When I started this blog almost five years ago, one of the first posts talked about custom card creations. I love the art of design, observing techniques, dissecting layouts and trying my hand at it.
The first custom card I ever made was this Ilya Kovalchuk offering. I look at it now with a sweet smile and a bit of a gawk. I can see where ny ambition level was at the time but I can also see what I have improved on over the years.
For those of you who remember the days where the Beckett Boards were the place to hang out and talk cards, you may remember some of the custom card contests that were set up. The rules were pretty simple. A head-to-head knockout tournament. Each person developing a new card for each round with the board members submitting their votes.
I always enjoyed these contests because they were nothing but fun. No egos or prizes, just creating for the joy of it.
What I also enjoyed about those contests was the simple, but important, organization brought by one certain individual - a fellow custom card creator. At the time his handle was WingzOfKyiv but I got to know him as Eugene. A person passionate about creating new and exciting cards...in addition to seeing what others could offer in the same respect.
For years after the great Beckett Battles, Eugene drifted away from the hobby. I moved on to another forum once Beckett made some changes (it's never been the same since). But a few months back I noticed some new customs pop up from a guy names Wingz198. They had a flavour and style that I instantly recognized. Sure enough, Eugene was back to show off some new creations.
I offered a hearty hello and enjoyed what he had created. I mentioned how much his designs and overall attitude towards the hobby had an impact on me. To this day, I think very highly of his efforts.
A couple months ago I received an e-mail from him asking for my address. I didn't know what to expect but happily forwarded it to him. Not long after, I received one of the coolest gifts I've been given in this hobby.
Here's where the cards begin.
Each unique and done with the attitude and essence of enjoyment. I can sense it in every single card in the set.
Part of the collection, they will be a strong reminder of those great memories and of a solid hobbyist.
Each design built with a vision in mind.
These scans do not do the cards justice. I have seen the digital version of these cards and the vibrancy is much greater (he mentioned that he was still experimenting with the printing process (I think we all are).
When you find something you like, keep it in the arsenal. But always look to do more. Expand your horizons.
I'm just glad Rob Zamuner was on that team in 1998.....made Trev's inclusion a little less critical.
where they botched it in the shootout. No Gretzky? Why no Gretzky? I think he's still pondering that one on the bench.
Well, back in the day they were. Did you see my Kovalchuk?
Not that this one is bad.
Bonus points times three for the name of the player who was drafted first overall just ahead of Trevor.
Just like I can remember the wonderful times spent creating cards in those early days. Hours spent just trying to figure out how to use the photo editing program. Discovering new textures, colors, fonts, techniques.
Eugene....thank you very much for the absolutely wonderful gift. I will cherish these cards and include them in my collection forever. Thank you as well for your efforts in making the hobby a more enjoyable place for me to visit and be a part of.
Thanks to everyone who stuck with me until the end. These cards are worth it.