Facing high unemployment rates and a shaky economy, more and more people are turning towards self-employment. For the artistic entrepreneur, this means making a living while pursuing creative interests. An example is the artist Amelie Mancini, who recently created Left Field Cards, a line of custom-made baseball cards.
Although she lives and works in Greenpoint, Mancini is originally from Lyon, France. She quickly developed a passion for America’s favorite pastime after attending her first baseball game in 2007.
“I was completely lost, but I liked the atmosphere a lot,” she said of the experience. “After a little while I realized how complex and fascinating baseball really is, and I was hooked.”
Her love of the game became the inspiration for a series of portraits of baseball players, such as Babe Ruth and Nolan Ryan. Building on that passion, Mancini recently created Left Field Cards. These baseball cards are a quirky, artistic take on the traditional cards that fans have traded and flipped for generations.
The cards’ illustrations are printed on letterpress paper using the linocut technique, and then wrapped in vellum. And instead of bland statistics like batting average, her cards feature anecdotes about each player. Did you know that John Smoltz sustained a burn while ironing a shirt he was also wearing? Or that Joel Zumaya injured his wrist while playing Guitar Hero? These are just some of the tidbits you’ll learn this through series one in her line of cards: “Bizarre Injuries.”
Series two through five will include titles like, “Remarkable Mustaches” and “Men with a Van.” These titles are sure to elicit a laugh, even among the most hard-core baseball fans.
“As for series six and beyond, the possibilities are endless,” Mancini said. The handmade cards are informative, irreverently funny, and functional, doubling as postcards—with space on the back for a stamp and note. “I decided to go with the postcard size so people can use them and share them with their friends,” Mancini said.
This Saturday, Mancini sold her cards from a booth at the Dekalb Market on Willoughby Street. She will also be at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar from December 15th – 17th.. The cards are also on sale at the website Leftfieldcards.com, at BookCourt in Cobble Hill, and will soon be available in the SoHo and DUMBO areas.
Left Field Cards is decidedly a local business. The cards are printed in the basement of the Greenpoint Reformed Church with proceeds from each sale going to the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. Since the Soup Kitchen relies mostly on donations, buying Left Field Cards is a great way to support a local artist while helping the community.
The cards come in packs of five for $15.00 each. (Free shipping if you buy from their website until December 31st!) Don’t forget to check out Left Field Cards’ Facebook page, as well as Mancini’s personal website, ameliemancini.com.