The Tinderbox Times

11 May 2017

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Team Profile: Nunoh – Lagoon Art Studio

Antonio “Nunoh” Jose Diaz Fernandez is the artist and creative talent behind The Brigade’s look and feel.

Nunoh lives in Spain as well as co-creator Ben Hoban, however he and Ben have yet to meet in person. But as it turns out his home city of Madrid has no beach, so chances are they will run into each other on the coast somewhere this summer.

Although Nunoh’s English is far superior to Ben’s Spanish we have cleaned up a couple of the responses for clarity:

How did you get into Illustration?

I like to think that I got into the illustration in a natural way, I mean, I´ve been drawing since I was a little kid and although I had a degree in economics I was always improving my drawing and painting skills at the same time. When the financial crisis hit Spain it was a  wake up call to make a decision about what I really wanted to do with my life to and I started to draw professionally.


Have you ever done the art for a boardgame before ?

Yes I did many illustrations for some board games, at first only some images from time to time for a client who need one or two… but then I started to do bigger jobs; from sci-fi weapons to sports board games.


What are the differences you have found working on boardgame art to your regular work?

Well the main difference is that the boardgame client usually has a clear idea of what they want whereas the client that needs (for example) a cover for a book, doesn’t have it so clear and it is harder to find a final result that fits with their needs. Regarding other jobs like videogames, the job flow is quite close when you have to design a character or an environment, the difference comes when I have to animate a character, because I have to think in all the poses and sprites…


Do you have any themes or genres you prefer to illustrate?

I´m a big fan of comic books and “sword and sorcery”  so I grew up drawing characters…warriors, wizards, witches…you know but right now I´m more focused in environmental art because is something that I tried and it looks like I´m not bad in…so when you try something and the result is more or less “good” it make it easy to keep working on it and to keep on improving. Anyway there is nothing like creating a new character…I love it..


What is you process for production? what tools or programs do you use?

It depends on the job but regarding character design I usually make some doodles in a piece of paper and scan them; ( I got used to draw in traditional media where I do not have to worry about the document size or pixels and is more natural to me when I need to work loosely…),  the final sketches , the ink and color  are made digitally. I use photoshop and right now I´m learning after effects and a little of zbrush for 3d modeling.


What would your dream project be?

Well, right now we (LAGOON ART STUDIO) are collaborating with a indie videogame studio trying to develop our own video game and  a board game as well based in the same story. I hope we can run it successfully and a demo can be released in a few months… so if I have to mention a dream, it would be keep on working drawing and painting….and having a good salary, haha…it´s a hard job.


How do you find work as an illustrator?

The first time I work as an illustrator was thanks to a friend of mine…his wife wrote a story and he wanted me to paint some illustrations…after that I joined some job platforms on the internet and I began to know some clients… a lot of work for very little money but it allowed me for make some contacts. Some of them prefer to work off of those platforms, which is better for me because the taxes are very very high.


You came up with so great ideas for The Brigade characters and buildings, do you have any process to spark your imagination when you need to be creative?

As I said before I´m a very big fan of everything that is kind of swords and sorcery, sci-fi, fantasy, comic books so I think my mental library is quite wide and when you tell me your concept for a character I quickly come up some ideas around it… anyway after that,  the process is always the same: I read all the specifications for the image required carefully, I try to be alone and in silence while I´m looking for some references and then I turn on some music that could inspire me and I begin to doodle …sometimes I don´t get any good results, then I go for a stroll and come back to my wacom and have another go…