Rocco Malatesta, who hails from Italy, is a freelance illustrator whose recent clients include Texas Monthly Magazine, Ray-Ban, Vogue Eyewear, LeCoq Sportif, Gillette, Nike, Barclays, Piaggio, Sunglass Hut, DHL, Blackberry and Modify Watches. His vibrant work often captures pop-culture imagery from movies and television, and it often encompasses alternate posters. Pieces have been devoted to everything from Star Trek, Kill Bill and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to Friday the 13th, Annie Hall and Star Wars. He’s also created numerous original pieces.

Malatesta decided at age 13 that he’d make his living as a graphic designer and through hard work, talent and perseverance he’s done precisely that. These days, he works from a home studio and, when not creating art, Malatesta indulges in such other passions as bushcraft, cooking and running.

He lives in Berlin, Germany.

What was your inspiration?

I just tried to use what is for me one of the strongest icons of the saga: Spock doing the Vulcan salute. The concept came on the same day that CBS wrote me. I was so excited that I left everything and I locked myself in the house to draw to find the right idea. Once the idea came out I really slowed down a lot. I remember many nights spent to complete it.

Why did you choose Spock?

Because in my opinion he is certainly the most charismatic character of the series. I love him so much; I think everyone does.

How is your Star Trek artwork similar to or different from your other works?

When I see this poster I cannot help but notice the aura of deep respect for the character. This was my commitment; I hope it is perceivable for others.

What excited you most about the opportunity to get involved in the Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years. project?

This is for me a great opportunity to be part of a legend!

See Malatesta's artwork at roccomalatesta.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.