There are game designers making games, publishers that publish them and artists that illustrate them and then there are people like Ryan Laukat from Salt Lake City, Utah – who just do all of it. The games that Ryan ships out into the world are truly boardgame gems with a lot of personality. This is the story of Ryan the artist.
Tell us a little about your artistic background and how you got into making art for board games?
Painting has always been a hobby, and it’s usually been linked with my love of games. As a teenager I spent hours illustrating my own game designs with watercolor and india ink. I really wanted to be a professional artist and spent a lot of time thinking about it. In my early twenties, I submitted a game design to Rio Grande Games and was hired to illustrate cards for Dominion.
Do you like great poster design? I do! Sometimes I visit omgposters.com just to get a visual OD. Most of the art on that page could be characterised as; elaborate ink work with a limited color palette. A style you do not meet very often in board games. Saltlands the Mad Maxque board game, is just like that – filled with amazing inked and dark illustrations.
When I saw the illustrations for the gameCritters Below I knew I had to speak with the artist behind them! Presenting the ink master Bazsó Lossonczy from Budapest, Hungary.
How great is Instagram in board game marketing? It feels like a difficult channel to get a high level of engagement. I am visual stimulus kind of person so I love the medium, scrolling through a stream of board game pictures is very inspiring. GreenHookGames strictly follow dedicated board game profiles to leave my feed untainted, but occasionally I also follow artist that I like, especially board game artists. This is how I came across the english board game artist Roland MacDonald. You might already know his work – because it is top of class and outstanding. He now live permanently in Utrecht Netherlands.
Can you tell us a little about your artistic background and how you got into making art for board games?
I have always enjoyed drawing and making things but my path to becoming an illustrator had more than a few detours. I studied fine art but it was conceptual/contemporary art and painting was heavily discouraged. I learned more about philosophy than art so that was a misstep after that I became a Chef which was an adventure but another diversion after doing an MA Game Design I got an art position at Sega/Creative Assembly doing 3D modelling for PS2 and PC games. I found modelling to be unsatisfying creatively as you are mostly making someone else’s concepts. So I started working hard to retrain myself to be a concept artist/illustrator.
I used every spare hour I had for two years and eventually got asked to do the concept art and illustrations for Shogun 2 Total War. That was an excellent opportunity.
When Santorini was funded I asked Gavan Brown if he felt the success was due to the minis in the game. He did not think that but instead pointed towards the simple ruleset as the biggest draw. I think he might be right about that but following Kickstarter’s it seems like gamers just love miniatures.
Making a game with miniatures is not easy. There are soo many steps from your sketch to production. Sean Sutter, a concept & comic artist from California took the leap into making his dream project – a fantasy skirmish game full of miniatures called Relicblade.
Sean is a fantastic sculptor and also shares his experience with making minis on his youtube channel Metal King Studios. I am thrilled to present you an interview with Sean.
Tell us a little about your artistic background and how you got into making your own board game?
My artistic background is in the traditional two-dimensional art. I studied drawing vigorously throughout school and graduated with a BFA with an emphasis in painting. I have worked as a graphic designer, fine art painter, and comic book illustrator.