Saturday, November 28, 2009
Interview with Ingrid Hardy
How did you get involved in sketch cards?
About three and a half years ago I was drawing and illustrating mostly for horses, and frequenting a comic/art forum when an artist over there suggested I try sketch cards. I knew nothing about them and honestly found it a challenge to draw on such a small space. Now I absolutely love it and particularly enjoy painting landscapes and scenes on them. My first sketch card job was Star Wars 30th Anniversary, I was SO proud to be part of that.
How do you feel about working on such a small surface?
It took some getting used to, but now I really enjoy it. My eyes might not agree so much though…… But I’m not finished evolving and figuring it out. Different ways of doing a drawing, composing it, painting it, there is an awful lot left for me to learn!
How do you feel about the entire process?
Speaking for myself, I find it stressful. Trying to do your best job and still meeting the deadline is a very real and constant challenge, and when you are freelance it’s a challenge in every job. Well, every project I have had anyway, whether it be sketch cards or illustration or anything else. And as I’m not a very forward or brave person, sending out samples and doing the “door to door” is not easy either, but one has to deal with it. Most of us have to find our jobs – they don’t come to us.
Do you prefer to work with a specific media?
At first I was a diehard pencil and watercolor user, but now I enjoy a variety of media: still using watercolor, also now use ink markers (Copics and Prisma), pencil, color pencil, and I’m so much fun using acrylics now too for some projects.
Do you have a lot of contact with collectors regarding your cards?
Less than before, unfortunately. In the beginning I had a lot more time to spend on different forums and communicating with collectors, but over the past few months less time has been available for me to do that. I truly enjoy talking with people about sketch cards and lots of other topics too, but those deadlines are always so short. I hope to get to some conventions and perhaps be able to meet some of them.
How do you feel about some collectors wanting more detailed cards versus what sketch card artists are paid to work on the cards?
Haha... I haven’t decided where I stand on that one yet, just because for nearly every set I do, I try to do what might please the collectors and what can work for the deadline I have. Most collectors are absolutely wonderful people, and they are fans just like we are, and want something cool, just like we do. When it comes to anything collectable or creative – whether it be art or music or books or cars, anything – it becomes a matter of opinion. What makes Jack and Jill happy may not make John and Jane happy. Such is life.
Have you had any bad experiences with collectors?
Only once, when someone emailed me to say that my work was “astoundingly inept” or something similar. I was really hurt at first, and then understood that actually that person did me a favor. Never assume anything.
Bad experiences with companies?
No, so far every company has been a great experience to work with.
Has your career as an artist benefitted from doing sketch card work?
It has definitely gotten my work out in front of more people than before. I can also send those samples out now and be taken seriously… That said, it hasn’t been sketch cards alone that has benefited me, but it has given me more confidence in myself to go out and at least try for projects.
What was the most difficult sketch card set you have worked on to date?
I think the most difficult set for me was Heroes Vol 1 and 2. I enjoyed it of course, but for volume 1 the deadline was so very, very short, it was next to impossible to do work I was even sort of kind of maybe a little satisfied with. There was no way. I think it was 2 weeks for 200 cards. And then for volume 2 I was on the set, then off the set, then on the set, so it ended up being a similar situation. But, such is life. Nothing for it.
Are there any cards that you are particularly proud of?
Actually, after everything I said above, there is one Heroes card that I really like and I still have it. It is a return card, but one that was done very quickly with color pencil and very simply drawn. So I kept it. And there are a couple of Star Wars 30th Anniversary cards that went into packs that I like. Of course, it was my first set, so it is sentimental too. As well, I am rather proud of my Clone Wars Widevision cards. I’m getting next to no feedback on those cards, so maybe the approach I took was all wrong, but I’m proud of them. I’m also proud of the set I’m doing right now – the Band of Brothers: America at War cards. They are a bit of a challenge as they are meant to be portraits that commemorate soldiers that were in the war (WW2) but their photos were usually quite blurry or even damaged. Hope I did a decent job with them…. but I’m proud of them.
Some companies provide return cards for working on sketch card sets. What do you do with yours?
I usually sell them because it is a part of my income. Though as mentioned above, one card has stayed with me.
Do you see yourself continuing with sketch card sets?
Probably, for now anyway. I really do like it, and I do personal sketch cards too. Right now, since I’m on an acrylic binge, I’m doing a lot of landscape-type personal sketch cards.
Is there any advice you would like to give to people wanting to break into the sketch card ‘biz’?
Be polite, be patient and be persistent.
Can you tell us what future sketch card sets you'll be working on?
I’m not one of those people who know very much in advance... (darn) but I have some projects of my own that I work on when time is loose.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m nearing the end of Band of Brothers, doing some Christmas commissions and working on some writing.
Where can people see more of your work?
I’m pretty good about keeping my website up to date, where I post at least a sampling of everything I do. It is Rabid Horse Illustrations at http://www.rabidhorse.com
There are lots of things to look at, and there is also a LINKS page with lots of different links to things that interest me.
Thank you so much for your time, Ingrid!!