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Life & Work with Al Abbazia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Al Abbazia.

Hi Al, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Well, I have been doodling and drawing since I could remember. It was my escape from the world around me and gave me such comfort and happiness. I kept up with it my whole life, from doing a comic strip in my college years to pin up photography and art to where I am now in the world of pop culture. I ventured into the world of comic conventions ten years ago based on my photography. After a year or so, I decided to get back to my roots with drawing and painting. Now I combine all of my tools into pieces that I hope tell a story and perhaps bring happiness and inspiration to those who follow me.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Never a smooth road. Years of rejection and honing my craft led to me finally getting signed on to do licensed Star Wars work with Acme Archives and Lucasfilm, Ltd. My fun with pin-up art led to some fun years with the folks at Bettie Page. Forging friendships with artists such as Christian Waggoner has driven me to hone my skills and go beyond what I thought I was capable of. I’ve been told that I’m persistent and never give up. I feel that is one of the most important attributes that has led to my success. Listening to my best critic… my daughter Emily has pushed me to open my mind more and to keep going in the face of rejection.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I definitely have a retro aesthetic to most of my work. Being a History teacher, my love of where we came from and where we can possibly go has bled into my artistic life. I have done work for Bettie Page, Coca-Cola, merchandise for Star Trek, DC Comics, and various pin up projects from wine to signs to calendars. What I am most proud of professionally is the new contract that allows me to present my love for Star Wars in an “official capacity.” I love being a tiny part of that Galaxy far, far away. It’s been my favorite series since I was a kid and now I get to do art for it. A dream come true.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I first moved to Orlando to continue my education at UCF. I love the theme park presence in Orlando. I have taught here for 20 years now. I hate the traffic, though. And that really ugly building that shall not be named.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Star Wars copyright Lucasfilm Ltd.
Superman copyright DC/Warner Bros.
Wonder Woman copyright DC/Warner Bros.
Peggy Carter copyright Marvel
Star Trek copyright Paramount
Bettie Page copyright Bettie Page/CMG

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1 Comment

  1. Gary Mitchell

    December 28, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    This is a very interesting interview. With the virus out there, we all need to concentrate more on positive topics, like the Arts. Thank you for this enjoyable story.

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