stewartillustrations

matt stewart illustrations logo that says matt stewart with line around 'art' at the end of stewart

Between once a month to once every 3-4 months I send out an email about upcoming and newly released projects! 

about

photo of matt and michelle stewart in the mountains outside of calgary, alberta, canada

As a kid I loved history, science, and all things pop culture, with little of this changing to this day. My interests carried forward in my post-secondary studies, completing degrees in archaeology, web development, social media marketing, and graphic design /illustration. You might be able to say I liked school…

I have worked on a wide range of projects, and being what I call an ‘octopus’ is one of my favourite things where I am able to work on multiple projects at any given time and those projects are all distinct from one another and draw from my array of skills. When it comes to illustration I am principally a traditional artist with a focus on portraits, comic art, trading card art, fantasy/science fiction art, film storyboards, and character designs.  I am also an experienced graphic designer, creating logos, posters, t-shirts, and other graphics using Adobe programs (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop).

I also have over 10 years experience as an archaeologist in western Canada, and have completed a Masters in the discipline (you can read my thesis here which it includes many of my own scientific illustrations). I have helped conduct projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, and have held permits in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Currently, I do not work in the field of archaeology as art and web development takes up the majority of my time but I still keep an eye out for small contracts where I can wander about through the Canadian forests in search of heritage resources.

Q&A with Matt Stewart

From time to time I’m interviewed about the artwork I create, specifically about the artwork I create for trading card companies. Th Non-Sport Update Magazine shown here features a two-page interview with me about my trading card artwork and below are a few common questions I’m asked when a podcaster or another website has asked me to be a guest.

Please contact me if you’d like me to be a guest on your upcoming podcast or contributor to your website!

How did you get into doing sketch cards in the first place? Were you already doing sports art or was this your first venture?
How did you connect up with Topps? Was there a call for artists that you answered or did you reach out on a whim?

I’ve been drawing and collecting cards since I was a kid but hadn’t combined the two until years later. I had mainly just collected hockey and baseball cards, and then in 2014 I looked up a bunch of different companies online and sent them samples. Monsterwax and Leaf were the first two companies to hire me, working on the Monsters and Maniacs and Celebrity Masterworks sets. After that I quickly started working for a bunch of other companies (Upper Deck, Topps, Cryptozoic, Rittenhouse, and others). All of these projects were entertainment based, creating artwork for properties like Star Wars, Firefly, Marvel, and more. 

I had done some large sports drawings and a series of personal sketch cards of NHL goalie masks, but all of that was either for fun or were commissions. In 2018 Topps saw the sports artwork I had been doing and invited me to work on a few UFC and MLB sets. Ever since then I’ve continued to contribute artwork to MLB sets and a few of those sets like Gallery have reproduced my artwork for base and subset cards. It’s a blast working on these projects as I’m a big baseball fan myself!

If you google ‘apply to be a sketch card artist with Topps’ you’ll find information on how to submit. For sketch card projects, you want to draw a few sample sketch cards and have them preferably of the subject matter they create and then send those off to the email they have listed online. They don’t always post it as they’re not always looking for artists and in my case I got on board with them at a time when the art director had asked some artists to recommend artists to work on upcoming projects.

Published base card artwork for Topps MLB Gallery 2020
Which do you enjoy sketching more – sports cards or entertainment pieces? Why?
Have you ever pulled either an original of your artwork or a replica from a pack? What was the excitement of seeing it if so?

I enjoy them both equally. If I’ve been working on one property a lot for a long period of time then it might get a little stale but for MLB and Star Wars, the properties I work on probably the most, there’s so much content to work with it’s difficult for it to get stale.

I have and it came from a complimentary box from Topps! Years back they sent out a complimentary box of Star Wars cards to all the artists and sure enough in that box I pulled one of my own sketch cards. I was a little conflicted about it though as I wish it was either an autograph or a sketch card from another artist.  I don’t collect my own work so it was a bit of a whomp-whomp moment pulling my own sketch card but it was also worth a good laugh when considering what the odds were of me finding my own sketch card.

The excitement I get from my artwork comes from the action of me creating the work and then others enjoying it. I don’t hang my own artwork up on the walls partially because I’ll just sit there and nit pick how I could’ve done it better and I enjoy someone else’s work far more than my own; that extends to sketch cards. While I have kept copies of my artwork that’s been reproduced, I use them more as portfolio pieces than anything else.

The amount of sketches produced for some of these sets also make the odds of me pulling my own work exceedingly long. I collect cards too, so the odds of me having found one of my own sketch cards in that box Topps sent me are so high that I really should’ve bough a lotto ticket that day!

stewartillustrations