In celebration of the release of The Warden's Legacy, Brick Cave Media took some time to interview illustrator Henning Ludvigsen, the book's Cover Artist.
This interview is part 1 of 2 and you can read Part II Here.
BC: Henning, tell us a little about you, the person.
Henning: I’m a norwegian illustrator and game developer. I’ve labeled myself a “professional geek”, which I feel is a pretty accurate description. I’ve done computer art since the late 1980’s, I’m an Art Director/Partner in a computer game studio, and I’m also doing art for a wide range of board game studios as a freelancer. I build retro arcade machines in my workshop and I collect retro consoles and computers, and pretty much everything I do has some relation to something super nerdy. I’m an extremely nostalgic person, and I really love anything 80’s.
BC: The Warden’s Legacy isn’t the first work you have done with Joe, talk about how you met and some of the other work you have done with him.
Henning: I have indeed made quite a few cover and interior illustrations for Joe throughout the years. Joe was in fact one of my first freelance clients back in the old days when I started out doing freelance work on the side of my fulltime job, and I’ve truly enjoyed working with him ever since. This must have been back in the early 2000’s. I don’t recall exactly how we got in touch, but it must have been through some online fantasy art communities from that era that I kept spamming with my doodles, or through my personal site. I really appreciate him returning to me for my work for this long. Joe is great!
BC: Pop culture fanatics have probably seen your art all over the place, and never knew it. Talk about some of the projects you have done over the years.
Henning: I’ve done a lot of board game projects throughout the years. I’ve lost count, but it’s at least over 250 projects by now. I’ve done quite a few variations of Monopoly and Clue for Hasbro. If you’ve seen all the controversy in the media regarding “Monopoly for millennials” or “Ms Monopoly” which had several billion impressions worldwide on launch day, I was the one doing the cover and board art for those games. I love working on IP’s that I know and I’m a fan of, and I’ve made games for: Disney, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer 40K, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Big Trouble in Little China, Night of the Living Dead, Rambo, Ghostbusters, Battlestar Galactica, Tomb Raider, and many more.
Henning: Joe put together a very handy brief for me, with an excerpt from the book containing some descriptions of the character. I do remember still managing to misunderstand some of it, and went a bit in the wrong direction, so I had to give it a couple of passes to get it to the final version.
That was all on me, of course, and with Joe being the most patient person in the world guided me back in the right direction.
BC: For authors that are looking for an artist, what advice would you give them on how to help the artist create the best cover for a book?
Henning: This is very individual from artist to artist, but I would assume that many artists have a busy schedule. So while some artists probably have time to sit down and perhaps even read the entire, or parts of the books, having a short and concise brief containing all the concrete information needed to fully understand the visual aspects that the authors are imagining is key. Time is always my main factor, and I don’t really consider myself an “artist” in the sense of the word. I consider myself an “illustrator” and my job is to illustrate what the client is imagining and expecting, and I try to be efficient and as quick as possible.