My first interview is with artist Ashleigh Popplewell. Her sketch card resume includes work for 5FINITY Productions, Breygent Marketing, Cryptozoic Entertainment, Topps Entertainment and Upper Deck. She has worked on their respective sets from properties ranging from Star Wars, Red Sonja, Vampirella to Marvel Comics.
How did you get into sketch cards?
I was doing ACEOs at the time of non-pop culture subject matter and a friend who collects skech cards suggested I try out for some companies
Was it difficult to get into the business and how did you go about it?
It wasn't super difficult to get on my first set, but there for a while afterwards I was constantly working and sending samples and networking. I sent samples to Breygent and was accepted onto my first set
How were your ACEOs different than your set work?
My non-official work is very different. It still has an illustrative quality, but isn't based on any recognizable pop-culture figure or persona. My ACEOs were very textured and layered, focusing on a non-specific female model rather than a character like Catwoman or Harley Quinn
Because most sketch card sets are mostly based on the comic book or fantasy genre and your known for a much more photo realistic style. Was it difficult to adjust and why?
At first I thought I'd try to do something a little less realistic for card sets, but then realized that it didn't make much sense to change my style completely. I use figure references a lot, but I think a lot of artists do that, so it does add a little time to the preparation process. I'm still learning to adjust the superhero costumes to the different angles and figures.
What is your background as far as art goes? Did you go to school for art?
I have my bachelors in art with a major in Painting and a minor in Printmaking
What art tools do you use?
I use lots of different tools depending on what I'm drawing. Most of the time now it's Copic Markers, white gouache and some colored pencil. Sometimes I use acrylic paint as well. Copics have fabulous color and are perfect for blending and layering color.
What is it about sketch cards that you like?
I like the scale of sketch cards. Not everyone has room for or wants a large piece of artwork...so the idea of a hand-drawn piece of art that fits in a card sleeve (or your wallet) is pretty appealing.
How do you feel about seeing your sketch cards on Ebay?
I go back and forth seeing my cards on Ebay. When a new set comes out, I check my cards on Ebay every day to see how they are selling and what the seller initially thinks they are worth. I just try to keep informed about how well my work is selling, and what is selling best.
Do you collect sketch cards?
I do collect from other artists I have both purchased and traded, and have gotten a fairly large collection thus far.
Has working on sketch card help improve your overall work?
Working on sketch cards has kept me busy, for sure. In drawing every day several skills have become more sharp and things move much faster.
What you think about the sketch card hobby? Do you think it changed since you joined?
I think it has changed a lot in the relative short amount of time I've done it. Lots of small companies started up. And the collectability of the larger ones have gone down. Lots of small projects. I'm concerned that with so many sets out. They might be less valuable but I need the work, lol. So I'm ok with that
What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into doing sketch card work?
I'd suggest first that they do some research into the different companies and get a portfolio of work together somewhere online. Also: a group like Sketch Card Fanatics on Facebook is a great resource for both current sketch artists and those that want to get into the genre.
What are you currently working on or what people can expect to see from you soon?
Warlord of Mars (John Carter) for Breygent Marketing, Mars Attacks by Topps, Marvel Beginnings2 by Upperdeck
Do you have a website for people who want to check more of your stuff out? Or get commissions?