Exiled News

Tabletop, Board Game, and Video Game News

Spotlight: Jonny Hodgson Illustrator

You can’t go more than a few books in the RPG industry without finding some amazing art, it’s true, these days many of the books have production values that various companies can only aspire to. I remember being blown away by the art in Cubicle 7’s previous edition of The One Ring RPG and this turned my attention to the work of Jonny Hodgson. An Illustrator (who resides in Scotland) and trained fine artist, who captured Tolkien’s world in such stunning detail that I thought it would be only fair to shine a spotlight on the art itself, and speak a little of what I know of the man behind it.

I don’t know Jon personally, and I wish I did, but I have met him in passing briefly as he was once at the Cubicle 7 stand at UK Games Expo. I’d come a long way, and I really wanted that copy of the One Ring at the time (I still treasure it) – Jon was talking to another RPG designer at the time, about Lone Wolf, and I really just drank the atmosphere in.

Joe Dever was there too, and the three looked like old friends.

It was Jon’s art that totally drew me in, I was blown away by the sheer quality of this stuff, and definitely Jon’s unique painterly style. I picked up that set there and then, my wallet thanked me (sort of).

The One Ring Cubicle 7 illustration: J. Hodgson (Elf Warden)

Jonny has since left Cubicle 7 and moved on to other things, including his own company Handiwork Games – there’s a new edition of the One Ring RPG by the original designer/writer but I will always have a soft spot for the art which brought the first to life.

The One Ring Cubicle 7 illustration: J. Hodgson (Wildman Wanderer)

Jonny’s career has spanned art direction, production management, set building, prop making, graphic design, story boarding, historical illustrations, card game art, board game art, novel covers, computer games cut-scene art, educational illustration, video editing, and role-playing game art.

He’s done a lot!

He’s written a beginners art book, as well as writing for numerous role-playing game titles such as the intro scenario for ‘Eaves of Mirkwood’ (Adventures in Middle-earth)… seriously just go read Jon’s about page here!

In Jon’s own words.

I use an Apple iMac, iPad Pro, Adobe CC, Procreate, ArtRage and a battered but friendly Wacom Intuos 4. As well as pencils and paper, and very occasionally actual real paint.

I also make monthly gaming maps, writing, videos and art on Patreon.

I helped my son bring his game The Forest Dragon to market via Kickstarter. It subsequently won 2 awards. The follow up, Bang & Twang has proved very popular, also winning a regional award for best card game.

J.Hodgson about page

So next time you flip through a Glorantha RPG, or any book and you think you spot that painterly style, chances are when you check out those credits – it’s going to be the work of Jonny Hodgson you see on those glorious pages.

I personally can’t wait to see what other projects Jon has planned, so, all the best Jon!

The One Ring Cubicle 7 illustration: J. Hodgson (Smaug)