Darth Vader Helmet Art Contest: Participant Announcement

by |November 1, 2011
Categories: Contest

A long, long time ago (more like this summer)

at a Halloween costumes company in a galaxy far, far away (Southern MN)

a call was put out for creative minds to put their helmets to the test

25 artists were chosen; these are their stories.


In the spirit of The Darth Vader Project, HalloweenCostumes.com selected 25 artists to create an original art piece using an authentic replica Darth Vader helmet for the Darth Vader Helmet Art Contest. Winners will be chosen on November 30, 2011, and the top three winners will each receive a cash prize. The helmets will then be auctioned off to benefit local Minnesota charities, The Midwest Art Catalyst and The Miracle League of North Mankato. Details of the auction are TBD.




Denise Vasquez is an artist who creates because it is a part of her being! Her talents run the gamut from being an Award winning singer/songwriter/guitarist, activist and founder of “Wo%20Men 4 A Cause”, to being an actress, illustrator, custom toy designer, co-author of “Sketch Card Mania” and more! Denise has done work for Stan Lee, Impact Books/F&W Media, DKE Toys, Topps, Bean Pot Toiz, Breygent Marketing, Sadlittles, 5Finity Productions & more!





I am a formerly obsessed, but mostly recovered Star Wars fan, a 2003 BFA graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a painting and sculpture concentration, and a local business owner. My current artistic endeavors include: working as a tattoo artist, making "crafty, artsy stuff", and helping run a small local art gallery.





Jason Goad is an illustrator located in Dayton, Ohio. Goad is a graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design and has been a freelance artist for ten years. During that time his work has been utilized in numerous fashions including clothing design, skateboard art, motorcycle helmet design and graphics for Hot Wheels/Mattel. 




I am a mixed media artist/muralist out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. a large portion of my inspiration comes chiefly from nature and the vivid colors that exist within the environment. The execution of each work of art is never pre-determined; I let each creation transform itself surprising myself as the painting (or helmet in this case) evolves.





Jason Knudson has been a graphic designer / illustrator for longer than he cares to imagine. Currently, Jason is employed at Buyfun.com as a lead graphic designer where he designs websites and packaging for the Halloween costume and t-shirt industries. In his spare time, he rocks out with the Old Towne Ghosts (a Mankato-based punk rock band), illustrates gig posters and cd art for his and other bands and graphics for independent record labels and local music venues. Jason's favorite things to draw are robots, donuts, and toilets - sometimes all three at once.





My name is Ryan Peterson.  I am 28 and live in Buffalo, New York.  Professionally I am an industrial designer.  I am an avid enthusiast and collector of all things toy.  A few of my interests are urban vinyl, G.I Joe, m.a.s.k., Star wars, Masters of the Universe and I also enjoy customizing figures and drawing.





Bradley Smith is an artist and illustrator living in Scottsdale, AZ. Besides free-lancing for clients, he also loves to create his own works of art using a kid's craft medium called Wikki Stix, a unique combination of yarn covered in wax that is ideal for creating 3-dimentional work. Originally from Des Moines, IA, Brad began drawing and creating at a very young age. He earned his BFA degree from the University of Iowa before moving to Phoenix in 1987 to begin his career in graphic design. A lot of Brad’s work remains whimsical and colorful with a kid-like attitude that seems to have never left him. Brad says "Wikki Stix Creatables provide me with a hands-on approach that reminds me of my youth — but a lot less messy. Brad's Wikki Stix artworks have appeared in Phoenix galleries, including After Hours Gallery, Eye Lounge and monOrchid.





With 15 years’ experience Megan has made quite a name for herself as one of the top female tattoo artists in the United States. Working diligently on the convention circuit and being featured in numerous
magazines worldwide, Megan still awes her fans with her uncanny attention to detail. As a master in both color and black & gray tattooing, she specializes in portrait tattooing and reproduction work - with a twist, making each piece that she works on her own.




I discovered my passion for art as a student at Gustavus Adolphus College.  There I was able to experiment with many mediums such as screen printing, painting, digital art, and sculpture.  My favorite medium is oil paints and most of my latest work is an abstract experiment in the subconscious. I graduated from Gustavus in 2006.  One year later I went back to school to earn a graphic design degree at South Central College in North Mankato.  I graduated from SCC in 2008. From 2008-2010, I worked as a web designer for Lime Valley Advertising, Inc. Finding it a little to "in the box" for my taste, I began working as a web designer for Costumes Galore in the summer of 2010.  I find web design to be challenging and exciting, and a very enjoyable way to make a living by making things look pretty.  Although I create commercial art by day, I still find painting to be very therapeutic and relaxing.  I still have an art studio in my basement and continue to paint.





Art has played a major role in my life for as long as I can remember. When I was in middle school I started doodling cartoons on my notebook covers. I would fill the covers with fun expressive cartoons.  As I would run out of space on my "makeshift canvas" I would start filling in the spaces with more characters and objects to create a juxtaposed piece of art. The style I work in is colorful, accessible and visually and emotionally engaging.  It draws on both graphic illustration and cartooning techniques while also maintaining the level of expressiveness and rigor found in fine art painting.  The shadowing, modeling and brush strokes are integrated with clean, sharp lines and bold colors, which carry with it an urban quality.  These techniques create a sense of narrative, as well as separating individual characters in such a way that it makes them feel as if they are leaping off the canvas.





R.L. Gibson is a thirty-something, nationally-shown artist and happily-married mother of one working and “living on vacation” on top of a mountain in Tennessee with work in galleries from New York to Texas. Gibson works, almost exclusively as a Xerographist, producing complicated layered compositions and then hand-transferring these images to a variety of substrates resulting in a unique monotype. Xerography, as a medium, has neither a standard place in institutional art instruction nor a documented history. Gibson has spent years refining her hand-palatted technique. The “skips” are not flaws but the unique result of the process.





After 10 years as a professional graphic designer, Kelly is back with Megan finishing up her apprenticeship that she started over 12 years ago when Megan first opened Cactus Tattoo. Drawn towards the traditional style of tattooing, Kelly's work continues to be solid and timeless, much like her name.




Hi, my name's Albert Song, I am a senior at James Madison University. A Marketing major with an Art minor, I am hoping to pursue a career in advertising where I feel my ambition for Marketing and Art in combination will help me to succeed. I'm currently with the Madison American Advertising Federation which is JMU's chapter for the American Advertising Federation and partaking in numerous projects such as ad campaigns, research, or designs in order to expand my experience. 





Staci grew up in Cleveland, MN.  Being from a small town, people had to make their own fun, and Staci fell into art.  Drawing at a very early age, then kept trying all kinds of mediums, but mainly sticking to the pencil.  Later, she was introduced to painting and was learning more every day.  After trying many jobs in many fields, Staci has always been drawn back to the love of tattoo.  Currently, she is undergoing a tattoo apprenticeship in Mankato, MN.





Sonny Wong is a reformed street artist, now known for his bold and colorful pieces on canvas.  His background in graffiti often shines through his current work.  Locally he is recognized as the cover artist of Savage Henry Magazine.  He can often be spotted sitting alongside his partner in crime, The Sheik, working on Humboldt County landscapes and sipping beer.  Mr. Wong has been an active member of the Humboldt County art scene for almost 20 years now... from being one of the original graffiti writers in the area to holding down coffee shop and gallery walls to rocking live art at many of the local hip night spots.  Don't let his silver hair fool you... he is still young at heart, remains a trend setter, and loves to tango.





Born out of a volcano and raised by a sympathetic pack of Cane-Jacks (feral jackals that live at the base of volcanoes and feed on lava-babies), Mr. Schneider has spent the past twelve years of his unlikely existence carving pictures onto people and things for money and fame.





Weston Brownlee is a graduate of Colorado College and has sculpted professionally for three years. His work as a bronze artist focuses on the more unusual creatures in the world, the moments of narrative that exist in nature and combining that subject matter with aesthetically unique forms. As a longtime fan of Star Wars and an artist who, too seldom, has the chance to let his sculptures move into territory completely out of this world, he is quite thrilled to participate in this competition.




Dawn Evans Scaltreto is a fine artist and illustrator from Watertown, Massachusetts. She is a signature member of the New England Watercolor Society, and creates public art for Boston Children's Hospital and other facilities. She is currently working as one of the lead artists on Burnt Reindeer Films' futuristic animated horror feature, Infinite Santa 8000.  For fun, she plays keyboards in a Boston-based classic rock band, Perfect Crime.  A life-long sci-fi fanatic, she is absolutely pumped to be creating a new look for her favorite anti-hero, Darth Vader, especially in benefit of several great children's charities.





John Dickinson is the newest artist to the Mecca crew. John brings to the shop over 11 years of experience and an extreme passion for tattooing. John Dickinson started his tattoo apprenticeship in December of 1999, with Alien and Company in Owatonna, MN. Over the past 11 years, John took his tattooing skills to Florida at Living Canvas, Eye of the Tiger in La Crosse, WI, Nu World Tattoo in Osseo, MN and VishnuBunny Tattoo in Sioux Falls, SD.




Travis Lynn Mattick is a filmmaker whose works have played at festivals throughout the Midwest.  He explores other mediums but creating dioramas are his second passion after filmmaking.  He also believes everything looks better steampunked.  Travis believes all great stories should be redone in a steampunk version.  Including Star Wars.





Artist El Celso has been described in a recent issue of ARTnews as a street art “conceptionalist” regarding his latest show at The Winkleman Gallery. The Art Newspaper described his previous show, “Art Burn,” an International contemporary art expo & immolation, as a “bonfire of the art vanities” and the Miami Herald declared it “a funky Basel sideshow.” The New York Times described his 2008 exhibition, “Post No Bills,” a street art gallery installation in Long Island City as “audacious.” His colorful, figurative works are also featured in numerous publications, books, and websites.



Other Participating Artists


Dheepan Ramanan

David Melendez

Anastasia Hanan

The contest is over. We are not taking more entries.

Past comments
  • Denise Vasquez
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a participating artist in a great project benefiting great causes! I had a lot of fun creating my Vader Helmet & look forward to seeing the rest of the artists pieces!

    PeAcE LoVe aRt & sOuL
    Denise Vasquez
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 8:29 PM
  • Weston Brownlee
    I second Denise, this project was a blast!  I don't have any photos up on my webpage yet, but if you're interested, check out my facebook page to see an album of what I came up with: facebook.com/wwbrownlee
    Friday, November 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM
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