CREATORS OF AGEMONIA: ILLUSTRATOR TOMASZ JEDRUSZEK
Showcasing some of our talented creators, this time we have a short questionnaire article we did in 2020 with our wonderful illustrator from Poland, Tomasz Jedruszek.
Who are you and what do you do in Agemonia?
I’m Tomasz Jedruszek, and I work with Agemonia as an illustrator. A lot of the illustrations you have seen in the game are my work.
How long have you worked in your current task and what is your professional background?
I‘ve been doing illustrations for Agemonia for over a year already. Items, monsters, characters, heroes, designs, the box cover… a ton of stuff! I love that kind of work, since it’s a bit like playing god; you can create the look of entire worlds from scratch. Of course you get directions, references, and instructions, but similar to Magic: The Gathering, they are more to guide you as an artist. Most work I do is based on my own creativity, which is fun.
Over the last 15 years I’ve worked in doing illustrations to Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu, and many others, but a situation where you get to create almost the entire visual outlook of a game is quite rare, which makes Agemonia so special to me as well.
How did you end up in the Agemonia team?
It came up as an assignment like any other; someone contacted me through social media. When I’m available for work, the next step is talking terms, deadlines, style, budget et cetera… then I just begin my work. This time Jere contacted me on Hangouts, and by the end of the call we agreed to run a few test illustrations. When I heard it will be a game published and done by Finnish creators, it really piqued my interest. I have visited Finland many times and I love the country and people. Call me sentimental if you wish, but I think of Finnish culture very similar to e.g. Japanese; Finns are very precise, respectful, honest, and kind. I’ve always been happy to work with Finnish projects and Finns.
What is your favorite aspect of the game project?
I’ve worked with very many projects before, but in Agemonia it was the characters and heroes. I always try to breathe as much life into them as possible, make them believable; not just for the players who will be playing them, but to create a game that is a truly living environment. With Agemonia there were also the cool monsters and locations to create, to boot. Game items, usually a chore for me, were actually very fun to design in Agemonia too, due to their uniqueness.
How do you think Agemonia stands out in its genre?
I don’t think you need a lot of explaining, if you just look at the project and see it’s something different from most games. Beautiful characters, wonderful miniatures, and a truly original world… I think this will be tons of fun from the first unboxing until the conclusion of the campaign.
Are you a game enthusiast yourself?
Yes, definitely. As a child board games were still quite scarce in Poland, maybe 10 titles altogether for the entire 80’s, so I ended up designing my own games. An F1 racing game, a 303 Battle of Britain simulation… my own system.
What are your favorite games?
that is going to surprise you I guess; my favorites are Stratego, Citadels, Pirate’s Cove, Game of Thrones, and just plain old Chess! I like Stratego I’ve been playing for years, also online. Trying new strategies and tricks; the like. Chess is still my favorite, and I’m working on to create a chess set with figurines of my own creation. Maybe I’ll keep it as it is or create a completely custom version! With my kids I like to play Bolids, Ticket to Ride and Talisman. There’s also a game published in Poland called Transit, where you play a lorry driver, and you can smuggle toxic waste. It’s good light fun.
What are you working on right now in Agemonia?
I’m finishing Agemonia right now. There is another set of items to create, some adjustments to the cover still to go over. The COVID-19 pandemic turned everything upside down, for me too. At the beginning the situation wasn’t so scary when they announced the lockdown in Poland in March. I was finishing the first drafts of the Agemonia cover then and was kept pretty busy. Then I realized that I am soon finishing a project and I haven’t heard from new clients for two months. For the previous 15 years my work as an illustrator have been pretty safe and sound; no wars, economic problems, or anything else to affect the gaming industry… until the pandemic.
Suddenly everything changed, and while people may stay home and play games despite the pandemic, they still need gainful employment to keep spending in the industry to keep it going. All projects, even MTG stopped for a while, and all of a sudden my future as an artist was in peril.
Luckily, things started to get better after April, and I started getting contacts from my clients again. I agreed with most commissions with a fresh memory of how empty April was, and now I’m once again buried in tons of work. At the time of this interview I’m finishing something for Magic: The Gathering, then finishing illustrations for Agemonia, then starting some new projects during the summer, with everything under control. COVID-19 sure sucks though, for all of us. ><
Thanks for the interview and have a lovely summer and fall!
-Ville-Eemeli Miettinen, Digital Marketing Goblin