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Level Up at Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp 2015

Looking to level up your comic coloring skills?
Or maybe you’re seeking a career change that gives you more free time and flexibility?

Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp is the most comprehensive and career-enhancing digital coloring workshop you will find. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything you need to start creating professional comic pages that engage viewers and ultimately land you more paying projects!

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Beginner to Advanced Photoshop coloring over 3 intensive days:

  • Setting up Adobe Photoshop for coloring success
  • Flat color
  • Intro to the Creative Coloring Process
  • Light & Shadow
  • Color theory for visual storytelling
  • Basic color rendering
  • Exploring color styles
  • Advanced color renderng
  • Pro tips, tricks, and techniques
  • Color Holds
  • Special Effects
  • Color separations
  • Plus portfolio review and feedback on the final day
  • Certificate of completion

Included in your registration fee:

  • Entrance to all workshops Nov. 13-15
  • Friday Night Meet & Greet
  • Breakfast Saturday & Sunday
  • Lunch Saturday & Sunday
  • Networking and educational activities

Hotel NOT included.  We have an amazing host hotel, The Graduate, but you are welcome to stay anywhere you like.

Host Hotel Info | Workshop Schedule & Info | Questions? Contact Kristy Miller

Are you ready to level up? Register below today!

Registration Form – Payment options via PayPal will appear after you fill out and submit the registration form.

 

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Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp Hotel Info

Are you ready to take your comic coloring skills to the next level?

Hi-Fi Academy’s Boot Camp is coming to the The Graduate, in Tempe, Arizona, November 13th – 15th, 2015.

Escape the Fall chill for three days of comic coloring workshops in sunny Arizona. Tempe features parks, galleries, shops, restaurants, and night life all within walking distance of The Graduate. There is also light rail to transport you from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport to Tempe avoiding the need for a taxi or uber ride. The hotel features a swimming pool and two on site dining options.

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The Graduate is the host hotel for Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp. While we hope you choose to stay with us at The Graduate your hotel stay is NOT included in your registration fee and you are welcome to stay anywhere you like. Just be sure to be at The Graduate each day for the workshops.

A stay at The Graduate features:

  • HD TV

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

  • Docking Stations

  • Refrigerator & Coffee Maker

  • Safe, Iron/Ironing Board

  • 24 hour fitness center and outdoor pool

  • Complimentary shuttle service (contact hotel for details)

  • Self parking $6 per night

  • Pet friendly

Transportation Options:

  • Light Rail ($4 for a day pass) — http://www.valleymetro.org/metrolightrail

  • Taxi/Uber

  • Shuttle Services

You will also want to bring the following to get the most out of this workshop

  • Portable computer (laptop, mod-book, tablet computer, etc.) running Adobe Photoshop CS2 or newer (class demos will be taught using Photoshop CC 2015)

  • A Wacom graphics tablet or Cintiq

Are you ready? REGISTER NOW below | Boot Camp Overview | More Workshop Info | Questions? Contact Kristy Miller


Registration Form – Payment options via PayPal will appear after you fill out and submit the registration form.

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Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp Workshop Info

Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp is still a few months away but we wanted to provide you with an idea of the schedule we are planning for November 13th – 15th, 2015.

Workshop location:

The Graduate Hotel & Resort, 225 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

Friday, Nov 13th

4:30-6:30 PM: Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp check-in

  • Receive your registration pack and Boot Camp Badge

  • Getting to know your hardware & software

  • Introduction to Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp

  • Comic Coloring as a creative process

7:00-9:00 PM: Meet & Greet – light snacks and appetizers provided, cash bar. Your chance to get to know Hi-Fi’s Brian & Kristy Miler, meet other students, and some surprise comic creators may make an appearance too.

Learn how to make and use texture brushes, color holds, and special effects!

Saturday, Nov 14th

7:30-8:30 AM: Breakfast

8:30-11:59 AM: Morning Sessions including

  • Light & shadow

  • Color selection

  • Rendering basic shapes & forms

  • Coloring a hero

Noon-1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00-5:00 PM: Afternoon Sessions including

  • Creating custom brushes

  • Hi-Fi Helpers: working with textures & patterns

  • Coloring & painting faces

  • Panels, pages, pin-ups, and covers

6:30   Saturday evening dinner (not included) for those who want to attend

Learn the tips, tricks, and techniques used to color amazing artwork like this!

Sunday, Nov 15th

7:30-8:30 AM: Breakfast

8:30-11:59 AM: Morning Sessions including

  • Mastering color holds

  • Hi-Fi Helpers: creating and using special effects in comics

  • Sharing and exporting your colored comic art

Noon-1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00-3:00 PM: Afternoon Sessions including

  • Student portfolio review

  • Hi-Fi Academy Boot Camp certificates of completion awarded

NOTE: You are welcome to depart earlier on Sunday to catch your flight if needed.

You will want to bring the following to get the most out of this workshop

  • Portable computer (laptop, mod-book, tablet computer, etc.) running Adobe Photoshop CS2 or newer

  • A Wacom graphics tablet or Cintiq

Programming schedule for example only and subject to change without notice.

Are you ready? REGISTER NOW below | Host Hotel Info | Boot Camp Overview | Questions? Contact Kristy Miller


Registration Form – Payment options via PayPal will appear after you fill out and submit the registration form.

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Official SDCC 2015 Schedule

Did you know Hi-Fi will be at SDCC? Stop by booth 5560 and chat with us about Doctor Who, GI Joe, Anime, Superheroes, and all things pop culture. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle… the other half is nachos, lots of cheesy nachos.  See below for our SDCC schedule, panel info, convention maps and more!

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 As you can see above World Famous Comics, booth 5560, will be home to Hi-Fi and other talented creators for SDCC 2015. Don’t miss legendary sci-fi illustrator Joe Corroney who will have prints available from Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, X-Files, True Blood, and more all featuring color by Hi-Fi. Oktopolis will be out in full force with the best pop culture propaganda posters and prints you’ve ever seen including brand new Rocky Horror and GI Joe prints.  Hi-Fi Color for Comics & How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad authors Brian & Kristy Miller will be at SDCC booth 5560 all weekend and don’t miss their art instruction panels on Thursday and Friday!

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Thursday, July 9 • 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Digital Color for Comics

Learn about the creative art of comic book coloring as Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller (DC’s Starfire) and Kristy Miller(SpongeBob Comics) demonstrate the step-by-step transformation of a comic book page from black and white to full color. Learn the basics of flatting, rendering, color holds, and special effects, along with top digital coloring tips. The panel will include a Q&A session.
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Room 30CDE

Register for this panel FREE at: http://sched.co/3kSL

 

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Friday, July 10 • 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Creating Comics with the iPad

The iPad has transformed the way you read comics, but did you know you can create comic art on the iPad too? See a comic book character come to life as Brian Miller (Star Wars: Crush the Rebellion) and Kristy Miller (Doctor Who) demonstrate step by step how to pencil, ink, and paint comics on the iPad. Learn the basic tools and techniques, including which apps work best and how you can transform your iPad into a portable art studio. The panel will include a Q&A session.
Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Room 30CDE

Register for this panel FREE at: http://sched.co/3kqP

MAPS

Need help finding booth 5560 at comic-con? Use this map to find World Famous Comics amongst the sea of fans and don’t miss one moment of the action at SDCC! Booth 5560 is on the corner near entrance G to the main convention hall.

 

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Hi-Fi’s art instruction panels on Thursday and Friday will be held UPSTAIRS in room 30CDE. Panels are FREE with your comic-con badge.

 

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Get hands on with Hi-Fi Color for Comics! Visit booth #5560 for a sneak peek at Hi-Fi Color for Comics: Revised and Updated Edition.

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New for SDCC 2015 Oktopolis illustrator Brian Miller will be signing his latest Star Wars fine-art print, Defend the Death Star at ACME Archives Sunday from 2:00-4:00PM. Do not miss your chance to own one of these officially licensed limited edition Star Wars prints.

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See you at SDCC 2015!

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Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Exclusive Artwork

Are you attending Star Wars Celebration Anaheim? If so you can pre-order this exclusive Star Wars art for a limited time.

Legendary sci-fi illustrator Joe Corroney and Hi-Fi’s own Brian Miller were chosen to create two new illustrations for the Star Wars Celebration art show. Lucasfilm is making a limited number of prints available exclusively to Celebration attendees. To ensure you get these two prints you will need to pre-order in advance. The way it works is simple.

  • Pre-Order March 30 – April 10 at the links below.

  • Pick-up your prints at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim April 16 – 19 at booth #1111

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The Inquisitor’s Gift
illustration by Joe Corroney with painted color by Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller

18″ x 24″ lithograph print

Order here: http://bit.ly/swcalimited

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Remember the Death Star
by Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller for Oktopolis

24″ x 36″ movie poster size lithograph, printed on heavy card stock

Order here: http://bit.ly/swcaexclusive

Hurry pre-orders end April 10th and these illustrations return to a galaxy far, far away…

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Hi-Fi Academy visits WI Schools & Museums

Kristy and I started Hi-Fi Academy to establish an art-education resource for comic book creators. Recently Kristy and I were invited by legendary iPad artist, Susan Murtaugh, to visit Wisconsin for a week and share our knowledge for creating comic books with the iPad to students and aspiring artists. I wanted to share with you some of the highlights from our visit to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Center Stage

The first event was held in a large school auditorium where students from several Manitowoc area high schools and colleges arrived, some even being bussed in from further away. The energy was high as so many young people arrived to fill the available seats. We were introduced by Barb Bundy-Jost, then I started off demonstrating Autodesk SketchBook’s pencil and guides features. I used these tools to create a rough sketch of C3P0 which drew applause from the audience (whew, drawing live is always nerve wracking). Kristy and I spent the next 90 minutes demonstrating pencilling, inking, and coloring comic book artwork with the iPad. The students had great questions and the room was buzzing with creative energy as we spoke about how they could get hands on and start creating their own comic artwork.

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Local Newspaper and Television coverage ensured all events were well supported and attended

Gallery Gala

The second event took place the following day at the Rahr-West Art Museum, which is located within a beautiful old mansion. Before presenting Kristy and I received a private behind the scenes tour from Kathy Halla, being equally amazed at the mansion, the stunning collection of original artwork, and the display on Sputnik (a piece of the Russian satellite fell to Earth just outside the museum decades ago).

When it was time for the presentation Kristy and I were thrilled to see every seat filled and the museum staff busily bringing in more chairs to accommodate people. There were children, teens, and many adults in attendance. We were introduced by museum director Greg Vadney, then Kristy and I shared a few stories from a life working in comics. As I drew a rough sketch of Boba Fett with Autodesk SketchBook on the iPad the image was projected onto the large screen for all to see. We also spent some time showing attendees how to ink and color comics with the iPad and even had time to demonstrate some eye catching special effects. It was all over too quickly and the museum staff whisked Kristy and I down a back staircase to a special room that had been set-up for a meet-and-greet with fans.

The museum staff and volunteers did an amazing job with the food and decorations for the meet-and-greet. Kristy and I chatted with fans, signed comics, and reviewed portfolios until well past closing time. Every person we spoke with was friendly and enthusiastic about comic books and the arts in general. Plus, I met some talented artists and had a chance to see their work and talk with them about their future goals.

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Images courtesy Herald Times Reporter

One-On-One

The third event was a chance for Kristy and I to work one-on-one with 15 students who were hand picked by their art instructors to attend. Each student was wearing a t-shirt featuring comic book or pop culture characters. Great to see so many Doctor Who and comic book fans! It’s been a while since I’ve been in a high school and after sitting through the announcements, including the day’s lunch menu, and standing for the Pledge of Allegiance (I still remember all the words), we got busy. The first project was for students to create a color scheme for a superhero. We spoke about color theory including primary colors, secondary colors, and more. Then we used a color wheel to see how complimentary colors, triad colors, and other color schemes might work. After each student designed their color scheme we worked on rendering the hero’s face in color and learning how to add highlights and shadows to the major facial features.

The second project was creating an animation style color look for cartoon artwork. Using the iPad I demonstrated the texture brushes in Autodesk SketchBook while the students followed along. We created a snowy daytime scene with painted clouds in the sky and then spoke about other ways we could approach the art so each student could make it their own. As the students worked on their versions of the scene Kristy and I were able to spend several minutes with each student answering questions and helping them along. I also had the opportunity to review the portfolios and sketchbooks of several students and I think we will be seeing some incredible talent coming out of Wisconsin in the years to come. Thanks to art instructors Barb Bundy-Jost & Vicky Molitor for inviting us into the classroom.

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We visited several art museums including Rahr-West Art Museums as well as the Flying Pig Art Gallery

Playing Tourist

Thanks to our hosts Phil, Susan, and Alex Murtaugh Kristy and I had the opportunity to visit several other museums and galleries between events. The Murtaugh’s took the time to ensure we enjoyed the flavors of Wisconsin and were able to meet with local artists and craftspeople. Our visit would not have been possible without their hard work and generosity. It was an amazing experience I will never forget and I’m already making plans for our next trip to visit schools and museums in other states. Maybe we’ll come to your town next!

Read the Herald Times Reporter story on Hi-Fi Academy’s trip to Wisconsin here:
http://www.htrnews.com/story/news/education/2015/03/22/comic-book-colorist-unlocks-art-students-superpowers/25199043/

If you want Kristy and I to come to where you live and help support education and the arts email us at info@hifidesign.com for more info.

What the Heck is a Gamut?

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© DC Comics

You’ve just finished coloring this amazing Superman cover and couldn’t be more proud of your work. There’s Sup’s vibrant blue suit and his iconic bright red cape. Looks amazing on screen, right? You finished your work, saved it as a CMYK TIF and sent it off to your editor of approval and 15 minutes later your get a frantic email back saying the suit looks like mud and the cape is a weird, drab color and you may have to re-color the whole thing! Oh, and your deadline is 30 minutes from now. ZOIKS! What the heck happened!? It looked amazing while you were coloring it and now it looks terrible. Why did your colors get turned into mud? Because the colors you chose or created were outside the CMYK Gamut your computer converted them and the result was terrible.

I can see you staring blankly at the screen asking, “What the heck is a gamut?” Allow me to explain a little.

VisibleLightSpectrum

So let’s start this by talking a little bit about the science of color. What we perceive as color is our brains interpreting different wavelengths of light emanating from, or bouncing off of, objects in space. If we look at the color spectrum we see that long wavelengths appear as red warm colors while shorter wavelengths appears a blue, cooler colors. As those wavelengths get longer (moving to the left on the chart) we move into infrared colors, microwaves and various other electrical waves. As they get shorter (moving to the right on the chart) we get into Xrays, Gamma rays (our favorite!!) and other harmful radiations.

What we can actually see, however, is just a very small portion of that spectrum which we call visible light.

Visible Color Gamut

If we pull out that visible portion of light, simplify it and twist it into a circle we get every artists BFF, the color wheel.

But if we take that entire spectrum of visible light and twist is into a circle we see what is called the visible color gamut. Keep in mind…this example you see here isn’t ACTUALLY the full visible color gamut because you are looking at it on a computer screen which presents color to you in an RGB color space…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

RGB variation

 

This visible color gamut represents all variations of every visible color. So in this example the black arrow over the blue indicates every possible variation of the color blue. Very bright and intense colors exist at the outside edges of the circle while less intense, desaturated colors exist at the center. In order to make this a little easier for you to see, I’m going to replace our circle with one that has an exaggerated difference in saturation level from outside to the middle.

RGB Circle

So nature produces an innumerable amount of wavelengths of light, most of which we can’t see, but we create our artwork using technology that has yet to be able to reproduce all the colors of visible light. Specifically our computer monitors reproduce color in what is called the RGB Color space. This sort of bloated triangle shape over the visible color gamut indicates which colors are actually reproducible in the RGB Color Space. Using red, green and blue your monitor can recreate MOST of the colors in the visible light gamut, but not all. You’ll notice that it has trouble with some of the more vibrant orange, teals and violet colors. This is why your photos of those gorgeous sunsets never look quite right. Your camera is translating those natural lights into RGB and a little something gets lost.

CMYK Circle

However, when our artwork is complete it has to go to print. Modern printing presses mix 4 inks (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black) to create “Full Color” your prints. As you can see the CMYK Color space is REALLY small compared to the RGB Color space and encompasses most of that drab, desaturated area in the middle of out circle.

CMYK-RGB Color Circle

You can really see the difference here when we lay the RGB and CMYK color spaces on the same graphic. By now you’re probably asking, “what does this mean to me, the comic book colorist?” MOST colorists, including those of you using the Hi-Fi method, render their work in RGB so while we’re working we have to always be aware that before each page is finalized it will have to be converted to CMYK.

When you color an image in RGB and the color you choose (or create inadvertently) falls outside of that CMYK color space it will have to be converted before it goes to press. Maybe I’ll cover how your computer makes those decisions (Relative Colorimetric vs Perceptual conversions) in a later article but suffice it to say your computer will select each pixel containing color outside the CMYK color gamut and changes it to a color that it thinks best represents the original color.

Just a note: I have again exaggerated the colors in the following example so you can better see the way the colors change.

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Let’s take a look at your Superman from earlier and find out what happened. If we pull out the blue and red from the image and roughly plot them on the RGB color gamut you can see that they fall well outside of the CMYK gamut.

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When you convert that file from RGB to CMYK your computer decides what those new colors should be.

Now instead of those nice bright colors…they are muted and kind of dead.

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And if we look at them side-by-side you can really tell the difference in the color. So what can we learn from this exercise? First of all, when you’re coloring try to avoid selecting colors that are TOO vibrant and over-saturated. That’s your first clue that you may be heading down the path to conversion trouble later on.  Also, make sure you are using the View/Proof Colors option in Photoshop. That will allow you to color in RGB but have a CMYK preview on your screen while you work. You’ll immediately know if a color is going to end up looking gross.

At this point you’re probably asking, “Well why don’t we just skip this whole mess and color right in CMYK? Wouldn’t that avoid this whole problem in the first place?”

Well, yeah…but it leads to some other issues that are not as easy to overcome than coloring in RGB but being mindful of a future need to convert. We color in RGB because that is how Photoshop was intended to work. It was designed as a digital space for creating and editing images and digital space means RGB. Because of this in CMYK there are a LOT of tools that aren’t available to you at all. You will find that those tools that are available to you will give you a drab, gray-ish color when used in a CMYK color space instead of the rich, full colors you would get were you attempting the same process in RGB.

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Also, your files can be SIGNIFICANTLY larger. These two files are the EXACT same PSD except one is RGB and the other is CMYK. The CMYK file is almost twice the size. So, yes…you could avoid all the RGB to CMYK conversion problems entirely by coloring straight in CMYK but at a cost of lack of tools, lower functionality of some of Photoshop’s tools and potentially gargantuan file sizes.

Proof ColorsProTip: when coloring in RGB make sure you have the View/Proof Colors (Ctrl+Y) option active in Photoshop. This will allow you to color in RGB but see what the file will look like when it converts to CMYK. You’ll know instantly if a color you are creating is going to look like mud.

 

Eric White is a graphic designer and artist with 15 years of experience in the printing industry. He’s been working with Hi-Fi since 2008 as a consultant, web-guy, go-get-er, flatter and colorist. You can find more of his work at his website www.geekywhiteguy.com or follow along on twitter @Geekywhiteguy

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Making Comics with the iPad update

Today Autodesk released an all art new app for iPad & iPhone. This new app, SketchBook Mobile, replaces the previous SketchBook Pro for iPad app. This marks the first SketchBook release for iOS 8 as well. We are downloading the app and will evaluate the iOS 8 interaction and explore the new features. Watch this space for info about a revised and updated edition of How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad & SketchBook Pro for iPad the unofficial user guide. Once we know what elements of each book should be revised, changed, or updated we will announce release dates. Stay tuned…

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Boot Camp is coming… are you ready?

Hi-Fi Academy presents: Comic Coloring Boot Camp

There are many choices when it comes to art classes online and in the real world. Books, DVD’s, tutorial websites, and video demos populate the landscape.  If you have tried some of the other resources and found them lacking, or want to improve your existing skills you are ready for Hi-Fi Academy’s Comic Coloring Boot Camp.

Comic Coloring Bootcamp at a glance:

  • Intensive 3-day workshop created specifically for digital comic book colorists.
  • Dates: Nov 7th – 9th, 2014
  • Location: Comic Coloring Bootcamp is being held at The Saguaro hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. With an average high temperature of 77º during the month of November Scottsdale is a beautiful and relaxing place to be this time of year.
  • Instructors: Hi-Fi colour design founders Brian & Kristy Miller, professional comic book colorists for Marvel, DC, Image, Disney, and more since 1998 and authors of Hi-Fi Color for Comics & master Digital Color.
  • Registration Fee: SAVE $500, early registration only $1,000 – includes hotel & most meals. On site registration fee: $1,500.

Included in your registration fee:

  • Entrance to all workshops Nov. 7-9
  • Hotel room for 2 nights: Friday arrival – Sunday departure at The Saguaro
  • Breakfast Saturday & Sunday
  • Lunch Saturday & Sunday
  • Invitations to special events Friday and Saturday night
  • Networking and educational activities

Are you ready? REGISTER NOW below | More Hotel Info | More Workshop Info | Questions? Contact Kristy Miller


Registration Form – Payment options via PayPal will appear after you fill out and submit the registration form.

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Official Star Wars Art

Lucasfilm has partnered with ACME Archives & Dark Ink Art to bring you exclusive new Star Wars art for a limited time.

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An online artists’ alley featuring exclusive Star Wars prints by a specially selected group of elite illustrators. This limited time release runs Sept 5th 1pm – Sept 15th 5pm PDT.

Featuring artwork by David Rabbitte, Dave Nestler, Gary Shipman, Jerry Vanderstelt, Tim Proctor,
James Silvani, Peter Ferk, Steve Anderson, Joe Corroney, Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller, Cat Staggs, Jason Reed,
Brent Woodside, Kayla Woodside, Charity Wood, Chris Trevas, Brian Rood and Mike Kungl.

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Conquer
by Joe Corroney with colors by Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller

18″ x 24″ lithograph print

Order here: http://www.darkinkart.com/star-wars/alliance/conquer-joe-corroney-brian-miller.html

 

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Crush the Rebellion
by Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller

18½” x 26¾” lithograph print

Order here: http://www.darkinkart.com/star-wars/alliance/crush-the-rebellion-brian-miller.html

Hurry the event ends September 15th and these illustrations return to a galaxy far, far away…