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Artist Diary: When Two Passions Collide

Katia Howatson
Canada
Elora
Ontario
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From gallery of Khowatson
I have always loved board games, and I have always been drawn to art. (Get it? "Drawn" to art? Okay, yes, that was a bad pun. Keep reading, please.) However, I never would have thought that both of those passions would merge in the way they have to bring me here today.

I have fond memories of my mom and I coloring at the table when I was young. She has always been 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.

From gallery of Khowatson

As for my passion 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 said, I started combining those two passions into board game art only thanks to COVID. The tactile feel of assembling my mosaics and mandalas, as well as the color therapy aspect of it, has helped me during the pandemic. I started making and sharing mosaics because I wanted to brighten up people's Facebook feeds with images to balance out the negativity I was seeing about people feeling isolated. We have an amazing hobby in common, and I wanted to create something original and share it with the world.

From gallery of Khowatson

When I started my Instagram account in March 2020, there was no hashtag for board game mosaics or board game mandalas, so I knew that this concept was unique enough to be worth pursuing.

It was heartwarming 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 Board Game Art Creations was born and how the idea of the 2021 Board Game Mosaic Calendar came to life.

From gallery of Khowatson

I ended up launching a Kickstarter campaign to sell calendars, prints, magnets, and coasters with my art as the primary focus. I strive to make mosaics 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. The campaign was a huge success, and I hope this is only the beginning.

I have been doing commission work for a little while now for different boardgame publishers, reviewers, and other boardgame-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.

From gallery of Khowatson

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, you can visit Board Game Art Creations to find all the links to my social media.

Katia Howatson

From gallery of Khowatson

From gallery of Khowatson

From gallery of Khowatson
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Subscribe sub options Thu Nov 5, 2020 1:00 pm
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