The illustrator on infusing postage with the power of the Force, including fuzzy porgs, Supreme Leader Snoke, and other Star Wars icons.
In an homage to a legacy of richly illustrated movie posters, the 2017 Royal Mail Star Wars stamps are tiny works of art filled with hidden treasures and intricate details.
Yet when artist Malcolm Tween started the top secret project digitally painting the postage-stamp portraits of eight characters, including a few from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, more than a year ago, he knew very little about some of the new characters. “So when the porg turned up, that was quite a surprise,” he says.
Beyond capturing the innocent blank eyes of Ahch-To's indigenous avian creatures and the craggy face of the First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke, Tween helped find the balance between the character featured in each stamp and an array of ships, vignettes, and other tiny details in their midst. Look closely, and you may even see where he's hidden a Jawa.
Recently, Tween sat down with StarWars.com from his studio in Bournemouth, on the south coast of the United Kingdom, to talk about his favorite Tatooine scrappers, the challenges of keeping his work under wraps, and having his stamp collection approved by the Queen.
Tween, as a partner in the illustration studio Digital Progression, has been designing the Royal Mail's Star Wars stamps since 2015, working closely with Lucasfilm and London-based design agency Interabang. But when it came to capturing the look and feel of the stamp series, Tween looked to legendary Star Wars poster illustrator Drew Struzan for inspiration.