Interview with Artist Matthew Stewart

Is there anything he can't do?

Interview with Matthew Stewart
By: Shane Salmonson

It is very possible that you already own some of Matthew Stewart’s artwork, and don’t even realize it! Matt does many things; web developer, graphic designer, social media marketer, he has even worked professionally as an archaeologist! But the thing that collectors would most enjoy is Matt’s work on sketch cards. Matt was kind enough to answer some questions for me about his sketch card work, and how he got into the trading card business!

BU: How were you first introduced to the trading card hobby?

MS: I was first introduced as a kid with collecting cards that my parents would buy me at a grocery or convenience store. Growing up in the 80s I remember collecting baseball, garbage pail kids, GI Joe and the Desert storm cards. In the 90s I discovered comic shops, and there I started collecting the Marvel and DC cards. At the same time I moved to Canada and began collecting hockey cards. I had liked hockey when growing up in the States but it wasn’t until I moved to Canada that I found packs of hockey cards.

BU: Are you still collecting today?

MS: I’m a collector of too much really. I love Star Wars so I have a nice Lego Star Wars collection, along with some Star Wars cards and other collectables. I’ve been collecting Pop Funkos as well, focusing on all the Batman variations. I still collect comic books, with a massive collection that takes over my office. Of course, I also collect cards and have a very nice hockey and baseball collection with some non-sports. For non-sports I like to pick up a single box of this or that show, like Gotham, to have the base set and try my hand at a nice auto.

BU: You sound a lot like myself, with too many collections going on! Any favorite pieces in your collection that you would like to share?

MS: I have tons of favourite pieces. Recently I pulled a Gretzky canvas auto and a dual Dr. Who signed card of River Song. Both of those are displayed on my bookshelf with other favourite collectibles like my Daredevil figurine collection. I also have a game used puck from the Russia /Czechoslovakia game from the Vancouver Winter Olympics. It has the period and all the other info on the puck, which is really cool and displayed prominently with some of my other stuff.

Sketch Card Holder

1″ Lucite SCREWDOWN with 4 screws . Beveled edges . 3-1/2 x 5-1/4 x 1″ thick Crystal-clear, no PVC, acid-free material

I’ve gone to quite a few local comic conventions, and a few non-local ones like San Diego Comic Con over the past ten years. While at the conventions I’ve met a lot of my favourite celebrities and have photos and autographs from them. Some of my favourite photos and autographs are from Carrie Fisher, Linda Hamilton, NPH, Leonard Nimoy, and Nick Frost.

BU: How did you land a gig making sketch cards for major card companies?

MS: I started out emailing a small portfolio of drawings to a few companies. Monsterwax, a small company in Florida, first picked me up. A few months later Leaf got me working on a few of their sets and it kind of snowballed from there. A few of the projects and companies I’ve worked for occurred by them contacting me after seeing my artwork online or from another artist recommending me for a gig. Mostly though, the projects have come from me searching out company contact information and submitting a portfolio.

BU: Can you give us an idea of the different projects you have done sketches for?

MS: At this point I feel I’ve worked my way across the spectrum of sketch cards. I have a list of all of my released projects on my website and some of my favourites have been Ghostbusters, the Star Wars sets, Firefly, Terminator 2, Avengers, Garbage Pail Kids, and will be having some baseball artwork coming up in 2018.

BU: I look forward to seeing that baseball art! Any favorite sets you have worked on?

MS: There has yet to be a project I’ve worked on that I didn’t enjoy in some way. Some of them are a bit more special like Star Wars, Firefly, and my new baseball project because of how hard I worked to get on those sets, but when it comes to being proud of the work I produced it’s always whatever I just finished working on. I feel I improve with each project and it’s only the artwork I’ve done most recently that I am the most happy with.

BU: Besides sketch cards, what other artwork do you enjoy doing?

MS: I’ve had a few opportunities to do set and character designs along with storyboards for small films. Really enjoyed the creative process and hoping to have more opportunities in the near future.

BU: Have you ever done commission work for anybody famous?

MS: I’ve sold some previously created artwork to a few smaller name celebrities but haven’t been directly commissioned by anyone famous. Would be a cool experience though!

BU: If you had to choose just one of your works, which would be your favorite?

MS: Whichever one I just finished, and the one that the client is the most happy with! Over the summer I created a portrait for someone who absolutely loved it and I was happy with the composition I created for it. For sketch cards, I just finished the Star Wars Black and White set where I used a few different styles that I’m excited about releasing (think it comes out in the spring).

Matthew Stewart

Twitter: @archaeomatt
Instagram: @stewartillustrations
(if someone is interested in commissions, email Matt at [email protected])


Sketch Card Holder

SCREWDOWN with BLACK BORDER 2-1/2 x 3-1/2″ recessed card area 3-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 1/4″ o.d. Crystal-clear, no PVC, acid-free material Display cards vertically or horizontally