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The eye of an illustrator is a real particular thing. When I was a youngster, I didn't pay that much attention to what was what in art — comics, cartoons, movie posters, an image on a lunchbox — it was all just cool pictures to me.
But after a few years of maturing and taking a closer look at what falls under the artistic umbrella, illustration, as with all the disciplines, has its own lane. And it requires a very specific skill set, too. You gotta have the "magic eye" like Denzel Washington tells Ethan Hawke in the movie 'Training Day'. Our pal, Jason Palmer, has the magic eye.
Jason lives out on the west coast in California, where he was born and raised, and has been a professional illustrator for over 20 years. He's worked on a variety of projects in his career: Star Trek comic books, prop art for various TV shows, licensed artwork for Warner Bros., Universal Studios and Lucasfilm properties, storyboards, ad designs, and more.
And as we cover in our interview, he recently worked on the new Wonder Woman television show that was in production over at NBC. This was the one, of course, being helmed by David E. Kelley and featured actress, Adrianne Palicki.
Other than commercial gigs like the ones mentioned above, Jason creates images for his own business featuring the liknesses of many of his favorite sci-fi, fantasy and pop culture icons. If you go to his store or if you see him at a convention, you'll likely see merch with characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, Tron, Smallville, Firefly and The Matrix.
When we first met Jason and his wife Yelena at Dragon*Con a few years ago, we ended up being their booth neighbors. Jason told us he was a fan of the podcast and how much he enjoyed it. And we were floored at how good his art was. After about ten minutes, we became bestest buddies and the rest of the weekend was a complete hoot!
In our chat with Mr. Palmer, we get to hear about everything — his early days working in an art store, his encounters with guys like LeRoy Neiman and Dave Stevens, becoming a professional illustrator, and what it's like to be considered Drew Struzan's protege (yes, that is correct).
**Below are two classic Indy images. The one on the left I happen to own as a print — a gift from the Palmers!
Here, Jason does a terrific version of Morpheus, Neo and Trinity; then an homage to his late friend, Dave Stevens' character, the Rocketeer.
And last, two of my favorite Padmes. Jason did a gazillion of them and they're all brilliant.