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Fan Artist Spotlight: Regina Mendoza

Wookiee Study by deviantART artist Okani

Today’s spotlight is on Regina Mendoza, a.k.a. Okani! You can find her on deviantART and Tumblr.

I discovered Regina on deviantART and fell in love with her project that she made for school. The project is a 35-illustration card set that depicts several different Star Wars species. What made me fall in love with her art was the ingenuity and originality behind her approach. I also love the fact that the cards are written in Spanish, which truly demonstrates the diversity behind the Star Wars fandom.

Tell us about yourself.
I am a Mexican female and an art and pop culture enthusiast, who just graduated from college and hopes to find a steady job in a not-so-steady economy (one can dream, huh?) and aspires to do so in an art-related field.

When and how did you become a Star Wars fan?
When I was a child, I was always more inclined to anime and manga, which made me a die-hard otaku. I loved Sakura, Digimon, Pokemon, and any anime the television would transmit at the time. When I was about to enter high school, I started to take a comics illustration class, where I met another girl, who later became one of my best friends.  She was a fan of DC comics and Star Wars and introduced me to these fantastic worlds. The first time I saw Episode IV, I knew there was no turning back.

What’s your project about and how did you come up with the idea?
It’s a 35 illustration project that is written by a Jedi Master, Dardan Ismet, who is one of my fan-made OCs (other characters). Each illustration describes a species. At times, a description of the planet is included as well as his opinions and experiences when meeting them. I tried to also mix it with the feeling of an old “explorer’s sketch book” or something like that. I came up with the idea when I was required to make a project for a class in school. We had to make something book-related with a twist, so we didn’t end up with the traditional book format, and I thought it was a great excuse to make something Star Wars-related; something I wanted to do for years now.

What tools do you use to create your art?
For this project, I used pencil, ink and coffee to make it feel like an old illustration, but I work with both digital and traditional media. In digital media, I use Photoshop CS3 and Paint Tool Sai and in traditional media I am way more flexible. I like pencil, ink, markers, watercolor, prismacolors, ballpoint pens, acrylics, etc.

What is your favorite piece that you have created and why are you fond of it?
I am my worst critic and even when I enjoy greatly when I am working, I always feel like the final result could be better. Often when I look at my work, I tend to focus on the mistakes rather than the things that work well in the illustration and that’s something I need to change soon, but in this project I think the ones I liked the most were the Cerean, Cathar and Togruta cards.

Are you looking forward to the future Star Wars films? What are your hopes or worries?
Definitely, I am really excited. I hope they make a better job than the one they did on Episodes I and II or The Clone Wars. I think they did the right choice with the director and he’s capable of doing a good job, but one can never know. I don’t want to think too much about it, really. I want to get there with an open mind and enjoy it as much as I can.

What are your professional goals?
Being a professional illustrator and being able to make it a way of living. Graphic novels and cover and book illustrations are the things I am more interested to work on. A dream that I hope to make true one day is entering a book store and seeing a book or a comic with a cover I did or something with my name on it.

Any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for sharing my work and I hope it is something the Star Wars fandom can enjoy. Aaaand, I don’t know what else to say! There are so many interesting things in the Star Wars universe and I hope I never get tired of making illustrations inspired by them, so I can continue to share them with you with the hope that you like them as much as I like doing them. Thanks again and may the Force be with you all!

Thanks, Regina! I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and I hope to see your artwork evolve into the professional setting you desire. May the Force be with you!

About JM (913 Articles)
Content creator of The Wookiee Gunner. Contributing writer for Jedi News, Fangirl Next Door, and Fashioned for the Geek. Podcasts: @RebelsChat, @GalacticFashion, @Team_Kanan, and @StarScavengers. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

1 Comment on Fan Artist Spotlight: Regina Mendoza

  1. woah! amazing work (in Spanish KYAH!!!!)
    again: good interview!
    looking forward for the next one! :D

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