We were lucky to find an amazing illustrator – Nataly Agapitova for “Game of Hunt“. I would like to share how we, or mostly she, have created the trash monster character illustration and how work with the artist looks from a board game designer perspective.
First of all, as a designer you need to make a list of all the illustrations you will need. Of course, this list can change in the process but preferably not much.
You also need to make a detailed description of every illustration. I definitely recommend not to do all the descriptions at once except if it is already your 10th project and you’ve worked with your artist before or you need just a couple of illustrations to do. During your work you will understand better what you like and don’t, you will change your mind, the artist will ask you dozens of questions, so all these will have an effect on the picture you have in mind. However, a short description of everything is a must (plus a full description of the first part of the illustrations).
One of the best pieces of advice which I’ve read somewhere about working with artists was to include emotions and mood in your description. What does the character feel, what the player should feel when looking at the picture?
Here is our description of the trash monster (the main character for the first game):
“A monster (with wings) flying around a city and throwing the trash. It should have some trash in its hands (not dirty and something easily recognisable like a chocolate wrapper from snickers or KitKat). Cute. Monster is not evil or angry, but playful.“
Give examples and give comments on these examples (what you liked or not in this particular picture). Pinterest boards worked mostly good for us. Sometimes we were not able to add comments to some pictures but otherwise, it was very helpful. Here is a link to our Pinterest board for the trash monster. Comments are in Russian though 🙂
And these are the sketches which we’ve got from Nataly
We liked the 3rd most but asked to make the hands as the 2nd has and add a can on the head. It was cool, isn’t it? 🙂
Then came the colouring part. This is the first version in colour.
Too dark to our taste. So we asked to change the colour of wings and hands to yellow and make the body colour lighter. And here is the final illustration!
Do you like it or do you like other sketches more? 🙂