March 30, 2010

Space Center Clone Wars Ultimate Fan Day

This past Saturday, Space Center Houston hosted a Star Wars: The Clone Wars kids' event, and I was fortunate enough to be invited out there to teach a couple "How To Draw" classes and to do some book signings. Here's a quick photo recap of my weekend. :)

The drawing classes were held in a huge auditorium, and fellow guest Obi Shawn and members of the local 501st garrison joined me onstage.

As you can see, there was a five-story-tall screen behind me. I drew six different characters (Rex, Anakin, Ahsoka, Asajj, Grievous, and Bossk) and the kids could either follow along on their own worksheets or they could just watch me do my thing on the giant screen. I tried to keep it extra entertaining by giving art pointers, tips and fun facts about the characters as I worked.

After my classes, the kids could head outside to learn some Padawan lightsaber fighting techniques from Master Obi Shawn and his 501st friends. Space Center had a really neat stage set up and had Star Wars music playing the whole time -- it was pretty cool. The kids seemed to be having a lot of fun.

There were several book signings. The Space Center gift shop (a big, awesome gift shop, if I do say so myself) had a really nice display set up that featured a bunch of copies of the Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars kids' book that I illustrated (written by Lucasfilm's Bonnie Burton and published by Klutz).

It was great meeting all of the families -- everyone was super nice. Lots of kids asked me questions, and I asked them lots of questions (I was curious to know who everyone's favorite Clone Wars character was -- The top three among boys was definitely Rex, Anakin and Grievous -- The girls mostly said Ahsoka). Some of the kids even brought in their own drawings to show me, which was amazing. It was a really cool experience.

Finally, after the day's events, Obi Shawn joined me and my friend Mary (who took most of these pictures - you rock, Mary!! And, by the way, she's also a member of the 501st - best Sith Witch everrrrr) on a tour of NASA. It was so so so cool. I've been dreaming of seeing NASA since I was a kid, so needless to say, I was on cloud nine.

And for anyone who's wondering... Yes, the people at NASA are huge Star Wars geeks. I think we spotted Star Wars stuff in every other office we walked past. :)

If you'd like to see more photos from the trip, click here!

Thanks again to everyone that came out to Space Center. And a huge thanks to Tracy at Lucasfilm, and to Jack and Roger at NASA, who spoiled us and took care of us all weekend (and Jack was also our awesome tour guide). Thanks to Obi Shawn and the 501st - and I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention something or someone, but I gotta get some sleep! :) Over all, an AMAZING weekend!!