Today another of my favorite illustrators and I think I’m not the only one think like that: Naïade real named Xavier Gueniffey Durin.
This Rouannais* from birth (live Normans! Yes I’m chauvinistic) who lives in Nantes, France now has a particular style which I believe is the reason of his success. Its lines, textures, colors bring a « je ne sais quoi » to the games and it is a pleasure to handle tiles or cards of these games because of that. He makes you almost forget the quality of the game and you’d buy them just for the pleasure of having and see his illustrations.
*(people from Rouen a town in Normandy, France)
Among his finest illustrations of games there are hits such as Seasons, Tavula, The Phantom Society and the superb Tokaido. Most recently he illustrated Shinobi Wat-AAH!. Naiad has also worked for Ankama where he did some illustrations for the world of Wakfu, which are also very nice to see.
I must also say that he is a quiet person in public but it is a pleasure to meet him in a Game event for one of his autograph. You have to see the line of people waiting their turn for that. I love mine of Tokaido made with a 4 colors pen!
So here without waiting 7 questions Naïade.
1 – How old were you when you played your first board game and what was it ?
“I do not have a clue! I remember Space Crusade and Hippofolies were the first games I owned.”
2 – Why and how did you decided to illustrate games ?
“I wanted to illustrate games when I discovered Mathieu Leyssenne (ANI) works, I found his illustrations magnificent and I wanted to follow his footsteps.
In 2009 Funforge contacted me to illustrate Isla Dorada, the adventure begin there for me.”
3 – What are your 3 favorite games company and why ?
« –Bang! (Wanted) because you have to hit each over all the time and I like its Far west atmosphere.
–Jamaica because I think it is the most beautiful existing game, the edition of the game is just perfect, the rules are simple and friendly as well.
–Quantum, because I found the same feeling as when I play video games, it is dynamic, violent, strategic and fun … «
4 – For you what is the best combination to illustrate a successful game ?
« A good editor, a good writer and a good illustrator who work well together.
Games like Jamaica, Get bit!, Quantum, Desperados of dice town are the perfect example, they all perfectly interwoven.
The games are fun to play, drawing makes the game enjoyable and allows you to enter the universe and the edition harmonizes everything.
In my view the « product » is missed when the illustrations seem to have been stuck on the rules and just put in a box.
A good movie makes you forget you’re in a movie theater to immerse yourself in an interstellar war, an oppressive bayou, a gloomy prison or a magical middle earth … A board game should do the same, If players feel in the shoes of a cowboy and come to forget that they are in fact playing the rules, the bet is won, the game is successful. «
5 – How do to illustrate a game ?
« I document myself a lot about the universe offers me by the editor (feudal japan, reign of Henry the 4th, tropical vegetation ….) and I try to best comply with the demands of the publisher.
My work MUST be in harmony with the author’s rules. «
6 – What advice would you give to someone wishing to illustrate a game ?
« Do your best to make the players dream! »
7 – Could you give us some information on your next project ?
« It’s about magicians and monsters who escape from a magical ‘grimoire’ ..! »
Thank you Naïade for answering the 7 questions. We will continue to follow your work with pleasure and for more information, please follow this link: http://naiiiade.blogspot.fr/