Making My Game (Part 4: The Artist)

Welcome back! In the last post, I talked about the process in which I formed Pet Alligator Games. Today, I’d like to share the artist I hired to create the illustrations for Dog Swap. I’ve been in contact with him for a little over a month and I’m extremely excited to put some real art into my game.

Hiring an artist for your game (or whatever product) can be pretty tricky. You want to find someone who offers fair rates (yes, you must pay your artist!) and quality products. Some good places to search are,, and on Board Game Geek. There are tons of freelance artists on those sites who do all kinds of styles and sizes. Send them a quick message briefing them on your project, pay range and what kind of art you’re looking for.

But, an artist is different than a graphic designer. The artist will create the illustrations and the graphic designer will arrange the elements for your cards, box cover, rule book, and create logos if necessary. I was lucky enough to find someone who does both!

Meet Nick Avallone – he’s worked on many board and card games so he knows the market, how to communicate with the manufacturer, and is extremely communicative and insightful. At the bottom of this page is a link to his blog where you can browse through his gallery. Here is one of my favorite’s of his. giantawakens2_final

So once you have an artist, now what? There is no need to commission all your work right away! I asked Nick for one card illustration. We talked about what style he would draw in, and any other ideas I had for the piece. I commissioned a Great Dane and here was the result. greatdane_minicardprint

I absolutely love it. I wanted a simple cartoonish (yet still anatomically correct) look for the dog. The graphic design for the card is just a mock-up, something he threw together and not the final design. For Dog Swap, I need eight dog illustrations (eight breeds), so I will be commissioning the next dog soon. I’ve also asked Nick to start working on a logo for Pet Alligator Games and I hope to have something soon to share.

Have a great weekend! What do you think of the Great Dane?

Nick’s blog:



2 thoughts on “Making My Game (Part 4: The Artist)

  1. I’m curious as to how you choose this Artist. Not because his work is not fabulous, it really is. But the types of drawings he shows seem to be quite different to what you are looking for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mel!
      There were many factors that led me to choose Nick.

      1. His art is obviously amazing.
      2. His prices are fair.
      2. I messaged roughly a dozen great artists I found from a few different sites. Half never responded back. A few said they were too busy and couldn’t take up a project of this size. Between Nick and two other artists, Nick was way quicker to respond to my emails and questions. He responded within a day, the other two took 3-4 days to respond. Also, Nick has experience sending art to the printer in the correct format.
      4. ALSO, Nick does the graphic design (card and box arrangement, logos, icons, etc.) as well as the art. Which saves me the hassle of finding a designer and facilitating communication between the three of us.

      I think I wasn’t looking as much into the content of his previous work and more into his communication and experience.


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