I'd be happy to. I'm one of those people who picked up pencils and paint-brushes as (little more than) a toddler and then never put them down again. I've been making art as long as I can remember, so when it came time to choose school and career, art was the obvious choice. I've also been a sci-fi fan as long as I can remember, and as soon as Star Trek: The Next Generation hit the small screen, I was hooked. Fast forward to some years later, after working in several art fields and absorbing as much Star Trek as I possibly could, I realized that I wanted to have Star Trek art on my walls but couldn't find what I was looking for. The natural thing for me to do seemed to be...create Star Trek art for myself. So, that's what I did. My first Star Trek painting was the painting named "NCC-1701" and I just kept going from there. After I began receiving complements from friends I started to think that maybe others would enjoy these paintings too, and kaboom! Bye Bye, Robot was born! It took a bit of time, working through the legal side of things with CBS, but finally we made it and launched the shop. We ramped up our artwork offerings slowly so we could grow organically with the business, and now we work with almost a dozen artists, and are adding new art prints on a regular basis. Our next step, on the horizon, will be to branch out and begin incorporating more genres and licenses to our gallery.Your latest piece features the NX-01, and is Bye Bye Robot's first Enterprise-inspired design. How did you go about bringing this one to life? Were there any particular challenges, or things you enjoyed, about depicting the first starship Enterprise?
Since painting "NCC-1701" and "Boldly Go" it's always been my intention to continue my ship series adding many more well known Star Trek ships to the roster. The Enterprise NX-01 was always on the list, but when we saw that Scott Bakula was going to be attending the Austin Comic Con last month (which happened to be right in our neck of the woods) I got giddily inspired and began focusing on that one, in particular. I pretty much worked on it non-stop till it was finished, and got it done just in time to bring its prints with us to that convention. Yay!Charity also sent me a couple of behind the scenes photos, showing how her NX-01 came together. So here's how that "reverse painting" works. Doesn't the ship look nice in black!
You ask about the challenges and enjoyment of painting my first Enterpise focused piece. The answer to both sides of that coin is the same...detail. Huge amounts of detail! I never realized how detailed that ship was compared to the "later" versions of her. The NX-01 has so many tiny parts and hull plates. There are so many seams and outlines that I needed to keep clear. Oh...that's another thing...my style. I'll give you the short version. I begin my paintings on a black canvas, so the outlines that you see are unlike "typical" outlines that are put on lastly over top of an image. My "outlines" are actually unpainted areas that have to remain totally unpainted during the entire process, so that the black canvas shows through. You can think of it as a kind of reverse painting. So, knowing that, painting something with a lot of detail...and a lot of lines...takes quite a bit longer than not. The detail in the NX-01 was both challenging and zen-like. I found that when I wasn't cursing my hand for making a near miss of a stroke, I was fully absorbed in the work and completely unaware of my surroundings. I found that balance of emotions quite enjoyable. In fact, the overall experience of concentrating on that amount of detail has influenced my next choice of subjects. I will be tackling intricate detain again in the near future.
Continue after the jump for more from Charity, discussing some of her other pieces, and plans for the future: