Friday, June 13, 2008


Hello Dear Reader!

In this special BONUS edition of Red Earth Game Reviews, I am pleased to welcome the artist BETH TROTT!

In addition to a couple of prints and some excellent stickers, I have a couple of card games which proudly feature the fabulous stylings of Beth and I wanted to show you all a bit more about the woman behind the art!

REGR: Hi there Beth and thank you for sitting down with us today to discuss yourself !!

BETH: You’re very welcome! I always love talking with other gamers and fantasy art fans.

REGR: Excellent! Now why don't you tell the good readers a little bit about yourself, both professionally and otherwise!

BETH: Well, we’ll start with the professional side of things. Despite the fact that I studied Fine Art and Art History for four years at George Washington University, when I got out of school in 1999 I opened a game store in Maryland. See the connection? Yeah, it doesn’t make a ton of sense but it’s how things worked out. The game store did really well and after about two years things settled down enough that I could break out my paints for fun. I started painting a lot of fantasy material (this probably had a little something to do with being in a game store all day, everyday) and eventually had enough images to build a portfolio.

I approached Alderac Entertainment Group and ended up getting some work on the Legend of the Five Rings and Warlord CCGs. That’s kind of where it all started.

I got more jobs with other companies and things just kept growing. In 2004 I had to make a choice because I had so much illustration work coming in and I was still a small business owner. There are only so many hours in a day so I decided to sell my share of the store to my business partner and I became a full time freelance artist. It wasn’t a hard choice for me to make but having said that, owning and operating a game store was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. The store is still run by my former business partner and his wife and it thrives to this day!

As for me personally… well it isn’t very interesting, frankly. I was born and raised in rural Maryland then I made my great escape to the big city when I went to school in Washington DC. In the end I think I’m a city girl, but now and then when I go to visit my parents I can appreciate the calm and quite of “the sticks”.

REGR: Impressive! But as much study wearies the must have made time for fun too. What got you involved with board/card games, and what got you mixing art and games?

BETH: *laughs* It was the new dice bag smell. Who can resist that? Well, I was definitely an artist first. Growing up I always like to draw cartoons and fantasy creatures so the love of the genre was always in me. My formal study was more in Fine Art (figure drawing, color theory and the like), which I think has benefited me a lot in my illustrations. I guess I really started getting into gaming pretty hardcore when I was finishing up with college, so I moved rather naturally into an art career that was associated with gaming.

REGR: Are you a Mighty Master of Miniatures? Or an all-powerful genie of rpg's? What's your favorite genre of gaming?

BETH: I have no strategic mind for miniature games but I LOVE to paint those little suckers. But anyways, to your question, I’d say that I’ve been through many gamer stages. When I originally got into gaming it was largely role-playing and then I went through a hardcore CCG phase with the WWE card game.

REGR: WWE? The World Wrestling Entertainment collectible card game?

BETH: I’m not sure I should admit my undying love of the WWE card game but the system in the beginning was just fantastic. It was fast, it was fun and it had folding chairs!!!! I also had a highly addictive two year run on World of Warcraft (female tauren warrior *rawr*) but I have to admit those games are almost unsustainable. I really loved the visual aspect as well as the social interaction but you never realize how much time those games eat up until you stop playing them. I’d say over the past year I have settled comfortably into the life of a board gamer and non collectible card gamer. Now for me a good night of gaming involves a board game, a couple friends and a few hours to kill.

REGR: I first met you at a gaming convention in Columbus, Ohio called ORIGINS, was that your first convention as an artist or have you been trudging about for years?

BETH: I have been doing gaming conventions for a long while now. Originally I attended conventions as a retailer representing my game store, but after becoming a fantasy artist full time I’ve been participating in the art shows.

REGR: What's your favorite award? I know you've won several....
BETH: I think I’d have to say the award I am most proud of is my 2nd place in the Gen Con Art Show. There are so many talented artists in our industry who attend Gen Con and display their work in the show. I admire them for their skill as well as their professionalism and to receive ANY award in that crowd is something I’m extremely proud of.
REGR: Ok, for the game creators out there, what do YOU as the artist, find the most challenging when creating art for a game?

BETH: There are so many styles and looks already established in the gaming industry that for me the greatest challenge is coming up with something that really stands out and looks unique. When a product is so highly dependent on the art for it’s exposure and customers have shelf after shelf of product to scan, you need the art to “pop”. Part of me believes my medium already stands out next to most other art in my industry since so few fantasy illustrators paint with watercolor. Still, I always struggle to make the characters, creatures and settings very visually stimulating.

REGR: The games I have featuring your art, Mimic and En Garde!, Each has its own style and feel, and I know you make excellent water color prints, Is that your exclusive medium or do you branch out into others when the need/demand arises?

BETH: Watercolor is certainly my medium of choice although in both of those games you mentioned I used other mediums as well! In Mimic the cards themselves are all digitally rendered and in En Garde!, the cards are all pencil drawings (with a color filter to give the sepia effect). So right there, you see I have to be flexible. Still, when it comes to watercolor it’s the medium I have the most experience with and in a world of deadlines it’s the one I’m most efficient with as well.

REGR: For aspiring game artists and creators, what's your best piece of information you could impart to them? Are there any big DON'T's as well as DO's??

BETH: Well, even though I’m not sure I qualify for giving advice to game creators, or anyone for that matter, I will say that games like Mimic and En Garde! appealed to me because the system itself was solid. I think you have to have a good game before you can tackle the art.

For aspiring artists I’d say one of the most important parts of being a freelance artist in a publishing industry is professionalism. You have to be prepared to meet deadlines and manage your time, which is easier said then done, trust me.
Also for artists (and this can be a hard one to stomach) you must always be able to listen to and gain knowledge from constructive criticism. Sometimes it can sting when an Art Director, potential client, or another artist reviewing your work tells you want they think your weaknesses are and what you should work on. It’s so important to set the emotions aside and really listen to and evaluate critiques so you can continue to improve your work!

REGR: What's the single best way to contact you for professional matters and/or quotes on work?

BETH: I would suggest email above all else. Anyone interested in contacting me can reach me at or via my website at

REGR: Any plans for the future you'd like the good Readers to watch for?

BETH: Well, speaking of the website, it’s getting a much needed overhaul. The website is being completely revamped and should be going live within the next few weeks! Not only will it feature a ton of new images, but I’m also adding a gallery featuring some of my side projects, including more serious work and some independent concept work. I’m always trying to keep myself busy between deadlines so now I’ll finally get to show off some of those projects. I’d just ask that the viewers have patience with me as I’ve designed it myself and it’ll probably take some time to work out all the kinks.
REGR: Ok, I'll ask you my favorite standard question. You're stranded on a desert island and all the rum is gone.....what three games would help you keep a hold of your sanity til you can find some sea turtles?
BETH: The rum is gone?!? *long pause* I guess that rules out any drinking games. OK, let me think about this one.
I would take as my first choice, and I apologize if this sounds pretentious, but I’d take “Go”. I’m not any good at the game but I really love playing it. Also I’m pretty sure I could play the game every day for the rest of my life and never completely figure it out.

I’d bring a deck of cards. So many games in one little box, it’s almost cheating!
Can I swap out my third game for another person? Games are way more fun to play with another human being.

REGR: Sorry no other humans.... but we will allow a monkey named Jack! -laughs out loud-
Beth, On behalf of everyone involved with the Red Earth Game Reviews, I want to thank you for your time and energy and let you know how much we appreciate your kindness and professionalism! May good fortune favor you wherever you roam and know that you're held in high esteem by the people of Red Earth Gaming!
BETH: Thanks so much for speaking with me. I really appreciate your support and interest in my work! Hopefully I’ll keep cranking out fantasy art that keeps your readers interested.

REGR: I know more than a few people with my taste in fantasy art...and we could all use a Garden Gnome T shirt! ( trust me folks its an awesome print! )
Well everyone, that's it for this particular bonus episode of Red Earth Game Reviews! I hope you're all well and be sure to watch for upcoming interviews and reviews!

Handy links ~ ~ Origins Convention

ABOUT ME: I'm a Gamer, Game Designer, and above all, a good guy who loves sharing games with people! if you have any questions, write me at

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