Feature article on designer and illustrator Royce Banuelos and his Inktober journey with the board game,  Codenames.

With the another October come and gone, we not only say goodbye to ghouls and goblins and Party City commercials, but also another Inktober. Originally started by illustrator Jake Parker (creator and artist of the Missle Mouse graphic novels) back in 2009, Inktober is an event that encourages artists and illustrators to draw something every single day in the month of October.  31 days, 31 pieces of art. Mr. Parker has even put online a word prompt chart, giving artists a word a day to help those who might need a little push getting their creative juices flowing.


codenamesEnter St. Louis’ Royce Banuelos, designer of the football themed card drafting game, Pigskin. Instead of using this year’s prompt, he decided to mix his love of drawing and board games, by using the game Codenames to decide what he would draw. Looking for “a fun exercise in creativity,”  Royce would choose three words cards from Codenames “to just add enough randomness to challenge an interesting picture,” and used those cards to dictate the perimeters of what he would draw. Words were in fact chosen at random though Royce admits he did try to weed out any repeats, and may have missed some along the way. So when one is challenged to make a single illustration from the combination of the words “ninja”, “horse,” and “satellite” what is a possible outcome? Well see for yourself:


In helping me prepare for this article, Royce shared that his favorite picture he did for this year’s Inktober was:


However, was quick to identify that this was “pretty fun too!”


As to which was the toughest one to do? Royce pointed to this piece, commenting  that “the words were so boring.”


Royce Banuelos

While Royce’s twitter account (@RoarArtGames) did show a few pieces of artwork, it was really his personal Facebook page that really shined daily (or almost daily) in the month of October showing off pictures of new sketches with their three Codename words around them. Upon reflecting on his 2016 Inktober quest, Royce mentions that his favorite part of this year’s experience was that he “…enjoyed seeing what cards I would draw and then seeing people’s reactions to it online.” When asked if he will be making this a tradition every Inktober, Royce was hesitant to commit to another Codenames Inktober, as his game collection is always in flux. In spite of this, Royce did point out that Codenames was helpful, because the cards are double-sided which gives him “a few choices to work with.”  Being an article about art, it seems only fitting as we close with a few more pieces Royce Banuelos Inktober 2016 journey. So grab a handful of that discounted after Halloween candy (or perhaps some of your kids Halloween plunder that needs to be checked for “safety reasons”) and enjoy:



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