Alum Jeff Mann Returns to Pencil Drawings After Long Career in Film

Friday, November 20, 2015
VENTURA COUNTY STAR -- Mann lived on the Napa Street Pier in Sausalito, reconditioning boats while pursuing a degree at San Francisco State University. He studied under realistic master artists Robert Bechtle and Richard McLean. He also had a studio at the Industrial Center Building, sharing space with notable Bay Area artists Walt Kuhlman and David Best. “I looked at it sort of like my postgraduate work, these years on the waterfront,” he said. “It created character and I learned how to make all kinds of things and had lots of adventures.” That served him well when Lorne Peterson, representing George Lucas, visited his studio in 1980 looking for model makers for “Star Wars” and hired him on the spot. That began his 25-year career with Lucasfilm Industrial Light and Magic, “an artist and craftsman’s dream come true,” Mann said. “All my background came together. I knew about electronics, wiring, fabrication, welding; I was a really good painter.”