In our Artist Profile series we feature some of the top artists in the board gaming industry. Today we feature Katia Howatson who is quickly making a name for herself in board game world with her colorful game piece designed creations.
Name: Katia Howatson
Where are you from?: I grew up in Quebec, Canada
Where do you currently live?: Ontario, Canada
What’s your favorite board game of all time?: Five Tribes
Who’s your favorite artist? No way I can narrow it down to one. Haha I will name three: Corinne Roberts, Mihajlo Dimitrievski (aka The Mico), and Matt Dixon
If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you? A picture of my dog, and a beach umbrella (it would protect me from the sun and make me believe I’m on vacation. haha
How would you describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind? I would say “Yellow is a positive, warm, feel-good color.”
Roxley Games logo
I have always been a fan of art. I have very fond memories of my mom and I coloring at the table when I was young. She has always been very talented at coloring, and I think I probably inherited some of my talent from her. I remember being in awe of the way she would accentuate shadows and highlights, and how she would always choose the perfect colors to create stunning images. My passion for drawing and coloring grew during my childhood. Art class was my favorite subject in school, and it ultimately led me to enroll in a two year graphic design course after high school. Although I did not have many courses revolving around art during that program, I have no doubt that the color theories classes have helped me in my mosaics, and knowing how to use Photoshop to clean up dust speckle from an image is very handy! I might not have ended up becoming a graphic designer, but the skills I learned during those two years have helped me with my artwork, as well as with my recent Kickstarter campaign.
As for board games; I have been playing games since I was a kid. I grew up playing board games with my sister such as Monopoly, Gambler, The Game of Life, Clue, etc. Sure, life got in the way for a while, but I came back to the hobby in 2008, thanks to her. That being said, I only started doing board game art since COVID. The tactile feel of assembling my mosaics and mandalas, as well as the color therapy aspect of it has really helped me during the pandemic. I started making and sharing my mosaics because I wanted to brighten up people’s Facebook feeds with my images to balance out the negativity I was seeing out there about people feeling isolated. We have an amazing hobby in common, and I just wanted to create something original and share it with the world. When I started my Instagram account this past March, there was no hashtag for board game mosaics or board game mandalas on there, so I knew that this was unique enough to be worth pursuing. It was very heart-warming to see how my art was positively affecting people, and how quickly my following grew. Before I knew it, the board game community started asking for merchandise with my art on it, so that’s how the idea of the 2021 Board Game Mosaic Calendar, the magnets, coasters and prints was born. I strive to make art pieces that are “readable” because I know people enjoy trying to spot game components they recognize in my artwork, which is why I’m able to scale the art pieces to something as small as a fridge magnet and still be able to look at it and identify the game components.
I have been doing commission work for a little while now for different board game publishers, reviewers, and other board game related companies. I absolutely love creating images inspired by well-known games, but the challenge of creating a company logo with the board game pieces I own is also thrilling. For me the whole process is almost like doing a puzzle. Having to find the perfect colors to represent what I want, combined with placing them in the perfect spot. It is a very time consuming process, but I love doing what I do. Combining my love for art and board games has truly become a dream come true.
The next step for me is to create a website where people can view my art, order products and request commission work all in one place. In the meantime, certain products from the Kickstarter campaign can still be ordered on https://app.crowdox.com/projects/952446224/2021-board-game-mosaic-calendar
If you want to see all of my artwork, please visit me at https://www.facebook.com/boardgameartcreations or https://www.instagram.com/boardgameartcreations. For commissions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.