You sit upright in your chair rhythmically clicking
the refresh button on your browser as you
watch the seconds tick towards zero. Pensively
you wait for the final moments of the auction to see if you
win your newest sketch card. As you wait you wonder—
is this sketch card trend going to continue? The flood of
over three thousand sketch cards a week on eBay, days
after the release of Lord of the Rings: Evolution, indicates
manufacturers will be tucking these mini works of art
into packs for years to come. In the midst of the hysteria,
fan-favorite sketch artist Cynthia Cummens took a break
from her busy ‘sketch-ule’ to chat with us.
Cards Online: How did you discover Card Talk?
Cynthia Cummens: While working on Star Wars: Heritage,
I wanted to learn more about sketch cards—who
collects them, what other artists had worked on them,
and the history behind them; so I went online to do some
research. That’s how I found Card Talk.
CO: How does knowing you’re going to get feedback
publicly on Card Talk impact your sketches?
CC: It’s a great community, very supportive and I appreciate
the feedback I’ve gotten. Collectors’ tastes vary
greatly making it impossible to please everyone, but I
think the love for what I do has come through in my
work, no matter which set I’m working on, and collectors
have responded well to that.
CO: You probably get great inside information
about future sets. How do you keep
both the manufacturer
and information hungry
CC: That’s a tough one
sometimes! Of course, I’m
always excited to announce
which sets I’m working on,
but it’s not until I get the
green light from the companies
that I can actually make
announcements. It seems the
community is usually two steps
ahead and has more information
about a set than I do! So I drop little
hints here and there on Card
Talk and on my website until I can
make an official announcement.
CO: What are the highlights of your website: www.cynthiacummensart.
CC: I try to update it often with information about
upcoming sets I’m working on. Currently you can view
samples from each set I’ve drawn—Star Wars: Heritage,
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Lord of the Rings: Evolution,
John Wayne and Three Stooges, as well as a gallery of personal
commissions. My site
also features other
work, as well as
the Star Wars art I’ve
done and some children’s
CO: How has the
CC: It’s had a heavy
impact on this industry.
From a personal
standpoint, it was
through Card Talk
that I learned about
companies like Rittenhouse and Inkworks. It’s also made
research for photo references quick and easy. I think most
illustrators are grateful for that since research is a large
part of what we do. Being able to send art samples or finished
work to clients through email frees up time for
more work, time that would otherwise be spent standing
in line at the post office! And obviously, the amount
of exposure it provides to artists is
CO: What projects do
you have in the works?
CC: Early this year I’m
working on Family Guy
Season 2 sketch cards and
Wizard of Oz sketch cards.
I’m also working on a few
other sketch card projects
but I can’t mention those
just yet. Additionally, I’ll
continue to write and illustrate
drawing tutorials for
starwars.com. And it looks as
though I will be illustrating a book this year based on a well-known UFO incident.
I will also be accepting private commissions, sketch cards or otherwise.
Information about that is available on my website.
CO: Thank you very much for your time and
support of the hobby. Is there anything you’d
like to add for your fans?
CC: I hope to meet more people in the sketch
card community, collectors and artists alike. I
[recently attended] Collectormania in Manchester,
England, [and will be at] San Diego Comic-Con,
Wizard World Chicago, and Dragon Con. My website
will be updated with additional convention
appearances in 2006 as they are scheduled. I also just
wanted to thank everyone in the Card Talk community
for their kindness and support! Happy collecting,
Interview by Jon Doyle for Non-Sport Update; (c) 2006 Non-Sport Update; Posting of this article on other websites is prohibited.