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Old 10-29-2013, 11:36 AM   #1051 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dd316 View Post
The birth of first Artist and first critic by means of natural selection - YouTube

You can either choose to ignore the negative comments, or take them to better your work. If you just give up, then your heart's not really in it.

If you choose to slack off and just draw monkeys or whips because others are, then you should probably find another source of income because that ship will sail really fast.

I ended up doing 25 cards in just black paint because I couldn't meet the deadline any other way. It really bothers me that I had to concede a bit on these, but in no way did I half-ass them. I just couldn't spend hours on each. It was really tough for me to have to do that, but I didn't have any other options. Hopefully the additional effort I was able to put into my full color sketches is enough to show that I care.
Agree with almost all of this, Ted.

Here's my take from a first time sketch card artist and a freelancer for over 8 years:

1) I did the 150 cards for fun and the love of the MA franchise. I joined late in the game after sending Alvin a pic through their Facebook page on a whim. When I emailed the pic, I wasn't expecting the work, but completed the piece for fun because I had a free day from my editorial work. The angle I came from was about the joy of the franchise and never about $$$.

2) I wasn't expecting work, but EVERYTHING I draw has my 100% effort put into it. When I signed up to do the first 100 cards, I knew it was going to be hard to finish all of these in color on top of my usual work load. I finished but made myself physically sick in the process......even after adding 50 additional b/w cards at Alvin's request. This gets some artists in trouble though - DON'T take on the work load if you can't complete the work at your best. If you can't finish 100.....do 50......35.....etc. Make sure the work you show the public is something you're proud to be associated with. What could be more embarrassing than to be associated with half-ass sketch cards?


3) No - it's not worth the $$$ I'll be paid. But if I was worried about money, I probably should've stay w/ the architectural degree on was on track to getting back in school and stayed away from art. This goes for all sketch artists - if you're doing this for money, you're in the wrong profession. This doesn't mean you can't make a living from art because I HAVE for the last 8+ years. Overall, You have to have a passion for art and a pride in your work. This shows....especially to buyers as savvy as people on this board. Money isn't the only thing I've gotten from working with Alvin/Topps. I had the chance to meet new people in a field I was curious about, a chance to sketch for fans at the New York Comic Con and most importantly - get better at my craft. Drawing 150 cards in a few weeks will do that.

4) Negative comments do not effect me. Constructive criticisms DO! I know there's areas I can improve and ways I could make my future sketch card work better. I appreciate anytime someone posts feedback. I just ignore the negative people.

5) I don't have the experience to compare the overall quality of the sketches in MA:I to other sets, but I do know that Alvin put lots of hard work into making this a fun product for everyone. Yes, there are ways the set could be even better so hopefully he and people at Topps take the constructive feedback to heart.

I had a great time working with him over the last few months including my sketch cards for the upcoming Star Wars release. Here's hoping Topps continues the Mars Attacks storyline in 2014.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #1052 (permalink)
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Finally saw three of Robert Jimenez's sketches pop up in the wee hours this morning--I left one for everyone else
Nice, I saw those as they were going up.

I was too tired to resist picking up a sketch myself last night (err, this AM)

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:42 AM   #1053 (permalink)
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Nice, I saw those as they were going up.

I was too tired to resist picking up a sketch myself last night (err, this AM)

That is one of my favs.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #1054 (permalink)
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Nice, I saw those as they were going up.

I was too tired to resist picking up a sketch myself last night (err, this AM)

Awesome sketch card!
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:57 AM   #1055 (permalink)
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I'm glad RJ's cards are starting pop up, and Darrin Pepe's also. Two of the best new artists and they (along with Crosby, Chalker, Finneral, Hamer, Labas, Gomez, Paul Adam, Jeff Miracola and others) proved a boon to the improved quality.

Once those guys' cards start popping up more you'll see a marked upswing in the overall quality. Somehow the small number of lower quality sketches seemingly all got pulled while the 2000+ that the guys above did are few and far between! The 100+ creator sketch cards have also been pretty quiet out there, save for the 50 Ed Repka did.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:57 AM   #1056 (permalink)
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This is the part I worry about. When you see your peers doing poor work but continually getting rehired and paid the same as you, the temptation to lower your own standards has to be there - the broken windows theory of urban management applied to sketch cards.

I don't want less sketches replaced by other hits - that just makes those other hits less rare and therefore less valuable. Just keep working to increase the quality, as you've begun to do. I have faith. Start looking overseas for artists - Phillipines and Brazil have plenty of great talent that make strong efforts consistently. Mexico tossed in a few new names to the Marvel Retro set. Also, hire more women. It's been my experience they are less likely to draw dreck.

That's a debate I'd like to have - do you all agree that women try harder?
I'm not one of those who has a spiteful attitude. I for one could care less what anyone says about my work be it collectors or other artists. I do what I like and If I didn't like it I wouldn't toss it out there. look back a few posts at the cards I posted and ask me if I am shumming it. LOL . But I know the artist mentality. Not all mind ya but enough will be spiteful. As for more women, Always. I find the female artists always bring it. I believe though they are usually the first ones to find better gigs and move on as well.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:01 PM   #1057 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dd316 View Post
The birth of first Artist and first critic by means of natural selection - YouTube

You can either choose to ignore the negative comments, or take them to better your work. If you just give up, then your heart's not really in it.

If you choose to slack off and just draw monkeys or whips because others are, then you should probably find another source of income because that ship will sail really fast.

I ended up doing 25 cards in just black paint because I couldn't meet the deadline any other way. It really bothers me that I had to concede a bit on these, but in no way did I half-ass them. I just couldn't spend hours on each. It was really tough for me to have to do that, but I didn't have any other options. Hopefully the additional effort I was able to put into my full color sketches is enough to show that I care.

And that's the one thing that I think Heritage had going against it - I honestly believe that not many of the artists were familiar enough with the source material, so you had most of Topps' usual stable of artists just copying the original card set or just drawing Martian heads, instead of making it their own. I think the new faces brought onto Invasion breathed a huge amount of fresh air into it. They may not all be in color, but damn, there is some really fantastic art in this set!
Yup. I tried my best, found a crapload of ref, was going for mostly color, which will explain some of my wide open cards. I had to jump back on em and add more linework when it became obvious the deadline was near. I think I came up with some cool stuff and some heads, LOL. But 3 weeks is still 3 weeks to get 103 cards done. Need at least 2 months firm to do the art justice. You hear me Alvin. ALVIN!!!!!!! chipmunks.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:02 PM   #1058 (permalink)
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I finished but made myself physically sick in the process......
This is a great point that I think a lot of collectors don't see. Frankly I don't talk about it because nobody wants to hear about my problems. But it's very true. I don't do this for money because I have a 9-5 job, although I welcome the additional income. I do this because I love it. I work all day, come home and play with my daughter til it's her bedtime, then I stay up from 8:00 til 2:00-3:00 in the morning doing these 6 out of 7 days a week (I usually give myself Friday night off). Then I'm up again at 6:30 to start the next day. I never get enough sleep, and Jason's right about being physically ill - this will take a toll. But at the end of the day, it's awesome to have your name attached to so many cool projects. Some of us sacrifice A LOT to put this artwork out there. I'm sure it can be just as tough on the manufacturer's side.

Then the sets come out, and the voices we hear above most is BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH because you're not making bank on your gamble. As an artist I have to shrug it off and make lemonade with it, otherwise it'll eat me alive. But I come to this site because I enjoy collecting, and this constant complaining on every set takes a lot of enjoyment out of it.

I'm starting to vent here too much, I'm gonna take a step back.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:12 PM   #1059 (permalink)
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Can't tell you how many days straight I've stayed up all day and night to hit deadlines. Most recently on the 2 Topps sets. For GF2 I did a 4 day straight stint of staying up all night and most of the day with maybe 3 hours sleep to get the set done in the 3 weeks I had. Basically the same thing For MA and I did a 2 day all nighter for SW Illustrated because they cranked the ship date. Funny the deadline was the 18th and the shipping was overnight but they wanted the packages out on the 15-16th. Those two days cost us. Those two days I could easily have finished the 25 cards because they were all going to be vehicles and ships and outerspace stuff. But That's Topps fault and they loose the potential money per box by that blunder.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:13 PM   #1060 (permalink)
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But 3 weeks is still 3 weeks to get 103 cards done. Need at least 2 months firm to do the art justice. You hear me Alvin. ALVIN!!!!!!! chipmunks.
I have more of a problem with the tight turnaround times (a few weeks??!!) AND the company's expectations of a 100+ full-color cards in that short timeframe than I do with the pay. I don't see how artists who have a 9-5 job on top of their sketch card work get it done.

I'm sure Alvin can get us some insight because a company HAS to know their work schedule/calendar well in advance which would give artists more time.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:18 PM   #1061 (permalink)
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It's a production thing with Topps from what I've heard. I was asked to do the latest SW set so I can complain about short deadlines but I asked to do the GF2 and MA sets but from asking and getting accepted to actually getting the blanks was almost a month for each set.So in reality we had the time if we had the blanks in hand within that same week we were accepted. with GF2 I had already given up on getting on the set and accepted other work to fill in that time.Heck i even made a thread about possibly being on the GF2 set. Then the blanks show up with 3 weeks before deadline. Oye vey. I've been asked to do sets and have the cards within 3 days from other companies. They need a better fulfillment system. Upperdeck had a slow system for getting blanks out as well.

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Old 10-29-2013, 12:20 PM   #1062 (permalink)
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This is a great point that I think a lot of collectors don't see. Frankly I don't talk about it because nobody wants to hear about my problems. But it's very true. I don't do this for money because I have a 9-5 job, although I welcome the additional income. I do this because I love it. I work all day, come home and play with my daughter til it's her bedtime, then I stay up from 8:00 til 2:00-3:00 in the morning doing these 6 out of 7 days a week (I usually give myself Friday night off). Then I'm up again at 6:30 to start the next day. I never get enough sleep, and Jason's right about being physically ill - this will take a toll. But at the end of the day, it's awesome to have your name attached to so many cool projects. Some of us sacrifice A LOT to put this artwork out there. I'm sure it can be just as tough on the manufacturer's side.

Then the sets come out, and the voices we hear above most is BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH because you're not making bank on your gamble. As an artist I have to shrug it off and make lemonade with it, otherwise it'll eat me alive. But I come to this site because I enjoy collecting, and this constant complaining on every set takes a lot of enjoyment out of it.

I'm starting to vent here too much, I'm gonna take a step back.
and i work 8:30-5 and get home and play with my daughter and then get sick over breaking, sorting, listing, scanning, packaging, and hoping i don't lose my rear on a bad release for whatever reason. the point is we ALL have stuff in our lives.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:26 PM   #1063 (permalink)
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I just checked my timeline for the GF2 set and it was almost 24 days from acceptance on the set till the blanks showed up. That's almost a month of time lost.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:28 PM   #1064 (permalink)
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and i work 8:30-5 and get home and play with my daughter and then get sick over breaking, sorting, listing, scanning, packaging, and hoping i don't lose my rear on a bad release for whatever reason. the point is we ALL have stuff in our lives.
Agreed that everybody has their own issues, not trying to diminish any of that, I was telling my side. It just sucks royally to have an angry mob with pitchforks waiting for you at every turn.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #1065 (permalink)
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Agreed that everybody has their own issues, not trying to diminish any of that, I was telling my side. It just sucks royally to have an angry mob with pitchforks waiting for you at every turn.
Seriously....if it's not the buyers saying artists aren't putting forth their best effort with 100 cards in several weeks, it's other artists saying "we all have issues." Ted wasn't moaning or asking for pity. He was just adding on to what I brought to the table about getting sick.

Internet hug time, Ted.

"Sketch artists don't shake hands.....sketch artists HUG!"
AAAAAWWWWWWWWW.....
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:37 PM   #1066 (permalink)
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Agreed that everybody has their own issues, not trying to diminish any of that, I was telling my side. It just sucks royally to have an angry mob with pitchforks waiting for you at every turn.
I'm not sure that's ever going to change.

When sketch cards first started, collectors were thrilled to get a pencil sketch, and over the moon for a grey scale one.

But that was then.

2013, most everyone want's a Nar!, Hall, TED, etc. that they can flip quick. The guys griping about the quality for the most part aren't even collectors.

The collectors like what they like, and they can appreciate it for what it is, a pencil sketch, a little masterpiece, or something in-between.

The hobby needs both to survive. Neither are wrong in what they do. One group is the vocal minority though.

So, it is what it is.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:37 PM   #1067 (permalink)
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I find it funny how the guys that are debating this pump out some of the best work regardless of external stresses/other lively responsibilities.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:38 PM   #1068 (permalink)
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"Sketch artists don't shake hands.....sketch artists HUG!"
AAAAAWWWWWWWWW.....
Actually....

Nevermind, it's something for a different day.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:39 PM   #1069 (permalink)
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Seriously....if it's not the buyers saying artists aren't putting forth their best effort with 100 cards in several weeks, it's other artists saying "we all have issues." Ted wasn't moaning or asking for pity. He was just adding on to what I brought to the table about getting sick.

Internet hug time, Ted.

"Sketch artists don't shake hands.....sketch artists HUG!"
AAAAAWWWWWWWWW.....
Hug me and you'll walk away with stubs for arms.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:43 PM   #1070 (permalink)
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Hug me and you'll walk away with stubs for arms.
And then I would turn that frown upside down and use my new handy nubs as pencil smudging stumps to creat hundreds of sketch cards in 2 weeks.

THANKS JUSTICE41!!!!
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #1071 (permalink)
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Well, I guess 2 Pepe's are better than one



I love the color on these!
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:59 PM   #1072 (permalink)
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Well, I guess 2 Pepe's are better than one



I love the color on these!
Very nice pickup! I was waiting to see how some auctions played out before I committed to that one, but I thought it might not last.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:02 PM   #1073 (permalink)
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I normally don't post my pickups until I actually get them, but in the interest of sharing this is my favorite get so far:

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Old 10-29-2013, 01:03 PM   #1074 (permalink)
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Very nice pickup! I was waiting to see how some auctions played out before I committed to that one, but I thought it might not last.
Thanks!

Yeah, he dropped the BIN price from last night already.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:04 PM   #1075 (permalink)
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I normally don't post my pickups until I actually get them, but in the interest of sharing this is my favorite get so far:

Sweet sketch!!
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