25 April 2015

Star Wars Masterwork Artist Return Sketch Card - Princess Leia by Mary Bellamy

When the Star Wars Masterwork set was released I set out to look for a few decent sketch cards for my collection. I pulled a couple of sketches from the box I opened and I purchased one sketch from eBay. One artist whose sketches interested me was Mary Bellamy. I had exchanged messages with her on the Blowout Cards forums and purchased/commissioned some stuff from her.

When companies do a product with sketch cards, they often give the artists a handful of cards to do sketches on and sell on their own. Sometimes the cards look the same as the pack-pulled sketch cards and sometimes they have an 'Artist's Proof' or 'Artist Return' stamp on them. I believe these cards make up a large portion of an artist's income from a set. I saw some of Bellamy's Star Wars Masterwork Artist Returns cards in the video she did to show off her cards from the set and inquired about one of the Princess Leia sketches she had done. She told me that Topps had kept them and she was having a little trouble getting them back, but that she would reserve one if Topps sent anything back to her. 

Eventually Topps got some of her cards back to her and I was able to get this one to add to my collection, an illustration of Leia in her hooded white dress. I like the colors that Bellamy uses, and her style is cartoony without being too simple. I'm not sure I remember that wallpaper in the background from the movies, though, but perhaps this is from some off-screen scene where Leia visits her grandmother's house.

Here is the back of the card. I can't find any markings on this card to differentiate it from the pack-pulled sketches, so in this case it looks like Topps didn't do anything special to mark the Artist Returns. Eventually I need to get around to showing the other sketches I got from Mary Bellamy, but that's not going to happen today.

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