Thanks to Great.... Chris Quilliams


O Tabuleiro de Eiriz esteve à conversa...

Gil - Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you start to work with illustrations and how this path led you to board games?
I was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Then moved to Winnipeg when I was three. My Dad and Grandmother were both artist and were big influences growing up, I loved hanging out in my Grandmother's basement studio or trying to impress her, doodling on their dining room table. LOL I started illustrating after getting some work from the San Diego Comic con. One of my first job was with sequential art, I drew some comic pages based on Sports comics involving famous sports figures like Mickey Mantle and Dale Earnhardt. I was only doing it part time still but I started getting more work here, conventions really helped. I later went on to work with Games Workshop and Dark Horse comics doing both illustration and comic book work. It always a great way of getting your work seen. Illustrating board games happened long after my stint with comics. I had worked in the role-playing game industry for many years, then Zev Shlasinger had published some of my Conan covers for one of his card games and then offered me work for collectible card games and of course board games.
Gil - How many games have you done the artwork for, and in which projects are you working right now?
Although I've been working full time for over 12 years I'm still fairly new to the board game industry so my resume isn't that full yet, so I maybe have just over a dozen games so far to my credit, they include Godzilla- Kaiju World Wars, Merchants & Marauders and Clash of Cultures and the new edition of Pandemic just announced this week actually. LOL My latest project are all hush, hush so I unfortunately can't name any of them just yet.



Gil - Your style varies from the more “serious” or to the more cartoonish, how do you coordinate the line of work for the different styles of board games?
I guess basically I  either look at the right tone the game needs, there's the demographic approach as well, intuition, or the company will tell me the look and approach they want. It's a process of evolution as well. I've had false starts with the wrong look where I don't really nail the right vibe with the first attempt and will sometime then go in an entirely different direction. Of course there's only so much time for each project so I've always have to keep that in mind. Time gets eaten up so fast. LOL

Gil - Besides board games, do you do illustrations for any other media?
Oh yes, I've done ccg's/collectible card games, comic books of course, rpg games, novel covers recently, one of the most interesting things I've done was a Cthulhu car air freshener. LOL I've also done a little bit of design work as well.

Gil - where do you get your inspiration and how do you do the research for your drawings?
I am a massive film buff, so films have a large part in inspiring and learning, other illustrators of course, both classic and contemporary. My favorites are N.C. Wyeth, Frank Frazetta, Dean Cornwall and Drew Struzan. Classic Academic painters as well like Jean Leon Gerome. The list goes on and on. There are so many artist's out there to be inspired by. Nature is a big inspiration as well, I love hiking, so when I can i get out I go and try to bring a sketchbook if I can. Recently I was able to sketch Norman Rockwell paintings at a showing of his work. Talking about an an extraordinary source of inspiration. I think I went to the show seven times. LOL

Research really depends on the subject matter. I had an assignment based in Samurai a few years ago, so I wanted an historically accurate sense to the image. I had to the know what period I was dealing with first then go from there. The period was early, the Heian period. A much later period like Edo would obviously be totally wrong for what I wanted. The armor, architecture weaponry is so different. I borrowed a couple of great books from the period from a friend. but I generally look to the library a lot when I can as well, generally I find it's still the best source. Reading and books are still my favorite ways to research.

Gil - How do you credit the success of a game to its illustrations? How important they are to the success of a game?
I think the one thing illustrations should do is give you a great sense of the world the game exists in. It's also about capturing your imagination, games can work on my levels and I think a visual identity is very important. A box cover can certainly help indicate what type of game your buying. LOL And hopefully it should get your attention on the shelf. A great game is a great game but with good illustration and design it will give that professional quality to make for a much richer experience hopefully.

Gil - Which are your favorite games and your favorite games designers?
My favorite board games have to be Talisman, Pandemic, Clash of Cultures, 7 Wonders, of course Pictionary LOL, Robo Rally and Circus Emperium. My two favorite game designers have to be Christian Marcussen and Matt Leacock. Incredible Guys!!!

Gil - Do you think that board games can be use for an education purpose?
Absolutely! I think board games can function in so many different was. They're very social and make you more intuitive- they develop your sense of planning and strategy, with a co-operative game like Pandemic you learn how to work together in an educational fashion, communication in a game like this is so important, learning about the best of human nature I think is very educational. Trivia board games extend your knowledge base, these games are so much fun as well as finding out interesting information about the world. LOL

Gil - What you know about Portugal? Have you ever visited Portugal?
I've never been to Portugal, and therefore I don't know a lot about the country. I know it's definitely somewhere I'd like to visit sometime. I know Football rules there and they have some incredible players. I'd love to see the architecture, towns, cities(including Lisbon) and countryside, the beaches from what I've seen are gorgeous. I'd love to see the tower of Belem. I'm absolutely positive it's very beautiful.

Gil - Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, and we hope to see many more of your artwork in the future.

You certainly will, I'll be posting more art soon on my devianArt page. Thanks very much for the interview!

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