Teachers at Syn Studio

Thierry Doizon

Thierry Doizon aka Barontieri is a former Senior Concept Artist and Art Director with over 20 years of industry experience, having worked around the globe for companies such as Square Enix, Ubisoft, Disney Interactive and Eidos. Thierry has taught at the college level and been a speaker at various workshops and conferences such Disney Imagineering, ADAPT, Ubisoft Campus, MIGS, FIEA, Massive Black and The Gnomon Workshop, for whom he has also released an instructional DVD (Character Design Pipeline: Production Art & Research Techniques with BARONTiERi). Thierry’s other credits include Lara Croft GO, Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Deus Ex: Human Revolutions and Tron: Legacy, among others. His work has been featured in “Exodyssey: Visual Development of an Epic Adventure” and “Steampainting: SPARK – Creative process”, both by Steambot Studios, which he co-founded.

Thierry is the the Director of Studies at Syn Studio. He is also the Chair of the Concept Art Diploma Program.

Christian Robert de Massy

Christian Robert de Massy is one of the film industry’s best kept secrets. He’s been working for the last 8 years as a freelance concept artist and illustrator on films such as X-Men: Days of Future Past, Snow White and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. All without ever having put any artwork online (until now). He’s known for his incredible speed and the beauty of his environment paintings and he’s a popular teacher here at Syn Studio.

Christian teaches Environment Design and Digital Sketching for Production.

Heidi Taillefer

Heidi Taillefer is a prolific surrealist painter, exhibiting in many countries. She has worked for Cirque du Soleil, Robert Lepage and Fantasia Festival. Master of painting, she produces commercial work for a wide variety of clients, including Bombardier, the NFL and Applied Arts Magazine and her personal work is prized and collected internationally. Her artwork has been featured in numerous prestigious magazines including Juxtapoz and High Fructose.

Heidi teaches: Foundations of Painting.

Oleg Dergachov

Oleg Dergachov is an art director, fine artist, cartoonist, animator, and illustrator trained by the Ukrainian Academy. He has won over 85 international prizes and his work is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow, the Cirque du Soleil collection as well as other prestigious art museums and public collection. He has taught for 16 years in prestigious universities, design schools and animation academies in 6 countries.

Oleg teaches: Drawing The Head and Features, Analytical SketchingFantasy Environment Sketching and Anatomy Study in the Concept Art Diploma Program.

Donna Shvil

Donna Shvil is an accomplished figurative artist with over 25 years of experience, specializing in figure studies and realistic-style painting. Her paintings and drawings can be found in public and private collections in Canada and internationally. Recognized for her skill as a first-rate image-maker, her artwork has been featured in art magazines in both Canada and the United States.

Donna teaches: Drawing from Life.

Salgood Sam

Salgood Sam is a comic book artist and illustrator with over two decades of industry experience. In the early and mid 90’s he worked for Marvel Comics on eight series including Dr. Strange, Nightbreed, Saint Sinner, Spider-Man and Ghost Rider 2099. Since then he’s been organizing Comics Jams, founding Sequential (Canada’s comics news metablog) and working as a freelancer on a variety of animation, comics and illustration projects including the Sam and Max animated series, the Ghostbusters and Terminator 3: Before the Rise comics and contributing to three Eisner winning anthologies! His personal projects, Dream Life, RevolveR and Therefore Repent!, have also garnered much critical acclaim.

Salgood teaches: Dynamic Drawing and Introduction to Cartooning.

Xin Ran Liu

Xin Ran Liu is a concept artist and illustrator who has worked for several years in the video game industry and in publishing. He is currently lead artist and art director at Kitfox Games. His credits include Mafia Wars, Shattered Planet and Moon Hunters. He is also a popular teacher at Syn Studio.

Xin teaches: Digital Painting.

Charles Vinh

Charles Vinh is master painter and illustrator who repeatedly wins high profile contracts with companies such as Visa, Canada Post, Bombardier, Sapporo, Chevrolet, Unibroue and many others. He has also illustrated several book covers, been selected to paint official portraits of dozens of NHL all-stars and has been a matte painter and art consultant for television and film. His paintings have won numerous prestigious awards and he is an amazing teacher with many years of experience.

Charles teaches: Digital PaintingAnalytical Sketching, Drawing the Human Form and Digital Character Painting from Life.

Lincoln Hughes

Lincoln Hughes is a concept, environment and level artist, possessing over 10 years of experience in the gaming industry with companies such as Ubisoft, EA, Relic Environment and Big Sandwich Games, among others. His environment designs have been featured in various AAA games such as Farcry 4, Watchdogs, Star Wars – The Old Republic and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon : Future Soldier, in addition to other games like SSX, Warhammer 40000 and Luigi’s Mansion 2. He currently works for Warner Brother Games, Montreal on a AAA unnamed DC game.

Lincoln teaches: Intro to Environment Design.

Andre Pijet

André Pijet is an art director, painter, author, illustrator, caricaturist and graphic artist who has worked, taught and exhibited throughout Canada and Europe for over thirty years. He works with major advertising agencies and publishing companies, and was recently commissioned by Google to create a mural for their Montreal headquarters. André has been published regularly in newspapers and magazines; has won over a dozen art prizes in Canada and Europe and also published six books of illustrations and caricatures.

Andre teaches: Drawing from Life.

Marc Lalumière

Marc Lalumière is an illustrator and art director with over 22 years of professional experience. He specializes in scientific and nature illustration and his work can be seen in museums, textbooks and encyclopedias as well as in advertising. Marc is also a passionate educator with over five years of teaching experience.

Marc teaches: Drawing Animals.

Eric Gagnon

Eric Gagnon is a senior concept artist and art director for gaming, film and television, in addition to having six years of teaching experience at the university level. He is presently working as a lead senior concept artist at Warner Bros Games Montreal FOR AAA games in the DC Universe francise. Previously, he’s worked at various gaming companies such as Eidos, Gameloft and Behavior, as well as animation and production studios such as Digital District, Ciné-Groupe Animation and Studio Pascal Blais. His other credits include Batman Arkham Origins franchise, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Kim Possible, Ballerina, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and many 2D and 3D animated television shows.

Eric is teaching Image Integration in the Concept Art Diploma Program. He also taught the “How To Sketch” module in “Sketching for Production” course in the Fall 2016 term.

Benoit Massé

Benoit Massé is a web and graphic designer with over 10 years of freelance and in-house experience, having worked various companies such as Lg2, SAT and Ubisoft, where he was the Director of Presentation/User Interface, for ShapeUP, a Kinect based sport game. His freelance portfolio includes a broad range of projects such as motion concept for Baku 2015 European Games, motion mapping video for Luminothérapie, designing e-commerce websites for companies like Velvet Moustache and Bonlook, among others. He is also a two time Applied Arts Magazine’s Graphics Design Winner for his works “Ecodrain” (2012) and “This is Digital Marketing” (2011). Benoit is currently working as a UI designer at Shopify, where he creates visual designs that help improve the user experience for entrepreneurs using the e-commerce platform.

Benoit is teaching Visual Communication in the Concept Art Diploma Program.

Jeong H. Shin

Jeong H. Shin is currently a senior concept artist at Ubisoft. His unique designs can be seen in blockbuster titles such as For Honor, Watchdogs and Far Cry 3 and 4. He studied with world-renowned vehicle and entertainment designer Scott Robertson at Art Center College of Design. Robertson’s tutelage, as well as Shin’s own background in industrial, vehicle and entertainment design led him to tenure at General Motors as a senior creative designer. There, Shin designed two Chevrolet (Cruze and Sonic) vehicles that are currently on the road. While concept designer at Mattel, Shin designed cars for Hotwheels Battleforce 5, the animated series.

Jeong is teaching Sketching for Production in the Concept Art Diploma Program.


Daniel Kvasznicza

Daniel Kvasznicza is a concept artist, illustrator and matte painter with over 10 years of industry experience. He’s worked on AAA franchises including Batman: Arkham Origins, Starcraft, Far Cry, Dishonoured, Elder Scrolls, Diablo, Fallout, Deus Ex and Assassin’s Creed and is currently working as a senior concept artist at Warner Brother Games Montreal. He’s a technical wizard who’s created pipelines, software, scripts, brushes and other tools. Some of his jaw-dropping concept art has been featured on several E3 posters! He is also a sought after instructor who’s given popular classes and workshops in concept design, illustration and 3D to students and professionals at Alpha Vision, Meduzarts and here at Syn Studio!

Daniel is taking a break this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Jessy Veilleux

Jessy Veilleux is the founder and creative director of Meduzarts, a digital environment and character design studio, and the creative director of Digital Dimension. His work has been featured in a lot of high profile movies and video games such as StarWars, Avatar VG, 300, FallOut 3, SinCity, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen VG, Assassin’s Creed II, Prince of Persia II and Mortal Kombat X, among others. Jessy has been teaching for 10 years at Centre NAD in Montreal, where he was instrumental in creating the university’s first digital matte curriculum. A recipient of several awards including the CG Talk choice award and the XSI Gallery Award, Jessy’s work has been featured in several publications such as Exposé 5, Mattepainting.org and the CG Channel.

Jessy is taking a break this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon. 

Frédéric Bennett

Frédéric Bennett is currently a Senior Concept Artist at Eidos Montreal, in charge of designing characters for the latest Deus Ex game. During his eight years as a concept artist working mainly in the games’ industry, he has contributed to projects in the Conan, Transformers, Wet and Kung Fu Panda universes. Frédéric is a very well appreciated teacher by his students from his Character Rendering class.

Frédéric is taking a break this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon. 

Francis Back

Francis Back is an illustrator and storyboard artist who studied Fine Arts in Switzerland and who has worked on over a hundred Canadian and American TV and film productions, such as Spyderwick Chronicles, Mummy 3, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and the Academy Award nominated film Incendie. Francis also did storyboards, and concept art, for three Cirque du Soleil shows including Ka by director Robert Lepage and he’s worked on educational films for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Francis has over 20 years of experience teaching storyboarding in Montreal and in Taiwan.

Francis is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon. 

Pavel Sokov

Pavel Sokov works on a freelance basis as a professional illustrator, concept artist and portrait artist for various clients. Proficient in both digital and traditional media, he has been commissioned to work on prestigious projects such as the creation of a portrait of Vladimir Putin for the Time Magazine Person of the Year issue and a 12 portrait series of the Saudi Arabian royalty to hang in the government offices.
His work has been featured in several art exhibitions and publications including Spectrum 22 and Exposé 11. Having recently trained to master oil painting, Pavel will be teaching Foundations of Painting this semester.

Pavel is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Pierre Antoine Moelo

Pierre-Antoine is a Visual Development Artist at Cinesite, Montreal.  His 8 years of industry experience as a concept artist include stints at L’Atelier Animation where he worked on their animated movie Ballerina, Ubisoft and Neko Entertainment, among others. His concept art work at Ubisoft is featured in games such as Rabbids Land, Raving Rabbids Travel in Time and the highly rated Red Steel 2.  Having ventured into self publishing in 2013, he has already published an art book and an illustrated book, and is currently working on a couple more, one of which is to be released this year.

Pierre Antoine Moelo is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Frédéric St-Arnaud

Frédéric St-Arnaud is a top matte painter, vfx, and concept artist, whose movie credits include the most recent Indiana Jones movie, Resident Evil, Sin City, Terminator, The Golden Compass, and Spy Kids 2 & 3. He has years of teaching experience at the college level, including a number of popular Matte Painting workshops at Syn Studio.

Frédéric is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Michael Solovyev

Michael Solovyev is an art director, illustrator, fine art painter and designer of architecture, theater sets and costumes. He has 12 years of professional experience, has won numerous awards and his fine artwork is featured in public and private collections in 10 different countries. For nearly a decade he’s been transmitting his classical European art education to up-and-coming artists through teaching engagements in Canada and in his native Russia.

Michael is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Dhamindra Jeevan

Dhamindra Jeevan is a concept artist, matte painter and illustrator with a decade of professional experience in the film, television, and game industries. His work can be seen in many high-profile titles such as X-Men: Days of Future Past, Source Code, Cosmos and Riddick. He is also a popular instructor in his third year of teaching at Syn Studio.

Dhamindra is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Christopher Cao

Christopher Cao is a senior character artist at Warner Brother Games in Montreal. His artwork is featured in numerous AAA titles such as Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Splinter Cell: Conviction. In addition to having done some concept art work, he is an award winning 3D artist, well-known in online communities such ZBrushCentral.

Christopher is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Donglu Yu

Donglu Yu is a senior concept artist working at Warner Bros. Games Montreal. She’s contributed to four titles in the Assassin’s Creed universe as well as Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Donglu has been widely recognized for her outstanding contribution to her field and has won awards from such publications as: Expose 7 through 11, Digital Art Masters Volume 08, Exotique 5 and 6, ImagineFX, 2D Artist Magazine, Prime, Advanced Photoshop and D’artiste

Donglu will be busy working on a top secret AAA video game title at WB Games and we expect her to return for a future semester.

Florian Fiebig

Florian Fiebig is an animator, visual development, storyboard and fine artist who began working in feature animation over 15 years ago. His concepts and animations can be seen in full length animated features such as Les Triplettes De Belleville and Persepolis. He’s also contributed to film projects for famous franchises such as Heavy Metal and Disney’s Pocahontas. In between studio contracts, Florian spends his time travelling, observing and studying the world through drawing and painting.

Florian is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Jianli Wu

Jianli Wu is a concept artist and illustrator with over five years of industry experience creating concepts and marketing illustration for companies such as Ubisoft, Hibernum, Classcraft Studios and THQ. Prior to that, he worked as a character artist on several EA titles including NBA Elite 11, World Cup 10, FIFA 10 and Fight Night Round 4. He is an experienced art teacher and his digital painting expertise has been recognized with a CGHub Gold award and featured in Advanced Photoshop Issue 117.

Jianli is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Tarcisio Ferreira

Tarcisio Ferreira is an illustrator and fine artist with 14 years of professional experience. He was trained in classical realist drawing at the prestigious Academy of Realist Art and his illustrations have been featured in many of the largest magazines and newspapers in his native Brazil. He is a a sought-after instructor having given several popular classes in classical drawing at the University of Brasilia and Comoequetalá. We are fortunate to be able to offer this class with him during his stay in Montreal.

Tarcisio is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Kelly Tindall

Kelly Tindall is a prolific comic book creator, artist, writer, and illustrator. He’s worked for Marvel, Image comics, and is the writer and artist of Archie Snow, That’s So Kraven!, Strangebeard, and the Adventurers. He’s worked on Bedlam, Strangeways, Green Wake, Machine of Death, and many more. As well as being a popular teacher at Syn Studio, he has given lectures at Dawson College and the Montreal Comic-Con.

Kelly is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Donald Caron

Donald Caron is a highly acclaimed illustrator and concept artist with more than 15 years of experience working in video games, film, comics and advertising. While at Ubisoft, he created illustrations for blockbuster titles in the Assassin’s Creed, Watchdogs and Splinter Cell Universes. Master of composition, colour and light he has been selected to design and paint multiple posters for feature films, in addition to several posters for Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival. It is with great honour that we present a special masterclass with this incredible artist.

Donald is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Remko Troost

Remko Troost has over 15 years of industry experience and is currently a Senior Concept Artist at Ubisoft Montreal. His designs appear in numerous AAA titles such as Far Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed Unity. His expertise in digital painting and concept art has been recognized with numerous awards and his work has been featured in prestigious art publications from Ballistic Publishing, Titan Books, Imagine FX, 2D Artist Magazine and Computer Arts. His is also an experienced and passionate instructor and we’re excited to have him on the Syn Studio team!

Remko is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Laura Csajagi

Laura Csajagi is a prolific illustrator and concept artist in the fields of entertainment, publishing and advertising. Her clients and projects include Fantasy Flight Games, John Grisham Book Covers, Playstation, Nike, Louis Vuitton and many more. As a recognized expert in the field of digital painting, her work has been featured in ImagineFX, D’Artiste Fashion Design and Exotique 7, among others. She is also a passionate educator both in the classroom and in print, having published tutorials in over a dozen industry books and magazines such as Photoshop Elements, Digital Artist and Photoshop Advanced Creation.

Laura is taking a break for this semester. We expect her to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Meinert Hansen

Meinert Hansen is a concept artist and illustrator who has worked in film, television, and games for over 27 years. His past credits include the Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, 300, Silent Hill, Batman: Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Myst 4: Revelation. Meinert has eight years of teaching experience and has given popular workshops for professional artists, students and the general public. He is also an expert on Steampunk, and following his hugely successful Steampunk workshop at the Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition in Toronto, we’re proud to ready to present his updated workshop here at Syn Studio!

Meinert will be busy this semester but we hope to offer another workshop very soon!.

Anastasia Ovchinnikova

Anastasia Ovchinnikova completed her art education from the prestigious Krasnodar State University in Russia, where she later taught art. A concept artist and illustrator with over 10 years of industry experience, her credits include the Magic the Gathering, Star Wars, Warhammer 40,000 and Netrunner card games as well as the Legend of the Cryptids, Pearl’s Peril and Ex Gods video games among others.

Anastasia is taking a break for this semester. We expect her to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Michael Verhaaf

Michael Verhaaf is a concept artist and illustrator currently working at Eidos, Montreal as a Marketing artist. In his 8 year career in the video game industry, Michael has worked on the creation of concept art and illustration for a variety of game companies including Gameloft, ODD1, Ludia and most recently on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for Eidos. To promote young artists from Quebec, Michael co-founded MachineMachine, a publishing company that provides an easy way to get content from creators to the public. In addition to publishing his artbook “Erri”, he has also had his work featured in “Prime – The Definitive Digital Art Collection” by 3DTotal Publishing.

Michael is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Jose Holder

Jose Holder is an illustrator with 22 years of experience in concept art and storyboarding for movies, commercials, video games, music videos, comics and stage. He’s been involved in the production of many films including SCREAMERS2, ORPHAN, TAKING LIVES, RED2 and WARM BODIES, and participated on national TV campaigns for high profile clients like McDonald’s, Bell, Molson, IKEA, Coca Cola, Reebok and dozens more. Jose has contributed works to video games such as Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Rainbow 6: Siege at Ubisoft and comic book publishers like Marvel, IDW, & Boom!Studios. He is also an experienced teacher, having given art instruction to Montrealers for over a decade.

Jose is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Nicolas Francoeur

Nicolas Francoeur is a Senior Concept Artist at Eidos Montreal, where he creates character, prop, environment and mechanical design concept art for various AAA games. Prior to this, he was instrumental in developing ODD1, a game studio, where he was involved in the creation of concept art, illustration and marketing design. In his 12 year freelance career, Nicolas has worked on a variety of projects ranging from concept art and illustrations for AAA and RPG games to creation of logos, layouts and illustrations for music albums. In addition to this, he also built Cartier Général, a website that details Quebec’s history. His work has been featured in several publications including Imagine FX, 2D Artist and Exposé 10 as well as an excellence mention in Exposé 9, among others.

Nicolas is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Marc Taro Holmes

Marc Taro Holmes is a watercolourist, art director, concept artist, and illustrator with 18 years of professional experience. He’s worked with Bioware, Electronic Arts, Disney, Microsoft Games and Sega with credits including Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Lord of the Rings Online, and Age of Empires III. His illustrations have appeared on the covers of PC Gamer, Computer Gamer and Play Magazine. He’s a founder of Urban Sketchers and a popular watercolour instructor who teaches pleinair workshops in 4 different countries.

Marc is taking a break for this semester. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.


“The classes I took with Charles Vinh and Geof Isherwood helped me considerably in my work. Not only at the […]

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