For the past month, we've been highlighting some of the amazing women that work with Renegade as part of International Women's Month. While there are still many more behind the scenes ladies on our crew, it's been wonderful to spotlight a few of them.
Today, we had a chance to chat with the incredible, Beth Sobel! She is working on a super secret project with Renegade right now! (Keep reading for a sneak peek!)
Beth, welcome to the International Women's Day Spotlight! For those reading who don't know you yet, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Beth, and I live in Bellingham, Washington, with my wonderful husband and two moderately well-behaved cats. I would describe them as well behaved were it not for their unfortunate love of staring us in the eyes while slowly pushing board game components off the table. We love board gaming despite our cats, and have two weekly events we attend.
Despite your cats' best efforts, it sounds like you really love games! Beyond playing them, how are you involved with games in this industry and how did you get there?
I’m a board game illustrator. I’ve been fortunate to work on projects such as Lanterns and World’s Fair 1893, Herbaceous, Coldwater Crown, Viticulture and Tuscany, and many more. I started my board game career through a recommendation from a friend for whom I did some illustration work, and it’s been a wonderful experience. Prior to my first board game illustration job, I hadn’t played a hobby game besides Catan, so the illustration is also how I got into board gaming as a hobby.
It sounds like you're a full fledged gamer now! What are your favorite games?
Oh, this is always a difficult question. My first inclination is to list every game I like, which would be a very, very long list. Excluding anything I’ve worked on, some current favorites are Concordia, World Without End, Honshu, Archaeology, Orleans, and Gold West.
Those are some great games, but I can see how it would be hard to exclude ones you have worked on! It's a long list! Looking back at your career, what surprises you the most?
Oh, definitely that I have this career at all! I went to graduate school for painting but didn’t end up doing much with it because I’m really very shy about discussing my work in person, which made gallery shows impractical.
Illustration ended up being a great fit for me. It offers the lack of many discussions of things I’ve painted, which I appreciate, and I really love working towards assignments, which is also a core part of illustration.
While gaming is important, we all have other things we like to do to keep ourselves sane. What do you do outside of gaming?
I really love living in the Pacific Northwest, and try to spend time outside when possible. The landscape here is stunning. While Bellingham is on the coast, we have mountains a short drive away, including a nearly 11,000 foot volcano!
Unsurprisingly, I also spend a good amount of time drawing, as I’m always trying to improve my abilities and learn new things.
Washington is incredibly beautiful. It's no wonder that your art often has a serene majestic look to it. Beyond being beautiful, it's also clear that you value diversity in your work. What or who inspires you to be so conscious of variety in your art?
Mainly, it doesn’t make sense to me for board games to not reflect the world in which I live. Seeing the same faces over and over again in a game for no specific reason feels boring, and can make a game difficult for me to relate to. With the enormous wealth of diversity that the real world provides, why not include that in game art?
Thank you so much for your inspirational words and for sharing your art with us. We are incredibly greatful for everything you've contributed to this industry. We look forward to seeing more from your upcoming projects!