Fan Artist Spotlight: Krad-Eelav

Ordo and Skirata chibi wallpaper by Krad-Eelav

Today’s spotlight is on Krad-Eelav! You can find Krad on deviantART and Tumblr.

When I started reading the Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss, I was desperate to find artwork and fanfiction portraying my favorite characters and elaborating my favorite relationships. Fortunately, I found Krad on devianART, and needless to say, I fell in love. If you’re a fan of the series and you’ve come to love the likes of Kal Skirata, Walon Vau, Ordo Skirata, and Mandalorians in general, you have to check out Krad’s artwork. My favorite aspect of Krad’s work is the coloring. Most of the pieces resemble watercolor, and I am a big fan of watercolor paintings. To evoke that style through digital art takes a lot of talent, and Krad certainly has it. Although I absolutely adore the chibi wallpapers, my favorite piece is “Precipice,” featuring Zam Wesell.

"Precipice" by Krad-Eelav
“Precipice” by Krad-Eelav

Tell us about yourself.
I’m Krad, a  graphic design major in the day and fandom lurker at night. Loves coffee, villains, messing around with an old Gamecube that refuses to die, and EU novels.

When and how did you become a Star Wars fan?
I had watched the original trilogy before, but Episode II really kickstarted the whole obsession. Either way, it was definitely noticeable when I started organizing lightsaber duels at summer camp with broken tennis rackets, ha!

Right after that, I got heavily involved with the Expanded Universe works–usually anything related with the Mandalorians. To this day, I’ll pick up Open Seasons and The Bounty Hunter Wars series for some comfort reading. That being said, SW: Starfighter probably has the most hours I’ve ever spent on one game.

What tools do you use to create your art?
Digital works are my comfort zone, and the primary tools have been a mixture of Corel Painter 11 and Photoshop CS5. However, I’ve been transitioning into PS recently since it’s a lot more flexible with typography and different styles. Perfect for some future quasi-comic book mockups if you get my meaning.  -winks-

Occasionally, I’ll work out a sketch on regular paper and pencils–nothing wrong with the tried and true.

What is your favorite Star Wars piece that you have created and why are you fond of it?
I love all of the different nuances of the Republic Commando characters, but “Anatomy of a Shot,” featuring Walon Vau and Mird, takes a special place in my heart. Imagining what the characters did in the past and how that shaped them is a fun habit, especially given that they’re involved with a more shady side to the galaxy that we usually see.

Anatomy of the Shot by Krad-Eelav
Anatomy of the Shot by Krad-Eelav

What’s the best and worst thing about being an artist?
You know, I could go the fancy route and say that vislualizing the stories in your brain is the most rewarding part, which is true to an extent. Really, though, the entire reason why I even got into drawing was being able to draw favorite under-loved characters. That has to be it!

Worst…probably loosing your tablet pen and searching around the entire room just to find it in your hand half an hour later! Being a scatterbrained artist is kinda frustrating at times, haha.

Are you looking forward to the future Star Wars films? What are your hopes or worries?
Right now, I’m reserving opinions because it honestly could go anywhere, though, there does seem like a great starting team to capture the magic that SW has. As long as there’s some attention to the EU lore, I’ll be happy.

Any final thoughts?
To you creatives out there, never feel discouraged about drawing or writing the things you love! Experience and style will come in time (and plenty of practice!)– it’s the sheer love that goes into what you create that that’s the key. People will notice!

And we have definitely noticed that about your art, Krad. You have so much love for these characters, and I see it with every stroke and carefully placed line. Keep up the wonderful and skillful work, and may the Force be with you!

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