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Old 08-04-2017, 10:15 AM   #1
Eissacs
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Default Sketch Card artist Bob Hepner accused of faking/printing/stealing art

Here is a 29 page document someone has put together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactuspies View Post
OK all, try this link for the PDF

PDF Link

None of this is my own research but it seemed thorough enough that is was worth passing along.

Last edited by Eissacs; 08-07-2017 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:31 AM   #2
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Writing an e-mail to Leaf right now about their recent Pop Century which included sketch autos from him.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:03 AM   #3
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Aw man. I bought a commission from him and it looked too good to be true. May check with Paypal to see what I can do about it.

I'll probably wait for the dust to settle a bit first.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:31 AM   #4
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This is a whole thing right now in one of the Topps Facebook groups. Needless to say, he is busted and been outed as a fraud, with some of his former customers now cursing his name.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:33 AM   #5
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Wooooow, makes me appreciate originality in the sketch card game even more.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:33 AM   #6
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WOW! just finished reading the link.....
ya see folks...what had happened was..... What i meant to do was......

Ill stay tuned to find out how this goes, I cant imagine well.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrosales View Post
This is a whole thing right now in one of the Topps Facebook groups. Needless to say, he is busted and been outed as a fraud, with some of his former customers now cursing his name.


That is exactly where I found it. I figured since he does not only do Star Wars stuff it deserved to be seen by other people not in that group.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryanjs14 View Post
Writing an e-mail to Leaf right now about their recent Pop Century which included sketch autos from him.
Leaf is no stranger to shenanigans, I doubt they'll care.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eissacs View Post
That is exactly where I found it. I figured since he does not only do Star Wars stuff it deserved to be seen by other people not in that group.
No, Thank you! KNOWING is half the battle
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Leaf is no stranger to shenanigans, I doubt they'll care.
I was on the same recent Leaf set as Bob. I'm proud to be a Leaf artist, but I'm ashamed to be linked to a set that Bob was on (because he is a fraud, not because of Leaf). I'm hoping they'll do something. In the past, they had Trent Bruce (another fraud artist who did the same thing as Bob) on one of their sets, and once they found out about this, they blacklisted him from future sets.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrosales View Post
I was on the same recent Leaf set as Bob. I'm proud to be a Leaf artist, but I'm ashamed to be linked to a set that Bob was on (because he is a fraud, not because of Leaf). I'm hoping they'll do something. In the past, they had Trent Bruce (another fraud artist who did the same thing as Bob) on one of their sets, and once they found out about this, they blacklisted him from future sets.
No ill will towards any artist who works for Leaf. Personally, I'd never consider it.

This does sound exactly like Trent Bruce all over again. Really a shame when someone with talent goes the bad route. If Bleeding Cool gets hold of this, Bob's really gonna have to pony up some proof or his pro days are over.

There's another artist I follow on Facebook who I suspect does the same thing, but to my knowledge they don't work on card sets so I just sit back and watch as folks fawn over their work that I'm 99.9% sure is printed, then just painted/sketched over.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:14 PM   #12
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No ill will towards any artist who works for Leaf. Personally, I'd never consider it.

This does sound exactly like Trent Bruce all over again. Really a shame when someone with talent goes the bad route. If Bleeding Cool gets hold of this, Bob's really gonna have to pony up some proof or his pro days are over.

There's another artist I follow on Facebook who I suspect does the same thing, but to my knowledge they don't work on card sets so I just sit back and watch as folks fawn over their work that I'm 99.9% sure is printed, then just painted/sketched over.

I think people are going to start paying much closer attention to how the artist do their work. Especially the ones who do nothing but show the "finishing touches" on their pieces.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:29 PM   #13
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damn, I was going to go after this one on eBay. Thanks op for posting the link. Saved me some money.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ADAM-WEST-20...53.m1438.l2649
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:41 PM   #14
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I just sold this one...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/382182500441...84.m1559.l2649

Sold 8:56 am.
Looks like this story hit Blowout at 9:15 am.

Not sure if buyer knew about it or if it was a really weird coincidence, but I called him after I saw this and he said he still wants the sketch.

So much bad press of late- autopen autos, fake patch cards, back-door allegations and now suspected fraudulent artwork. It's a wonder this hobby survives. I guess whenever there is money to be had, someone will find a way to cheat the system.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cubby5454 View Post
I just sold this one...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/382182500441...84.m1559.l2649

Sold 8:56 am.
Looks like this story hit Blowout at 9:15 am.

Not sure if buyer knew about it or if it was a really weird coincidence, but I called him after I saw this and he said he still wants the sketch.

So much bad press of late- autopen autos, fake patch cards, back-door allegations and now suspected fraudulent artwork. It's a wonder this hobby survives. I guess whenever there is money to be had, someone will find a way to cheat the system.


That sketch actually looks like it was done by hand. Pretty sure the big concern with him is the photo realistic stuff. Of course it's so hard to know for sure at this point
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:03 PM   #16
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Here's the in progress photo he sent me and the right photo is the sketch I got for my commission.

Seeing it in person I thought wow, this looks almost printed. I hope that's not the case




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Old 08-04-2017, 01:05 PM   #17
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just pulled down my two listings I had on eBay of Christopher Lloyd and Joan Cusack. going to be in touch with leaf. will let you know what they say.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vargaman View Post
Here's the in progress photo he sent me and the right photo is the sketch I got for my commission.

Seeing it in person I thought wow, this looks almost printed. I hope that's not the case


Unless he really globbed paint over it, you should still be able to see the original black inks in the finished version. Hard to see from your pic, but your eyes should be able to tell.

For what it's worth, here is the only pic I could find of the reference. Couldn't find one with the background. The archway behind Yoda's head seems to vary most between your two images.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dd316 View Post
Leaf is no stranger to shenanigans, I doubt they'll care.
Let's be fair here.

No company is a "stranger to shenanigans," however, Leaf has routinely worked quickly and openly to resolve and correct anything. That's a good thing.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:22 PM   #20
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I worked in many photography jobs years ago. I often think that I could project my own baseball 35mm slide images onto card stock and trace the basic image with a Rapidograph (sp?) pen. I think it would all be my copyrighted image. Frankly, I'm not inspired to really try but it would work.

That being said, I see a lot of sketch cards that make me wonder how they are done. I admire the true artists who have a good eye and steady hand to do wonderful work. I enjoy, and am jealous, of the Youtube videos showing the gradual process in drawing/painting sketch cards. It's not easy for the low pay they get.

It's a shame that so many talented artists get painted with the same brush. (pun intended)

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PS: and I've used Photoshop since version 1.7 so I see things
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dd316 View Post
Unless he really globbed paint over it, you should still be able to see the original black inks in the finished version. Hard to see from your pic, but your eyes should be able to tell.

For what it's worth, here is the only pic I could find of the reference. Couldn't find one with the background. The archway behind Yoda's head seems to vary most between your two images.
Yep that was the example photo I gave him and then sent a pic of the hangar background as well.

I'll have to look again when I get home, but I don't have an eye for this as I have very few sketch cards and want to believe it's real.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by discostu View Post
Let's be fair here.

No company is a "stranger to shenanigans," however, Leaf has routinely worked quickly and openly to resolve and correct anything. That's a good thing.
They all have issues, but Leaf's really got to me.

This will always be all I need to know to stay away from that company: http://www.blowoutforums.com/showthr...ght=scott+hall
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:47 PM   #23
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Wow this sucks!!! I had always liked the look of his work. What a fraud and a conman! I'm glad I never pulled the trigger and bought one of his cards. And LOL at that really crappy photoshop job on his faux notifications on his facebook trying to make himself look popular! LOL!!!! What a joke.

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Old 08-04-2017, 03:42 PM   #24
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As someone who uses photoshop/photography on a daily basis in my career, I recognize many of the "looks" that are on the final pieces. They scream photoshop and I can call out particular filters that look like they were used.

His "in progress" photos are laughable, and look very much like photoshopped images.

Vargaman if we look at yours for example, there is no reason so start sketching a preliminary image the way he claims to have done. Everyone has their own style of course. But its safe to say most can agree when beginning a piece of art, your first goal is to block out your shapes and composition. For example, there isn't any reason to add the very small and fine details on Yoda's face when they would be invisible and eventually painted over. They aren't visible on the final piece. On that particular "in progress" card, what it looks like he did, was put the original image through photoshop, and gob on random ink lines by hand to give it the appearance of an in progress sketch. There are two very distinctive layers of ink. It's hard to explain but there are very dark blacks in there in seemingly random areas (these look to be hand done).

Also, look at the background. The shapes he blocked out on the preliminary sketch don't even come close to matching the final one. If anything the final ones look "sloppier" or hand done. Proportions, positions, and angles aren't the same. With far less detailing then the early sketch. To me it looks like the preliminary one used the source material, and when he went back over it, he did it by hand and sloppily at that. Sure, you could say that was a stylistic choice, but it's not often that you see details hashed out and then taken away like that in the final piece.

If you have this in hand, it would be worth a shot to take it out and look at the texture of the surface. The amount of paint required to cover up the black parts would be substantial. There should certainly be raised and lowered parts on the surface where more paint has built up. If it looks uniform, it is certainly a print. It would appear he went over it with a gesso or something else to give it the texture of something painted. But this is something easily done. Hell walmart does it on photo prints to give it that look. But there is a very clear and stark difference between that and the natural build of up paint on canvas/paper.

The biggest thing to me that is a tell tale sign of fraudulent activity is what he's charging. Certainly there are INCREDIBLY talented artists out there that create amazing pieces. But unless they are complete idiots, are not going to charge what this man charges. Nobody in their right mind would do that out of the kindness of their hearts to "give everyone a piece of art".
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Last edited by evillittlejawa; 08-04-2017 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:27 PM   #25
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I just filed a claim with my credit card to get my $45 back. Not cool!
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