If you’re in Philly tonight and are looking for something fun to do, I have just the thing for you! The good folks at Pro League Authentics are hosting a release party for my new series of cards, United States of Baseball, or ten ballplayers with Presidential names at 6pm at 137 S. 13th Street (that’s at the corner of Walnut Street).
There’s Misters Bo Jackson, Von Hayes, Homer Bush, amongst others, but here’s a sneak peek of my favorite one, a Brooklyn Bridegroom who played at the turn of the century: Brickyard Kennedy.
There will be drinks and snacks, and baseball and art and fun, and I will be doing a little Q&A at 7pm so please join us! Oh and I also made a special limited edition print of Greg Luzinski, one of my favorite Phillies (don’t worry, there are only two: him and Mike Schmidt. I am still a Met fan.)
See you tonight if you can make it!
So I wanted to try something a little different before my next series of “regular” Left Field Cards (which, incidentally, is coming out next week! Stay tuned.) and so I thought I’d try notecards. For kicks, you know. Little did I realize what that would entail. I feel like all of my projects start out that way! Because I’m mostly self-taught and want to do everything myself, I usually have no idea what I’m getting into until it’s too late to back down. So… what’s with notecards anyway? Right? It’s the same as postcards, only folded, right? Can’t be that hard. NO PROFESSIONAL PRINTER WOULD EVER SAY THAT.
Trial and errors, headaches and mistakes, here I come. The first card I made did not turn out so well. It was the wrong size, the paper was too stiff and tore when I tried to fold it, even when creasing it first, and the envelopes didn’t match. I had to switch to a different kind of paper, I had to learn about card sizes, envelope sizes, poly bag sizes, crop marks, registration marks and a lot of other stuff! I know! But I did it. I conquered the Mountain of Folded Note Cards and I made it my bitch. Just took way longer than planned, is all.
So this is why I’m so proud to present to you my first ever line of Very Professional Looking and Super Legit Note Cards. There’s even a birthday card in there! I’m really, really happy with the results and I can’t wait to make more. But enough with the words, let’s get on with the images.
Like what you see? Grab ’em right this here way.
I’m not ashamed to say it. Registration marks have changed my life.
I’ve spent the last eight months focusing on the cards and doing a lot of block printing and letterpress. Also a lot of non-fun stuff like learning how to be a bookkeeper, a marketing person, an accountant, etc. But I haven’t been painting much since Left Field Cards started. And I miss it. So when Karen contacted me about a painting for her boyfriend’s birthday, I was thrilled.
Her boyfriend’s dad was a big Brooklyn Dodgers fan so we went for awesome catcher and Hall of Famer Roy Campanella. I only paint players that I admire and respect (well, except for Ty Cobb, but he’s the exception…) and I have nothing but reverence for Roy Campanella. A fantastic catcher, a great teammate and a good man, whose career on the field was cut short by a tragic car accident. Left paralyzed at 37, he stayed involved with the Dodgers and coached young catchers for the organization.
Acrylics on canvas, 24 x 36″
I took a break and went to France. I was actually really nervous before leaving and even brought my computer to be able to do work if necessary, but as soon as I got to my parents’ house, nay, as soon as I looked out the window of the train taking me to Lyon and saw this, I wondered what on earth I was thinking.
Geez, VACATION TIME! It’s August, and yes it’s great to be able to get-shit-done and take-care-of-things, and do-stuff, but once in a while, it’s also really, really good to unplug, take a deep breath and spend time with the people you love.
And so unplug I did, visiting my grandparents everyday, eating lots of cheese and even taking a small road trip to go to a wedding in the South. Overall I had an excellent time resting, slowing down, spending time away from the internets, away from work, and close to my family. It was very good.
And now back to work!
Just wanted to share a few pictures of this first month at our studio!
Ariele made me this lamp from an old photo studio light I found.
So much of running a business has to do with packing and shipping. Might as well make it fun! Yellow post-it tape from Muji.
My weird collection of baseball knick knacks: the entire 1991 Topps season, Mike Piazza russian dolls and a ball signed by Mike Pelfrey. I also have a K-Rod bubble head which I put in a corner, facing the wall, after last year’s punching incident.
Oh look, a boxing painting! And some fern!
The incredible Sandy Koufax, looking pretty sharp on a black wall.
Yellow tulips. It’s a yellow summer.
That’s all for June! Have a great Fourth of July, we’ll be celebrating tomorrow night on our rooftop with the appropriate meats and beers and a first-class view onto the fireworks. Feeling very lucky indeed.
So on Thursday this happened.
I know! So fancy.
I have to thank David Roth who wrote a very thoughtful and wonderful article and who has been so incredibly supportive of Left Field Cards. He’s the editor of The Classical, a very clever sports blog, and writes for Deadspin, Vice, GQ, The Awl, the WSJ and a whole lot of other places. After finding out about The Classical from a friend back in February or March, I emailed David to introduce myself and my work, and his response was as enthusiastic and kind as can be. We did an interview for The Classical that came out right before the release of Marvelous Moustaches, and he came to the launch party at the Bergino Clubhouse. He is just as awesome in person as he is online, a very smart and interesting fellow, and a pleasure to talk with. I highly recommend following him on Twitter, @david_j_roth.
So he pitched my story to the Wall Street Journal, and a few weeks later, here it is, making my mama proud, and sending me hunting for a copy of the WSJ in Greenpoint (apparently not a very popular newspaper around these very Polish parts). Needless to say, I felt honored and proud and thankful and lucky and even a little fuzzy inside, thinking about all the magnificent people I have met so far on this Left Field Cards adventure, and all the support and encouragement I’ve been getting.
I believe in working hard to get what you want, and boy have I worked hard this past year. I’ve been through a lot of sweat, a little blood (carving linoleum with a sharp tool is not without its dangers), and god knows more than a few tears, out of exhaustion, stress and doubt. It’s been almost a year since I first started playing with the idea of making my own baseball cards, and I have never been prouder of anything I’ve done in my life.
Left Field Cards would not exist without the people who’ve supported me, whether it’s on a daily, in-real-life basis (boyfriend, Ariele) or on an internet basis. I have no idea how things got done back in the day, before this whole web thing, and not to get all sentimental here, but god do I love the internet and the amazing people I’ve met thanks to it! In many ways, it has made my life richer. Quite literally actually, as I was able to quit my day job a few months ago and do this full time!
So in short, thank you David, thank you baseball, and thank you internet.
THANK YOU AMERICA! Woohoo.