Pencil artist Robert Bailey delights fans around the world with his astonishingly detailed Star Wars sketches.
History and Background
Born in 1947 and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Robert attended art college before moving to Canada at the age of 17 to become a photographer. After a varied career that included stints as a photo lab technician, advertising layout artist and journalist, he took up a position as a medical photographer.
During this time, he began to publish lithographs of World War II canvases. This involved many trips to the USA, Germany and Czech Republic to get them signed by aircrews, fighters and bomber pilots. He flew helicopters and was invited to fly in an F-18 Hornet by the Canadian Air Force and travel with the U.S Navy and Marine Corps.
His work was noticed by Star Wars creator George Lucas, who invited Robert to work on Star Wars Visions – which saw 30 artists create their own interpretations of characters and scenes. This forged a close artistic relationship with George, who bought many of his limited edition prints both for himself and cast and crew members.
Ideas and Inspirations
As a licensed Marvel artist, he has depicted many Spider-Man and Avengers scenes. He also likes to capture films and TV shows such as The Lord of the Rings, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Harry Potter.
Today, he creates his Star Wars original artworks in pencil only – with the blessing of George Lucas’ film production company, Lucasfilm. Collectors include Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Tom Cruise and the late Carrie Fisher.
A day in the Life of…
The artist’s strict work ethic sees him start the day in his studio at 7.30am and continue creating until 5.30pm. Incredibly, he goes through up to 12 pencils per day, all of which are hand-sharpened.
He explains: "Only by practise can the dexterity of fine pencil work be kept up."
While sketching, Robert listens to a varied music playlist, ranging from classical Italian opera to the Rolling Stones.