Mihai Georgescu is a freelance artist living in Scotland. He enjoys drawing goblins, painting miniatures and having too many hobbies. Throughout his career, he has created band logos, album covers, video game assets, and really silly sketches on sticky notes. He is most proficient in Adobe Photoshop and, more recently, Clip Studio Paint. His most ambitious project so far has been the continued work on the board game Arcane Blaster Casters as the art half of Battle Boar Games.
“My name is Mihai Georgescu. Thanks for having me on the podcast. I’m a Romanian artist currently living in Scotland and I am the artist for Battle Board Games.
“I have been a board game artist since about 2014 when a friend approached me about doing some prototype art. The prototype was a lot of fun so we just kept working on it together.
“I became a board game artist because I hated animation. I was on a video game course but a lot of the local industry at the time was looking for artists who could do a bit of everything and animation just wasn’t my jam at all. Board games let me continue to have a creative output into games but without the need to animate.
“The art style I am best known for is cartoony and vibrant with a strong focus on motion. I really enjoy drawing exaggerated poses with a lot of energy behind them.
“The first board game I was an artist for was Arcane Blaster Casters. The work I’m most proud of was again for the board game Arcane Blaster Casters because I really learned a lot being part of the process from the beginning. I think as the game’s design evolved so did the art so now the game is a lot more inclusive and engaging.
“I like creating artwork that includes goblins. They’re just so much fun to draw and they kind of embody the energy most of my artwork conveys: chaotic, lighthearted, in your face. I just try to include goblins in everything I do.
“I get my inspiration from a lot of different sources: late 90s cartoons, metal music, speculative biology and natural landscapes form a big part of my influences.
“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is inclusivity, because I think everyone should be able to put themselves into the game. I think this hobby is for everyone but the artwork doesn’t always reflect that and in my opinion this is something that can and absolutely should change.
“I think the most challenging part of making artwork for board games is finding the right balance between detail and readability, because I tend to get carried away. It’s something I find myself doing a lot in digital artwork, which is fine in most cases, but in board games it’s a different story since you’re limited by the physical size of the card or token you’re working with or working on.
“The longest I worked on art for a board game was for Arcane Blaster Casters. I mean so far it’s taken me six years to have it mostly finished, though in my defense it’s been part-time work here and there rather than a constant workload and it involved a lot of prototyping and overhauls.
“In my view, more board game artwork should move away from standard sci-fi and/or fantasy tropes. I like those settings as much as anyone else. I just think that there is room for a lot more innovative concepts in those scenarios beyond star map with ship miniatures on it or elves, dwarves, humans and orcs at war with one another.
“The artist whose style I admire the most is Eyvind Earle. I’m also a huge fan of Zdzisław Beksiński, H.R. Giger and Wayne Barlow, but Earle‘s landscapes are just mesmerizing. I discovered him from The Banner Saga video games where they use a similar style for the backgrounds. In terms of board game artists, Nick Nazzaro and Catherine Hamilton are among my favourites.
“My favourite colour is orange though I tend to use it pretty sparingly.
“What very few people know about me is that I learned a lot of English by watching cartoons. I don’t want to dismiss my primary school teachers who were and still are excellent, but cartoons pretty much shaped my vocabulary as I was learning.
“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself, I would tell you to draw a lot, learn the principles of graphic design and learn how to guide someone’s eyes through the frame. I think those are key skills.
“If you want to get in touch, you can reach me on pretty much any social media by searching for Allbrotnar – a-l-l-b-r-o-t-n-a-r – or Battle Board Games.”