The Hero’s Journey of Andy van Stiphout

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

Creating stories from scratch, becoming completely lost in my self-created worlds, and spending too many hours getting lost in them. I love telling these stories to other people and seeing their reactions. Making people enthusiastic and seeing them having fun warms my heart. That feeling keeps me going.

What is my idea of happiness?

I am a simple man, and when I grew older I realized that happiness for me comes from the little things in life. Going on walks, spending time with loved ones, going to the cinema by yourself, playing video games or watching a good movie. These things always give me joy and give me something to look forward to. 

What is my greatest fear?

Not trying to be too pessimistic but losing the people I love most is my greatest fear.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I always try to see the better in people which sometimes makes me a bit naive, but in a way, it is also one of my greatest traits to be able to see their side of the story and understand their opinions better.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

When I first started drawing I often looked at the great skills of Samwise Didier, he made a lot of art for the Warcraft franchise, and his laidback attitude really resonated with me.

Many hours I spend looking at his artwork and trying to develop my own style.

Once I got more into backgrounds and environmental design, one of the people I learned a great deal from and still to this day is Jordan Grimmer. I also love his tutorials and how he explains his thought process about his work.

Jesper Ejsing is also one of the people who always inspire me to make art, his way of storytelling through his art is fantastic and I often look at the art that he created for Magic the Gathering to help me get motivated and think of new ideas.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I can’t admit it but it has something to do with my bike being stolen and me needing a bike to get home.

On what occasion would I lie?

I tend to be an honest person but sometimes I will lie to keep people’s feelings from getting hurt.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

The competitive nature of everybody fighting to claim their spot. You need to be the best to be able to get jobs or get commissioned.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Last June when I showed my completed board game at my school’s graduation show. That moment felt very fulfilling, and sort of surreal. Working on my passion project and seeing people play the game made me feel very happy.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

It is probably a bit of a cliché but I wouldn’t change a thing about myself, I learned to love myself for who I am and I am proud of who I became.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Getting to the point where I can look at my work and be proud and happy about how far my skills have improved and still are improving.

Where would I most like to live?

I am currently living in Breda and I love the city very much, I have great friends here and there are lovely spots where you can walk and enjoy nature. In the near future, I would like to be able to get a house that is a bit bigger than the one I am currently living but I am happy either way.

What is my most treasured possession?

A picture of my dear departed hamster buddy Remi.

What is my most marked characteristic?

That has to be my beard.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

There is a lovely path near my house that leads into a field where wild cows roam free, I often go there to look and them and sit near the water.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

The food hall in Breda is a very good place to eat and drink because of the many different types of food and drinks you can order.

What books influenced my life and how?

The lord of the rings has had a huge impact on me even from when I was little, every time when I need inspiration I scroll through my mind and think of all the beautiful places and characters.

I visualize them and that way create my own stories. I am not a big reader but mythology interests me very much so I will often pick up Neil Gaiman’s Norse mythology to get in the zone.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Music is very important in my life and I often have fond memories while listening to music, so I would probably listen to some albums that helped me through some tough times in my life to reminencse those times.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Samwise Gamgee, if not for him Frodo would have never got to mount doom.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My hero in my life is my granddad, he is a very loving, kind man who always puts other people’s needs before his own. He’s very respectful and always tries to understand where your coming from. Growing up I always came to him for advice and I am very proud to have had such a good male role model in my life.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

The lord of the rings trilogy is in my opinion the best motion picture film ever made. The sheer amount of dedication and passion can be felt throughout the entire films and always bring a tear to my eyes.

What role play stories in my life and work?

Stories are what I tell so for me everything, being able to create my own stories and share them with people is what makes my work so fantastic. Then seeing people get inspired and create their own versions of my story or entirely create new ones makes me happy.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

I think life itself can be seen as a big story that you can change in any way you want, you are the writer. The changes that you make, Every step you take big or small tells something about who you are as a person and writes a story. A story that you can tell to other people and in that way change their story. 

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My greatest fan of mine is my mother, she always supports me in anything that I do. She always says, as long as you are happy, I am happy.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022? (you can mention a maximum of 10 people and/or companies who could make a real difference in your creative career. I will invite them to tell their story, tell them you mentioned their name and send them your story)

The hearthstone team at Activision Blizzard

Wizards of the coast

999 games

fantasy flight games

Game Brewer

White Goblin Games

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to work on?

I am currently still working on Exodus Orcs and Dwarves, my goal for this year is to be able to make copies so people can enjoy the game at home. In the meanwhile, I am also thinking about new games and new stories to tell.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?

People can find my work on my portfolio website or on Instagram.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Passion is what keeps me going, being able to fall back on that core fundamental means I will always enjoy telling my story to other people and keep inspiring them and myself.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? (you can mention a maximum of 10 people who you would give the opportunity to share their story, i will invite them to tell their story, tell them you mentioned their name and send them your story)

Eliza Palm

Guus Niessen

Kick Stals

Elise Luscombe

Eva Bonnevits

Stijn van Staveren

Lara van den Bungelaar

Claudia van Bakel

Puck Paassen

Caroline Rodriguez Velasco

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