Star Wars Week: An Interview With Dave Liew, Artist And Future 501st Legion Member

Artwork by Dave Liew. Images used by permission.

Dave Liew aspiring member of the 501st Legion, Malaysia-Brunei Outpost, is well known by 501st Legion members for his amazing artwork. His work can be seen on several charity projects including the Princess Leia Charity Auction, Japan Tsunami Relief and R2KT charity patch runs. I first stumbled on Dave’s work during the Japan Tsunami disaster when I ran across his poster to help raise money to aid relief efforts in Japan. His passion for his art shows in each piece and the detail of his work really makes him stand out as one of a kind in the industry.

GeekMom: What was your first experience with Star Wars?
Dave Liew: My first experience with Star Wars was when I was between six and seven years old, and was watching A New Hope on my local tellie. That’s where my interest in sci-fi, especially SW, grew. My dad has been a great supporter in my quest for sci-fi. He was strict with what I watched and when I watched, but when Star Wars was on TV, even though it’s a re-run, he would definitely let me watch it…only after I’d done my homework and house chores of course.

GM: What draws you in?
DL: Robots, spaceships and of course the story of good versus evil. The magical Force handed down from the Master to the Apprentice.

GM: How long have you been into drawing and graphic arts?
DL: Well, I have been drawing since I was young. My first drawing was of a clock! I got my talent from my mum who is good in art and encouragement from my dad works hand in hand to where I am now. I never took illustration as serious professional work till recent years, where I started doing character design for an online game company and from there my love of drawing grew again. After that, I started accepting jobs doing character schematic for 3D productions and films.

GM: Do you have a favorite Star Wars piece?
DL: If it’s my artwork, it’s definitely the Japanese Tsunami artwork; it reaches out to so many people out there to help the people of Japan in their greatest need.

GM: How long does it usually take you to complete a project?
DL: Well, usually it takes a week. The initial few days is just to do the research and development on the subject. It’s important when creating the artwork that you feel and fully understand the subject; then your message can be heard loud and clear. I know I’m on the right track when I draw the illustration while putting myself as another person looking at it and I get the right feeling.

GM: Do you have a routine or favorite item that you like to have when creating your art? (ex. favorite pen, sketchbook, music, location, etc…)
DL: My usual hang out place is a local coffee shop with free WiFi just a stone throw away from my house and my trusty Asus laptop!

GM: Do you prefer digital or old school pen and paper when creating your art?
DL: Well, different styles take different approaches. For detail artwork, I’ll go for old school pen for better control on shading. For more structural final artwork, I’ll go for digital.

GM: Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
DL: Han!

GM: I really enjoy your work with the Princess Leia project. How did you get involved the cause?
DL: It started as a piece of artwork to give a word of encouragement to Zev and Frani after being inspired by their love for Leah.  Zev was kind enough to post it up on his FB page. The Princess Leah Angels dropped me an e-mail and said they would like to use the artwork to create merchandise to raise funds for Leah and I gladly said yes. Recently, I was able to help the Esquenazi family again for The Princess Leah Art auction.

GM: Do you have a favorite charity project that you’ve worked on? My personal favorite is the Tsunami artwork you did in 2011.
DL: My favorite is the R2KT patches because I had a lot of fun designing the various shapes and designs with Albin Johnson. The great thing is he gave me a lot of freedom to design the patches and I went all the way.

GM: What is the most memorable troop / event you can participated in with the 501st Legion (in costume or out of costume)?
DL: The Thailand Flood Troop, a four- weekends in a row troop. I was assisting Kirby (TK-8555) on the planning and it was a good experience and learning curve handling troopers and venue sponsors. This troop was my first appearance as Republic Commando Niner. (I’m still in the midst of getting approval from the Legion for that costume.)

GM: Would you like to give a shout out to anyone that has helped you succeed or become the person you are?
DL: My parents. I could never thank them enough for all they have done for me. Another person I would like to thank is Shanz Lim, my closest buddy who has helped me through thick and thin.

If you would like to see more of Dave’s work, please check him out online. Each piece is limited to 20 prints, so if you like something, you better act fast.

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Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.