A card I had been hoping to get for sometime is my first sketch card by Carlos Cabaleiro .
Upon receiving the card, I sent Mr. Cabaleiro an email telling him I admired his work and asked if he could answer a few questions for me.
I told him that I used to collect comics and would often attend comic convention trying to get sketches from the artists in artist Alley. Even though I have lost the comic sketch crave, I still enjoy and appreciate extremely talented artists.
Carlos graciously and quickly responded to my questions.
How did you become one of the artists Topps chose to include in it's 2016 Topps Museum Original Sketches?
- An artist that I admire and call a friend, Daniel Bergren, asked me if I was interested in doing some work for Topps’s Baseball Dept. and forwarded some of my recent Star Wars and Hobbit cards to the person in charge of the sketch cards/artists with my contact info. I received an invitation to work on the set shortly thereafter. Being to capture likeness is a key part of working on the MLB license and I feel like I do an okay job at it.
2. Your Andrew McCutchen sketch appears to be done using all grey tones. Is this a medium you prefer to work in or was that the direction Topps gave?
- This set in particular was a rather difficult one for me. The texture of the cards and the paper stock made it quite difficult for me to use my preferred medium at the time (primarily copic markers) and forced me to experiment with different styles and media. Some were more successful than others. Unfortunately, this is a rather common challenge when working on sketch cards. I did quite a few cards in a simpler style and in grey tones for that reason. Generally, I prefer to do my sketch cards in full color.
3. When drawing an athlete do you use specific reference or do you try to capture the person while still putting your art style influence on the sketch card?
- When working for a license like MLB, the likeness is very important and we have to use references approved by MLB, the MLBPA and Topps. The style comes in the execution of the finished product. I look at illustration as a series of problem solving techniques using the skills and tricks artists accumulated over years and are comfortable with. The job is to make the finished piece look like the player using what I know and can do. Like I mentioned previously, things like time, paper quality, artist mediums, etc really dictate the end result. What I love about working on likenesses and licenses like this are seeing how different each piece is. Its rare to see several artists create the same exact piece of art when referenced from the same image.
4. Are you a sports fan? If so, do you have any favorite teams and players?
- You mentioned that you stopped collecting comics and cards a few years ago and that’s kind of where I am with sports currently. I grew up just outside of NYC and was a huge Yankee fan back in the 80’s. I moved to South Florida before the days of the internet and slowly embraced the Miami teams as my own (Dolphins, Heat, Panthers, Marlins). I was a die hard fan for decades. Today, I’m weening myself off of being a fanatic. I’ll still catch a good game on a lazy weekend but it’s not something I’m very passionate about anymore.
- Favorite players: Don Mattingly, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas
5. If you could be any superhero for a day, who would you pick and why?
- I LOVE Batman and have a pretty impressive Batman: The Animated Series Collection but I’ve always thought that The Flash had the greatest superpower. As a professional illustrator constantly facing deadlines, being the fastest man alive right now is really appealing