I had finished my mission of getting my deck as Japanese and as foil as it could be. A few months went on and I found myself thinking, "What now?" – that's when I began my mission of getting everything signed by the artist. It's been a long road, but I've made a lot of progress over time (currently at 71 of 75 cards signed! My last shown progress of my deck can be found here.) and have learned some lessons that I will share with you today.
One of the things I learned is that you can never be too careful with your shipping. I managed to lose a few hundred dollars worth of cards right before Christmas, it was heartbreaking. But if I had taken the time to properly package my cards, it likely wouldn't of happened. You should always keep track of what you sent out, who it went to, and record tracking numbers.
Getting your cards signed
How do I get my cards signed by the artist?
- Getting your cards signed in person.
- Sending your cards directly to the artist.
- Sending your cards to a third-party (Artist Agent).
Where can I find artist shipping information?
Facebook, Email, and the artist's website. The best advice I can give is to use Google.
Is there an artist schedule?
For how to find what artists will be where, I regularly check the Grand Prix schedule for attending artists, you never know who will be attending events that has done a card in your deck!
Where can I find group signings?
If you're looking to stay up-to-date on the latest card signings & other news, I highly recommend: Givememana's Signed Magic the Gathering cards. Artist agents who regularly ship to artists can be found here, a few that I recommend are: Jack Stanton, Mark Aronowitz, Matthew Schneider, and Scott Mosser (Owner & Admin of the Facebook group). It's worth noting that artist agents do charge a varying amount for their services and it changes based on the artist.
How much should I tip?
The correct answer is generously. The bare minimum is $1 per card, when sending a single card or even two, I will send $5. If I am sending 20+ cards I still try to do at least $1.50/per card.
Important things to know about getting your cards signed through the mail
The first thing to know is that it takes a long time in most cases, some artists are quick, but it's not the typical case. Be prepared to not have your cards for a few months, I've waited over a year to see some of my cards again (this was an extreme case). When shipping out cards the recipient is not at fault if cards are lost.
- Write a note to the artist stating what you want done (please sign in black, alterations, etc.), be polite, thank them, and make sure to tip them too! They're taking time out of their day for you, show some appreciation and leave a decent tip.
- When sending to an artist agent, they often don't include your notes to the artists for instructions. What you can do is cut a perfect fit in half, then write your name and the instructions on the perfect fit to help ensure you get what you would like.
- Optional: I put my business card with the cards and then write on the back, "if lost please contact:"
- Place your cards in a card case, then a sandwich bag, this protects them from the weather as well as keeps them together if anything were to happen while in transit.
- Take two pieces of cardboard and use them to secure the sandwich bag – tape them together too.
- Place these in your self addressed envelope (I highly recommend bubble mailers - they're $1.50 and well worth it, they won't tear open on you), but do not seal!
- Place the self addressed envelope inside of the envelope to the artist.
- When mailing, I believe that it's best to pay for tracking AND insurance. It cost next to nothing compared to replacing your cards, which likely mean a whole lot more to you.
Markers: If you are attending an event or sending to an artist agent, you do not need to include a marker. When shipping to an artist if you would like to guarantee the quality of the signature, I would highly recommend sending a marker with your cards. Exceptions to not providing a marker with your cards is if you would like a particular color or have a unique need. For myself, I use Japanese foils and newer Japanese foils have a different coating finish. Because of this, I send oil-based sharpies with my newer Japanese foils when I send out my cards.
Will I sign your cards?
Of course! As long as you don't mind the value of your cards decreasing 😉
You can find me at a lot of big events in the northeast United States ranging from Star City Games to Grand Prix. You can also ship me your cards following the instructions above (self-addressed return packaging is a must!), use the contact form below for my shipping information. I prefer to sign Grapeshot or Empty the Warrens over other cards!