#217 – Ralph McQuarrie

#217 - Ralph McQuarrie
#217 - back
sent from: London, UK. destination: Wandsworth, London, UK

There was a comic book store that I used to hang out in in Canterbury. I wasn’t too interested in the comic books, I was more into the film paraphernalia, and the conversations about Star Trek and Star Wars. There I discovered 3 portfolios of concept paintings made for the 3 original Star Wars films made by Ralph McQuarrie, who developed many of the character and creature and environments for the films as well as several of the matte paintings in the films themselves. Seeing Stormtroopers carrying lightsabres, Luke as a girl, early designs for Chewie and C3PO, it opened my eyes to the notion of film (and any art) being a process; of developing ideas, adjusting, re-concepting, revising, rethinking, evolving. It was another window into a world I loved so much and forced me to see how it did not merely emerge as-is. That good ideas were not always obvious, or that bad ideas might need a little exploring to see what they are. The dynamism of his work, the compositions and conveyance of scale showed a man who understood cinema and how to tell a whole story in one frame. I look at the scribble on the cover of this card and it’s clear I will not be an artist like Mr McQuarrie, but if I keep exploring, maybe I’ll find something good in there.
RIP Ralph McQuarrie, you were an inspiration.

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