Are you ready for this month’s Star Trek: The Original Series Retro Art Prints by Juan Ortiz? They are “Arena,” “The Naked Time,” “A Taste of Armageddon” and “Spectre of the Gun,” and they’re available now. In order to give you some insight into the creation of the quartet, StarTrek.com chatted with the artist. Here’s what he had to say:
As always, let's start with last month. What kind of reaction did you get to the art prints you created for “The Man Trap,” “This side of Paradise,” “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”, and “The Immunity Syndrome?”
Ortiz: So far, the reaction has been pretty good from what I've read on various web sites, including the Star Trek Facebook page. If I had to guess which was the favorite for the month, I would have to say "This Side Of Paradise" because of the Spock subject matter.
Have you seen the posters at friends' houses? In stores? What's it like for you, as an artist, to see your art "in action," so to speak, being enjoyed by people?
Ortiz: I've seen one of my posters on a friend's wall, but not all of my friends are Trek fans. So I won't hold it against them.
The December titles are “Arena,” “The Naked Time,” “A Taste of Armageddon” and “Spectre of the Gun.” Three of the four feature skulls. What's up with that?
Ortiz: I didn't pick this month's titles, but maybe the person that did had just celebrated Day of the Dead earlier in November. There's no denying that skulls make strong statements, as well as look cool, however macabre it may seem.
Let's start with “Arena.” You went with very basic colors here. What went into that choice?
Ortiz: Normally, I would have filled in the silhouette and left the background bare, but I took some chances with this project and went with decisions that I normally wouldn't go with. Most of my commercial work is filled with bright, bold colors in a sea or products that all scream "buy me," but for myself, I prefer Earth tones.
The Gorn is far more lizard-like and modern than the plodding creature in the episode. What led you to depict him so differently?
Ortiz: Fortunately for Captain Kirk, his Gorn moved in slow motion. My Gorn represents what he may have looked like if TOS had today's budget and special effects technology. The inspiration came from the sword and sorcery paintings that I used to ogle over as a teen, by Frank Frazetta.
What were you aiming for with “The Naked Time” print?
Ortiz: First and foremost, I wanted a strong graphic image. I opted for the opening and final scenes where crewman Joe Tormolen comes into contact with the virus and the Enterprise's plummet at the end of the episode. I literally took my idea from the title and "stripped" off the outer layer of crewman Tormolen's own hand to expose the hand of time and space. The skull could either be a foreshadow of Tormolen's death or it could be a representation of the affliction reflecting off his visor.
Our favorite of the four this month is “A Taste of Armageddon.” It's so vivid and stark, and we love the bold color for the show's title and phaser beam. Plus, you use photographs. Take us through crafting this one.
Ortiz: My initial idea was to depict a face for the computer console with view-screens for eyes, which is why I went with photos for this one. I eventually replaced the face idea with a skull to best represent that episode's story. I played around with the red accent color and decided to keep it simple with just the show title and phaser beam. The use of the title for teeth is nothing new, but if something works, it's worth doing again.
Do you remember the instant you decided to use guns as part of the Enterprise for “Spectre”? How much of an a-ha moment was that?
Ortiz: My very first idea was to create a "wanted" type poster, but I felt it would be a bit too cliche and not a serious depiction of that episode. The guns make a broader and more serious statement. I'm not sure that the use of the guns was an a-ha moment as much as an "I wonder if this has ever been done?" moment. As far as I know, it hasn't, but if the Enterprise can be a pizza cutter, it can be anything.
Of the four, if we only let you put one on your own wall, which would it be... and why?
Ortiz: It would have to be "A Taste Of Armageddon" for the skull and images of Kirk and Spock, of course.
QMx will offer the four prints as a set of plated-printed lithographs on 100-pound, aqueous-coated, satin-finish paper. Each print measures 18x24 inches and the set of four is $34.95. US and Canada fans can currently find the sets at QMxOnline.com, with set 5 available for preorder. See all of the sets currently available from QMxOnline.com HERE.
Pyramid will have the images available in the UK on Wood for £39.99 (43x59cm) and £49.99 (45x76cm), Canvas for £59.99 (60x80cm) and as Framed Art Prints at £49.99 (60x80cm). UK fans will be able to purchase the items at Amazon.co.uk, ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk and Oneposter.co.uk.
The next four images will be revealed on January 1st here on StarTrek.com.