By Kyle Cunningham
Troy resident Craig Skaggs has been a professional illustrator for the past twenty- ve years. Recently, however he has began gaining traction within main- stream media corporations. For the past three years Skaggs has been contracted to illustrate for Lucas lms and recently signed another contract last year to cre- ate artwork for art galleries at Disney World.
Skaggs, whose primary oc- cupation is as the lead medical illustrator for the American Col- lege of Cardiology and the Jour- nal of Allergy and Immunology, was able to receive his ‘big break’ after creating various pieces for comic conventions and other art events.
“I got the Lucasfillms contract because of the paintings I’d been doing for conventions, and some of cial Star Wars art I had done in the 90’s,” he said.
From there he was able to pick up a contract with Disney in 2019, who now owns the rights to the Star Wars franchise.
He recently completed his first two pieces to be displayed at Disney World, but due to the CO- VID-19 pandemic those works of art have yet to be released.
Being an illustrator was al- ways a lifelong dream for Skaggs who grew up during the 1970’s when art was beginning to be a creative outlet of expression.
“I’ve wanted to be an illustrator almost my entire life,” he said. “I grew up in a time where fantastic artwork was every-
where- record covers, book covers, movie posters, advertising, Dinsey and Warner animation.”
According to Skaggs, being an illustrator is no easy task as it is a highly competitive business that is hard to stay into. He, how- ever credits his sustainability to being able to adapt and reinvent himself during the ever chang- ing times.
Prior to 9/11 he made most of his earnings through advertising, but since then he has shifted to toy and product design as well as book cover art and medical illustration.
Although he is a medical illustrator by profession, the ne art trade has picked up which is allowed him to meet fans and even George Lucas himself, which he sold one of his pieces,to.
“The most rewarding aspect of what I do is the fans,” he said. “When I am a guest artist at EP- COT or Star Wars Celebration, the love from the fans is over- whelming. I get to be a rock star, in a small way. I’m proud too to have created some of the best selling Star Wars prints ever.”
When asked what advice he could give to those aspiring to be an illustrator Skaggs stated that it all depends on what kind of il- lustration that individual is going after, but after doing conventions or set shows the best advice he could give is to sell your art.
“You should consistently post videos of drawing or paintings which seems to work pretty well for some beginners. Its such a different thing now than it was when I got into it so long ago.”