Zoom in on Sophie Wainwright

Just before Essen, I was contacted by a Núria Casellas, from Cucafera Games. She was curious if I would take a look at their newest game ‘Zoom In Barcelona’. If you attended SPIEL19 you might have seen the game. I am always happy when designers or artists contact me about their project so I Zoomed in on the game. It is with great joy that I share this interview with the English artist – based in Barcelona: Sophie Wainwright.

Tell us a little about your artistic background? 

Without sounding like too much of a cliche, I’ve always been interested in art. I was drawing at a young age and it’s something my parents have always encouraged. 

As a teenager, I used to play online games and would sell illustrations of players’ avatars to make gold etc.

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Obscurio artist Xavier Collette says – ‘be yourself’

Recently there’s been a hashtag on twitter I love to follow. #10days10cards – It is a great source for beautiful card arts.

Post by @notplayingtowin on Instagram

SO when the Instagrammer @Notplayingtowin chooses to post this image I can only agree – it is wonderful. And the artist that stands behind some of the iconic visuals from the beloved game Mysterium is also behind the new equally beautiful Obscurio -published by Libellud. That is the Belgian Xavier Collette now living in France. I bet that I am not the only one that is awestruck by the incredible skills showing in his art. I’ve asked Xavier about his art beginning like always with his background.

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The ultimate challenge – almost.

In this post I will talk about the 18 card game contest that Button Shy Games has initiated this month. And there is still time for you to enter with a winning design – but I will assume this will be a contest with a humongous list of designers participating – and I will elaborate why.

To spark creativity in group you can make a lot of different sprint type exercises. Do an association play where you must generate new thought from one keyword. Or make reverse brainstorm where everybody should try to think about the worst possible solution – sometimes the right solution stands clear after this exercise. It is all really about setting boundaries – narrowing your mind’s playground. If you really want to generate interesting new ideas you should set a clear goal and a very confined play area. Our brains are wired to find the keys we need (In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, states that our brain is bad at multitasking -and prefers to solve one single task at the time).

Button Shy Games as many of you already know is a small publisher of pocket-sized games – and more particular often 18 cards. They have put out an open contest to create a game of well… 18 cards – but with the small twist that it has to be 18 IDENTICAL cards. And this is the escape room for designers. Your first thought might be impossible (mine was) – then you might think ‘uninteresting and boring output’ and in just a few moments your mind is starting to work the problem and think ‘hey it might work’.

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Mad hat designs from Paolo Voto

It is not an easy task to create art that draws you closer with a vivid and magical atmosphere that matches the one in the fairy tales of Lewis Carrol. If you attend Gen Con you can experience just that in the game “Hats” designed by Gabriele Bubola and released by Thundergryph Games. Let me present you the incredibly talented artist Paolo Voto from Bologna in Italy.

Tell us a little about your artistic background? 

My journey in the illustration world began as a child. I cannot tell exactly when because, from what I remember, I demonstrated a great interest for drawing straightaway. For this reason, I have studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts for a couple of years. Indeed due to personal circumstances, I did not graduate.

The first professional tool which gave me the chance to earn some money is the airbrush pen. The same I have used to customize several choppers motorcycles. After that, I worked for a confectionary company where I used to decorate chocolate eggs and similar products for many years.

Meanwhile, I came closer to digital, I made my first illustrations with Photoshop getting more and more skilled.

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Mindblowing ruler system in the new Hej Stylus V3.4

Hej Stylus continues to impress with new features. We all know (I guess you do) that Photoshop introduced an integrated pen smoother and that Clip Studio has a Stabiliser as-well. BUT for some reason, I continue to go back to Hej Stylus for more control. I think the new bend and circular rules look rad! Check the video or click the button to get your own version (for Mac) of Hej Stylus v3.4

Art with a vibe from Shirin Rafie

I regularly visit ‘art & graphic design for tabletop gaming‘ on facebook – mostly to learn from the different feedback on art. I cam across the works of Shirin Rafie from Singapore on the game Jumpship. The kickstarter for Jumpship has gone under my radar and was apparently cancelled. It seems on the backers that they look forward to a re-launch. The game is available as Print and Play here. But the state of the game does not change the fact that the artwork on it is really incredible and personal. Enjoy the interview.

Tell us a little about your artistic background and how you got into making art for board games like Jumpship and March of Ants?

I got most of my art background from studying Animation in University, where back then I was very interested in developing my skills under pre-production and concept development.

I got into board games through a contact who eventually became a good friend of mine where he engaged me to work on art for various educational board games for schools. Having more familiarity with job scopes like these, I took my chances in finding more work over at Board Game Geek in order to find more opportunities!

Sometimes the style you think you have is great until you fit them all together and realize that they don’t work well together with other nitty gritty things, like the font or the graphic design.

Shirin Rafie
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Skilled and modest polish artist Bartłomiej Kordowski

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.

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Whirling Witchcraft. Design diary by Erik Andersson Sundén

Whirling Witchcraft (or as my family calls it, the cube game)

The short description of the game

Whirling Witchcraft is a game for 2 to 5 players, where all players are witches. The witch sitting to the right of you is your nemesis and, of course, the one sitting to the left of you considers YOU to be their nemesis. Your objective is simple; be the first witch to clear your workbench of magical ingredients, or flood the workbench of your nemesis by more magical ingredients than they can handle! Each turn, you will choose a new recipe that converts your magical ingredients to more refined ingredients.

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Storyteller and artist Darryl T. Jones


Surrounded by beautiful forests in a town called Murphysboro you will find Daryl. He is a board game artist that broke into the industry with a personal passion project – The Dobbers. With his recent wonderful contribution to the game Freshwater Fly ( Only a few hours left on the Kickstarter) – I knew that we had to pick his brain and feature him here. Enjoy.

Tell us a little about what you do, your artistic background and how you got into making art and now board games?

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. My passion to draw really ignited in the late 80’s and 90’s when I fell in love with Marvel comic books. I have a full set of the original Infinity Gauntlet comics sitting on my desk with me as I type this. I later went to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, majoring in Sequential Art. Sequential Art is basically comic books. There is a heavy emphasis on Illustration and Graphic Design, particularly for the purpose of story-telling. After college, I independently published a comic book, The Dobbers. It was a light-hearted tale of gnome-like, forest creatures who stumble upon a quest involving a great deal of treasure and a magical sword.

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