Before Shannon McRandle was the official model, Andi Ficara posed for images of Mara produced by Matt Busch. She recently completed an online interview for us.
We’re interviewing Andi Ficara, the woman who modeled as Mara Jade for artist Matt Busch’s illustrations of Jade Solitaire. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm not sure where to start from for this question. I guess you could say I'm a 'Jack of all Trades' in terms of activities I enjoy doing. I love to be outdoors enjoying things like swimming, horseback riding, camping, hiking, fishing (a little bit...my grandpa taught all the grandkids how.)and lots of other activities like those. I also do enjoy getting my fill of creativity and culture. I love going to art galleries and museums, listening music (no, I don't play an instrument but I enjoy singing and my CD collection), concerts, reading, movies, dancing (clubs, ballroom, swing),etc. I'm currently looking to finish my art degree sometime in the near future. Until then, I'm busy being a new mom to my 7 month old daughter.
What other projects have you modeled for?
I've had a few tiny things over the years but mostly I've worked with Matt on a few of his projects. The biggest one being a supporting character in his graphic novel/comic book Alizarin's Journal. I get to play German parapsychologist, Dr. Andrea Schwiegen. My guinea pig is in there, too! I'm really more excited about my guinea pig than my stuff. It's just all really fun.
Are you a Star Wars fan?
Yea, but not as much as my sister! I do enjoy Star Wars/Sci-Fi but I almost always end up watching it by accident! Don't worry all you Star Wars fans! I am not an imposter in the Star Wars realm. I know my stuff; I keep up on the trivia.
In Busch's interview, he said that he had you read Timothy Zahn's first novel to get to know the character. Did you like the character?
I love the character of Mara Jade. I related to her much more than any of the other characters. She's so wonderfully feisty.
What parts of her character intrigued you?
As I mentioned before, I really related to her. What really intrigued me was how much I understood her thought processes (after her stint with the Emperor). Her loyalty to herself, her crew members, and Luke. Also the way, she protected her softer side with wit and sarcasm. It was kinda crazy to read something like that!
What was Busch’s process of turning you into Mara?
Matt did have me read her story but I also did some research on my own to understand her on a more 'personal' level. After that, we raided my closet for the costume of what we thought she would wear. I then did my hair and make-up. Matt set up some lighting, handed me a sword (to use for a light-saber reference), set the pose, and *poof* Mara Jade incarnate. With Matt's artwork 'what you see is what you get', meaning he presents his models with incredible accuracy in a very readable layout/format.
What was it was like portraying Mara Jade for Busch’s illustrations?
Are you kidding?! I get to be a Star Wars character! How COOL is that?! It was a lot of fun to do.
Were you able to see any of the finished illustrations, before they were sent to West End Games?
Yes. That was a hoot to see how he set up the scenes and stuff. Also, even though he was already going to send in his work he wanted to see how I liked them just for fun.
Are you still keeping tabs on Mara Jade and Star Wars?
Of course! Now, even more just because of my additional research into Mara Jade and Star Wars. Hey, "May the Force Be With You!" I always wanted to do that. Thanks!
Thank you for participating in this interview.
You are very welcome!