There is no denying that art is a critical part of any Trading Card Game. Though I just ask you that take a minute to think about how important it is.
For someone who doesn’t know how to play your game the art is the first think they will be drawn to on a card. Even for people who do know how to play it is likely they will look at a cards art before anything else. The art on a card is the cards first impression.
This has a few major impacts on your game. First compelling art, will help draw people in. Second good art will help the collectability of your game. Finally it will give your game a little more playablity as people will enjoy looking at the cards more.
All of these impacts of art not only make your game better, it makes players happier as well. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding how to go about your art.
Different Artists have different styles of art. This means for some games like Yu-gi-oh! and Cogs of War having the whole game in one style creates a sense of unity and cohesion.
While for other games like Magic: The Gathering and Broken Blades it allows for cards to be illustrated by artist who’s style complements the card itself.
Both of these paths have a strengths and weaknesses and are probably the two extreme options, you can also find a middle ground that works best for you.
Commissioning or Creating
The choice to create your own art work or Commissioning it can be a tough choice to make.
Creating your own art is much cheaper than commissioning it. Though it takes a lot more time and energy on your part. This is not saying it’s the wrong option, Sinfinite creator of Cogs of War manages this well as he is the lone artist and designer for his game.
Commissioning each piece of art can be costly. It takes less effort and time from you, the designer of your game though. If you choose to do this option I strongly recommend looking for artists on sites such as Fiverr, Deviantart, Instagram, or Artstation. Though sometimes it is cheaper to contact the artist directly, as some sites may charge them or you a fee.
Choosing a Artist
If you choose to commission an artist for your cards there is one major thing to consider. Based on the style of art they provide as samples, you need to decide if this art depicts the kind of emotion you want your card to carry.
Matching an artist’s style and the mechanics of a card can provide a level of psychological connection that can really help people fall in love with your game.
The art of your game can be more than just pretty art. It can be someones gateway into the world and story you are trying to tell. Making the right decisions with your games art can help you as a creator reach more people. More Importantly, it can help those who play your game enjoy every second of it more.