Episode Fourteen - Mimsbandz

December 14, 2021

James Mims talks Mimsbandz and Baseball with Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP14

James Mims is the creator behind Mimsbandz, one of the most unique and storied products that has connected with Major League ball players over the decades. James has taken his wristband artwork from the ballfield to trading cards as a member of the Topps Project70® roster in 2021. Topps caught up with the creator in Los Angeles at where else but a ball field to talk all about Mimsbandz and Topps Project70®.

 

“To think 30 years later, here I am designing cards for Topps… its surreal to me. Every one of my cards has a story attached to it. Either I know the player personally or I know someone that is attached to them and has given me stories about those players, which is why and how I choose the guys that I use.”

 

came to own Dusty Baker’s gold glove, and how he’s come to outfit over 100 ball players over the decades with the iconic wristband.

 

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Episode Thirteen - Ben Baller

December 7, 2021

Ben Baller shows the Kaws piece & talks baseball cards with Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP13

Hi name’s Ben Baller, not Ben Humble. Ben Baller did the Chain, and since 2020, Ben Baller also did the card as part of Topps Project70® and Project 2020 artist rosters. The world-renowned jeweler sat down with Topps in Los Angeles to discuss his journey from the music industry, to jewelry, to making Topps cards.

 

“I thought it’d be cool seeing my name on such a household sports card. To me Topps, that’s the biggest baseball card… and it’s been around forever, right? When I think about my name and my logo going on these cards, that right there already drew me in.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to see an exclusive look at the BEN BALLER X KAWS collaboration “SPACE” Artist Proof commissioned by Kid Cudi.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday!

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Episode Twelve - Blake Jamieson

November 2, 2021

Blake Jamieson talks Baseball, Pop Art, & the Pursuit of Happiness | Project70 Meet the Artist EP12

Blake Jamieson is a New York-based artist known for pop-art style athlete portraits. Jamieson has become a fan favorite in the trading card hobby, first joining Topps as part of Project 2020, and currently in 2021’s Project70® roster. Topps spent the day with Blake at his Brooklyn studio in Fall 2021 to hear all about his journey becoming a force in the both the art and trading card worlds.

 

“I didn’t plan to leave digital marketing and start painting full-time, or even do anything in the arts full-time, it was just that I knew I had to get out of there and do something else that made me really happy every single day.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear Blake Jamieson discuss how his West Coast roots helped form his relationship with the game of Baseball, why he made the decision to leave his Marketing career to pursue the arts, and how Project70® and Project 2020 have helped him form meaningful connections with both fans and his admired peers.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Eleven - Chuck Styles

October 26, 2021

Chuck Styles on Bringing Communities Together through Art & Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP11

Chuck Styles is a Philadelphia-based artist who joined the Topps roster in 2021 as part of Topps Project70®. After nearly a decade spent becoming one of Philly’s best barbers, Styles shifted his focus solely to art, quickly becoming a favorite in not only the art world but now the trading card world as well. Topps spent the day with Chuck Styles at his studio in Fall 2021 to learn all about his creative origins and process.

 

“When people look at my work, you know, I hope they get a sense of how upbeat and energetic I am through the brush strokes that I use, through the colors that I use, and also just how I’m always trying to tell a bigger story.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear Chuck Styles discuss drawing on his walls as a child in West Philly, how he overcame the feeling of failure after leaving Art School, and how he came to choose players including Larry Doby, Ernie Banks, and Shohei Ohtani as part of his Project70® set.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Ten - CES

October 19, 2021

CES talks Graffiti, his First Yankees Game, and Making Topps Cards | Project70 Meet the Artist EP10

Robert Provenzano, known professionally as CES, is a New York-based graffiti writer and artist who was a pioneer in developing the writing style commonly known as “wildstyle”. CES pairs his iconic graffiti career with his New York Baseball roots as part of the eclectic Topps Project70® roster. Topps spent the day with CES at his Bronx studio in Fall 2021 to learn all about his creative origins and process.

 

“This was like getting called up to the Major Leagues, right? This is Americana, this is everything you grew up with. I stuck with what I believed in, and here come the things from my childhood coming back, welcoming me in. That’s how I looked at it.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear CES discuss his first night out writing graffiti, his reaction to getting the call from Topps, and why he chose to create a 1954 Mickey Mantle card as part of his Project70® set.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Nine - King Saladeen

October 12, 2021

King Saladeen talks hardship, success and Trading Cards with Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP09

Raheem Saladeen Johnson, known by many as simply King Saladeen, is a Philadelphia-based artist that has partnered with Topps first on Project 2020, and now on 2021’s follow-up brand, Project70®. Topps joined Saladeen at his studio in Fall 2021 to hear all about his inspiring journey to the top of the art world.

 

“I was always like… if I did something creative, I wouldn’t want it white and black.. I wouldn’t want it brown and tan and green. I would want it, like, lime, orange, yellow… I wanted to add color into all of my artwork to get people’s mood change. No matter how your day was, when you look at my art its gonna make you feel a certain kind of way.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear King Saladeen discuss the life altering accident that redirected his focus towards art, how a tragic loss led to the creation of his iconic “JP The Money Bear”, and how he has connected with fans of Topps and MLB as a Project70® Artist.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Eight - Claw Money

October 5, 2021

Claw Money talks Graffiti, Fashion, and Project70 with Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP08

Claudia Gold, known by many as Claw Money, is a graffiti writer, fashion designer and overall creative force based in New York City. As part of the Topps Project70® artist roster, Claw takes her instantly recognizable brand to a totally new medium; Baseball Cards!

 

“I think brands and big corporations started gravitating to me because they saw the vision was bigger than graffiti and bigger than fashion… that it was sort of about female assertion. So when they came a knockin’, I was like ‘Hey!’ ”.

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear Claw Money’s own account of her rise in the graffiti world, the impression she hopes her art makes, and how her lifelong experiences with New York and Baseball make their way into her Topps cards.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Seven - Gregory Siff

AUGUST 31, 2021

Gregory Siff on his Creative Roots & the Future of Art in the Hobby | Project70 Meet the Artist EP07

Gregory Siff is, in his own words, a happiness dealer, ice-cream man, and artist based in Los Angeles. Siff’s work has an urgency and excitement to it that has captured fans and card collectors first in Topps Project 2020, and currently as part of the 2021 Topps Project70® roster.

 

“The gesture of opening a pack… holding these mini paintings in your hand reignites a spark and an energy inside of you that’s just like the quickest time machine– the smell of the gum, the smell of the card, the cardboard, the sensation, the soft touch of the slick top and the rough bottom… it’s all those little things that come together. You’re buying a little trip, and it still happens to this day… it’s euphoric..”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear Gregory share how his NY roots and LA surroundings both inspire him, how working with Topps has matured him as an artist, and why art and baseball cards are intertwined in his eyes.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Six - Brittney Palmer

AUGUST 24, 2021

Brittney Palmer on her path from UFC Ring Girl to Artist with Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP06

Brittney Palmer is known for her vibrant, abstract fine art portraiture in addition to her work as a UFC Ring Girl and is most recently part of the roster for Topps Project70®. Palmer sat down with Topps in her studio is Los Angeles to discuss her path to fine art, her creative process and how she approaches creating art for Topps baseball cards.

 

“Thanks to the UFC and the incredible athletes I work with, I see their tenacity and how hard that they work... Art to me is something that I am so in love with and I want to do it every single day, all day, in one form or another… so working with these athletes, working with UFC and seeing the hard work it takes to build something so great... has taught me so much.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear Brittney share why she is attracted to bright colors, how her time in Las Vegas and Los Angeles has impacted her style and creative approach, and what her perspective is as a woman making her mark in the traditionally male-dominated hobby of trading cards.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Five - Alex Pardee

AUGUST 17, 2021

Alex Pardee talks finding horror, optimism & therapy in Art & Topps | Project70 Meet the Artist EP05

Alex Pardee is an artist, illustrator, world-builder and now baseball card designer as part of the roster for Topps Project70®. Pardee explores a style he has aptly named “Brightmares,” combining “bright” and “nightmares”. His work with Topps has taken the hobby and art world by storm, becoming one of Project70®’s best-selling artists.

 

“When Topps asked me if I want to do an entire line of real athletes, my first response was just…no! I can’t do that… But then instantly I remembered what Topps meant to me, I remembered the opportunity that I have to be creative in a project like this…so I took on the challenge.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear Alex Pardee share how art has played a therapeutic role in his life, and how discovering Garbage Pail Kids and horror comics young in his life has influenced his approach as a creative.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Four - DJ Skee

AUGUST 10, 2021

DJ Skee talks Baseball Cards, Sneakers & Mixtapes | Project70 Meet the Artist EP04

DJ Skee wears many hats; DJ, producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and most recently, one of the talented creatives on Topps’ Project70 artist roster. Topps spent the day with DJ Skee at his home turf in Hollywood to hear all about the creative journey that led him to Topps.

 

“A lot of people don’t realize as a DJ, I came up under the mixtape game, and that’s how I got known… These mixtape album covers were like movie posters that we just would put together in photoshop. And that was the only way that we could sell them, it was so important to make a good mixtape cover… so this project has really brought me back to my roots.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear DJ Skee reflect on his Minnesota roots and what advice he has for aspiring creatives and entrepreneurs.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Tuesday in August!

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Episode Three - JK5

JUNE 24, 2021

Joseph Ari Aloi, better known as simply JK5 in the art and tattoo world, is a Brooklyn-based artist who has teamed with Topps on Project2020 and Project70. Topps spent the day with JK5 to see his process firsthand and hear all about his path in life and his approach to creating baseball cards.

“Baseball is the sports fabric and the soul of my family, and what Topps objects as baseball cards meant to me as an artist… drawing like a maniac when I was 5 to 10– I never stopped! My friends and I would just bust out our Topps cards and render those players. I have such vivid memories of sitting on the floor drawing baseball cards.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear JK5 reflect on childhood and tattooing, and to catch an up-close look at the process behind creating Topps Project70 cards for the likes of Goose Gossage, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Carlton Fisk.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Thursday in June!

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Episode Two - Efdot

JUNE 17, 2021

Eric Friedensohn, also known as Efdot, is a Brooklyn-based artist known for his murals and recurring character “the Blob,” who has been collaborating with Topps for two years. Topps caught up with Efdot at his studio – and at the skate park – to learn more about his journey as an artist and the inspiration behind Topps on Project70.

For me, there’s just so much history to pull from when you’re working on a baseball card. Everyone’s got a personality, their stats, their team,their cities… their whole story. So I really like getting to do the research behind a player and pull that into the card in a unique way.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear more about Efdot’s focus on optimism, his advice for his younger self, and the greatest Little League game of his life.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Thursday in June!

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Episode One - New York Nico

JUNE 10, 2021

Nicolas Heller, also known as New York Nico, is a filmmaker, documentarian, anthropologist and the unofficial talent scout of New York City. Topps spent a day with the NYC icon to hear all about his creative process, his thoughts on working with Topps on Project70, and how New York City and the game of Baseball affect his output.

New York Nico teams up with frequent collaborator Naomi Otsu, the NY-based graphic designer and illustrator – who also happens to be his girlfriend – to create artwork inspired by DIY band flyers from New York's Lower East Side in the 1980s and 90s. The old-school, gritty collage look captures the textures and soul of the city New York Nico has become synonymous with.

 

“I grew up a huge baseball fan, Yankees specifically, and I started collecting cards as early as I can remember. It was one of my favorite things to do with my dad… go to the card shop and buy packs of cards. I didn’t understand the value of anything, I just collected it to collect it.”

 

Check out the entire interview above to hear more about New York Nico’s Joe Torre Halloween costume, his creative partner Naomi, and why Washington Square Park is his favorite park.

 

Look for new Project70® Meet the Artist videos each Thursday in June!

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