7 questions for Marie Cardouat

Photo prise par Lazlo Molnar
Photo prise par Lazlo Molnar

It is with great pleasure that I present to you an artist that I personally appreciate for her work as an illustrator in general and not only for the illustration she did games: Marie Cardouat.

Marie is a young illustrator who has made a name in the world of games with the illustration of game Marrakech from Dominique Ehrhard in 2010 and especially with the artwork for Dixit from Jean-Louis Roubira in 2008. Just for information, Dixit was the number one choice from the small survey I did last month! Of course Mary does not illustrate only games and I invite you to visit her blog to see all her work. You can also enjoy Marie’s work with the last game she illustrated: Steam Park released in late 2013.

Here are the 7 questions for Marie Cardouat.

1 – How old were you when you played your first board game and what was it ? 

« Hula! it is far away, I do not really remember, but probably one of the classic games that existed at that time. I remember that my father made ​us play ‘7 and a half’, but with what I started really, I do not remember! I played more marbles and jacks as games itself … In fact I have discovered modern games until very late, thanks to Dixit which put my foot in this world and made me realize how the range of games was wide, and especially that there are really different games beside the classic MonopolyTrivial Pursuit or Mille bornes! « 

2 – How and why did you decided to illustrate board games ?

« I have not actually decided it: it was an accident. I was a freelance illustrator, freshly out of Decorative Arts school in Strasbourg, I was rather in the illustration of children’s books and postcards, and one day I came across an ad from an editor who sought an illustrator to illustrate cards for a board game … I sent my book, and Regis Bonnessée, Mr Libellud, called me : Dixit adventure began! 🙂

Thereafter due to the success of Dixit I had the pleasure of being called to other games, and that’s how I still sometimes operate widely in the world of games. But that does not stop me from continuing to work on other media such as cards, books, posters or album sleeves etc, because I just love this opportunity to change: I’m never bored! « 

3 – What are your 3 favorite games company and why ?

« Hmmm … hard to say … it’s easier to say a style of game: I love the party games and family games. I am not connected with hard core games that last 5 hours 😉

I like to have fun and communicate. Ok then, to say a few titles of games I like: Dixit because … well because Dixit 😉 It’s simple, it’s well thought out, and it can even be very funny.

Thebes because I replayed it with pleasure each time, Ticket to Ride and Isla Dorada for adventure, Handy (an almost impossible to find stupid game, with fingers and balls) Mito or Tokyo Train for  the laugh it triggers, and 7 Wonders that I loved too. Well, ok it’s been more than 3!

There are so many different games, difficult to make a limited choice 😉 « 

4 – For you what is the best combination for a illustrate a game successfully ?

« I do not think there is a predefined combination for each project because situations vary … But basically I think it’s better already to know the game, the rules to already understand what we will do. Then you have a theme that is fun to illustrate , at least which is talking to me ( for example Steam Park , when the editor told me about the amusement park , I jumped to the ceiling  :p ). I also find that having a good relationship and good communication with the editor or the DA in charge of the project , helps a lot to work in good conditions and thus do a satisfactory job , which we like to do 🙂

Obviously if it’s a game we’re looking forward to play because  we just tried the prototype , we found it nice , it’s even better !

In short I think ultimately what it takes is the desire , the enthusiasm, and work, finally as for many things 🙂 « 

5 – How do proceed to illustrate a game ?

« Generally, someone gives me a brief, if there is a proto I play it or I study the rules, and then it is research, universes, characters etc.. I propose sketches taking into account the wishes of the publisher and the demands of the game, and if it’s ok I go to color. I work in « traditional », ie by hand, in painting and on paper medium then I scan and send them to the editor. Et voila! « 

6 – What advice would you give to someone wishing to illustrate a board game ?

« Go forward, there are good surprises. Hang on, work and enjoy yourself 🙂 « 

7 – Could you give us some information on your next project ?

« There are several projects, but in the state of embryo may be something on the side of Asia, but still completely undefined, and in France a game with Mr. Ludo Maublanc in Funforge: something fun and poetic with clouds and fingers 😉 But it is not started yet, then you will have to wait a bit  :p

And also other projects in other universes that game, but it does not interest you as much 😉 « 

Thank you very much Marie for taking the time to answer the 7 questions. To learn more about the work of Marie Cardouat follow this link:



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