How Artists Are Using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to Reimagine Baseball Cards

A new press release from Apple highlights a couple of artists who are using Apple tools to recreate and reinterpret famous American baseball cards.

One of the artists, Brooklyn-based Eric “Efdot” Friedensohn, started working with Topps, the MLB’S official trading card company, in 2020. He uses the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil as his primary tools.

“iPad Pro is very intuitive,” says Efdot. “And together with Apple Pencil, it’s like an extension of my hand and my brain.”

“I think the digital tools help me work faster and help me work in layers so I can easily combine ideas,” he continues.

He makes his initial sketches using a piece of paper, but if he creates something he feels could really shine, he’ll move it to the iPad Pro.

“If I do a piece of lettering that says the team name or the player’s name and I really like it — maybe there’s some cool drips or accidental textures that happen — I will snap a photo of that with my iPad,” he says. “That part of the sketch goes right on the card.”

“I wasn’t expecting this experience to be so powerful for me,” he continues. “Getting to illustrate these players and add my style to these cards — I just feel so grateful to be able to honor these legends. But what’s most important is telling these stories, and my art is simply a vessel for that.”

One of Efdot’s cards features Josh Gibson, a powerhouse hitter in the Negro Leagues thay never got to see the big leagues due to segregation.

As Negro League players finally begin to receive more recognition, these Topps cards will aid in the process.

“We’re very excited about it,” Sean Gibson, Josh’s great-grandson, said. “It’s also perfect timing — there are a lot of things going on right now to recognize Negro League players.”