ART&abuleiro esteve à conversa com o ilustrador TONY ROCHON


"The most important is the fun, having a good time with family, friends !!!

Perhaps, the only lesson of life is learning to lose."



Merci d'avoir pris le temps de répondre à nos questions, et nous espérons en savoir un peu plus sur votre illustration dans l'avenir. Merci pour la sympathie et pour magnifique illustration sur le Portugal (Boss of Portugal).


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?

Tony - I'm 37 years old. I'm a french graphist who is living near Clermont-Ferrand, in the middle of France. I'm the father of 2 young children (5 & 8 years old). When I was young, I did a lot of caricatural drawings. 14 years ago, my cousin asked me to draw the portrait of his football coach, Alain Ollier. At this time, Alain was imagining a game about cycling called «la grande boucle». He asked me if I was interested to illustrate it. 7 years later was born «leader 1».

Gil - How many games have you done the artwork for, and in which projects are you working right now?

Tony - Mmmmh... I have done 11 artworks. 

8 for Blackrock Editions : Garçon, Cameleon, Huuue !, Leader1, Giro d’italia, Jarnac, The Boss & Ces années-là.

3 with Guy Jeandel : Blanchette la vache qui pête, Speedy balls & Des sigles en folie.

My actual project is a game with Alain Ollier (again with Blackrock editions) called «Blackrock City».

This is a game in the spirit of «The Boss». The action takes place in USA in the 1800’s, with cowboys, sheriff & bandits. I’ve tasted it with prototype, it will be a realy good game...


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?

Tony - . Before starting illustrations, 2 things are very important to known :

1 : the atmosphere of the games (funny, serious, dark...)

2 : who will play to the game (chidren, adults, men, women...).

It’s the job of the author to say me what kind of game he wants.

«Cameleon» is a funny game for children, so the illustrations are colorfull with sympathetic characters.

«Garçon !» is for older players but the atmosphere is the same.

«jarnac» is a reflexion game. There isn’t a very hot ambiance, you play in silence. So the graphism is class and clean.

« The Boss» & «Leader 1» are strategic games for adults. Drawings are more realistic...

Gil - Besides board games, do you do illustrations for any other media?

Tony - Yes, I illustrate children's books.

I created in 2009 Loustik Editions (my own publishing children's books). I also illustrate book, I’m not abble to write stories.

I’m drawing too for a clothing line (Yaka’y).

Gil - where do you get your inspiration and how do you do the research for your drawings?

Tony - Before starting an illustration, I look on the web what has already been done for not to do the same.

After that I try do do something different.

My greatest inspiration comes from the details that give me the author. In general, the author has a very clear idea of what he wants, but he doesn’t know put it on paper.

So I have to (1) enter in is mind, (2) understand what he wants and (3) doing a beautiful illustration... It’s not so easy


Gil - How do you credit the success of a game to its illustrations? How important they are to the success of a game?

Tony - The importance of the illustrations is not the same if you are a Geek or an occasional player.

If you are a geek, the most important is the quality of the game and the name of the autor. The geek knows if it’s a good game or not. A good game, I buys it, even if the illustrations are not beautiful.

If you are an occasional player, illustrations are more important to choose a game. If you come for the first time in a game store, you will have a look at a game wich have beautiful illustrations. You will not focus on a game with ugly illustrations.



Gil - Which are your favorite games and your favorite games designers?

Tony - With my children , I play to «Loch Ness» by Walter Obert, «Cameleon» by Hervé Rigal, «Zero» by Reiner Knizia, «Jurassik» by Charles Chevallier, «Jungle speed» by Thomas Vuarchex & Pieric Yakovenko...

With my friends, we like to play to «Compatibility» by Craig Browne

With my wife we already play to «Jarnac» by Emile Lombard.

I like the illustrations of Stephane Poinsot for «Bombay», «Carroussel» and «EVO».

Jean-Marie Minguez for Mr. «Jack Pocket»

Mathieu Leyssenne for «Animalia» & «Jamaîca»

In an other style, I like Bony for «Antarctik» and «Ouga Bouga»


Gil - Do you think that board games can be use for an education purpose?

Tony - No, Board games are not a serious hobby.

Some games can help children to learn reading, learning, counting...

The most important is the fun, having a good time with family, friends !!!

Perhaps, the only lesson of life is learning to lose.

Gil - What you know about Portugal? Have you ever visited Portugal?

Tony - I don't know much about Portugal. Many of my friends are Portuguese. I know your country through their holiday memories. They are very proud of their origins.

I've never been to Portugal. This summer I spend my holidays on the island of Madeira. It's a bit at home, right?


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

Tony - It is a pleasure to answer your questions. Good luck & good game for everybody !!!!!!!!!!!!!!