Sunday, July 19, 2009

EMPIRE MUGGS BACK: ART FOR A MIGHTY GOOD CAUSE~The Making of My Steve Sansweet Mighty Mugg by Denise Vasquez





I can't begin to tell you how excited I was when I was contacted by Bonnie Burton from Lucasfilm to be a part of this project!!! Bonnie asked if I would like to Paint a blank Mighty Mugg Project they were doing to benefit The “Make A Wish Foundation”

I am an Artist With a Cause & founder of WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE

(Myspace page)

(Facebook Group)

I truly LOVE doing anything I can for a cause!

Given the opportunity to do something fun, creative, involving art, for a cause, I jumped on board the "EMPIRE MUGGS BACK" project.


I had no clue what I wanted to do for my Mighty Mugg....

All I knew from the start was that I wanted to paint something unique, and I wanted to paint something that really INSPIRES me!

I didn’t want to force it, so I started going thru photos that I took during Star Wars
Celebration IV, Star Wars Celebration Europe, and Star Wars Celebration Japan...

As soon as I came upon a photo of Steve Sansweet & I taken during Star Wars
Celebration Japan (see below), I knew I had found my inspiration for my Mighty Mugg...





There was Steve Sansweet in his Jedi/Ninja Robe...

I saw him as a Mighty Mugg in that robe...that was it!

I had found my inspiration!

Steve inspires me BEYOND...and I LOVED that robe he was wearing! I believe I asked Steve @Star Wars Celebration Japan where he got that robe...I want one! Not to mention, after visiting Rancho Obi Wan a few times, I’ve been wanting to create a piece of art incorporating Steve Sansweet & Star Wars, so here was my opportunity to pay tribute to someone in the Star Wars Universe who TRULY inspires me BEYOND...Steve Sansweet!

I wanted to keep my Mighty Mugg simple in keeping with my style “Less Is More”, yet still in the vain of The Mighty Mugg world...

Once I determined that I was going to do Steve Sansweet for my Mighty Mugg, I did a variety of preliminary sketches of how I was going to draw on my Mighty Mugg (Actual sketches shown below & will be available to see @San Diego Comic Con CC-05)...


Once I ended up with a sketch that I was happy with, I moved forward and began looking into what I needed to paint my Mighty Mugg.

I’ve never painted a Mighty Mugg before, so i decided to do my homework & do a little research on “How To” paint a Mighty Mugg.

I decided the best way to find out was to go to the Mighty Mugg Forums online...

There I found discussions on problems people were having painting the Mighty Mugg, and some helpful hints.

So now I knew what I needed to begin...Primer! Not an oil based primer, a Latex Primer!

So began my search for Latex Primer...

I ventured into many art stores, and surprisingly, they did not have Latex Primer...

I ended up finding some in a hardware store. So I purchased a can of “Weatherbeater” Latex Primer, and a little sponge brush to paint it on evenly.

I didn’t want to use a “Hair Brush” because I didn’t want to run the risk of having brush hairs painted into my Mighty Mugg.

Now I had to wait for the temperature to cool down (as per the instructions)...I live in Los Angeles & the weather has been HOT!!! So I waited... before painting the primer on...once the sun went down, I painted my Mighty Mugg and let it dry for a few hours or so.

Once the Mighty Mugg was completely dry, I used a #2 pencil to draw as I had sketched Steve Sansweet on my Mighty Mugg...





Once I Had my Mighty Mugg sketched, I was ready to begin painting. I used a variety of inexpensive Acrylic paints: Liquitex, Americana & Palmer, and I used “Robert Simmons Expressions” Paint brushes to paint my Mighty Mugg.

Once my Mighty Mugg was dry, I used my sponge brush once again, and completely covered my MIghty Mugg in “Gloss Medium & Varnish” which provided a permanent and protective finish for surfaces painted with acrylics...




As I mentioned, this was the first time I had ever painted a Mighty Mugg, or a vinyl figure of this kind....For me the biggest challenge was painting small on a surface that wasn’t flat while trying to keep a steady hand.

As a Star Wars artist & as a fan of the Star Wars Universe, I can say that the thing I LOVE most, is how Star Wars artists are constantly coming up with new ways to look at & experience the Star Wars Universe. From what I've seen, Star Wars fans have always loved & appreciated the artists creativity.

The Mighty Mugg project was an amazing circumstance where all of us artists were challenged to take our imaginations even a step further, outside of our norm!

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this!!! I really had fun!

The final Mighty Mugg pieces will be on display at San Diego Comic Com & on starwars.com

Each Mighty Mugg will be auctioned off to raise money for The Make A Wish Foundation

Online auction dates: July 31st-August 14th, 2009

For more information visit:


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