Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview with Brent Schoonover

How did you get involved in sketch cards/What was your first sketch card job?
First set I ever did was the first Marvel Masterpieces set. My friend Grant Gould suggested me on it and they contacted me. I had seen all the fun he was having on sketch cards and wanted in on it.

How do you feel about working on such a small surface?
Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. It's a challenge like anything. My favorite thing is creating a scene with multiple cards.

What media do you like to work with for your cards? Is that different than what you normally use to produce artwork?
I pretty much stick to pencil, ink, markers, and color pencil. Plus the occasional white out trick here or there. I'd say those are my go to tools at conventions as well.

How do you feel about the entire sketch card process?
The companies have been great, deadlines haven't been too bad. Sometimes there is a quick turn around but that's fine with me cause that usually helps crack the whip mentally for me.

Is there a lot of ‘prep’ time when you begin work on your cards?
Yeah I usually create a list of characters I want to draw. If it's a Marvel set I really tried to find rare characters to do as the sets progressed. For stuff like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Dead@17, I needed to explore those worlds a little more to find cool characters I may have forgotten about and might not have thought of off the top of my head. From there my list got filled out and it was really just a matter of whether or not I need reference handy.

Do you have a lot of contact with collectors regarding your cards?
Yeah, some will contact from my site, or I'll pop in at the Scoundrel boards and post some new stuff which is good for generating interest in Artist Proofs or personal sketch cards.

How do you feel about some collectors wanting more detailed cards versus what sketch card artists are paid to work on the cards?
Honestly I don't pay much attention to that. I draw what I'd like for that set. If someone contacts me personally and mentions they'd like something some way I am happy to do it but otherwise I just do what I'd like and have time for. There were some Marvel Masterpiece cards that I really enjoyed doing and they were simply done in color pencils.

Have you had any bad experiences with collectors?
Yeah, I've had one. It was early on when I was working on them and someone wanted me to do a style that wasn't mine and then got mad that it wasn't the look he was looking for. Ended up working itself out. Otherwise when there was the weird Marvel card mix up due to people breaking rules on Artist Proofs I had already sold my AP's and I was told I needed to have those people mail them back to Upper Deck. That didn't go over too well as you probably imagine.

Bad experiences with companies?
Slow payments!

Has your career as an artist benefited from doing sketch card work?
Being a sketch card artists was a great move for me. It has gotten my work out there to a market that may not read comics. It's made my commission list grow as well as selling more books. I really owe the sketch card market a lot for helping be where I am today.

What was the most difficult sketch card set you have worked on to date?
Doing both the Indiana Jones Crystal Skull and Heritage cards back to back were tough. I love those flicks but I quickly learned that there were not many characters in the films that really worked to make interested cards (my opinion). So I felt like I was limited. I prefer doing more characters than scenic cards so that made for a couple trying sets. Also doing the likenesses was a challenge in both these and the Star Wars sets.

Are there any cards that you are particularly proud of?
There are some 70'S Marvel horror cards I did that I really liked. The Spider-Man Archive set was a blast to do and I think a lot of those turned out well. Also some of the Indiana Jones ones turned out nice.

Some companies provide return cards or Artist Proof cards for working on sketch card sets. What do you do with yours?
I post them on my site, the Scoundrel boards. Sometimes I'll do whatever I feel like on some of them and put them on Ebay.

Do you see yourself continuing with sketch card sets?
I'd love to keep doing them and I am sure I will to some capacity. My main thing is I think we need to diversify the type of sets that are coming out. I have never done a set of DC Comics characters and think that'd be fun. I'd also kill to do anything related to the Universal Monsters or 80's wrestlers. I think those would be fun to do. I am getting a little burned out on Lucasfilm stuff and Marvel sets. No disrespect to those properties.

My main focus on sketch cards now is I am using my personal sketch cards that I do at conventions as a way to raise funds for Parkinson's. My mother was recently diagnosed with this disease and I am trying to my part to fight it. I do "Sketch for the Cure" cards at conventions. $5.00 gets you a penciled card, $20 gets you a full color card and 100% of the money goes to

Any advice for people wanting to break into the sketch card ‘biz’?
Yeah, just keep working on drawing. No different than any other art job you'd want. If you want to do it, you gotta work on it all the time. Plus you gotta be fast.

Where can people see more of your work?
You can go to my website or my Facebook fan page.

What are you currently working on?
Currently I've been working on some samples for different comic projects as well as slowly working on a new graphic novel. I have a single issue of Vincent Price Presents coming out in June from Bluewater that I wrote and drew as well as final part of Astronaut Dad finished and should be out soon.

Thank you so much for your time, Brent!

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