About Us

The Judy Lapotko and Roy Biehl collaboration began 30 years ago when Judy was the Advertising manager for a large financial corporation and Roy an industrial designer for Forte Designs, a firm he established a few years earlier. Judy needed some help on a lobby display for the lead bank for the holidays and contacted Roy for some suggestions. That chance contact cemented a relationship that proved beneficial for both in many ways. Forte Designs went on to fashion a seasonal holiday display for the bank that featured over 50 life-size Steiff animals with numerous mechanized vignettes covering over 2400 sq feet filling up the entire lobby. It became a must-see holiday display for those in SE Wisconsin and Illinois. They found they had more in common than the display and Roy and Judy got married in 1981. Thirty short years later the financial corporation was bought-out by BMO; Roy semi-retired and sold the display aspect to another firm which continues it today. Judy retired from bank marketing and joined Roy working on other projects in custom interior design and custom products for private companies and museums.

THE STUDIO

In 2020 the Covid-19 virus hit and like everyone they found themselves locked down in their home. Oddly enough when they built their home a few years earlier, they designed it with an exceptionally functional and pretty remarkable design Studio attached so they could work on smaller projects. Having a computer-controlled CNC, laser and UV printer in your Studio proved to be quite advantageous.

INSPIRATION

With a mutual interest in Art history they started exploring the art realm, lives of artists and aspects of that field in general. What happens during the whole art process? Who were these painters? What could happen to their work before, during and after creation?  Theft, fraud, studio fire and all sorts of hazards.   Looking at it from these perspectives, Artmasters -The Game took root.

THE CHALLENGE OF CREATION

Both Judy and Roy have an uncompromising dedication to quality and the integrity of a product. They set out to create an engaging game to share the experience and enjoyment of art. The result – A game focused on Masters’ paintings, offering a little entertaining education about the artists and art movements, and some unexpended fatalism from the art world thrown in for ruthless fun. And because they loved dogs, there’s even dog art! Roy’s manufacturing background and equipment allowed them to print on plastic and then laser cut the game parts now manufactured in their Studio. The “how-to” taken care of, on to the “what”.  Judy’s marketing research background coupled with a writing “bent” provided the content for the game design.  Prototype games were tested in locales scattered around the country by game players of varied ages and interests to hone the play and appeal. Key graphic designers from past associations proved invaluable contributing to the visual appeal. A game was born.

AHEAD OF THE CURVE

By anticipating the change in the way we live now, with more people working in their homes, Forte Designs has proven to be an exceptionally efficient and responsive company. ArtMasters-The Game is created with an enthusiasm to deliver an engaging solution to meet today’s passion for games and entertainment, curiosity for knowledge, and friendly competition. Today ArtMasters-The Game is entirely manufactured in the US with four editions available and more to come.

Five elements working together guide our business today:

ENTHUSIASM.  IMAGINATION. COLLABORATION.  ATTENTION TO DETAIL.  CUSTOMER FOCUS.