This is an interview with a very popular tabletop artist and designer. He has been in the industry for quite some time and put his skills into games like Bruges, Settlers of Catan, Stone Age, Shogun, Legends of Andor and many more.
I never hear about Donners Reed Party before. Apparently the Donner party was some pioneers that set out for California but ended up captured by the weather in Sierra Nevada apparently ending up each other. I like party games -and I loved the look of Donners Dinner party by Forrest-Pruzan Creative when I saw it on my tablet reading Tabletop magazine. Naturally – as I do – I had to learn more about the artist that made the wonderful character and item illustrations. I was surprised to find a very traditional artist with a talent for Caricatures. His name is James Bennett from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Welcome James!
I can see from your portfolio that you have some very traditional art skills in your luggage, tell us a little about your artistic background and what the deal is with all the Baseball caricatures.
I’ve been a freelance illustrator for over 30 years, doing oil paintings of all kinds of characters for most major magazines and ad agencies. My most recent work is doing ballplayers for a rising baseball institution called The National Pastime Museum.
How did you get into making art for a board game and have you worked on other games before?
The creatives at Chronicle Books found my work online. Previously I’ve done a number of games, mostly covers, for a number of game manufacturers. Always a blast.
What do you think is most important in a creative brief on a new assignment?
Wether you are a board game designer or artist – twitter is the place to be it seems. This summer I startet to follow Pillbox Games Instagram profile – and BAM. The way they use that social channel is incredible using small video loops in half of the posts and generally having a nice light in the images and lots of friendly, happy looking people make their posts stand out from the stream of content I browse through. So it is needless to say that in these post you find pretty pictures of the art being created for their upcoming game Side Effects and the style of those card illustrations just continue to grow on you. Looking up the artist behind the very elaborate graphical illustrations you find Ben Bronstein from Brooklyn. His personal instagram is also a gem in creative content – spicing up his beautiful sketches with homebaked bread. I am thrilled to take us behind the creation of Side Effects. Welcome Ben.
Tell us a little about your artistic background and how you got into making art for Side Effects?
Do you remember when you first saw Trove or Vast as it came to be? The art was bold an humorous – and I was sold on the spot. Immediately a fan of the man behind the illustrations – Kyle Ferrin from Northern Utah. Following Kyle on twitter you might have seen there is a new project called Root that is being shaped by his pencils and I am excited to talk with Kyle on his process.
Tell us a little about your artistic background and how you got into making art for board games?
I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I used to draw Garfield from memory when I was 5. I distinctly recall my Kindergarten teacher telling my parents that I was talented based on some picture of an Easter bunny that I drew.