İrem Erbilirgil is an accomplished 2D and 3D artist from Istanbul, Turkey. She is currently working on the upcoming game Keystone: North America by the recently founded Rose Gauntlet Entertainment, where her realistic art style really comes to the fore.
“Hello Oliver, my name is İrem Erbilirgil and I’d like to thank you for inviting me to the Let me illustrate podcast. Good to be here.
“I’m pretty new in the board game industry. Rose Gauntlet Entertainment‘s upcoming game Keystone: North America is the first board game I take a role and we are still working on to make it beautiful and unique!
“I became a board game artist after Isaac Vega, the amazing CEO of Rose Gauntlet Entertainment contacted me for their new project Keystone: North America. After I got into the board game world, I realized that it’s a great platform for an artist to show skills and capabilities. As a restless gamer, I’m into computer games as well, but it feels a little bit different to think that all for your illustrations will be in a table, in hands of a happy group of friends or family members. They look at them, your colours and strokes, invite them to get in the game and have a good time. I think it’s the magic of the board games.
“The art style I am best known for is probably realism dressed up with fantasy elements. I’ve studied traditional art, so I love realism and I adore all kind of fantasy art: fantasy literature, movies, medieval games, etc., but I also love to push myself to try different approaches and styles. It’s essential to improve. Lately, I work on stylized environments which I find so cool.
“Rose Gauntlet‘s upcoming board game Keystone: North America is my first board game I take a role as an artist. We are still working on it but I can promise that it’s absolutely worth to wait!
“The work I am most proud of is for Keystone: North America. Yes, it’s my first board game, but it also gives me an opportunity to express my endless love for animals and nature. I believe that our hard work and game’s vision will evoke the nature lover inside all players.
“I like creating artworks that wake a feeling. If it’s a realistic animal, it must look through you, if it’s a stylized environment, it must invite you. That’s what I like creating and am hoping to achieve.
“Well, I get my inspiration from life itself, like all artists, but my books, my movies, my music, my games feed me constantly to create art. We can say that Geralt of Rivia, Corvo Attano, Kvothe, Locke Lamora, Winchester Brothers, Bettlejuice, Jack the Pumpkin King, they are all my muses. If none of this works, I turn to mother nature to get a creative tint.
“I think the most important part of making artwork for board games is understanding the vision and focus of game creators. Because when you understand what they think and what they feel about the game, you create art which reflects both of you. I believe that kind of unity brings success.
“The longest I worked on art for a board game is for Keystone: North America. We started to work 4 months ago and I’m still working on it!
“My favourite artists are Grady Frederick, Rudy Siswanto, Andrew Kuzinskiy, Jordan Grimmer, Veronika Kozlova. It’s hard to name all of them, so the list goes on.
“I don’t have a favourite colour. I tend to choose blue and purple tones. I don’t like brown, dark yellow tones, but I can’t say there is a favourite one.
“Well, what very few people know about me is that I’m a crazy kind of Witcher fan and got a huge action figure collection of Mcfarlane Dragons. So technically, I’m the Mother of Dragons.
“If you wanted to become a board game artist yourself, I would tell you to go ahead and do your best!
“If you want to get in touch, you can reach me on my Artstation account: artstation.com/durga. You can check it out.