Interview with

Francesco Botti


Hello Francesco, thank you very much for your time

Hi guys and thank you!

1. Let’s  talking about you, about your past. When is your passion for illustration and graphic design started and how did it evolve?

Surely the passion for illustration has always been present in my life, but he demanded a serious and careful relationship with the arrival of the first card games, Magic the Gathering before anything else, Marvel American comics and video games. old generation. I say seriously because I always demand so much from my work and I am rarely fully satisfied with the result.
At the art school I was able to work with the first Photoshop and in addition to visual communication studies I experimented with digital coloring techniques. I used to do orrible projects, but that allowed me to train heavily my patience and determination, or at least I hope so.
I moved to Milan with the intent to deepen the painting and all its expressive techniques. From here the first collaborations with the professors and the realities of the territory.

Francesco Botti


After completing my studies I started working full-time with various communication agencies in my city, Modena, where I temporarily made small digital design jobs for individuals or companies, and where I continued to dedicate a good part of my free time participating in the drawing and graphics contest.
Very often the final prize was not necessarily the most desirable target, but I was especially interested in learning something from the confrontation / invisible confrontation with other artists.
As far as my daily suggestions are concerned, traces and elements have always been influential that extrapolate from my experience as a player at 360 °: not only video and paper but the attitude with which I live projects.
I like to play and always experiment new ways.

2. You sign your works under a pseudonym: WAN. Why, what does this mean?

It comes from the figure of the German Wanderer, the traveler who is constantly traveling in search of himself: there are many elements that distinguish this figure and in which I recognize myself.
I think well symbolize my identity as an illustrator. In reality it is a name that gave me others, many years ago and I have always found it consistent with my nature.
It seemed like a right signature, a pseudonym in all respects, more than a name as usual.

3.  You recently introduced a board game to the play world, “Piratiles”, created and illustrated entirely by you. How did you get the idea? How did you do it?

“What jumped into your mind?” This is more or less the question I sometimes ask myself, and probably what you meant too. The answer is that for some years now I’ve been trying to enter the world of playful illustration, without great satisfaction, because of closed projects already in progress or agreements not respected completely.
So I thought that doing a project of this kind on my own could be a great way to grow further and tell my professional figure, both as an illustrator and as a creative. The mechanics behind the game are the result of a player and designer background, together with experimentations of all kinds and constant frustrations. Fortunately, there was also a lot of patience on the part of the playtesters and the family who followed and supported me throughout the journey.
Currently Piratiles is a project practically closed (but never say never), looking for a publisher, who has received excellent responses from the playful community since the first playtests, carried out during various events open to the public. After a year and a half of work, not full-time, unexpectedly have opened several possibilities and presented new contacts very interesting.
Soon I will have to face the next steps and on the horizon there will be some interesting turnaround.
If by chance you are curious to see what will happen, look for Piratiles on facebook and come and see me in person at the table that I will have at the next Modena Play in April to have it tested by those who want it.

4. You collaborated with Konami for a promo launch of Metal Gear Solid V – Phantom Pain. Tell us a little about this project.

In 2013 Konami opened an online project on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear Solid series.
It was an interactive site, the MetalGearArtStudio, where users could draw with special tools a celebrative artwork, compete with each other to be then selected by the art director of the Yoji Shinkawa series and receive a thick award.
I managed to win a contest and after some time I was contacted by Konami Europe for the realization of a special artwork in view of the launch of the fifth chapter, to be exploited in the events and online.
The style had to resume an atmosphere similar to that already seen in the world of movies with the posters of Indiana Jones.
It was a very exciting and really rewarding challenge!

5. After this experience also came the collaboration with Cornfox for the realization of the main cover of “Oceanhorn”. How long did this project take you and what were your specific skills?

Participating in the graphic contest has always been a useful exercise for me, as I said before, in cases where I felt it was worth it.
Also in this case, as for Konami, I was probably noticed by Cornfox in an art contest and later I was contacted for the creation of a new artwork to be promoted for the promotion on digital stores.
It was a flashing collaboration, considering the time allowed: in just over a week I made three hand drafts with light and shadow in digital and the final layout, chosen among the various proposals.
The dialogue with the art director has always been very constructive and pleasant and left me a lot of creative freedom on all levels: storytelling, shots, poses, color scheme.

6. What do you think of the made in Italy videogame industry?

From what can be seen on the shelves and online, this movement is emerging more and more from year to year, and has an indisputable value.
There is a real creative force that lives in the undergrowth of this sector and strives to find the way to realize its projects, clashing with the usual problems related to the management of time, money invested, failure to balance or break true and proper to the team spirit.
In addition to mobile platforms I expect to see more and more videogame projects built for institutions and culture, for example, considering the important openings on gaming, as well as the usual technological aspect.
The demand is there and good economic investments begin to appear, when the project has solid foundations. I consider this area particularly interesting for the creation of unique works, because it would allow a generation of creative people to exploit it and experiment with the technological potential applied to gaming. I think of augmented reality, vr painting and more, in a way that has not yet been seen in all its potential.

7. Plans for the future?

There are a couple of projects that I have carried forward but I didn’t show for some years and waiting for the right moment to emerge in some way.
I would say that one of these can now be presented. In the meantime, I should also start some collaboration with some authors of games and editors of board games, an e-commerce section of my works and the artistic revisitation of an old story for kids that was part not only of my childhood but probably of all my generation … but this is a very personal project and who knows when I will be able to finish it!
In addition to all these still secret projects, I will continue my search for collaboration of all kinds, from publishing to mobile and table games.
So, if you have a good project and you want to try to propose it because you need an artist, contact me, it could be an opportunity for a meeting, or even just for a comparison.