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animation / art / design for games/kickstarters?

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/21/2016

Hey! My name is Benjamin Santiago, I recently did the animation for David Sirlin's Kickstarter for Codex

I'm hoping to do more stuff like this, and I'm curious how I can get my work in front of more people who might need this kind of work. I am planning on designing my own game so I figure that would help, but I don't have much work specifically tailored to board games. I'm curious if anyone on here has hired people to do art/design for them and what they tend to look for.

My drawing style is also not very fantasy based:

though the types of games I am into (Magic, for example) tend to be. I think having a different drawing style would be helpful, but would give me a bit of a narrower appeal. I've seen a few games with kind of similar art styles like Epic Spell Wars.

Just curious, any and all help is appreciated.

chris_mancini's picture
Joined: 05/01/2015
Hey Benjamin, Pretty freaky

Hey Benjamin,

Pretty freaky (in a good way) art style! I've partnered with a few people for game art, and it's always because I have a style in mind, and I find someone who fits that style.

I have a Japanese pop culture-inspired card game, so I tracked down an anime artist I really liked on For another game I wanted a darkly comical style inspired by artists like Jhonen Vasquez, so I went to an animator friend and we worked together to find the style (went through a few style explorations based on reference and talking through what I wanted to accomplish).

BGDF is a great place to get your work out there...the only drawback is that most designers looking to license a game and not self-publish know that any company who ultimately makes their game will work out the art on their own...rarely does the art present in the prototype make it to the final game. Art is also expensive, so it's better to focus on a great playing game with placeholder art that gives a little flavor rather than going all-in on game art.

Cons sometimes have "artist alleys," which could be a good bet for you. You want to reach designers who either make their own games, or link up with publishers who keep an ever-expanding roster of artists. I don't think it's much different than being a comic, children's book or video game artist; get in front of those who would most likely hire you. Create a one-page portfolio and business cards you can hand out at cons and work the floor! Find publishers of unusual games, games which you think your style fits, and ask them about upcoming projects. Do whatever it takes to get on their radar, and see what comes of it.

Lastly, I'm working on a game with a publisher for which I created an "inspiration board" which shows the style and flavor I think the game art should have; it's based on an original theme with inherently rich character opportunities, so some precise reference can help playtesters "see" how the final game could look.

With such a bold and original style, I'm sure you'll find some interest.

Hope this helps!

Joined: 01/21/2016
thanks for the thoughtful

thanks for the thoughtful reply! I assumed I would get an email update for replies, but to no avail.

I have skills with print design and animation, so hopefully I can find a way win through someone leaving one of those doors open a crack.

I'm hoping to go to some cons and Magic Grand Prix's as someone interested in games, hoping I can get to one in the capacity you are talking about, that sounds like it would be helpful. I've been thinking about getting some custom card sleeves and playmats printed (just for me, not a lot), with my art. Hopefully it doesn't come off too self-aggrandizing.

Thanks for kind words!

MAD2121's picture
Joined: 03/15/2016
Art Work

Hey Ben,

I just saw your post. I recently finished a prototype game and I am going to throw it on kickstarter. I need to compile a list of costs in order to set my fund goal. How much does it cost to get an art designer to draw the artwork for a board game roughly?


Joined: 01/21/2016
Hey apologies on not replying

Hey apologies on not replying sooner, I haven't found a way to get email updates on these.

It would depend on the amount of assets, complexity and type of work. I'd imagine it varies between, for example, someone who re-designs the card frame for magic the gathering cards vs, someone who does x amount of paintings for a given set of magic cards. It would also vary depending on fame/notoriety of the artist. Extreme example but if you had Jim Lee draw the character art for your game that would obviously bring an audience to the game without even knowing what it is about.

I'm not super versed in the board games as an industry, but I will PM you more thoughts.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Subscribe to thread

Hi Ben,

You can get email updates on a thread by clicking the "subscribe" link at the bottom of the initial post for the thread. It'll then give you a couple options.

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