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People often ask how I got to the point I’m at with my maps and drawings. The answer is almost always “practice”. But I often forget to mention what got me started.

Well, really, who got me started.

While I initially blame my first D&D crew and thus Gygax and Arneson, the reality is that one particular game author changed how I looked at drawing and made me start doing it even though I was horribly uncomfortable with the unskilled quality of my work.

Jonathan Tweet is the man to blame / credit. In 1992 Atlas Games published Over the Edge which was EXACTLY the game I wanted to play at that point in my life. And there was a rule in the game that you HAD TO DRAW YOUR CHARACTER.

It made a HUGE difference.

That connection, even to a crappy illustration, was big. It did engage different parts of my brain. It did make my character better. And that made the game better. And I transported it to other games. And I kept drawing things that would help connect me to these games. And all that drawing made me improve in my drawing skills and made my games better.

And that’s where this all began.

I still feel the most important part of a character sheet is the illustration box.