I got back into the hobby around 2015 when my first-born son became old enough to play baseball. I started out buying packs at Walmart and then dove into ebay where I would try and find great deals on Cubs players for my son.
Naturally, it wasn't long before I was purchasing cards for myself and at some point, I stumbled across some great card accounts on social media, specifically Instagram.
This is where I first discovered a small community of collectors that were doing something different with their cards. They were cutting them up and reconstructing them how they saw fit remixing them with other cards and new materials to make something new.
The cards that really jumped out at me had a kind of shadow box style that added depth to the cards in a way I had never seen before. I was excited and inspired by these cards where you could mix your favorite athletes and characters with anything you wanted.
Shortly after this the pandemic hit and trading cards were booming again. My son purchased a box of 1990 Donruss at our local LCS (local card shop) for eight or nine bucks. After having fun ripping thru all the packs, we were left with a pile of cards on our dining room table with next to no monetary value. I looked at all these cards and decided it was time to take a shot at making my first art cards. I started with a Bo Jackson, Ryne Sandberg, and Mark Grace. I cut the cards up and layered in a cracked ice material I found at a local hobby shop.
I kept making cards and finally worked up the courage to post my first card on IG. I made a new account for my new endeavor and presented it to the collecting community I had been watching for so long. It was a double-sided Bo Jackson card that featured him playing football on one side and baseball on the other. The feedback was great from everyone, and I was off to the races.
Fast forward to today and you now have a plethora of collectors, artists and hobbyists creating cards using a wide variety of materials and methods. Some cards are cut or painted, many are printing digital designs, and we now also have artists utilizing AI for their cards. Do you prefer to collect cards that are in slabs? Card art offers that to with Beckett and PSA both authenticating a handful of artists and many artists using their own customer slabs and labels to present their cards.
The recent involvement and acceptance from grading companies helps add value, validation, and legitimacy to the growing movement. As time continues to move forward and more cards are sold, and sales are tracked we will see true comps established for these cards which will also help to cement their place in today's hobby where so much is driven by monetary value.
For most that collect these cards though it is not about the value or investment but more about the nostalgia and the emotions that these cards evoke.
For example, a Michael Jordan card is great in its own right but when you mix that Jordan card together with images of the Simpsons, GI Joe, Batman, or The Goonies something different happens… something special. Now each time you see this card you can be brought back to multiple places whether it is watching the game, collecting cards, or playing video games with your friends in grade school.
The long and short of it is that card art is anything you want it to be. That’s the beauty of it, there are no limitations, no right or wrong way, whatever your imagination can think of can come to life.
So, grab some cards and an exacto knife, or your iPad and try making something new today. You may just find a new hobby within the hobby. Oh, and if you aren’t feeling the creative spirit reach out to and/or follow one of the artists below and you'll be sure to find something for your PC.