Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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1 October 2015

Collectible Skills: Soccer

I began with a sketch:

I went over it in pencil:

I drew up a soccer ball in Blender:

I distorted and blurred the soccer ball to fit the pencil art as I painted the image in GIMP. The sky and grass both came from

Finally, I composed the card in inkscape, using a re-colored, slightly modified version of the previous card's sheet metal texture:


"Light on your feet; eyes on your destination; keep the field in your mind's eye and know your team's position. Focus!

"Stop. Control. Aim over power... Goal!"

I was moderately disappointed with the results. I spent too little time on the player's face. Several letters in the class label look bolder than the others, and I do not know why. (I'm sure I could fix that quickly enough.) There's no shadow where the raised ankle meets the cleat and that cleat's fabric lacks any shading whatsoever, not to mention the player's body ought to have been motion blurred in multiple places. The level label is too gray. I never color-corrected the image, which was one of the key warnings in my own set of trading-card guidelines! Oh, well. At least I proved the rule.

Most of this card's problems can be fixed with very little time and effort, which I would definitely do before printing. Anyway...

All 4 levels involved in these cards encompass a gamut of actual skill levels. This was necessary to allow all the cards to utilize the same system. However, I recognize now that I neglected one level. Learning begins not with "foundational ability", but with passion. Consequently, behold the revised level list:

"Level 0 - Dream" - This level demands an interest in the subject sufficient to obtain at least skill, even if current constraints prevent practice. To use driving as an example, this would represent a young child who dreams of driving but who must wait until their age permits a driver's license, settling for simulators, video games, and cardboard boxes until then.

"Level 1 - Skill ★" - This level indicates an interest in the subject and a foundational ability. If this were driving, level 1 would equate to a learners permit.

"Level 2 - Excellence ★ ★" - This level indicates a skill as high as or higher than most people ever achieve. If applied to driving, it would refer to an excellent driver with a good record and safe habits.

"Level 3 - Mastery ★ ★ ★" - This level is almost unattainable. In driving, it might be possessed by a world-champion, formula-1 driver. In medecine it would equate to a doctorate and extensive practice.

"Level 4 - Grandeur" - This category only exists to provide something to strive for. It would have no equivalent in driving. Isaac Newton would have earned it for physics, Henry Ford earned it for industry, and Shakespeare for writing. Essentially, it represents a world-changing application of a perfectly-honed skill. I have no expectations of ever achieving any such thing; but, you never know. Life can surprise you.

Level 0 opens the door for several more cards. Does it include the impossible? I can dream of telekinesis, right? (Even if the pesky laws of physics "prevent practice".) ;-)

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015