List of illustrators
Here is a list of illustrators of Dominion cards and box covers. See Gallery of illustrations for the original art, all on one page.
 Art descriptions
Some Intrigue cards showed the wrong things. The original art for Pawn for example ended up on Goons. Steward showed a guy with a serving tray. So, after that, I typed up terse descriptions of what the card flavor was - a little for them to go on.
Guilds has mostly art by female artists. It still has mostly male characters though. For Adventures I started also specifying male/female on appropriate cards. For Empires I went further because I knew that "a crowd of people" would easily become "a crowd of only men." In fact there's an example in Empires of "a crowd of people including both men and women" drawn with all men anyway.
Wild Hunt is a European folklore thing - not so Roman but in the set anyway. I didn't go into that in the artist notes though.
Wild Hunt: A group of ghostly hunters, on horses and with hounds, in the sky, chasing prey.
The longest one for Empires is Enchantress.
Enchantress: A character like Circe in Homer's Odyssey; an enchantress who has apparently turned someone into a pig (but not shown doing magic).
And a few are very short.Conquest: Visigoths attacking Rome.
Treasures often say "no people" because some of the Prosperity ones showed people and I didn't like that as much. A few times I've pointed out things not to do like "no New World crops" or "no gore." Sometimes I've noted the frame color or that something is an attack; I stopped doing that eventually but probably should have kept it up. In rare cases there has been something special to communicate, like the Ruins being ruined versions of things, or the Hermit/Madman connection.There is an opening paragraph that probably they all get, that notes that the game is medieval, and says the expansion theme. It says that buildings can be shown from inside or outside, that people can be non-European. I used to say could be male or female, then I added, we don't get many females and would like more. Even female artists mostly drew men. For Adventures I just specified male or female on all of the cards that were a person. There will be some women in this art.
At first it just all happened and I saw the results. These days I get to see a lot of sketches though not all of them. I can say, "that isn't what I meant." Sometimes you can miss stuff from the sketch, and be sad later. Some artists are generous and will offer up more than one sketch to let you pick from. There is a chance to ask for changes in a final piece, but it's harder, especially if the change you want is "something completely different please."
For most sets Jay assigned art to whatever artists. For Nocturne I got to do initial assignments of art to artists (then if they couldn't do it, Jay reassigned the art, to whoever was extra available). I cut a few artists I didn't like, and tried to pair up artists with pieces I thought they'd do well on. I brought up a few artists who hadn't worked for us in a while, and a couple of them were available. Jay brought in a few new people to try them out.Overall it did not work out perfectly, but uh, not for lack of trying.
The artist notes usually make no mention of race. Four expansions have themes that push race and so some cards specify. Empires is Roman and a lot of cards specify Romans, a few Gauls or Celts (e.g. Dominate); Nocturne has a Celtic mythology theme, so Druid and Exorcist are specified Celtic; Renaissance has some specific Italian things, e.g. Patron says to show Lorenzo de' Medici, Priest says Roman Catholic, Recruiter says condottieri (Italian mercenaries); Hinterlands specifically has non-European places, so the titles imply race for a few cards - Mandarin, Nomad Camp - though the artist notes don't specify. And then, a few cards illustrate specific real-life people connected to Dominion somehow, and so are that race - 10 people I know for the Knights, Dale Yu on Navigator, Valerie Putman on Harem, Wei-Hwa Huang on Pearl Diver, RTT on Captain. Beyond that I think there's only one card where I specified race: for Diplomat, I specified Spanish, trying to think of what would be most plausible for a female medieval diplomat.
That was a bunch really but still for most cards there is no specification, it's just whatever the artist drew.I've floated the idea of doing a medieval Japan expansion. And someone immediately said, oh but you have to get a Japanese person to make sure that everything is respectful. And then other people chimed in to say, yes absolutely, so important. I can't stop the artist from turning in the art for Mandarin though. The only way to make sure there's no horrendously offensive Japanese stuff is to not do Japan. I've also floated the idea of a Vikings expansion; there is no such issue there. That's the sad way of the world. Which hasn't just ruled out Japan, but you know. Last time out I went with animals; maximally inoffensive. No-one minds which breed of dog it is.
I deliver card texts to Jay. These days I also deliver artist notes, and assign most of the art to specific artists (but some go to new artists Jay picks, and some work is reassigned because the artist is busy). Jay does the card layout, which I endlessly proofread; I also give him a rulebook and he does that layout and that gets proofread. The artists submit sketches, which usually I see, and if we approve them the artist submits artwork. This can take a while.
Originally there were no artist notes, but we'd get e.g. the art for Goons turned in for Pawn. Then there were artist notes. Then we added gender because the art almost always showed men. You have to go above 50% female to hope to get 50%, because artists will randomly add people to non-person cards, and oops make them men. For Plunder I also specified race (or rather, some specifed race, and the assumption that the rest would get turned in as white turned out to be accurate).
The time is just how long it takes, however long that is. I turn in the set when it's all but ready; we then expect the set to come out at a particular time based on how long the art and printing and shipping will take, then sadly find out that shipping took longer and the set is delayed.
Many games have a single artist, who I think typically also does the layout; we have lots of artists, which does speed things up.The artists have no particular incentive to leak things - starting with, they aren't likely to know anyone who would care. And all they have is a card name and the artist notes anyway. A few times an artist has put an image out on their website in advance, and it's been fine.
 Artwork inspiring cards
The art for Storeroom was submitted for Vault. I think there the artist offered multiple directions. The art sat around for a while, waiting for a card.
The art for Bazaar was submitted for Market; there there were just accidentally two people doing the art. I had a card called Bazaar in Seaside and said, we can use that art there.
City was called Boomtown until art was being made. I said "make sure it's not Wild-West-y" and Jay was all, uh maybe we should change that name. Then he used the same art for City and for a Carcassonne product.
Names for Alchemy were locked in before the cards were done. Alchemist and Golem were new cards trying to fit the names of outtakes; then Scrying Pool got an attack because it was the most attack-like sounding name other than Golem which I didn't want to change when that time came.Governor has cropped art from an edition of Puerto Rico, and was designed to relate to Puerto Rico.
- ↑ Prior to Allies, Alayna Danner was credited as Alayna Lemmer
- ↑ The Ambassador art was mistakenly credited to Alexander Jung.
- ↑ Claus Stephan is sometimes credited as "Claus Stefan" or "Claus Stephen".
- ↑ Garret DeChellis was mistakenly credited as "Garrett" for Dark Ages.
- ↑ Prior to Empires, Jessi J was credited as "Jessica Cox".
- ↑ Since the Second Editions of Dominion and Intrigue and prior to Nocturne, Marcel-André Casasola Merkle's last name is mistakenly hyphenated.
- ↑ Prior to Plunder Marco Primo was credited as "Marco Morte"
- ↑ Prior to Alchemy, Simon Jannerland was credited as Simon Samuelsson.