I recently posted an Instagram with the incredible box cover of ‘Between Two Castles’. The creator is the same polish artist that made the fantastic illustrations on ‘Dream Home‘ and ‘Spy Club‘ – Bartłomiej Kordowski. So I am happy to share his story here. enjoy.
Tell us very shortly about your artistic background and how you got into making art for board games?
In short, I always like to draw. As a kid, my parents and friends kept my passion, so I started to educate myself.
I graduated from Art High School in Bydgoszcz and then University studies in oil painting in Toruń. During this time my passion for board games found me again. I was surprised by how modern games look. I decided to try and I managed to do a few illustrations (oil) for a card game Veto. After studies, I started to work on advertising and illustrating agency. It was a time when I bought my first Wacom tablet and I started to learn draw again. When I felt more comfortable with digital art I start working as a freelancer. I send my portfolio to Rebel publisher and after a while, they have contacted me about their new project a board game called “Dream Home”.
I first heard that they were looking for someone new in the industry but letting me do this was a pure experiment. I never had illustrations in family style in my portfolio. But I tried and overall it wasn’t too bad. A short time ago I heard that Rebel was looking for an illustrator to that game for almost two years. I still feel that I was very lucky at that time. I could say that it was my first steps in this industry and after the success of Dream Home I keep focus on designing graphic for board games.
If you should choose only one board game illustration to represent yourself today – which one should it be?
It will be a box cover for Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig. The first reason is that I like painting a landscape and this one looks the way I wanted to. It wasn’t easy because not often I managed to do illustration exactly as I wanted. The second reason is that it has a more painterly style features. I also like my other style nature this one smoother and polished, let say in a 3D way. But art like BTCoMKL and Wodny Szlak (Water Route) or Clue Cards from board game Spy Club represent the level which I aim for.
You have a special talent for working colors into your art. Do you have any tips on doing that in a good way.
I’m pretty critical for myself and I know that I’m not as good as I want to be in this area. For me selecting a color palette is a very hard thing. It’s all about colors. When colors don’t fit each other the whole image and composition fall apart. The plans mixing together and the clarity is broken. I think that it’s much easier to choose a limited palette and paint something more adjective but when you want to do something more sophisticated like Justin Schultz who did arts for Feudum or Ian O’toole, or you want to do colorful image this is where it gets a little tricky. The very handy thing which help in choosing a color palette for your image is a color wheel. I always have this at hand. I’m also looking inspirations in all modern animated films like Vaiana or Le Petit Prince from 2015 for example. You can learn from this a lot, actually from them, because those animations are created by a whole legion of artists 🙂
What’s the best piece of advice on making art you yourself have been given?
Actually, I don’t recall anything particularly important. There were many different advice. This was mostly a technical/workshop tips but one motto was repeated over and over again like a mantra and it was the “triad“. Hard to argue with that. Theory of colors is very important.
Name up to 3 artists you admire?
It will be Luke Pearson, new for me, who create Hilda, Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli who create fantastic worlds and tells a great story and Ian O’Toole who has a strong workshop. There is also a bunch of great people with portfolios on Art Station. There you will find a never-ending source of inspiration.
What is your current source of inspiration?
I constantly watch other artist’s work, mostly random arts shown on Art Station. This is where I fall into complexes btw. I’m also a big fan of movie and animation. Recently I watched with my daughters the Hilda on Netflix and we fall in love in this character. It’s fresh and it has an inspiring world. Generally I try fill my head with this kind of art.
Finally – where can people find more about you?
Please visit my portfolio on Art Station. I regularly put there a new illustrations from board games.
Thank you for sharing your story here on GreenHookGames. We look forward to see more from you.