Boba Fett Prototype Sketch Cards by Ben AbuSaada
Ben AbuSaada is one of the very first artists we approached to feature in our then-brand new fan art section. This white-armored Boba Fett sketch card was what initially caught our eye one day as we were perusing #prototypebobafett posts on Instagram. We wasted no time in sending Ben a message, eager to showcase some great Boba Fett prototype art.
Our plan to feature the sketch card did not quite pan out the way we thought, however, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. A small delay in correspondence resulted in learning that Ben accepts private commissions for sketch cards, and we immediately contacted him again: this time, to request our very own Boba Fett prototype sketch card. Ben over-delivered in every possible way, which inspired us to request two more depicting Ralph McQuarrie‘s earlier concept drawings. Despite the name of this website, we are huge fans of all versions of Boba Fett‘s armor so naturally we requested sketches inspired by the Holiday Special, vintage Kenner, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Droids, and Star Wars 1313. A photo of the complete set can be seen at the end of our interview with Ben.
Of course, we wouldn’t be doing justice to Ben’s versatile artistry if we only talked about his Boba Fett sketch cards. His arsenal of work also boasts larger format sketches, comic book sketch covers, and prints from both the Star Wars and Marvel universes. Scroll through his Instagram account @ksgeekman (which we highly recommend) and you will find a much larger selection of private requests from his fans, including but not limited to DC Comics, Alien, Predator, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, and even The Black Hole! Our personal Star Wars-themed favorites include Wicket on a wayward speeder bike, Darth Vader’s melted helmet, C-3PO from Attack of the Clones, R2-KT, a vintage duel, and pretty much any and all of his trooper sketches. Fantastic stuff.
As it turns out, Ben was also slated to make his artist debut at the 2016 Kansas City Comic Con, which explains the months-long gap between our initial correspondence and this feature. Ben was kind enough to tell us a bit about his first Comic Con experience from behind the booth in our interview below. Enjoy!
How long have you been a Star Wars fan?
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was 3 years old. Saw it first in theaters in 1977.
Despite the quality of your work, you sometimes describe yourself as an “aspiring sketch card artist”. What is your background?
When I was growing up I wanted to be a comic artist/illustrator. Started down that path when I realized I loved music. Picked up a guitar and started singing. Eventually the music led me to becoming a worship leader at a local church. The drawing and love of geekery is and has always been in my DNA. In 2015 a friend who attends the church I’m a part of asked if I would like to design one of his sketch cards for the 10th anniversary Revenge of the Sith Topps set. (He’s a pro artist for many animated shows and trading cards, Todd Aaron Smith). When I did that, it reignited that creative part of me. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I began posting my work on Instagram and people began asking to buy. I discovered that I might actually be good enough to do it on the side.
How did you get into art? What artists have inspired you the most?
How would you describe your style as an artist?
Cartoonish with a side of realism.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character, and is he/she your favorite one to sketch?
Obi-Wan Kenobi is my favorite character. Not my favorite to sketch, but he’s my overall fave. I have an affinity for troopers and the Fetts when sketching.
You made your Kansas City Comic Con debut in 2016. How did the weekend go?
Yes, I recently attended my first ComicCon as an artist. When I decided to go for it, I went with no intention of making money, but simply to go, draw, and learn from others. I had the great fortune of sitting next to an incredible artist who is hoping to make it into the comic book biz. I asked him for some pointers and he was gracious enough to share some art tips. Kansas City Comic Con was in its second year so it wasn’t one of the most attended. The greatest joy I had was receiving a couple of commission requests, then bringing smiles to their faces when they saw the final work. There are so many amazingly talented artists out there and when you get a happy person in front of you vs over social media or email… it’s a pretty good feeling.
Last but not least, what is the most important piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?
Just like anything in life, you can only get better the more you do it. Constantly draw, constantly look at what others are doing and learn from their experiences. Develop friendships with other artists who can both encourage you and critique you. And ALWAYS remain humble. You can be the best artist in the world, but if you’re a chimp, people won’t care how good you are at what you do.
Row 1: McQuarrie Concept Boba Fett #1, McQuarrie Concept Boba Fett #2, Boba Fett “Supertrooper” Prototype
Row 2: Star Wars Holiday Special, vintage Kenner action figure, The Empire Strikes Back
Row 3: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Droids, Star Wars 1313
About the Artist
Ben AbuSaada is a sketch card artist and worship pastor at Grace Church in Kansas. Ben’s childhood dream is to create official sketch cards for Star Wars and/or Marvel, and not long after this interview was published he achieved both goals. He can be found under his trademark “KSGeekman” moniker on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To own a KSGeekman original, check out Ben’s Etsy store.