Artist Proofs 101 & FAQ's

What are they? Artist proofs are one of the rarest forms of MTG collectible cards. Far more rare than even a Black Lotus from the Alpha set! They are identical to regular cards except they are blank on the back side.

When were the first artist proofs created? The first edition of artist proofs was printed during the Collector's Edition print run. There were no proofs made for Alpha, Beta, Unlimited nor Arabian Nights.

Where do they come from? The only original source for an authentic A/P is the artist whose art appears on the front of the card. Most artists, like Anson sign their proofs to authenticate their source, so be wary of unsigned A/P's. Many did not actually reach the artist's initially and so you would not want to be stuck with an unauthenticated proof (and it's shaky value).

What was the big idea anyway?  These limited and very special versions of Magic cards were distributed to artists so that the artists could have color examples of  their published work for their portfolios. They were also considered to be, in part, compensatory. Artists were granted approximately 50 proofs for each example of their printed work by Wizards of the Coast. Some were used as business cards, some destroyed and some others were safely stored away for more than 2 decades so as to be made available to you, as collectors and investors!

How can artist proofs be used as an investment? Because of their extremely limited numbers, Anson's proofs are priced strictly by their availability. As the number he has decreases, the price will increase. When they have sold out, the only resource for obtaining a copy will be from other collector's - who, if they follow the market, will charge or trade them accordingly! And so buying them directly from the source now gives you the best prices and an advantage in the trading market.

What else should I know when starting my artist proof collection? It is  common for collectors to request a personalized artwork on the blank back of an artist proof by the original artist. Not only does this enhance the proofs authenticity but it is a way to maximize your investment, as AP’s with art are more highly sought after and valued by collectors.

What are the prices for commissioned artwork on an A/P? We offer three options for A/P artwork;  pencil drawing for $180 each, monochromatic ink for $200 or a color acrylic painting priced at $250 and up. You may make specific requests regarding the subject matter or leave it up to the artist!


 Browse Anson's MTG artist proofs by Set & Expansion using the menu at the top of the page.

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