Welcome to a new feature on our site – the Illustrator Spotlight. In Illustrator Spotlight, we’ll take a look at artists and graphic designers working on our titles. Today we are talking with Roland MacDonald. Roland is the illustrator for Western Legends, coming to Kickstarter in January 2018. Join us as we learn a bit more about him and talk about games.
What brought you to the board gaming hobby and community?
I was introduced to modern board games by an ex-girlfriend. Carcassonne and Thurns and Taxis were probably my gateway games. Her father has lots of contacts in the industry and through him I illustrated my first boardgames in 2011/12. After a break from games for a few years I got back involved and much more heavily. Exploring lots of types of games for myself and going to Essen Spiel for the first time in 2015.
What are your current favorite games (or types of games)?
Over the last few years my tastes have been getting heavier. Current favourites are Anachrony, Great Western Trail and Scythe. Of the games I picked up at Essen this year Whistle Stop, Lisbon and Dragon Castle are all hits with my group and we are looking forward to Charterstone.
So, what led you to become an artist/illustrator?
I have always been an artist/illustrator in a way. Certainly I was always headed that way. I did get distracted by other jobs for a bit but after that I moved in to computer games art and made my way into concept art and then to being freelance.
Are you currently working on any projects? Anything outside of the board gaming world?
I am now specialised in art for board games full-time so I am not really busy with other projects.
I am a consulting artist and game designer for a free roaming VR Arcade. It is an exciting time for that technology. VR Arcades are coming…
My own game design Ruthless will be published by various companies in 2018 and I am currently designing expansion content for that game.
Who are some of your favorite artists (and why)?
This is a question with too many answers but… In board games Vincent Dutrait and Biboun are both doing such consistently excellent work. I taught myself illustration largely form the animation artists at dissent Pixar and the great talents of mid-20 century advertising like J.C.Leyendecker, Al Parker and Bernie Fuchs. I also always have to shout out to Mike Mignola and Segio Toppi . I think the connection between all of these artists is exceptional craftsmanship and creativity.
What hobbies do you enjoy when you’re not working on art?
I play and design board games. My first design will be published in Feb 2018. I would like to travel more but I am always working.
Give us a few fun facts about yourself.
I used to dance and teach Lindy Hop. Which is the dance style for the Swing Jazz of the 30s and 40s.
I was a chef in a top London restaurant but that is a crazy world so I got out years ago and taught myself to be an illustrator.
I was born and bred in London, UK but now I live in Utrecht, Netherlands and it is amazing. It is a beautiful, chill but also fun city.
If folks want to follow you online, where can they find you? Any online galleries they can access?
Website – https://www.rolandsrevenge.com
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rolandtheillustrator/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RolandsRevenge
Be sure to subscribe to the BoardGameGeek page for Western Legends. And stay tuned here to our site for more Illustrator Spotlight features.