What started off as a hobby for one Temecula resident has turned into a licensed project with Lucasfilm Ltd..
Deven Schoeffler, 39, said he grew up watching the original 80s Star Wars films with his father.
“We would watch them on our little color TV; we’d watch the VHS tapes,” Schoeffler said. “I’ve always been a fan of just drawing the aesthetics of Star Wars, (they) were just really appealing, everything about them was super cool.”
Schoeffler attended Rancho Elementary School, Margarita Middle School and Temecula Valley High School. In high school, Schoeffler learned graphic design for the first time.
“I don’t know if they still have it, but at the time they had a, kind of like an after-school program to learn how to use a printing press,” Schoeffler said. “It was this whole program involved with every step of that process from laying documents out on computers and then moving it to the actual printing press process, and that’s where I started to really learn graphic design.”
Schoeffler got his first job out of high school while he was in college from that initial class.
“The teacher at the time recommended me for a job and that was for a graphic design job, and that’s kind of where I have been ever since,” he said.
While Schoeffler got his degree in business at California State University San Marcos, he’s continuously found work in graphic design.
“My career out of college I actually worked for The Press Enterprise doing design, and then the Orange County Register,” Schoeffler said. “From there I got into advertising and I did a lot of projects there, did work for Honda and Magic Johnson, Wells Fargo and stuff like that.”
Schoeffler also keeps side projects going, he said.
“I have always just kind of made my own design, put stuff up that people like,” Schoeffler said.
Last year, Schoeffler worked on a “Mandalorian” poster, because he was excited that the show was coming out.
“Somebody saw that online and contacted me about getting that licensed through Lucasfilm, and then that led to the original trilogy posters – so I’ve only done a couple projects with them, but it’s been pretty cool to see that stuff get the official license,” Schoeffler said.
The company that holds the license for the print is ACME Archives Ltd., and they print posters for Lucasfilm.
Schoeffler came up with the initial idea for his first poster based on the old Star Wars VHS movie covers.
“I want to say the biggest inspiration was I remember back to those old VHS tapes that my dad had,” Schoeffler said. “If you look at the old VHS cover for ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ like a big, Stormtrooper helmet on there, and that has just always stuck with me, and I just thought it would be cool.
“Really I kind of wanted the bottom of his mask to be like the snow banks of Hoth with the AT-AT’s coming out of the top of that,” he said.
That idea was where Schoeffler started.
“It kind of just evolved into what that was, and so that was actually the first one I started with was the Empire, and then after the other two just naturally fell into place,” Schoeffler said.
He said he also has a few other projects in the works. His trilogy posters – “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” – were picked up and licensed as a limited five-day run to purchase. They sold out.
Schoeffler also posted it on reddit.
“It got a huge number of likes on reddit, I think it got like 60,000 likes on reddit and that was pretty big,” he said. His “Mandalorian” poster had also been released, and that one sold out as well.
“It’s really encouraging to hear,” Schoeffler said. “I would make these things anyways, and so it’s really nice to see that people like them.”
Schoeffler said he has always been a fan of sci-fi.
“My mom was a huge sci-fi fan,” Schoeffler said. “Basically, I just make stuff that I would like to see, that I would hang up on my wall and that’s where it all comes from.”
He was glad people have reacted so positively to the pieces, he said.
“It was definitely a fun project to work on,” Schoeffler said.
Lexington Howe can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.