Miguel Coimbra

TEiriz - Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you start to work with illustrations and how this path led you to board games?HI, I'm Miguel Coimbra, I'm almost 33 at that day and started working as a freelancer 5 years ago. My passion for card games like magic when I was a teenager lead me to boardgames, just sent a mail to days of wonder one day and got contacted afterwards, one project generally leads to another and that's how I got into boardgames. It's a field where I feel comfortable, editors give me a lot of creative freedom and we can also get a lot of feedback from the players which is really nice

TEiriz - How many games have you done the artwork for, and in which projects are you working right now?
Well I'm working in two different ways; there are games I've totally illustrated like "Giants", "smallworld","cyclades" and lately "7wonders" and I can also cooperate as the painting artist , I usually like to work with Edouard Guiton at linework; I've worked on Adventurers 1 and 2,arcana, city of thieves, Intrigo, Magnifico, Mad zepellin ..well there's a lot of them :) . Right now, I'm working for Days of wonder, on a new secret project hehe :) with again, a totally new and different style from my previous games.

TEiriz - 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 can be totally lunatic when it comes to matter of styles. I always loved both styles, realistic and more cartoonish, I believe when you study realistic and more academic stuff you can adapt your work to any other style, a bit like music, when your study classical or even jazz music you have the weapons to adapt to another genre. The great thing of this is I can create the art and style direction of the game, that's something I can't do in other medias; usually you get contacted because you can work in a certain theme or style;
More technically speaking , I usually start working on the characters, they usually set the mood and style of the game

TEiriz - Besides board games, do you do illustrations for any other media?
I work for trading card games, I've worked a lot for L5r and world of warcraft and still work on the star wars and everquest licence. I paint covers for the french books market. I also happen to work on videogames as a concept artist /character designer

TEiriz - where do you get your inspiration and how do you do the research for your drawings?
Inspiration comes from passion, looking at other artists stuff, spending tons of time on specialised web sites, looking at movies, series, like for other artists it's usually a melting pot of influences . Google is usually my friend to get references :)

TEiriz - How do you credit the success of a game to its illustrations? How important they are to the success of a game?
Well, I think a game works because of it's mechanics and the work of the designer of course . Graphics are usually secondary, but recently I've been happy to see illustrations are really important for some players, Nowadays, a game has to be fun and good looking . I also think the best graphics are not necessary the most beautiful and technical ones but the ones that serve the game, involving the player in the theme and adding fun to it. thats the case I think in Smallworld, the drawings are not my most technical ones but that's the ones where I get the most feedback, I think they serve the theme well

TEiriz - Which are your favorite games and your favorite games designers?
I should be totally ashamed, I don't play games, even the ones I did ; this is something that should change of course

TEiriz - Do you think that board games can be use for an education purpose?
totally, I have a son and I can tell children learn the best when they are playing . Games should be made to entertain (they wouldn't be games after all if it wasn't the case) if people can learn stuff on top of it , that's even better

TEiriz - What you know about Portugal? Have you ever visited Portugal?
I know very well Portugal, my both parents are portuguese, from Seia between Coimbra and Guarda. I speak and write the language,but less since I'm born and living in France. I'm visiting from time to time this beautiful country to go see my family and "adoro batatas com bacalhau e sardinha na brasa :)) "

TEiriz - Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, and we hope to see many more of your artwork in the future.
you're welcome, that was an interesting interview with a lot of relevent questions . thanks