Star Wars sketch card artists team up for anti-bullying

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Star Wars sketch card artists team up for anti-bullying
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A team of Topps Star Wars sketch card artists teamed together to raise money for an anti-bullying campaign.

During the production period for Star Wars Finest, sketch card artists decided to create artwork featuring Star Wars actor Kelly Marie Tran, who was the victim of cyber bullying.

But in true Star Wars fashion, these artists banned together to bring positivity foward.

We chatted with one of the artists Anil Sharma about the campaign.

Topps: What made you want to create cards for an anti-bullying cause?

Anil Sharma: l am like so many of my fellow artists, am a life long Star Wars fan. Star Wars is the reason I started drawing at the age of 4 and it has only been a source of inspiration and positivity in my life. When I witnessed the deplorable treatment that Kelly Marie Tran received on social media I was disgusted and just wanted to do something that reminded people that a small but vocal minority does not represent the majority of Star Wars fans. I was also hoping that somehow Kelly Marie would possibly see how much support and love she does have from the Star Wars community.

With the blessing of Topps every single one of my pieces for this set were of Rose Tico.

Topps: How many artists took part in the campaign?

AS: Including myself there were seven. These were artists that created work specifically to be raffled off or they donated their Artist Returns.

As you are well aware artist returns are how the artists are compensated for their time and efforts on the sets they work on, so this is very generous of them to do so.

In addition to artworks donated by the artists, the collector community; specifically the Topps Star Wars Collectable Card Traders Group on Facebook also donated various cards and Star Wars related collectibles to bolster the prize pool.

The administrators of that group: Mike Halcomb, Ky Dillan Ellison and Ping Fang were integral in supporting and organizing this charity event.

Topps: How receptive were the other artists when you reached out to them?

AS: Almost every artist that I reached out to was very receptive and supportive of the idea. Not all were in a position to donate something but many in support of the idea made sure they did at least one card featuring Rose in their allotment. Many even shared their own personal accounts of being bullied in various ways. So many artists look to their creative outlets as a form of catharsis so the treatment Kelly Marie received really hit home with so many of us. Myself and Matthew Stewart created work specifically to be raffled off.

ToppsHow much was donated by your campaign and to what charity?

AS: We received $1,060 dollars in raffle money.

We sent $1,000 to Douglas College Amanda Todd Legacy, a local school in the Vancouver, Canada area. This scholarship is to honour a young local gulf who tragically took her own life because of cyber bullying.

This is a message from the foundation: "Hello Anil, We received your very generous donation of $1,000 to the Amanda Todd Legacy Award of Distinction Supported by the Tri-Cities. Thank you! I have attended a number of the presentations of this award and can tell you the students are so very grateful and honoured to receive it. They are all dedicated to working with youth with mental health issues, as evidenced by their volunteer work in the community and their commitment to their studies. Your generosity is not only providing much needed financial support but moral support and encouragement as well. As one student has said; “You are not giving me money, you are giving me my dreams.”

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