Jade Crusades was able to track down LucasArts’ concept artist Cory Allemeier. Allemeier has worked on numerous computer games, including “Mysteries of the Sith” and “Masters of Teräs Käsi.” The public relations people at LucasArts were kind enough to allow us to interview Allemeier exclusively for Jade Crusades!
Thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions.
No problem, shoot.
When did you become a Star Wars fan?
1978. My mom got me a Chewie figure from the local Kroger. He was way cooler than my other toys at the time which were mostly Fisher Price people and Weebles.
Which of the four Star Wars movies are your favorite and why?
Well I know everyone says this, but I think Empire is my favorite. It's just got more impact than the others; the acting is better, and it was very unique looking artistically.
And plus Lando is bad-ass.
Are you a Mara Jade fan?
I think she's an interesting character. She has the potential to be the center of some great stories and games.
How familiar are you with Mara's character?
I read the Zahn novels when they first came out so I know as much as was explained in those 3 books. I haven't really kept up with her other appearances, books or comics.
You designed the concept art for Mara Jade in the two LucasArts games "Mysteries of the Sith" and "Masters of Teräs Käsi." How did you prepare for this?
Well I looked at what already existed, how she appeared in the comics up to that point, and I also re-read some bits of the novel just to get a good idea of where to start.
Who or what inspired you to model her the way you did?
I wasn't crazy about the hood, goggles, and spandex look that they were giving her in the comics, so I tried to go for a more classic SW look. I based her outfit loosely on the one that Luke wears when he receives his medal at the end of A New Hope. As far as her looks go, I didn't really base her on anyone but I guess she came out looking a bit like Nicole Kidman.
Did you have to make any changes to her look?
Not really. Licensing approved my first sketches pretty much right away. I think the only cause for debate was the color of her lightsabre.
When did you realize you wanted to become a professional artist?
Really early, probably around age 5. I couldn't put the crayons down.
What kind of tools do you use when creating concept art?
Usually I start with a scanned sketch, just pencils, sometimes inked and shaded with gray markers. Then I use PhotoShop to tighten it up and color it.
What would you recommend to other aspiring artists who would like to do something similar to what you do, for a company like LucasArts?
Just draw. Start as early as you can and keep drawing.