Andrew Bosley (Let me illustrate)

Andrew Bosley has been a professional concept artist in the video game industry since 2006 and in 2013 became a freelance concept artist and illustrator. He has worked on games including Everdell, Tapestry, Mission: Red Planet and Citadels. He is also a game designer and writer.

Audio Transcript

“My name is Andrew Bosley. I have been a board game artist since 2015, I think. I became a board game artist because the opportunity came. I’ve always been a gamer but it wasn’t until 2015 that the opportunity came along to be a part of it.

“The art style I am best known for is my style that’s more whimsical but realistic. The first board game I was an artist for was Mission: Red Planet by Bruno Faidutti. The work I am most proud of was for the board game Everdell, I think, because it was the chance to develop a world pretty fully through the art. I like creating artwork that is immersive, that allows you to to feel like you’re part of the world. I get my inspiration from lots of different things, from great photography, other great illustrators, the nature, strange things like railway posters and hand-painted signs and wacky stuff like that.

“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is supporting the gameplay because that’s certainly what’s most important, but another important part is creating something that’s engaging. of course. It allows people to experience the world of the boardgame, maybe forget they’re just sitting at the table for a few hours.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is that immersive element. I think there’s specific things that make that illusion possible and I think that’s what all my training and experience over the years has helped me to accomplish. but it’s not it’s an easy thing.

“The longest I worked on art for a board game was probably Everdell. Tapestry was pretty close. I think they both took around three or four months to do.

“In my view more board game art should try to engage players a little bit more. I’m a fan of all different types of board game art so I don’t necessarily, I don’t often expect other artists to do things differently, but I like artwork that is more supportive of the theme and style.

“The artist whose style I admire the most is probably Vincent Dutrait, if we’re talking board game artists, but there’s a lot in the board game industry that I admire.

“My favourite colour is green. What very few people know about me is I’m a wannabe ukulele player. I have a ukulele on my wall but I don’t play it, but I think in my head that I probably would be a ukulele genius, but I don’t know how to play it yet. Yeah.

“If you want to become a board game artist yourself I would tell you to practice your art. Being a board game artist is no different than being an artist in any other field. You want to be the best that you can. So it just takes practice and hard work and I don’t believe in necessarily raw talent. I don’t think anybody is born knowing how to draw or paint, but they might be born with a passion to work hard and not give up and maybe they can… some… I think many artists are born with the… an eye to be able to see things better but most importantly I think it’s practice and hard work.

“If you want to get in touch you can reach me at… through my website. Join… sign up for my newsletter or reach me directly through email [email protected].”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (

Marco Bucci (Let me illustrate)

Marco Bucci is a freelance artist and his experience includes books, film, animation, and advertising. He has worked for Walt Disney Publishing Worldwide, LEGO, LucasArts, Mattel Toys, Fisher-Price, Hasbro, among many others.​ He is also a passionate teacher and currently teaches “The Art Of Color & Light” at CGMA.

Audio Transcript

“Hello everybody, my name is Marco Bucci and, right away, if you hear sounds of rattling in the background, that’s my daughter playing. I’m recording this with her right behind me but I am thrilled to be here and thank you, Oliver, for having me on your blog.

“I’ve been a board game artist since… well let’s see. I got my first board game job which was on Karmaka. I would say that was 2014, let’s say. I actually don’t know exactly but in the range of 2013 to 2015, that’s when I began on board games, but I’m a freelance artist so I do a lot of projects most of which are actually not board games, but I got my first start in board games with Karmaka, yeah, around 2014.

“So I became a board game artist because, well, I guess I didn’t really become exclusively a board game artist. Like I said I do all kinds of projects, but I have always been a gamer and not a video gamer, specifically like a tabletop gamer stuff like that. I’ve always liked the physical tactile stuff. Board games, card games, D&D, you know that kind of thing and my friends group has always been into that kind of thing as well. So you know for many years I’ve kind of been chomping at the bit to sort of find the right project or maybe hope that the right project would find me, which is exactly what happened with Karmaka.

“The art style I’m best known for is… let’s call it painterly. When it comes to art you can… especially with digital art… you can be very mechanical with digital tools and kind of make art that looks, let’s say, photographic or somehow like really airbrushy – or you can use digital media to go the other way and kind of mimic oil paint or acrylic or watercolour paint and I actually began my art training with those physical mediums mostly oil and then I moved into watercolour and like guache from there and then when I picked up digital, I just wanted digital to mimic the training I already had.

“So I, you know, I developed my own workflow that allowed me to use digital media in just the same way I would use traditional media and, you know, it’s very brushwork oriented painterly meaning like you can see the artist’s paint stroke, the brushstrokes. They’re not hidden or disguised in any way. There’s a lot of texture to it, you know. Sometimes you move the brush very quickly and scribbly and other times it’s very precise and you kind of leave that all on the surface of the painting so to speak and I guess I’m would be mostly known for that kind of style in my work.

“The first board game I was an artist for was Karmaka, as I mentioned earlier. That was just the first project where all the pieces, no pun intended, were in the right place. I knew the creators, was personal friends with one and just, you know, through that person I knew his partner and they had already made a hit game. This is Hemisphere Games, by the way. They had made a hit game called Osmos and this, Karmaka, was their follow up. Osmos was a digital game like it was for iPad and this was their follow up game, a physical card game and I had a lot of faith in them.

“I knew they were kind of perfectionists and that’s a good thing when it comes to designing board games, trust me. They would do a lot of play testing and things like that and I also knew that they would allow me to kind of do what I wanted with the art, as the two creators of Karmaka were not artists themselves. So I’m I’m really proud of the work I did on Karmaka. I wouldn’t… I don’t know if it’s the most proud I am of the work. Maybe in a way it is, because I was able to really, I would say, like spearhead the vision for the art. The creators really let me do my thing and Karmaka has a cohesive look as a result.

“You know, it’s just, it was just me… well that’s not… it wasn’t just me. They did hire an artist to do, to do one of the pieces of the game, but that artist, Laine Brown is his name, Laine was only hired after the game was well under production because I actually wasn’t available to do the leaderboard, the scoreboard that Karmaka uses, but all the cards were completed, the box cover was completed and I did all that. So the the vision was just very unified, kind of, by default because I was the only one doing it and I am proud of that.

“I’m also proud of some of the larger, well let’s say, like more mainstream stuff I’ve done. I’m doing work for Wizards of the Coast on, you know, Magic: The Gathering which of course a lot of people know about. It’s a heavily popular product and I’m proud that I’m also able to bring my own artistic voice to those projects as well and that’s again the cool thing about working for games is, it seems like they really foster someone’s unique identity as an artist whereas I’ve also done work for say like animation studios on television shows and with that, you really have to blend in. You got to be a cog in the wheel. They don’t want you to call attention to yourself visually. Whereas with games, it’s the total opposite. So there’s a lot of, there’s a lot to be proud of when you work in this industry.

“I’d say that I like creating artwork that evokes a mood really and what that mood is can be totally variable. It could be something as simple as just like happiness or maybe even sadness. Something simple like basic emotion like that or maybe something that recalls childhood. That’s a big theme of mine. Just remembering back to what I imagined the world to be as a kid and like, you know, embodying that with characters, like monster characters or children characters or, you know, pets or whatever. It is like the things that you thought the world was like when you were a kid. Things are, you know, bigger and in some ways better or more promising and I like trying to capture that. You can even do it with like lighting, in colour. So I like creating artwork that captures that kind of thing, you know, that kind of mood.

“I get my inspiration from real life really. I love to paint outdoors in a sketchbook. That’s where the raw information is, is from nature. So you know, I’ll stop at the side of the road and paint a barn that just has some nice light hitting it. For me it’s always about the light because the light creates the color and creates the mood. I’m not drawn to any particular subject over another subject. I mean, I’ve literally painted garbage cans on the curb if the light is hitting it just right. So really I carry my sketchbook around with me a lot because you never know when you’re gonna catch a scene like that.

“So the most important part about making artwork for board games, like the most important, like as facet of that process, is the… really the communication with the designers. This is assuming of course that you as the artist are not the designer of the game. Really just talking to the designers, seeing what the intent of that piece of the game is, you know, but whether it be a card or a token or a board, you know, the underlying board. What is it that that piece of game play does mechanically, like what is it that it does mechanically and then your art needs to plug into that.

“So, you know, sometimes you want the art to be almost not even noticeable, like if you’re playing a… if your game has like a backing board, maybe it’s less important for the art to really… no that’s a bad example. Let’s say like, let’s say you’re doing a token, like a gold token. Probably the artwork doesn’t really have to call attention to itself for a gold token, but if you’re doing like a card that’s a character you want that art to really pop forward. So, you know, talking to the game designers, making sure that you’re aligned on that kind of thing, is I’d say the most important part.

“The most challenging part of making artwork for board games is probably the sheer amount of time it takes and because there’s, you know, the amount of items you’re doing artwork for are vast. Unlike say an illustration for a magazine, where it’s just like you’re doing one piece of art, it’s an illustration. For a board game, like for Karmaka – I mean how many work cards were there? There was, I think, there was in the 30s and that’s on the low end. Like, if you’re doing a game, like a board game, you might have like 50 cards and ten different tokens and a board and like pieces of the board that detach. There’s like the manual, the game manual. There’s so many items on doing artwork for a board game and to me, that is easily the most challenging part and that dovetails into the next question.

“The longest I ever worked on art for a board game was for Karmaka. I was on that project for, I think, three years. Now it’s not three years of full-time but, you know, for three years of constant time we were going back and forth and, you know, I would do a batch of art and they would playtest with that art and then they would get back to me with revisions and, you know, some cards got scrapped, some cards got redesigned altogether and of course, if a card gets redesigned probably the art needs to be redone as well, right or they invent new cards or like the colour coding scheme changed a bit, you know and stuff like that. Like they invented, you know, multicoloured cards. Kind of like in Magic: The Gathering where you have, like, colour themes. Karmaka has that sort of thing to it. Red, blue and green cards and the way that we handled that changed a little bit during the process. So that all, you know… all in all was I was on the project for about three years.

“So, in my opinion, more boardgame artwork should, well… I’m not… I don’t want to level a sort of general criticism at board game art because honestly I don’t really have one to begin with. I think what board game art should do in general though is be part of the world-building. So for Karmaka we wanted it to have a unique identity, for it to feel like its own game. Maybe if I had a sort of general criticism of like the art community in, you know, in general today is that a lot of people are using the same reference images and, you know, inspired by the same styles and as a result, it’s easy to get art that feels overly homogenized. Like different artists feel like the same artist.

“So in

Tumo Mere (Let me illustrate)

Tumo Mere is a concept artist and illustrator specializing in video games and comics. He is also the lead artist for the Swordsfall RPG. Hailing from Botswana, Tumo incorporates a modern African style through their intricate art and cultural knowledge.

Audio Transcript

“Hi. My name is Tumo Mere. I’ve been a board
game artist for little over a year now. I got into
board game art because it was a really cool and
interesting progression of the kind of art that I was already creating. So for me, it was a real natural transition.

“The style that I’m best known for is my hot punchy and super vibrant and colourful
semi-realistic style and at this point it’s basically become me. The first board game I was an artist for was Swordsfall and it’s probably the one that I’m most
well known for at this point, but I have worked on a few other really
cool projects.

“The work that I’m most proud of is either a piece that I did for Beneath
the Canals
, which is this really cool group shot of these people exploring a canal, or it’s a painting of the deity Ishvana in the Swordsfall universe and that one is currently my wallpaper. So I like creating artwork that makes the viewer feel like a kid again and like really makes them feel that sense of wonder and enchantment and just that the world can be so big.

“I get a lot of my inspiration from anime and honestly I’m giving away the secret sauce because I’m a huge anime fan. So if you’ve seen anything like Gurren Lagann or anything by Studio Trigger you basically know the kind of feel and atmosphere I’m constantly going for.

“The most important part of making artwork for board games and this basically applies for all art really is having an emotion in mind that you
want your audience to feel and like really pushing for that emotion because
when all is said and done, when they’re not looking at your art anymore, what’s going to stay in their mind is how it made them feel and that can really accentuate the type of adventures that they went on and the memories that they get.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games for me is trying to hit player expectations of what the world is through the art because a lot of players get really invested in the story and really want and deserve artwork that reflects how awesome it all is.

“The longest that I’ve worked on a piece of art for a board game was probably the Ishvana piece it took me about a month to do that and I went through all kinds of trials and tribulations doing it and multiple times I almost gave up on it but I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I stuck through it because it’s a really awesome piece and I really love it right now.

“In my opinion, more board game artwork needs to focus on having fun with itself like remembering the core of what the game is and having fun with that.

“The artist, or I should say artists, whose style I probably admire most right now are Karla Ortiz and Lois van Baarle, I hope I said their names correct, and it’s for like various things. Like colour style and everything is just so beautiful, so rich. It like pulls you into the world and she’s like stupidly skilled at what she does and like Lois‘s style is like beautiful and bubbly and makes you feel warm and it’s like a warm cookie fresh from the oven and you just want more of that. So at the moment, it’s both of them.

“My favourite colour is all of them. I love all the colours and if you look at my work you’ll understand what I mean.

“What very few people know about me is I’m the oldest of five kids and there’s an 18-year age gap between me and my youngest sibling.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself I’d tell you to just draw and post it. Like that’s the most important thing. To like draw and post it and be constantly drawing and like have fun with what you’re drawing. Don’t try to put yourself on a deadline don’t try to post every two days or every three days on the internet. Take your time draw, have fun and post.

“If you want to get in touch with me you can reach me on my ArtStation:, or through my emails: [email protected]. I try to respond to all the emails that I get. So you will get a response from me.

“And yeah. Later. Peace.”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (

Keturah Ariel Nailah Bobo (Let me illustrate)

Keturah Ariel Nailah Bobo is an Ohio native and a BFA graduate from the Columbus College of Art and Design. She grew up with parents that instilled in her the importance of individuality and creativity. Keturah is known for creating vibrant images that are relatable and distinguishable. She is the lead game illustrator for Cards For All People and the #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator of I Am Enough by Grace Byers.

Audio Transcript

“My name is Keturah Ariel Nailah Bobo. I’ve been a board game artist since 2013 or so. I became a board game artist because my brother, who is the founder of Black Card Revoked asked me to do illustrations for his second game, called Angry Moms.

“The art style I’m best known for is children’s book illustrations that focus on the beauty of human diversity. The first board game I was an artist for was Angry Moms and I did some packaging work for Black Card Revoked as well/

“The work I’m most proud of was for the board game Angry Moms. Most of the illustrations are very fun and expressive in that game. I like creating artwork for people that are often underrepresented or misrepresented.

“I get my inspiration from family, friends and pretty much everyday life. I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is making sure the artwork is sized properly because unlike my actual artwork it tends to be much much smaller scale.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is communicating or being able to communicate a very concise idea in a limited way because cards and game pieces have to be easily understood and they have to resonate with pretty much everybody who plays the game. So that could be a varying number of ages and different types of people. So you kind of have to know exactly what you’re pinpointing in the art.

“The longest I worked on art for a board game was the four weeks it took me to develop concepts for the Angry Moms cards. In my view more board game artwork should reflect diversity as all media should.

“The artist whose style I admire the most currently is an artist named Sam Rodriguez and I just love his style. It’s very expressive and he puts himself in his work and I think I really appreciate that aspect of his artwork.

“My favourite colour is… I honestly don’t have a favourite colour. It’s always hard for me to answer this question. It really depends on the day and how I’m feeling. I’m really leaning toward like maroons and blues right now though.

“What very few people know about me is that I was home schooled as a child. So starting off as early as first grade, second grade, third grade I was at home and my mom was my teacher. We started school a bit later.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself I would tell you to practice and just learn your style and and kind of hone your craft. That’s that’s the best you can do as an artist in any field you’re trying to get into.

“If you want to get in touch with me you can contact me at my website which is or on Instagram or Twitter and I’m on as katurario on there as well.

“Thank you.”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (

Naomi Robinson (Let me illustrate)

Naomi Robinson is a freelance artist and illustrator based in the North-West of the UK. She has worked on a variety of different board games and RPG books, with a wide range of styles and themes.

You can find her artwork in a number of board games, including Fantasy Flight and Kanban, from publishers, including Kolossal Games, Gamelyn Games, Stronghold Games and Artipia Games.

Audio Transcript

“My name is Naomi Robinson.

“I have been a board game artist since 2014.

“I became a board game artist because the founder and CEO of Gamelyn Games approached me to be part of his Fantasy Flight project. At the time I was working as a 3D artist but I was looking to transition into doing 2D work, so the opportunity to work on a board game seemed perfect.

“The art style I am best known for is semi-realism or stylised work mostly with the theme of fantasy and nature.

“The first board game I was an artist for was Fantasy Flight with Gamelyn Games as I mentioned before.

“The work I am most proud of was for the board game Flourish because I particularly loved the theme of the game. It was a more realistic theme than some of my other projects and gave me the opportunity to paint flowers and foliage in all sorts of settings. Although this is a difficult question to answer as I can pick favourite elements from every project I’ve worked on.

“I like creating artwork that tells a story within the small, subtle detailing. I particularly like creating environments with these kinds of easter eggs that could lead to a whole new story or adventure in the viewer’s mind.

“I get my inspiration from nature and other artists. I’m constantly looking at other artists’ work and drawing ideas and ways to improve from their work. There is so much amazing artwork out there.

“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is the functionality because you aren’t just making art for the sake of art, you need to ensure the art really helps the playability of the game and reinforces the theme and style.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is quite often the schedules because it can be difficult to turn around projects in the time required, although the majority of projects are quite flexible in that regard.

“The longest I worked on art for a board game was probably for Kanban which took me several months to create all the artwork for the game. The game board was particularly challenging as it was very large and detail heavy.

“In my view, more board game artwork should continue as it is. I think the quality and breadth of board game art is improving year on year and it’s fantastic to see all the new work out there.

“The artist whose style I admire the most is Loish but also artists like Beth Sobel. Although this really isn’t an exhaustive list as I could list off many other artists that I admire.

“My favourite colour is blue.

“What very few people know about me is that I’m half Filipino, half British.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself I would tell you to just keep putting your work out there and contact board game creators, designers etc. You never know where it may lead.

“If you want to get in touch, you can reach me on my website I have my email and all my social media accounts on there. So please take a look and thank you very much.”

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Julie Okahara (Let me illustrate)

Julie Okahara

Julie Okahara was born in Osaka, Japan and after graduating from Osaka Industrial Arts High School, began work as a graphic designer. Wanting to further their studies in studio art, Julie came to California in 2005. Since then Julie has expanded into acrylic painting, ink drawing, sewing and clay sculpting. This year, she started teaching herself animation and now live-streams with interactive animations on her Twitch channel.

Audio Transcript

“Hi there. My name is Julie. I have been a board game artist since 2014 when my friends asked me to illustrate for their first game and actually that’s the only game I have illustrated so far.

“I normally paint my own images with traditional media like watercolour, acrylic painting and some mixed media.

“The art style I’m best known for is… my art style is hard to be labelled since I didn’t study or follow a particular style. I do work with traditional media but my style is not traditional art, more leaning towards stylized illustration. Some people have told me it’s fun and cheerful, others have told me it’s whimsical and a bit spooky.

“The first board game I was an artist for was Project Dreamscape. The work I am most proud of for the board game was Project Dreamscape because it’s my first and only one. I wish I had more experience as a board game artist. I had a lot of fun creating illustrations to help share the world of the game. It was challenging but still fun and I learned a lot through that project.

“I like creating artwork that is fun and colourful but somewhat melancholic and a bit spooky, also artwork that speaks to any age and makes them wonder about a story behind the piece and maybe inspire them to come up with their own story.

“I get my inspiration from nature, colours and small moments from my daily life. I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is telling a story, bringing its world to life, because each game has their own story and a unique world that works well with its gameplay.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is communicating with designers because the story and images are not in my head – they are in designers’ heads.

“The longest I worked on art for a board game was for Project Dreamscape. It took me 5 months, maybe a half a year to finish. It’s just because it was very successful on Kickstarter and kept on unlocking stretch goals with expansions.

“In my view, more board game artwork should have a variety of styles. It can be from a serious, hyper-realistic, fantasy look to super silly, kiddish, fun illustrations like how book covers are.

“The artists I admire the most are Dick Bruna, Raymond Savignac. Those are my favourite graphic designers and Nara Yoshitomo. My favourite colour is pale coral pink. This is only for my personal belongings. Nothing to do with my artwork though.

“What very few people know about me is I do not like chocolate.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself I would say get involved in the community, which I should do more of as well. I love playing board games and card games with my friends, so if you do enjoy it, don’t be shy. Open up the door to the gaming community. I heard it’s pretty comfy.

“If you want to get in touch you can reach me via Twitter or Instagram @julieokahara, or contact me through my website at

“Thank you so much for listening.”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (

Rory Muldoon (Let me illustrate)

Rory Muldoon

Rory Muldoon is a graphic designer and games designer from the south-east of the UK. After going freelance in 2016 he began working on is own game, Skora, which has recently been published by Inside the Box Board Games. Alongside his own projects, he has created artwork and graphic design for tabletop games such as Solar Storm and Tinderblox.

Audio Transcript

“My name is Rory Muldoon. I’ve been a board game artist since 2018. I became a board game artist because I’m a graphic designer by trade and when I first discovered modern tabletop gaming I was immediately excited by this whole new world of visual information. I knew I wanted to be involved in it somehow, so I started up an Instagram account and on there, I experimented with rethemes and redesigns of existing games and game elements. After that, I took the plunge in designing my own game and from there I went on to work with other designers and publishers on a range of board game and tabletop projects.

“The art style I’m best known for is probably clean graphical illustration. I try and bring graphic design principles to everything I do whether that’s illustration, typography, rulebook layout or game logos. I feel like game artwork can contribute immensely to how playable the game is and I hope I can bring a bit of that user experience thinking to the fore.

“The first board game I was an artist for was my own game, Skora, which I created the artwork and graphic design for, at the same time as designing the game itself. For me this tandem element of visual and mechanical development helped push me forward and I felt like the art and the design started to inform each other as the project rolled on.

“The work I’m most proud of was for the board game Tinderblox from Alley Cat Games, because it was the first board game outside of my own designs where I got to work on every element of it. Alley Cat Games were fantastic to work with, because they really listened to their artists and it really felt like a collaboration.

“I like creating artwork that is simple but evocative. I definitely favour minimalism and I feel like there’s a real magic when you can build a world from that simplicity.

“I get my inspiration from lots of different places. I like book covers and film posters that use interesting layouts that make you look twice or look deeper at an image. I love geometry and symmetry in all forms whether that’s photograph or an illustration or a piece of artwork.

“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is how it fits with the game mechanics. In an ideal world, the whole game should be working towards a particular feeling, from the complexity of the actions to the athletics to the components. A game should make you feel something and the artwork obviously has a massive steer on that feeling.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is building that feeling that the game is striving for. There’s so many spinning plates from typography to colour to form to shape. If one of those things isn’t quite right then you run the risk of the visuals hampering the player’s thematic tie to the game.

“The longest I worked on art for a board game was probably the box art for my own game Skora. The publishers Inside the Box Board Games gave me free reign on nearly every aspect of the art direction which was fantastic. The one thing they did insist on however was the box. The game is part of a series of smaller titles all sharing a common box design and so it was a challenge bringing my preconceived ideas in line with the existing box template. I think all in all I spent about a month off and on getting the design of just of the box right but I’m super proud of how it turned out.

“In my view, more board game artwork should look beyond the boundaries of tabletop. I feel like there’s so many fantastic artists out there who are creating original exciting work that we’ve not seen in tabletop games yet and I for one am really excited to see publishers and designers take those risks in putting games out that are originally different.

“The artist whose style I admire most is probably Josh Emrich for tabletop stuff. His ability to bring graphic design and illustration together is just awesome. Outside of games, I love the graphic design work of Ian Anderson and The Designers Republic. Outside of commercial design, I find the paintings of Canadian artist Tom Thompson just incredibly relaxing to look at.

“My favourite colour is maybe black. That sounds very dour but I create a lot of my artwork in black and white to begin with. I always think if you can get something looking really great in monotone or grayscale then adding colour is only going to push that even further.

“What very few people know about me is I’m quite a messy person. I often present my work very cleanly and very neatly, but I make it in quite a chaotic fashion. I’d like to be one of those super organized artists, but I just can’t quite do it.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself I would tell you to make work that makes you happy. I believe there’s a kind of game for every kind of art style. So it’s a case of doing what you love and then working out how it could apply to board games.

“If you want to get in touch you can reach me on Twitter at wookiebait which is w-o-o-k-i-e-b-a-i-t, or Instagram dot com forward slash roll them bones. I also have a website where you can see some other work outside of the realms of board games and that’s

“Thanks very much.”

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Jessi Cabasan (Let me illustrate)

Jessi Cabasan is a freelance artist based in Co. Meath, Ireland. She works in a variety of industries including games, logo making and traditional pencil portraits. She designed the artwork for the game board and cards for Luzon Rails published on Kickstarter in 2020. She is skilled in graphic design and illustration with Affinity Designer on the PC, Artstudio Pro and Procreate on the iPad and photo editing with Adobe Lightroom.

Audio Transcript

“Hi Oliver. Thanks for having me on your podcast. I’m so delighted to be here.

“My name is Jessi Cabasan. I’ve been a professional artist for a few years and a board game artist since this year for Luzon Rails that was published on Kickstarter.

“I became a board game artist because I was recruited by Robin David, the game designer of Letterpress and Tag City. He hired me to create the artwork for his recently developed cube rail game.

“The art style I’m best known for… well, for Luzon Rails I was really going for a neat look. So everything was graphic design. The layout of individual hex communicates a certain function and as a whole, I needed to make sure it reads well. If I added an excessive detail, the whole map could easily look very crowded and it would lose that clean aesthetic I was going for. So I created distinct icons to help a lot with the clarity on a busy map. I also wanted this game to look attractive to new players as well as veteran cube rail gamers.

“The most fun I had was designing the personalized logos. They all had special meanings. Robin asked me to name three of them, one that included my name, another which included my daughter’s initials and one I named after Luzon’s famous volcano, Mount Mayon. This was the very first board game I designed the artwork for and I’m very proud of it because of all the skills I learned while working on it.

“I like creating artwork that is striking for new gamers. I want the design to communicate the game’s experience. For a light cube rail game, I designed the artwork to look appealing for players who might not have played any cube rail games before and I think it worked. I had comments from some friends of mine who are solely video game players and they were interested in what this game was all about. I got my inspiration from Ian O’Toole. He designed Irish Gauge and Ride the Rails. His designs are fantastic.

“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is clarity and functionality, like designing iconography to replace some texts. This can also help with language barrier, plus icons look fun.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is readability. The artwork for Luzon Rails went through several iterations. I had to really streamline the design on the board not just to bring the icons and layouts all together, but also to have a cohesive artwork that clearly communicates its mechanics and experience.

I think it took me roughly about 20 more hours to get it done, but before laying out the design on the computer, I did a lot of thumbs and pre-sketches. I also took some time to digest as much information about the game’s rules and to visualize how it was going to be played on the table.

“In my view, more board game artwork should try to cater to new gamers, but I think there’s already a lot of artwork like that, like Dixit which is my favourite one I bring to the table for beginners.

“The artist whose style I admire the most is Peter Dennis and Paul Kidby. I love their work on the board games Discworld: Ankh-Morpork and The Witches. I love illustrated artworks like that.

“My favourite colour is red and my second favourite colour is black, which a lot of artists would argue is not technically a colour.

“What very few people know about me is that I really enjoy being able to collaborate with other creatives out there. I’m so passionate about art and gaming and it’s so much fun to bring projects to life with what I love doing.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself, I would tell you to do a lot of research and learn as much as you can from other pros out there. Ask a lot of questions and always be ready to learn.

“If you want to get in touch you can hit me up on Twitter @jezraka.

“Thank you, Oliver. I’m very honoured that you reached out to me. Thank you very much for having me here and I hope this will help other aspiring board game artists out there.”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (

Natalia Rojas (Let me illustrate)

Natalia Rojas

Natalia Rojas is a self-taught artist and illustrator from Colombia living in Tampa, Florida. She specializes in highly detailed and realistic graphite and coloured pencil drawings and loves to create portraits of people, pets and wildlife, as well as meaningful pieces that could be anything from a portrait of a loved one to a special item or a still life. She has worked on the board game Wingspan by Stonemaier Games, as well as all its expansions.

Audio Transcript

“My name is Natalia Rojas. I have been a board game artist since 2017, but it’s hard to think about myself as a board game artist since I’ve only worked on one game. I prefer to think I am in the process of becoming a board game artist.

“I became a board game artist because a once in a lifetime opportunity presented itself when I met the co-founder of Stonemaier Games right when they were looking for a new artist.

“The art style I am best known for is realism and scientific illustration.

“The first board game I was an artist for was Wingspan. I am very proud of all the work I’ve done for Wingspan and every expansion has taught me something. From the base game, I learned a lot about research and scientific illustration. With the European expansion I tried to find a good balance between size and detail, but the most challenging one has been the Oceania expansion due to the very intricate birds in Australia and New Zealand.

“I like creating artwork that has a meaning behind it, that tells a story of something special. I work from photo references so I am attracted to just simple beautiful images.

“I get my inspiration from nature of course, but also from meaningful moments or objects. I like to draw simple things that will tell a story or bring back a memory.

“I think one of the most important parts of making artwork for a board game is precision, because you have to make sure the art aligns with the theme of the board game.

“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for a board game is timing, because there can be tight deadlines to meet. An illustration is not a speedy process. It can take me from 8 to 36 hours to draw the art for just one card.

“The longest I worked on art for a board game was for the Oceania expansion. It took me around 10 months to complete my part, because I decided to work on a larger scale to include more detail.

“In my view, more board game artwork should continue to embrace different art styles but also be more inclusive to women and people of colour in the industry.

“The artists whose style I admire the most are Ana Maria Martinez and Beth Sobel, but I like many other artists that don’t work on board games art, like Jono Dry and Ileana Hunter.

“My favourite colours are red, white and black.

“What very few people know about me is that I often, if not always, imagine my memories and thoughts in some form of childish cartoons.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself, I would tell you to reach out to board game creators and work on your portfolio.

“If you want to get in touch, you can reach me at my website and also my social media as NataliaRojasArt as well.”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (

Sabrina Miramon (Let me illustrate)

Sabrina Miramon

Sabrina Miramon is a French illustrator based in the UK who works mostly on boardgame and video game art, but also does the occasional book illustration. She originally studied 3D, but after a few years decided that she preferred drawing and painting. Her artwork has appeared in games such as Ecos: First Continent, Coral Islands, Welcome to DinoWorld, Planet and many others, having worked with publishers such as Iello, AEG, Blue Orange, Alley Cat Games among others.

Audio Transcript

“My name is Sabrina. I’ve been a board game artist since 2014, but it’s been my main activity for the last three years. I became a board game artist because a publisher gave me my first opportunity to illustrate a game and then I stuck with it. The art style I am best known for is colourful cute with a mix of cartoonish designs.

“The first board game I was an artist for was The Builders: Middle Ages. It’s published by Bombyx and Asmodee. The work I’m most proud of was for the board game Photosynthesis, because of the positive feedback I’ve got from everyone and the way it looks displayed on a table. I like creating artwork that people can enjoy looking at while playing – hopefully. I get my inspiration from games and other artists I look up to.

“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is to nail a fresh and cohesive visual style, because I want the boxes to stand out on the shelf. I think the most challenging part of making artwork for a board game is designing elements that read well and look good at a small scale, because assets are usually printed small. The longest I worked or not for a board game was for Dice Hospital, I’d say. It took me several months on and off as it was an ongoing Kickstarter project.

“In my view, more board game artwork should be non-generic and think outside of the box. The artist whose style I admire the most is hard to choose from because there are so many, but off the top of my head, I’d say Adam Hughes.

“My favourite colour is orange. What very few people know about me is I’m addicted to white chocolate.

“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself, I would tell you to make a targeted portfolio for a publisher you enjoy the work of and bring it to conventions or send emails to project managers.

“If you wanted to get in touch, you can reach me by email or Twitter or Instagram. Just google my name.”

Transcript by Make My Game Travel (