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Old 01-24-2013, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Erasing a Sub-Par Sketch: What Say You?

This situation is raising some interesting discussion on some other venues, so I thought I'd see what you all think about it.

The subject is this sketch:



The owner of the sketch erased the sketch and is now selling the "blank" on eBay for someone to get a new sketch drawn on it.

Details here: Scoundrel Art Community • View topic - Check out this ebay listing

I think there's several things going on here, so I break it down like this:
1. I understand the owner's frustration with that sketch in a product he paid $100 for. I think any of us who have opened wax for sketch cards have gotten some that are in this category.

2. I would never erase a sketch cards, simply because it's a unique piece of art no matter how crappy it may be.

3. Also, once you've created this "blank", you are messing with the integrity of the product. If someone else draws a sketch on it and it goes out into the wild, how would anyone know that the new card was not packed-out and is in fact modified?

4. By selling the blank (or attempting to), the owner is encouraging #3

5. I don't think a satisfactory effort was made by the artist when creating this card

6. I don't understand why Topps would accept and pack out a card like this in a product that MSRP was ~$80 (that's what I read, anyway).
What do you guys think? Ever done this or been tempted to?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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NO IDEA on any of this but it seems like Numbering it may help?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's unethical and just plain wrong. I hope no sketch card artist would agree to something like thst.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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number 6

thats swhy i am to this date hesitant to buy any topps non sports product
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I’ve seen crappy artist sell unsigned blanks – which is just as shady in my book.

But I would have to agree with #6 – as a company I would be embarrassed to have my name on some of these “sketches”

Last edited by PitViper; 01-24-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have never thought of this, nor would I EVER do this. Very shady. I guess it's ok if you're going to keep the card after you have someone else draw on it but re-selling it would be tricky...
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bush league.

sketch [skech]
noun
1.
a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details.
2.
a rough design, plan, or draft, as of a book.
3.
a brief or hasty outline of facts, occurrences, etc.: a sketch of his life.
4.
a short, usually descriptive, essay, history, or story.
5.
a short play or slight dramatic performance, as one forming part of a vaudeville program.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I could not care less about the rest, but agree with points 5 & 6.

Know the artists get paid beans on these, but come on man!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadams View Post
Bush league.

sketch [skech]
noun
1.
a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details.
2.
a rough design, plan, or draft, as of a book.
3.
a brief or hasty outline of facts, occurrences, etc.: a sketch of his life.
4.
a short, usually descriptive, essay, history, or story.
5.
a short play or slight dramatic performance, as one forming part of a vaudeville program.
Was gonna say the same thing as Mr. Adams...roughly...most of the sketch cards aren't even sketch cards, they are actual art pieces. This was truly a sketch card. I mean, look at Katie Cook's stuff...very popular, but very very simple. I open Sketch Products because I like the wide range of pieces that can be pulled...erasing it is just horribly wrong and could negatively affect the market.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystafet View Post
Was gonna say the same thing as Mr. Adams...roughly...most of the sketch cards aren't even sketch cards, they are actual art pieces. This was truly a sketch card. I mean, look at Katie Cook's stuff...very popular, but very very simple. I open Sketch Products because I like the wide range of pieces that can be pulled...erasing it is just horribly wrong and could negatively affect the market.
I get that, but I think we all have a certain expectation of "sketch card" that goes beyond technicalities. I mean technically it does not say you will get a sketch card of any guaranteed quality, but I think we all expect a certain level of skill and effort.

The sketch above indicates to me the artist definitely has skill, but the fact remains it looks like the beginning of a piece that was not completed. Just my opinion.

As I said above, that doesn't excuse erasing it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymcgee View Post
I get that, but I think we all have a certain expectation of "sketch card" that goes beyond technicalities. I mean technically it does not say you will get a sketch card of any guaranteed quality, but I think we all expect a certain level of skill and effort.

The sketch above indicates to me the artist definitely has skill, but the fact remains it looks like the beginning of a piece that was not completed. Just my opinion.

As I said above, that doesn't excuse erasing it.
For SW releases, artists have been known to do three or four hundred sketches. The absolute minimum is 100. (unless you can talk them into less, which isn't easy I've tried)

And these deadlines are tight. Sometimes the artists bite off more than they can chew. And it was made clear from the beginning that sending back blanks for GF would have consequences.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know there was a lively discussion about this happening a couple of years ago with the Indiana Jones pencil sketches.

If you are erasing the sketch, then drawing your own sketch and keeping the card in your own collection, I say go for it. However, I would never erase a sketch card myself.

If you are erasing the sketch, then selling the blank, that is unethical and probably illegal as well, since the sketches have to be approved. If you go so far as to mis-represent the blank as some kind of rare unreleased artist proof card (which I think happened on the Indiana Jones cards), I hope the card company comes after you with their lawyers.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would never do it, because I consider it "damaging" the card. However, that quality should be in the product.

The consumer is paying a pretty good price point as it is - they deserve a better end product. I don't care if it's Topps or the Artist fault - I will put the blame in both areas.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think companies have it in the contracts they have with artists that they aren't allowed to alter any sketches from the set. This came about after a couple of sets some years back, starting with the 2004 Clone Wars set. Artists (or collectors would commission an artist) would take a poorly drawn light pencil sketch (usually one of the sketches they did for the set, but sometimes a sketch from another artist) and either erase the sketch completely or simply do a heavy full color sketch over top of the old one and resell them. Collectors would buy up the crappy sketches for a few $ and pay $50, $100 or more to commission artists to do full color high quality work. It was actually a thriving business and it lasted for one or 2 more sets after this one before companies cracked down and changed the contracts to stop it from happening in subsequent sets.
Certain artists loved it, they got paid something like $1.50 per sketch from the company but were making a mint altering those sketches. The practice was common enough that these sketches had their own name, they are referred to as After Market Sketches. The more honest sellers of these sketches will refer to them as such, others try to pass them off as pack pulled.

For example, all of Pop Mhan's pack inserted sketches looked something like this:



But the After Markets look like this:


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Old 01-24-2013, 06:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The only artist I've been tempted to do this with is "Shum". I hope no one ever gets "Shummed".
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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its actually against the law
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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here comes the counterfiet sketch cards........i hate that they dont serial number all hits
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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maybe it's unethical, but if the sketch is that bad, you should be able to put in a claim to the company and they should allow you to erase it and re commission to have another sketch be put onto the card, as long as it falls under certain guildlines.

first time posting pics to these forum, bare with me. here are a few sketches that caught my eye.

$12 listed $200 listed, are those anime eyes? $250 listed. not sure what's going on here ironman, i think what is this i dont even... ಠ_ಠ

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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#6 - My problem here is that they approve these cards for packs but if an artist tried to get approval for that as an AP it would get shot down every time. I agree with both sides - artists are getting paid crap per card so why should they spend hours on it BUT if that card isn't good enough to pass as an AP they shouldn't be letting artists bolster their numbers with those sketches to earn more APs to sell.

My other point has already been made - Once upon a time it was common for artists to either "finish" simple sketches or flat out over-sketch cards and they were basically turning crappy pack cards into APs.

Ethics aside - You own the card, if you want to erase it go ahead. Its your property. HOWEVER, it is also a licensed property and for it to be altered then sold (either as blank or re-done) would be illegal.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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As an artist for the Star Wars sets, and many many others, I think I want to throw in my two cents.

There are many artists who draw minimal art on their pack pulls, or just pencil sketches, and create great APs. This is one of the arguments that Ive seen made by other artiats and collectors, that if all pack pulls are masterpieces, then it degrades the value of the artists APs; i.e. no one will pay $300+ for an AP when you can get a hit in a box that looks just as nice as the AP.

With this, i do not agree.

It is okay to do 'good' cards for the packs and 'outstanding' cards for the APs, but to put '10 second sketches' in packs and '4 hour masterpeices' for the APs is a little lopsided. Also, as an artist, I want to make sure that every single pack pulled card that I create and send out for packing, is of the same, or close to the same high quality that I would create an AP to be; this is because of two things-

A: I do not want any art that I am not proud of out there, and potentially showing up on a thread like this. If I create a card that I don't think is worthy of being pulled by a collector, I black it out and the licencor cannot include it. I think it is important for artists to put out product that they themselves would be pleased with pulling if they were the ones busting a case for $1000+.

B: I get emails all the time from folks who pulled a card of mine and now want a commission. I feel that If I give my best effort in the cards for pack pulls, some of the people getting those will want more from me, and that is mainly the people that buy my APs. So it is good for business on the artists part by putting a lot of effort into the cards submitted.

Here is an example of 5 of my pack pulls for Star Wars Galactic Files, and an example of one of my APs. Can you tell which one is the AP?




this being said, I DO NOT agree with collectors who beleive that black and white cards are not as good as color. For some sets that allow it, I choose to do many B&W cards and I am proud of them all, and some I think are better than many of my color cards. Monotone cards can be just as nice to look at as color, as long as it is done nicely.

In conclusion, Ultimately it is the artists choice whether he or she would like to have high or low quality art out there in the world, and whether they want to be invited to more sets and get commissions based on that work, or to not have any of those opportunities. It doesn't matter that we only make 1.50 a card from Topps, the commissions and AP's after the set comes out alone make up for that if you can show collectors your work is worth paying for. And really, who wants to have their art erased anyway? If they cared enough in the first place they would sign the front in ink or shoot it with fixative LIKE WE ARE TOLD BY THE ART DIRECTOR AT TOPPS. (I do not condone card erasing in any way btw, even if the sketch is bad or quick, it is disrespectful to the artist, but maybe I'm sensitive to the notion of having art erased being an artist myself. Also I hope no artist buys the erased card and is found out by Topps because Topps will blacklist an artist for altering a pack pulled card after the fact, I know this for a fact.)

rant over

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'd be interested to hear what Mr. Dastick has to say about this topic...

Me, I'm surprised I never thought about doing something like this with all those damn monkey sketches in Indiana Jones Heritage.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:43 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I would NEVER do something like that. It is really no different than buying a box of baseball/football/whatever and getting a common auto of some scrub who warms the bench. It is not OK to "modify" that card to suit you just because it is crappy. While Mr. Adams and I frequently end up on opposite sides of arguments, I could not agree with him more in that what is pictured is indeed the definition of "sketch" and anything above and beyond that is a bonus.

That being said, there have been vast changes in the "sketch card" hobby to get away from the 15 second repeat-a-sketch quality that some folks turn in..and that is a great thing. I would also like to see some type of quality control by the manufacturers...if an artist's work is not up to snuff, reject it. If the same folks turn in poor quality repeatedly, do not have them back.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Altering and selling sketches for resale in my opinion is wrong. It hurts in the integrity of the product. . . I've written plenty plenty on the subject as this has been going on forever.

That said there is clearly a big difference in the quality of work you can pull out of various releases. . . Buyers, especially a big buyer like the seller of this card, know that when they buy boxes. . . They know that you can pull a poor sketch out of a Topps product, yet they still buy it, and justify altering the card because of the quality. . .

If the buyers don't like it they need to make that clear to Topps, which so far they've been unwilling to do.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Incarnadine View Post
I think companies have it in the contracts they have with artists that they aren't allowed to alter any sketches from the set. This came about after a couple of sets some years back, starting with the 2004 Clone Wars set. Artists (or collectors would commission an artist) would take a poorly drawn light pencil sketch (usually one of the sketches they did for the set, but sometimes a sketch from another artist) and either erase the sketch completely or simply do a heavy full color sketch over top of the old one and resell them. Collectors would buy up the crappy sketches for a few $ and pay $50, $100 or more to commission artists to do full color high quality work. It was actually a thriving business and it lasted for one or 2 more sets after this one before companies cracked down and changed the contracts to stop it from happening in subsequent sets.
Certain artists loved it, they got paid something like $1.50 per sketch from the company but were making a mint altering those sketches. The practice was common enough that these sketches had their own name, they are referred to as After Market Sketches. The more honest sellers of these sketches will refer to them as such, others try to pass them off as pack pulled.

For example, all of Pop Mhan's pack inserted sketches looked something like this:



But the After Markets look like this:


That right there is bs. The artist should be putting out sketches like the second one to begin with. The card manufacturer is to blame as well for even allowing the original.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igman7 View Post
if an artist's work is not up to snuff, reject it. If the same folks turn in poor quality repeatedly, do not have them back.
I agree with you here, that companies need to be held accountable. They are the deciders.

To reply to another poster. You're right, artists don't make much doing these, but it's a long term investment. They get their name out there. Some of them get a bunch of commission work. Also they can make a good amount off AP's and returns.

As far as low quality sketches. There is no excuse for this. It's just unacceptable.
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