Paul Shipper, whose contribution to the Star Trek. 50 Artists. 50 Years. collection is called Star Trek Inception: The Cage, is a UK-based illustrator who creates art for properties and clients around the world. He specializes in traditional and digitally illustrated works realized in a “retro” style. His art has appeared on film posters, billboards and T-shirts, as well as on the covers of comics, magazines and books. Shipper's illustrated posters were awarded Silver at the 2014 Key Art Awards in Hollywood, and his original art and prints have been displayed in many galleries. StarTrek.com caught up with Shipper for a brief conversation at a gallery showing of the 50 Artists. 50 Years. exhibition at Comic-Con in San Diego this past summer. Here's what he had to say:
When I was asked to do a piece for the Star Trek exhibition, I just figured the best idea would be to go straight to the very first thing that Gene Roddenberry actually brought out. It was the inception, I kind of call it, of Star Trek. It’s like the very first frontier. This is the springboard of what Star Trek became and, to me personally, it just felt like the right thing to do, and to take it from there. The characters, who obviously changed a lot from this to the actual series, were also very interesting to me.
How did you create it? It's a digital piece...
It is digital, but it’s actually digital illustration on top of a painted surface. I don’t want it to look too much like a photo, so you can see all of the pencil marks and the brush strokes in there. That’s part of the aesthetic that I really enjoy in my illustration works.
How well did you know Star Trek when this project came along?
I grew up watching Star Trek like many people did. The time when I was first introduced to it was really The Next Generation, and then I went back to The Original Series. Then, later on, in life, I got to work with CBS and IDW Publishing on a Star Trek comic book series. So, yeah, my relationship with Star Trek has been a really fun one so far, and hopefully it will continue.
What does it mean to you to come into a gallery full of Star Trek art, and to have your piece be a part of this 50th anniversary collection?
First of all, to be asked to be a part of the selected 50 artists is a great honor. And to celebrate the whole thing in its 50th year is incredible. Walking into the gallery here, and seeing the art on the wall for the first time was an experience. You could actually feel it. It was a visceral kind of feeling when I walked in. The first thing I saw was actually the piece by Leonard Nimoy on the wall there. The artwork here is phenomenal. There are so many different styles and concepts, and everyone is coming from different places. It is a real celebration of Star Trek, and I’m really pleased to be a part of it.
Go to Hero Complex Gallery to purchase Star Trek Inception: The Cage as either a 16"x24" or 24"x36" fine art giclee print.