugal wedding alternative.
Lightsabre – Given the opportunity to choose one character in the Star Wars Universe you could portray, who would it be?
TW – Man, who wouldn’t want to be Boba Fett for a day? Cool, mysterious outfit, a killer reputation and wicked vessel to cruise the galaxy with. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Lightsabre – What lies ahead for you in the future?
TW – I’d like to hope a long, full life, my friend. I already feel like I’ve been blessed beyond words, so every day is a gift. As with anything, as long as you are doing what you love happiness will follow. I intend on keeping it that way.
TW – I’ll tell you what; I’m a huge fan of your Setnin Radio section. It’s quite fun to hear you guys wax on all sorts of topics, Star Wars related or not. Overall great job keeping the site fresh and updated all while working your day jobs as well. As a web guy myself, I know that isn’t easy. Cheers!
Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest. Just one final question. Yourself, Tsuneo Sanda and Drew Struzan are locked in a rubber-walled room, all in straight jackets. There is a drawing pad and pencils suspended from the ceiling just a few feet above you, and you have been told that whoever gets the materials and draws a picture first gets out. Who gets to the paper and pencils, how, and what do you draw?
TW – Mark, you are a sick man. Well, I think it would go something like this. Mr. Sanda would use his jedi powers (of which he definitely has in real life, honestly… just look at his amazing art) to undo his straight jacket. He’d free Mr. Struzan out of respect and admiration. Mr. Struzan would grab and offer the pencil and paper to Mr. Sanda out of gratitude, but he would refuse and insist that Mr.
Struzan be the one to be set free. Mr. Struzan would draw a breathtaking battle scene of Han Solo and Chewie vs. IG-88 and 4-LOM at the Spice Mines of Kessel, thus obtaining his freedom. Mr. Sanda would then melt into nothingness as he becomes one with the Force, he too gaining his freedom… leaving me to sit and rot. Once in a while he’d taunt me in his vaporous ‘ghost Obi Wan’ voice to “Go to the Dagobah system.” This joke gets old very fast, as one can imagine.
This interview was originally posted on lightsabre.co.uk on 5th November 2006.