Our latest Indieview is with illustrator, Adam ‘A4man’ Foreman, who I’m sure most of you will know was responsible for all the gorgeous art in Beyond Gravity by Qwiboo.
Hello Adam and welcome to the SNAPPZILLA Indieview.
You seem to be one of the busiest illustrators around with some really cool projects under your belt. So what’s new?
Busy indeed! Over the past few months alone I’ve already been fortunate enough to work on some brilliant projects that span a variety of mediums. Just to name a few, I’ve worked on the tabletop game Exposed by Overworld Games, Chain Quest puzzle game for iOS and have designed vinyl figurines for Firaxis Games and Valve. Plus, I’m always busy working on book covers or little one off commissions for clients!
So for those of us who have been living in a cave, what’s A4matic, have you split your personality in two?
Almost! A4matic is a design partnership between myself and model maker Nicola Welbourne, who creates 3D sculpted versions of my character designs. After receiving an influx of client work together we decided to make the collaboration official. Nicola is wonderfully talented and when not busy model making also works as an animator. You may have seen her work on CBBC’s ‘OOglies’. We recently designed and produced the trophies for ‘Jamchester’ the biggest professional game jam in the UK (held in Manchester). We also worked with Value this year to design the Tidehunter character vinyl in our signature style for this year’s Dota2 International.
Not only have you done the art for a number of mobile and desktop games but you recently worked on Exposed, a table top game. How did you get involved with the team and what was the experience like?
I received an email out of the blue just before the Christmas holidays. I often play board games to give my eyes a rest from working on a screen all day and so was aware of Overworld Games from their card game Good Cop Bad Cop. In Exposed when trying to deduce who the thief is, a character tile is ‘exposed’, literally to their underpants. It was really important to the creators that this should be done in a humorous and family friendly manner. They approached me as they felt that my art would help to set the tone for this party game.
This was a very character design heavy commission and with printing deadlines to meet it was intense at times but it was a great project to work on. They were very open to discussing ideas for each character and I ended up contributing to the graphic design, they really made me feel like part of the team. The Overworld Games guys were really humble and lovely to work with.
Your style is very unique and often easy to spot. When did you arrive at this current style and think, yes that’s it, I’m here?
Thanks for saying so, working in the industry as a full-time freelancer has allowed me to develop my style over the years. I feel confident in my strengths and it’s still evolving naturally with each new commission or project. I would say it clicked when working on Beyond Gravity as this was the first time I’d created all the art for a game, animatable characters and assets, backgrounds and promo materials. Working on games can be a long term process (compared to working on a single illustration) as you have to develop an overall style and keep this consist across all areas. This has definitely helped develop my art style as there’s so much involved.
What makes you say yes to a commission?
Good question! If I like the idea and feel that my art is a good fit for the project then I’ll do what I can to make it happen, but it also depends on the timing as I can only take on so much. The first one or two emails I receive from a potential client are crucial.
For games, I always prefer a client to have a working prototype using simple temporary art as it gives me a clearer idea of their vision and I can give them an accurate price quote. I have a genuine passion for my art and I work just as hard at the business side, organising paperwork, maintaining good communication, and having an honest and professional approach. Due to previous experience, if the initial communications from potential clients aren’t professional, I may decline the work. The ‘alarm bells’ ring for things such as, being evasive with pricing, budgets or licensing, undervaluing the price of art, being asked to mimic another artist’s work (why did the other artist leave the project?) and reputation (artists talk to each other).
I have been really fortunate so far and have had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients, big and small.
What food or drink do you have on hand when you’re in the zone trying to meet that deadline?
Nothing very rock and roll, just water. Working full time freelance from home means I don’t have the daily commute to work so I try to avoid snacks during the working day to stay in good health. I do have a weakness for flumps and marshmallows though.
We’re a iOS game review – as you very well know, so what are you currently enjoying?
I’ve found that the iPad has been perfect for digital card/board games, recently I’ve been playing Sentinels of the Multiverse, Tsuro and Elder Sign. I’ve also been on a shoot ’em up kick lately so have been playing Operation Dracula and a few other shmup style games.
I always have at least one Tin Man Games’ choose your own adventure book installed too, currently it’s Appointment With F.E.A.R. I enjoyed the books growing up and it’s been great to see them translated into digital form so well (I’m still waiting for my favourite Fighting Fantasy book ‘Freeway Fighter’ to appear on the app store). The Comixology app is great too and I just re-read the Rocket Raccoon comic by Skottie Young.
Before you go, can you let our readers know what exciting projects you have lined up? Anything… please!?
I wish I could, as always I’m under strict NDAs but will be announcing a new game I’m working on very soon!
Thank you very much for your time.
Your welcome… do I get those marshmallows you promised me now?
Follow Nicola Welbourne for model making goodness.