For me, email is definitely not dead.
I love the way social media lets me connect with different people from all over the world, everyday. But as fun and connective as social media is, I’ve used email to connect and have conversations with collectors in a much more meaningful way, one-on-one. Sometimes it’s through my website and sometimes it’s just a reply to my newsletter, but I have great conversations with fellow sports fans through email, and I’ve realized how important it is to my business.
I wanted to acknowledge the many people who helped to make my business possible: the email subscribers who are among the most enthusiastic sports fans and frequent collectors of my art. To thank them, and to welcome new subscribers into the fold, I decided to release some of my artwork for free as mobile wallpaper. I created smartphone and Apple Watch background versions of my popular Minimalist Baseball Stadiums series, and you can have them free when you subscribe to my newsletter. Actually I call it my VIP list, because as a subscriber you get access to offers and new art that the public never hears about, and because I’ve realized how important my subscribers are.
To get your free mobile wallpaper art, subscribe and you’ll receive a link to the members only download page. Then watch your inbox for promotions, new art announcements, limited edition releases, and even giveaways. I’ve been known to give away drawings from my Ballpark Princesses series, and even tickets to join me to watch a ballgame or hockey game.
And if you want to get in touch with me, just reply to any of my newsletters. I try to reply to everyone as soon as I can.
PS If you haven’t already, I would love it if you’d follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, too. I share my newest sketches, works in progress, fan pics, Ballpark Princesses, and pictures from the games I attend as a fan.
I was just processing the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, and the emotional roller coaster of the Dodgers game (walk off HR to win the NL East and the final home game of Vin Scully). Then I get the news of the death of the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. I’m not a big golf fan, but there are some names of athletes that transcends their game and into the common lexicon. I don’t think anyone wouldn’t recognize the name, and know his connection to the game of golf. I created this illustration of the great golfer, to homage the mocktail that we all know named after him. There’s many stories on how that name was invented, but I think we can agree we can raise this glass to the great athlete.
Limited Edition prints are available and all net proceeds will be donated to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.
Like many of you, I woke up this morning with the news that the Marlins pitching ace, Jose Fernandez tragically died in a boating accident last night. I’m not using the label “ace” lightly here. Fernandez was a bright star with not only filthy and devastating pitches, but the ability to use his stuff to shut down other teams consistently. At the age of 24, he was on a sure path to be one of the greats. Keep in mind, he was a Cuban defector. He snuck out of Cuba on a boat to Mexico, and hid from the law to make his way to America.
I spent some time today to make a tribute to this all star who’s life was much too short.
Prints are available and all net proceeds will go to the Marlins Community Foundation.
If you have any doubt how much Jose Fernandez loved this game check this out.
REMEMBER TO ENTER INTO MY MINIMALIST VIN SCULLY ART GIVEAWAY
Giving has always been part of me. And so the #BallparkPrincess project has grown into a way to reach out, share our mutual love for baseball and our mutual love for one another. I give away a lot of art, publicly on social media and privately to people I meet along my sports journey. I wanted to highlight this one giveaway that I did last week which was unique.
Sienna is a 12-year old from Seattle and she just found out that her leukemia has relapsed and will have to go through cancer treatment for a second time. Before she starts her medical fight again, the folks at Baseball and Bubblegum, a private “Make a Wish” organization, arranged for Sienna to do her two favorite things… baseball and Disney. They started the trip on the field at Safeco, and moved the vacation to Anaheim where they spend a couple days in Disneyland. Kelly, the wish organizer reached out to me for a commission to commemorate her experience. It was a moved by her story and instead of a commission fee, I agreed to draw this piece for her so long as I can meet Sienna at Disneyland and present the art in person.
I have to say, I almost get more joy from giving my art then the person receiving it. It fills my heart knowing that someone else’s life has been impacted, even in a little way, with my artwork.
Sienna is now back in Seattle, and back to fighting for her life.
If you want to follow Sienna on her journey you can catch her on facebook or twitter. Feel free to leave her a good luck wish!
To find out more about Baseball and Bubblegum you can contact Kelly and Logan on instagram and twitter.
Vin Scully is retiring.
Yes, it’s the statement we know was coming, but it’s hard to accept. In sports, we talk about legends and icons and we use those labels sparingly. These titles are reserved for those that display longevity, consistency and play the game honorably. We appreciate people in sports that stay with their team for their entire career and with the play on and off the field, they represent a better side.
Vin Scully is is a legend and an icon.
Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers for longer than most of us have been alive. He started his Dodgers broadcast career in Ebbets Field when the Dodgers were still the Brooklyn Dodgers. So his voice has been the Dodgers bridge between Jackie Robinson to Clayton Kershaw. His voice is the witness of:
6 Dodgers World Series
9 Dodger MVP awards
12 Dodger Cy Youngs
We salute your career, Vin. Thank you for making baseball great.
Prints available here.
Remember the those color swatch prints I created earlier this year? I’ve done a lot of work with the MLB on trying to get them licensed and released but I hit some hurdles and I’ll need you help!
I was told that I require an MLBPA license to publish this artwork for any current players, and for any retired player, I need to individually negotiate a license agreement with each person. That’s way too much work and time for this guy. After pouting for hours (actually days) (actually weeks) (in fact it was months), I decided to drop the player names from the design and use descriptions that don’t require licensing. For example… For the Minnesota Twins, I will use Baggy Blue. Or for the Red Sox, I’ll use Yawkey Red. You get the drift! I’m picking words that are synonymous with the team. Since collectively, you know your team better than me, I need suggestions! Choose one color. Choose a team. Choose all the teams. Send in your submissions what you think is the best color description!
What the heck… for every submission you make you’ll be entered into a draw for any 11×17 poster in my collection. That means 60 color name suggestions means 60 suggestions. Please write your suggestions in the comments below or email me a list at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s the list of teams and colors I’m looking for:
________ Red _______ Sand
________ Navy _______ Blue
________ Black _______ Orange
Boston Red Sox
________ Red _______ Navy
________ Red _______ Blue
________ Red _______ Black
________ Red _______ Navy
________ Black _______ Purple
Chicago White Sox
________ Black _______ Silver
________ Navy _______ Orange
Kansas City Royals
________ Blue _______ Gold
Los Angeles Angels
________ Red _______ Dark Red
________ Blue _______ Orange
Los Angeles Dodgers
________ Blue _______ red
________ Orange _______ Blue
________ Blue _______ Gold
________ Red _______ Blue
New York Mets
________ Blue _______ Orange
New York Yankees
________ Blue _______ Gray
________ Red _______ Blue
________ Black _______ Gold
________ Red _______ Gold
St. Louis Cardinals
________ Red _______ Yellow
________ Blue _______ Green
San Diego Padres
________ Blue _______ Gold
San Francisco Giants
________ Orange _______ Black
Tampa Bay Rays
________ Blue _______ Light Blue
________ Blue _______ Red
Toronto Blue Jays
________ Blue _______ Navy
________ Red _______ Blue
*** Optional **** send submissions for your favorite College NBA, NHL or NFL team too. (These will not count as submission entries but would be cool to know your ideas)
REMEMBER! No player names (or nicknames).
(Originally written by TED SCHWERZLER and published May 31, 2016 on his blog OFF THE BAGGY)
Artwork has a way of inserting itself into pop culture, mainstream media, and especially sports. While there’s an abundance of offerings in the world of art, it’s the pieces in which we truly connect with that not only bring the work, but also the artist to life. There’s been few people I’ve ever come across who embody these notions more than S. Preston, maybe better known as @PootPoot, or the Minimalist Stadium Guy.
Preston’s artwork first caught my eye near the entrance to the Metropolitan Club at the newly built Target Field. His Minimalist Stadium series was an undertaking that was so flawlessly executed, it’s perfection was displayed in its simplicity. With displays throughout a host of Major League Baseball stadiums, Preston’s art has been handed imparted to the masses.
As his popularity has grown, so have his offerings. What started out with stadiums, has now grown to Disney Ballpark Princesses, as well as Minimalist Mascots. The way in which he’s been able to connect with fans, through his art, really continues to grow. What’s most impressive however, is that it’s that connection that has taken things to an entirely new level, even more so than the art itself.
Despite being far from a goal when starting out his Minimalist Ballpark venture, S. Preston has reached the ultimate pinnacle in baseball circles. He, and well maybe more correctly put, his art, are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
To understand how he got there however, you must first understand where he’s been. Despite being a native Canadian, and now residing in California, Preston’s tale begins in Minnesota. Having just been licensed by Major League Baseball, he displayed his Minimalist Ballpark collection at the All Star Game held at Target Field in 2014, and was met by people from all walks of life. Of those attending the show, a group from the Hall of Fame ran into him as well. In talking and understanding his work, those from the committee saw that Preston was as much about the work itself, as he was the connection to the great game of baseball that it provided. The groundwork had been laid.
As time went on, Preston continued to do exactly what he set out to do, use art as a medium to connect with baseball fans. It is in this practice that he’s set himself apart and made buying and owning his art as much about the product, as it is about the person. He’s social media savvy, connecting with fans throughout the Twitterverse. He uses his Ballpark Princesses as giveaways while at games. He’s even made getting mascots behind the minimalist versions of themselves a serious goal. In short, Chuhon sees his art as part of a larger story that he’s telling.
Based on that reality, the Baseball Hall of Fame seems to see the bigger picture as well. Calling up S. Preston shortly after his display at TwinsFest last winter (and imagine the level of excitement he had on that call, he tells the story with such exuberance), it was deemed that his artwork embodied significant parts of baseball history. The Hall of Fame had decided that Preston’s Minimalist Ballpark collection needed to be included among the very few pieces of art that the museum now owns. He, err his work, was going into the Hall.
Throughout talks with the Hall of Fame, it was determined that the four oldest Major League Baseball stadiums would be the best pieces to welcome into the archives. Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodgers Stadium, and Kauffman Stadium in all their minimalist glory were now providing Chuhon an avenue to sign H.O.F. behind his name.
Unfortunately, S. Preston won’t be getting a plaque or a bust of himself in Cooperstown any time soon, but his art’s inclusion in the heralded Hall does provide some pretty cool benefits. Not only is he now among the very select few artists that ever see their work get accepted, but he is official a member of the Hall of Fame and it lasts for life. With his lifetime membership, and his work down in the archives, he is also afforded the opportunity to tour the archives, something the general public never sees, at his desire. While on a mission to see his art, the amount of baseball history he walks by and touches along the wall is equally as exciting.
What’s great about where S. Preston and his minimalist style, is that it’s simply a by-product of where he’s come from. A truly genuine person, his path to success is one he should be easily able to continue to replicate. In creating amazing works of art, he’s opened a door. Because of how he uses Twitter and other avenues to connect beyond what’s printed on a piece of paper, he simply can’t be knocked off. As much as you may like his work, you buy equally because of who he is. It was what the Baseball Hall of Fame saw, what I have witnessed, and what you likely have as well.
This chapter is written, and the next one is starting. You can bet @PootPoot will have the next great thing up on his website for purchase soon, and this time, he can sign it “S. Preston H.O.F.”
This is my third FanFest, and as always, I’m super thankful and humbled by the response from all the fans. Unlike previous All-Star Games (in Minnesota and Cincinnati) the fans I met were a very diverse group. There were fans from teams all across the country more than normal. I learned that most of the fanbase are from the military and either are still serving or decided to stay and settle down in San Diego. And so many have just migrated to this amazing city. And no surprise, there was also a LOT of Dodgers and Angels fans that made the trek. I was glad that many of my friends that I have met in my baseball travels were able to finally see all my art in once place! A little bit of a surprise is the number of Giants fans that were represented! Should have printed a way ton more Lou Seals and AT&T Parks.
This year was also the first time I was able to exhibit my minimalist mascot series. Most of you know the struggles I had to make this a reality, but the proof was going to be right here if my vision would work. It worked. Really worked.
I never imagined that the mascots would all come to see me and support me – both in and out of costume. They all thanked me and spoke so highly of my work. You see, nobody does art of the mascots. There’s players, and stadiums and logos, but never the mascots. And mascots are truly the recognizable member of any team. And that’s what I realized, and I loved the idea that I created something new! Since I started the mascots, I’ve had mascots from all the other sports contact me, asking for their artwork. I’ve had so many fans reach out to me with their stories of how the mascots has enriched their lives. Heck you can waste hours just watching the antics of Phillie Phanatic and Orbit.
So to all the baseball mascots, thank you for supporting my art. And to everyone who came to FanFest and took part of their time to talk with me and appreciate my art, thank you! I hope you walked away from my booth with a new appreciation for baseball and art.
And for those that asked me about the “Love and Baseball” giveaway,… here’s Erika and her story.
My Disney baseball partner in crime doesn’t happy to be a father/daughter or a husband/wife story, it’s actually a mother and son bond that I have with my 7 year old son. As a single mother I have had to play both a mother and father role for my son so that he can fill that space of his father not being in the picture (at least I try). That is one of the biggest reasons we became season ticket holders for the SD Padres two years ago and we have loved every moment of it. This has been my “father” and son bonding time that I dedicate to my son. We are huge Disney lovers as well and since he says I am his princess a Disney baseball princess would be something symbolic that can describe the relationship that my son and I share both for the love of the game and the love that we have for each other and Disney. Disney is a huge part of our lives being that both of my sisters work for Disney and are obsessed. Attending baseball games and incorporating something that we love just like baseball is something that we would love to have. I think a baseball Disney princess is a representation of both my son and I. – Erika
Who knows about the ball pigs in Minnesota? Anyone? I know, I didn’t know either.
Every year, the St, Paul Saints hire a pig to bring the baseballs to the umpire between innings. It’s one of their many unique marketing antics that have made this independent baseball club famous used over the years. The pig they choose starts out as a little piglet and by the end of the season it’s a full-sized hog! And traditionally, at the beginning of the season, a contest is held for on lucky fans to pick a name for that year’s ball pig. Normally it’s a witty pun on a current pop culture icon. That’s kinda cool, right?
The team and I were sitting around during the off-season chatting about art ideas. And though home of the St. Paul Saints, CHS Field in St. Paul, is state-of-the-art and amazing, the ballpark is only 2 years old and doesn’t have the fondness that older ballparks would have. So in a brilliant a-ha moment (I find most marketing guys have these) they said, “how about the pigs?”. And so here you go. From his mouth, to my brain, to my arm (with the help of about 15 Sharpie markers) I present to you illustrated portraits of all 25 ball pigs of the St. Paul Saints!
2003 Notorious P.I.G. (aka Piggy Smalls)
2006 Bug Squealig
2006 Bug Squealig
2012 Kim Lardashian and Kris Hamphries
2016 Little Read Porkette
WELCOME TO OPENING DAY 2016! I know you are all excited that the long winter is over and we’re back to baseball games that matter. To celebrate the joy of baseball I’m running a marathon sales event! Since there are 30 teams in Major League Baseball, I decided take the next 30 days and dedicate one sale to each team. On that day, all art posters I’ve ever created for that team or city will be on sale for 20% off for 24 hours. Yes, that includes all ballparks, mascots, and college and pro football stadiums. If there’s a design or artwork not on my website, you can request it from me on that day and I’ll do my best to accommodate. In some cases, I will make all the artwork in the state for sale (eg: Lambeau Field, Miller Park and Camp Randall in Wisconsin). I’ll be starting from the NL East and working my way west, then to the AL East and the same. So here’s the dates!
4/5 – Miami – CODE: GOMARLINSGO
4/6 – Atlanta – CODE: GOBRAVESGO
4/7 – New York Mets – CODE: GOMETSGO
4/8 – Washington DC – CODE: GONATSGO
4/9 – Philadelphia – CODE: GOPHILLIESGO
4/10 – Pittsburgh – CODE: GOBUCSGO
4/11 – Chicago Cubs – CODE: GOCUBSGO
4/12 – Milwaukee/Wisconsin – CODE: GOBREWERSGO
4/13 – St. Louis – CODE: GOCARDSGO
4/14 – Cincinnati – CODE: GOREDSGO
4/15 – Los Angeles – CODE: GODODGERSGO
4/16 – Denver/Colorado – CODE: GOROCKIESGO
4/17 – Phoenix/Arizona – CODE: GODBACKSGO
4/19 – San Diego – CODE: GOPADRESGO
4/20 – San Francisco – CODE: GOGIANTSGO
4/21 – Toronto – CODE: GOJAYSGO
4/22 – New York Yankees – CODE: GOYANKSGO
4/23 – Boston – CODE: GOREDSOXGO
4/24 – Tampa Bay – CODE: GORAYSGO
4/25 – Baltimore – CODE: GOORIOLESGO
4/26 – ChiSox – CODE: GOCHISOXGO
4/27 – Kansas City – CODE: GOROYALSGO
4/28 – Detroit – CODE: GOTIGERSGO
4/29 – Minnesota – CODE: GOTWINSGO
4/30 – Cleveland – CODE: GOTRIBEGO
5/1 – Los Angeles – GOANGELSGO
5/2 – Houston – GOASTROSGO
5/3 – Dallas – GORANGERSGO
5/4 – Seattle – GOMARINERSGO
5/5 – Oakland – GOASGO
(Art posters only)
So save the date, and have an amazing 2016 baseball season!