I think it was Lord of the Rings series that i noticed sketch cards
coming out of the packs and i thought, wow that’s crazy cool.
The idea that somewhere in this box of cards is a sketch card that an
artist drew/painted a picture based off of the movies- So i
remember buying a few boxes opening each back, checking each card
carefully, cause i have no idea what the sketch card will look like,
then finally opening that pack with…a pencil drawing of an orc.
Initially it was exciting, knowing that months ago, somewhere some
person was drawing on this card. Soon I started looking at other
sketch cards, for example on Ebay and saw that…Hmmm there seems to
be 100’s of the same looking card i pulled, almost exactly, so much
that i envisioned this person sitting at his/her desk and spending 10
seconds on a card- boom, done on to the next one, boom done. And now
here comes the touchy part, to me i felt a little cheated, respecting
in part, that this person chose to make his/her sketch cards like
this- giving only a moment of time to each one. Yet the way I looked
at it, coming from a love of art, I saw it as an opportunity to wow
collectors, each one a single canvas to blow the pants off that kid in
Texas that goes into his local card shop with a few bucks, buys that
pack that has one of your sketch cards in it, opens that baby up and
then runs home to show the folks something that has been painted and
beautiful. I think all card collectors, be it may baseball, football
whatever, remembers pulling something special be it may a Griffey auto
or like an auto press plate. You always remember those moments, if
anything, it what keeps you interested in the future collecting, in the
back of your mind you know that you could pull something silly great.
So i thought, if given the chance, even if it killed me, time wise, I
would create each one as best I could.

So now a few years later, Im producing sketch cards for
Topps,  Galaxy 4, Galaxy 5, Clone wars Season one and two,
30th Ann of Empire Strikes Back, Galaxy 6. With each one that i do, i
treat it as if I’m going to find it myself from a box, something that a
stranger would find and say, look at this it’s an oil painting of
Boba Fett. I just feel that it’s a responsibility, its an privilege to
be a part of a series. I think all sketch artists should keep in mind
that kid that spends his allowance and pulls one of your cards.
I would paint each one using mostly acrylic/inks sometimes oil paints
and i was happy with the results. Then i thought what’s something that
hasn’t been done before? So i came up with besides painting an image,
lets say of a sand speeder, after the paint was dry i would apply a
colored piece of construction paper to give the feel of a part of the
engine, I next came up with the idea of having a character or ship,
that i could make simple yet clearly recognizable to the view. Almost
to the point where once they pull it, they think… what the is this?
Its r2-d2, then upon closer inspection they notice, ok this guy
painted the background of this card, then using an exacto knife cut
out 16 pieces to form this image, planning the location on each one
building it first then applying the pieces back onto the sketch card
in layer order to give the resemblance of this droid. I wanted to give
the feel of, what? did a 5 year old do this… then after a few
seconds… oh crap there are 22 pieces on this card set in place like
some jeweler setting diamonds.. ok its super cool =)

So i wanted to show my autographed cards that actually came back in
the mail. I’m a huge baseball fan and wanted to see if my favorite
players i dig on would get my letter and custom card and then send it
back to me. Starting early last spring I wrote to each persons club
with a letter explaining who I was and requesting that if they get a
chance, to sign the card i made of them and mail it back to me. I
enclosed a SASE and waited.
Below are the cool people that took the time and signed and sent them
back to me with how long it took.

David Freese- St Louis Cards- 20 days from mailing out to getting it back

Bob Uecker- Brewers- 101 days from mailing it out to getting it back (
he didnt sign the card due to contract issues- but he did send it back
along with an auto’s pic- which was cool)

Joe Nathan- Minn Twins- 105 days from mailing it out to getting it back

Ron Santo/ Pat Hughes-Cubs- Announcers- 75 days from mailing it out to getting
it back (Since i live in the Midwest i wanted to see which Chicago
announcers were cooler then the other, so i sent a dual piece card to
both the Cubs and White Sox- The cubs sent it back signed- upside down,
maybe a bit too much drinky drinky, but still very happy to get it back.
White sox announcers… no love)

List of players i sent requests to but never heard back from

Joe Mauer
John Lannan
Bobby Cox
David Ortiz
Homer Bailey
Brandon Belt
White Sox radio announcers Ed Farmer/D. Jackson
Jake Odorizzi

3 responses »

  1. Dustin says:

    These are so fantastic. This is the most creative idea I’ve seen for a card, perhaps ever. The Star Wars ones are great, especially the last three. And I love the baseball ones. How cool to get them signed. Why aren’t card companies thinking outside the box like this? No, F that. They don’t deserve an idea this unique and endearing.

  2. BJ says:

    Those custom cards are sweet! Maybe the Cubs announcers signed the way they did because it looks like they signed what was in front of them as they are in the press box. I actually think it looks cooler the way they signed. Too bad you didn’t get a better response sending those cards out!

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