Thursday, May 25, 2017

1/1 Sketch Card Interview: Juan Rosales

These type of posts always seem to be some of my favorites.  Before jumping back in to the sports card hobby, I used to collect a bunch of comic books.  I had nearly every issue of X-Men, Daredevil, and The Flash dating back to the 1960s.

Over the course of time I began to collect original artwork used in the production of the comics and would commission artists at comic book conventions to draw some of my favorite characters.

That fad eventually wore off for me as I began getting back into sports cards.  However the itch is still there per se so I have been picking up sketch cards of my favorite athlete, Andrew McCutchen.

Some are pack pulled cards.  Some are personal sketch cards (PSC) and some are artist proofs.

For those that don't know an artist proof is a blank sketch card not inserted into packs that the artist who worked on the series for the manufacturer (Topps, Leaf, etc) was given as a method of payment and contribution to the set.  Often times the artist proofs are sold as commissions by the artist.

I was fortunate enough to come across an eBay auction that Juan Rosales was doing for artist proofs of Leaf's Best of Baseball.

Through a few quick emails and some reference material, I was able to communicate to Juan what I was looking for.

This is the result.

Here is the reference image I gave him
As you can see Juan was able to add some of the Pirates home lettering to the card to make it even more special.

I chose the image above for Juan to use because all my other Cutch sketch cards have him with his trademark dreads during his MVP seasons.  I wanted to show some of his swagger that (I thought) he still had left in his approach at the plate.

As is customary when I get a new sketch card I reached out to the artist to try and get some questions answered.

CC: What got you into drawing?
JR: I always liked doodling when I was younger, and once I reached high school, I got serious about taking art classes and refining my skills. High school is really where I built my foundation. I stopped drawing once I reached college and didn't take it up again for another 12 years or so, but once I started drawing again, everything came back to me. Now it's something that I devote a lot of time to.

Where did you study at/grow your craft? 
The only formal training I have is through my high school. I took art classes each year, joined the Art Club and even lettered in Art.

Your deviant art site shows that sometimes you collaborate with your wife.  Did art bring you two together? 

Not initially, but once we realized that we both had some degree of talent, we started encouraging each other and working on projects together. 

Your art style is extremely realistic.  When you aren't doing commissions or working for card companies, do you have a more stylized comic book style that you like to dabble in? 

I don't. I've never been a comic book fan, and I've never had an interest in drawing in that style. Many of the artists I personally who DO create comic-style art are very talented, but it has never grabbed my interest.

I read that you are a Pantera fan.  What's the better album in your opinion, Vulgar Display of Power or Cowboys From Hell? 

First, Pantera is my all-time favorite band. Asking me to choose my favorite of these two albums is impossible. One day, I might be in the mood for one album, and the next day the other album will be on my playlist. I will say, though, that Cowboys From Hell does a great job of showcasing Phil's early vocal talents, when he was regularly using a higher voice in some of their songs. And Vulgar showcases their artful progression into a much heavier sound. Their 3 classic albums (these two and Far Beyond Driven) are three of my all-time favorite works from any artists in any genre.

You do a lot of athlete commissions. Do you have a favorite team/player? 

Baseball is my favorite sport, and I grew up a big Rangers fan in the Dallas area who idolized Nolan Ryan. After living in San Antonio for the past 20 years, however, I really don't follow the Rangers anymore, as the Spurs are pretty much my one and only team. I'm a die-hard Spurs fan who absolutely loves Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker (as do most people in SA). Baseball will always be my favorite sport, but I'm more of a fan of baseball history these days. Aside from reading summaries online, I don't follow the current game.

If someone was to make a movie about your life, what would it be called? I have no idea! I'd probably pay someone else to come up with a title, to behonest

Thank you so much Juan for taking the time to answer these questions and for drawing such a kick ass commission artist proof.

Juan can be found online at his deviant artsite and still has some Artist Proof commissions available through eBay.  If you decide to get a sketch from him let him know that Brian from Collecting Cutch sent you.


  1. Great interview and amazing sketch card! Juan is super talented.

  2. Great card and even better interview!

  3. Hey Brian, Juan here. Thanks a bunch for publishing my interview, and for allowing people to see the card that I created for you. This was a very fun commission, and I'm very ecstatic that I was able to help you add to your Cutch collection! Take care. -Juan