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Quick Fire Questions: This Week We Have Artist Randy Martinez

randy martinez
It's time for another quick fire questions.  This week we are honoured to be joined by official Star Wars artist Randy Martinez.  Randy has done plenty of work for the Star Wars universe including covers for Celebration Europe and Celebration IV.  If you've read the Star Wars Rebel Force books then you'll be familiar with his work as he did the covers for all the books in the series.  He's also worked for Marvel, Topps, Scholastic and Acme Archives to name but a few.

rebelforce han solo cover
Randy's work
You're stuck in a swamp on Dagobah.  What one movie, TV show, album and book would you take?
So we are to assume that Yoda has a decent entertainment center in his hut? Something we don’t see in the movies, I’m sure.  After all, he did land on Dagobah via that pretty nice escape pod, it’s pretty easy to imagine the pod was equipped with a THX system.  Now the question is, why is Yoda’s escape pod so much better equipped with entertainment, than what ever ship I came in that only allowed me to bring one movie, one Album and one book? My first thought is I better talk to my manager about improving my transportation class. Haha!
So now that we have all that squared away…
The movie I would bring with me is JAWS.  It’s my favorite movie of all time, and I have already watched it hundreds of times since I was a kid, so I’m sure I would not get too sick of it after a hundreds of more viewings.
I had to give some thought to the Album I would bring. First I was thinking classic albums like Sgt.
foo fighters album
Peppers (The Beatles), The Wall (Pink Floyd), or Quadrophenia (The Who), but I got to thinking. You know, those albums are great because they are so deep, and take you through a whole spectrum of emotions. If I were stuck on a nasty swamp planet like Dagobah, I’d probably already be depressed, so I wouldn’t want music that would make me THINK and go deeper into the Rabbit hole of depression. So, The Wall and Quadrophenia are out right away. Sgt. Peppers would be pretty good, but “ A day in the Life” would send me right over the edge; So Sgt. Peppers is out.
I would need something pretty up beat, but interesting musically. Then it hit me… I The Album I would take with me would be The Foo Fighters latest album “Wasting Light”.  Ugh, that is such a great album, and everything I would need.
Since we are imagining we are on Dagobah, then I’m going to say the book I would bring with me is “ How to build your own spaceship and get off of Dagobah”

If you could invite any three people (alive or not, fictitious or not) to a dinner party, who would they be?
This is a great question. I’ve actually thought about this a lot over the years. I often thought I would invite historical figures. That is nice to think, but if we are going to be all sci-fi about it, logically, that would never work. My old list would have been Leonardo De Vinci, Confucius, and Nefertiti.  Take any three guests like that and you have a HUGE language barrier, no one would talk to each other, and you couldn’t understand any thing any of them were saying. Yes, it would make for an incredible group photo but what a boring night that would be, right?
So I rethought things and I think having an epic dinner party that you would never forget would be
David Chappelle
David Chappelle
the way to go. So for me, I would invite…
Anthony Bourdain (No reservations, travel channel)- First Anthony is an incredible chef, so the food would be unbelievable because I’d have him cook. Second, Anthony loves to drink, tell great stories and have fun. That makes a great dinner guest in anyone’s book.
David Chappelle (Chappelle’s show) -There are a million comedians out there that would be great as guest, but in the last 5-8 years Dave Chappelle has been one of my very favorites. If you keep up to current events, Dave has gone through a lot in the last 5 years. Not only would he be hilarious, he’d have some great stories.
My third and final guest would be a no brainer…
The Most Interesting Man In The World (Dos Equise spokesman)- Anyone who lives vicariously through themselves, well, can you do any better than that?

What is your favourite John Williams soundtrack?
The Empire Strikes Back. I know, it’s almost cliché to pick that one, but as a whole soundtrack it’s just got so many memorable original tracks.  The Imperial March, Yoda’s theme (my fav - Rob, TBT), Han and Leia, all the cloud city tracks… it’s just really rich the whole way through.  Take nothing away from the countless amazing themes JW has done. Picking one greatest theme would be impossible.

If you were invisible for a day what would be the first thing you would do?
I’m a very honest person, so I wouldn’t use my invisibility to steal anything.
I’m not a cheat so I wouldn’t go to Vegas.
I’m not a sneak, so I wouldn’t spy on people.
I guess the only thing left to do is just go walk around town naked.

When was the last time you cried?
Well, I am an artist. As you know, our kind is very emotional… crying for no reason seems to be a prerequisite to the job. Haha, so I don’t know, could have been five minutes ago.

What is your biggest fear?
Clowns… hands down. I @#%'ing hate clowns.

What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?
This is a hard question to answer as most of us, I think,  try to forget these moments. Or in my case, I usually just roll with what ever embarrassing thing happens. I’ll often just laugh and have a good time with it. With that said, I can give you an example form when I was in Art School. So back in those days, my fellow art students and I would partake in hitting the Ganja on a regular basis. I don’t know if we really thought it helped our art, but it led to so crazy times. So one night we went to the movies on a particularly cold January night in Kansas City. We went to see Con-Air, and we wanted to get baked before going in, so we sat in our buddies car and passed around a pretty good sized blunt. We thought we were being really covert about the whole thing and no one could tell what we were smoking it up in the car. It was time to go in, and I was the first to get out of the car. People walking by were laughing and pointing in my direction. I was confused. But when I turned around I could see there was smoke billowing out of our car, like smoke signals. The cold weather outside made the smoke really thick somehow and everyone could see what we were doing. It was hilarious, just like Fast Times at Ridgmont High. So, that was kind of embarrassing, but it always makes me laugh.

Excluding search engines, what three website would you choose if no other websites were available?
I guess the sites that I visit the most; ESPN, Facebook, and Pandora.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Yes, I actually enjoy many of the songs from the film “Xanadu”. I even try watching the movie when it’s on, just for the songs, and Olivia Newton John was SMOKIN HOT! But the movie is so BAD, next to impossible to watch, save for Olivia Newton John. But the music is actually pretty good. Jeff Lynn is a very underrated song writer and producer. For those not familiar he created ELO writing and singing all the music for the band. Mixing ELO and Olivia Newton John was such a great combo.
I think the other reason I like the music is it takes me back to my childhood. Back when there was only HBO and the Movie Channel, we had the movie channel and they showed Xanadu, all the time. Those songs and that pretty face of Olivia Newton John just kind of got burned into my head.

What are you looking forward to the most in the next six months?
I’m looking forward to almost a years worth of art work I have been doing for Star Wars to start coming out. I haven’t been able to say anything about it, and it’s been driving me crazy. But I’m excited to see how they produce the art and really looking forward to seeing the fans reactions. This will be a really fun 6 months coming up here.

What is your most treasured possession?
In 2011, I saw Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World.  It literally changed my life. George was already my favorite Beatle, but this doc went really deep into understanding his life philosophy and creative process. I had personally felt, while I was doing good work, I just was not connecting and had no real focus. Something George Harrison talked a lot about. In short, I really got turned on to the idea that possessions are what blocks us from that
focus we need to not only create, but to move forward and grow as people. Possessions are kind of like a moment in time. Often, if we “treasure” any possessions to much, we can actually get stuck in those moments in the past that those possessions represent. Life is constantly moving and changing, so I felt, personally that all these possessions that I had been holding on to over the years were the block that was keeping me from focusing and making discoveries about who I am now, and ironically was blocking me from seeing the past clearly or should I say with an open mind/perception.  I took a few days to meditate on what I had seen in the documentary, and two days later I started get rid of most all my possessions like toys, old photos, trophies, posters, anything that was just stuff. What I held on to were the things I needed to keep moving forward and create. Because those are the essentials of what I need in this world.  I know a lot of readers here are going to think I am crazy, or was just having a midlife crisis or something, but I’ll tell ya’… It felt really good, and as soon as I got all of that stuff out of my life, I gained focus in my art, and I have honestly NEVER been as connected to the art I am created than the art I have been creating since then. I’m not saying that philosophy works for everyone, but it sure as hell worked for me and I’m really happy. So, where does that leave us in respect to your question? Well, I do have a few possessions, and they are things I need to create and grow. My Art supplies, my guitar, and my computer. That’s it.

(Love this answer - Rob, TBT)

What is your biggest regret?
I don’t really believe in regrets. I think we all make decisions in life and we life with them. I cold say, perhaps I should have gone to an art school closer to home, or tried to go to UCLA, but if I saw that then I’m negating all the incredible things that have happened since I made the decision to go to Kansas City Art Institute, and as a result of me going there. Life is so random, and you never know what’s going to happen you just can’t sit around regretting anything.  One thing affects the other and so on and so on. You surely cannot control what will happen next, or what things would have been like had you done the opposite of what you regret. Enjoy the here and now! J

What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of keeping an open mind my entire life. I’ve let life teach me some incredible lessons, it’s allowed me to see unbelievable places and beauty in things most people walk by everyday and never notice. It has guided me to meet amazing people and experience great things. But most of all it has allowed me to constantly grow and become the person I choose to be.

What is your favourite Spielberg movie?

jaws trio

Jaws, Jaws, and Jaws. Honestly, I love most all of Spielberg’s movies. But Jaws was literally the first movie I ever saw. I don’t remember seeing it, but I’m told I was there, I was one. But, I would always go see it when it would get re-released in theaters (before home video), and then when we got a video disc player, I watched Jaws just about every morning. I love Star Wars, but Jaws is my favorite movie of all time. Seriously, it is a near perfect movie. People who are just talking off the cuff will say, “ah the shark didn’t look real”.  But I maintain that it doesn’t matter that the shark doesn’t look real. Trust me, I love sharks and have been obsessed with Great Whites since seeing Jaws, and “Bruce” looks nothing like a real shark, but it has never bothered me because Jaws is not about the Shark, it’s about the story, and the character development of Brody, Quint and Hooper. Everything from the acting, the writing, the directing, the music… I mean everything is on par with any of the best movies ever made.  Jaws probably the most underrated film of all time in respect to greatest films ever made. I believe because of it’s sequels. The sequels really tarnished the public opinion of  the JAWS brand., and I have a funny story to support that theory. When I was 20, I was in an oil painting class at Ventura Community College (Junior College). Like Most JCs the class was about half 20 something students, and half 40-80 year old retirees. Every class we would all talk about different things while we painted, and one night we got to talking about the greatest movies ever made. Movies like the Godfather, Gone with the Wind, and Citizen Cane were mentioned, all great movies BTW. “You know, Jaws is one of the greatest movies ever made” I added to the conversation, and everyone kind of snickered and said “Come on, you can’t be serious”. I explained that I wasn’t kidding and made my case for Jaws.  All the arguments that the other students made were mostly based on the sequels. I pointed this out to them, and suggested that they had not seen Jaws in so long that their memories were tainted by the horrible sequels. I challenged all of them to rent and watch Jaws  within the next week, before our next class, and then tell me it’s not critically one of the greatest films ever. Since the debate got pretty heated, I knew most everyone would go home and watch Jaws, and they all did! When we all met for class the following week, most all the students expressed to me that they had indeed forgotten how great of a film Jaws was and that it definitely deserves a place at the top of film history.
So Yes, Jaws is my favorite

Bonus Question.

What one thing would you like to see or are hoping for in Star Wars VII?
To see Denise Vasquez and I playing some roll in the film, hell I’d even be a Wookiee!
Outside of that, I am hoping to see something completely original. I was so happy to hear they are not doing EU stuff. It’s not that I don’t like EU, I just don’t want to see a movie where I already know everything that is going to happen. What’s the point in that?  Like all the other Star Wars movies, I am looking forward to just having fun at the movies. I know they will accomplish that!

Heads up on more art featuring Randy Martinez.

Star Wars fans should keep their eyes open for Topps “Star Wars Illustrated”. It’s a new Trading card series that is amazing and 100% art! I play a big role in this set… that’s about all I can say.
And fans should definitely check out my official Marvel art I have been doing. I have 2 official Marvel Fine Art  Limited Edition Prints (Spider-man, and Ironman) available for purchase at Galleries or through me

Thanks Randy for those really insightful answers.  I agree on Jaws.  Its is a perfect movie.

Next week we're taking a break from our quick fire questions but we do have a guest post from Tricia Barr on the five things she learnt from Indiana Jones.



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