Beachball (Beach) is the manager of english club Bald Eagles.
My name is Beach. I’m a full-time illustrator and I live and work in Stamford (UK).
Newspapers, magazines, books, gaming, advertising? I have worked across all of those over the years. The important thing for me is not so much where my work ends up but whether I enjoy making it.
I think drawing personal work actually helps my career. When clients commission me it’s because they like what I have drawn in the past, and want me to create something similar for them. So the only way I can really push my client work into new areas is to create personal work in those areas first.
The feeling I get from playing it is still very similar to the feeling I got when I first played back in 2000. The game has obviously evolved over the last 20 years but I thinks hattrick has managed to stay remarkably true to its roots.
In 2000, just month after by the time HT-Johan and HT-Daniel offered HT-Björn to turn his hobby game into a true business, Beach started playing the "green game". Initially he signed up for a team simply to find out a little more about the game when HT-Johan request for a lot of banner ads for the Hattrick site. He soon became hooked as a player.
Some claim to say that he’s the only living user that saw Bob‘s true face.We’ll never know.
Beach has been, since 2000, Hattrick’s official illustrator. He’s been involved in all of the art pieces we see in the Game (Christmas/Halloween backgrounds, cartoons, icons, etc.).
The pixel art from the first players faces were his design/idea. By the end of 2008, our man came up with the current faces and replaced the old ones.
2000-2007 pixel art works
||As from 2000 he created certain characters that walked with us while becoming managers of our clubs. In “Training” section we’d see this funny trainee with a cone on his head. Somewhere on the site we had the referee showing a red card to a bunny. In HT Mail section there was the cool guy who read “FAN MAIL”.
But what about that rather chubby, untrustworthy looking figure wearing a yellow jacket… is he the team coach, club manager or foreign investor? In Beach head he has always been the manager, but he could be all three of those. Football managers are often very colourful, larger-than-life characters, so he is inspired by a few different real life figures.
On December 2008, the game saw a big change in the looks of the site, but, most importantly on the faces of players.
Beach abandoned the pixel art (very appreciated, but perhaps getting a bit dated in terms of style) for a new, more cartoonish, style. The main brief from Hattrick Team was to inject some more character, personality and fun into the faces and to create as much variety as possible within the constraints of the system. Obviously the faces are generated automatically but his main goal was to design them in such a way that they didn’t look like they were assembled by an algorithm, but instead looked as if each one had been individually created out of a character designer’s imagination.
2019 new faces
Beards are certainly much easier with the new faces. But is it morally right to add beards to players who haven’t had them before? I would want to speak to a philosopher before I could answer the question, I think.
HT-Johan called him again to design a new style for players’ faces after 11 years. It took him a while to find a style that everyone was happy to take forward. Creatively, the main challenge was to ensure that players were recognisably the same people. The pixel art faces were all so similar that anything he did was always going to look very different. But with the new faces it was important to be able to retain the players’ facial characteristics while at the same time making them look different in terms of style.
For hattrick, all of the work is created in Illustrator although it often starts life as a pencil sketch.