Meet Rebecca McConnell, equal parts artist & game enthusiast.
And although she is not the type to flip a table when she loses, she definitely is not the player that plays for just the heck of it. And! she brings this same enthusiasm to her artwork. She's the ambitious type, the type to decide to do something and get it done. Take a look at her website here to gather a taste for her illustrations and design work.
It shouldn't have surprised Rebecca that she would eventually use her illustration skills to help realize indie board games into existence, what with all this fervor for gaming. After graduation from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, she embarked on the scary path of a freelancing artist. Rebecca was worried that she would not be able to make a living as an artist, but she has used her transmutative artistic skills to make ends meet. Included in her many freelance projects, she eventually started illustrating for cards, board games, and mobile apps.
Rebecca has made these unlikeliest of connections at a regularly held event call Protospiel. Protospiel is a place where game developers can truly test out how their game is played and received by equally enthuastic game players and developers. These events take place as far as Australia and as close as Milwaukee and Madison. The Protospiel events started in 2001 by game designers Stephen Glenn, Dominic Crapuchettes, and Mike Petty. And the website describes Protospiel as "an annual get-together of amateur and established game designers to test and promote nearly-finished game prototypes. The atmosphere is casual, yet everyone is serious about their goals and dreams of publishing games."
Rebecca has been working on the design and illustrations for a new board game called "Zomburbs" for about a year and a half now. And, the developers have launched a Kickstarter to help crowdfund the mass production of the game. You can find the Kickstarter page here. The game Zomburbs asks its players to build walls and buildings to hold off the hordes of zombies coming their way. McConnell notes that this project is at the top of her highlight reel, and we can imagine why as it's described as a card game where alliances will be forged and broken, and you are rewarded by helping your foes. Intriguing!
But how did Rebecca get to this point? As a child she spent hours exploring her video games' worlds and especially enjoyed CD-ROM games on her computer. With this base of game and visual narrative experience, she hopped from high school - where she learned the basics and took a "bootcamp" of graphic design courses - to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. There she graduated with a degree in Illustration and Communication Design wherein she developed her unique style. Rebecca describes her aesthetic as humorous while retaining classical artistic integrity. She makes use of color in melodic and sometimes surprising ways. And her subjects have an otherworldly quality that makes their viewers chuckle.
Take a look here. And here. And here. There's an inherent goofyness to it, despite the excellent and elegant mark making and composition. The Art Shore can't wait to see more of what she makes, and we hope someday to play her games in person.
Help support Rebecca McConnell's work by donating to the Zomburb's Kickstarter, and make sure to visit her website www.RebeccaMcConnell.com to stay updated on the fun, new projects she continues to develop.