Thunder Lotus is looking for a UI Artist. Click here to learn more.

Behaviour Interactive is looking for UI/UX designers as well as 3D artists. Click here to learn more.

Eric Manella is an award winning fine artist and the co-founder of Atelier de Brésoles. Eric holds an MFA cum laude from the New York Academy of Art and is an inspiring teacher, having taught students of all ages for over 20 years. Eric has given artist talks and painting demonstrations at Concordia University, S.U.N.Y. New Paltz, and Algonquin College, been a juror for the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada and was featured in the 2007 documentary film L’Art du Nu. In addition to this, he is also the recipient of a Forbes Foundation Travel Grant, the Prince of Wales Scholarship from the Prince of Wales Foundation and a merit scholarship from the New York Academy.

Eric teaches: Constructive Figure Drawing.

Dengyijia Liu is a senior concept artist at AA Studios, Montreal where he is working on multiple unannounced documentary TV series as well as an unfinished historical movie for clients such as BBC Discovery and Windfall Films Ltd. A well trained and versatile concept artist, during his decade long career, Dengyijia has worked for companies such as Behaviour Interactive and Triotech Amusement on projects as varied as Mafia Wars, Deathgarden, Lego: Ninjago, Love & Hip Hop, Voyage to the Iron Reef and Microsoft Ultimate Word Games. In addition to this, he was also involved in designing military special forces equipment for Mawashi Science & Technology. Dengyijia is also an experienced art teacher with 3 years of experience.

Dengyijia teaches: Character Rendering

 

Christophe Young is a concept artist and illustrator who specializes in creating stunning, unique and sometimes terrifying characters that create a strong emotional resonance with the audience. During his freelance career, Christophe has produced artwork for a variety of clients, including for board games and novel covers, most notably the Tales of Terror series. Christophe currently works as a concept artist at Behaviour Interactive where he designs the iconic characters for the wildly popular multiplayer horror survival game Dead by Daylight.

Christophe teaches: Intro to Character Design .

 

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Reel FX is looking for a Concept Artist for their Montreal studio, Flight School. Click here to learn more.

Frima (QUEBEC) is looking for a Concept Artist (Environments). Click here to learn more.

Rainmaker Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Lead Character Designer. Click here to learn more.

Rainmaker Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Designer. Click here to learn more.

Rainmaker Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Storyboard Artist. Click here to learn more.

Rainmaker Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Designer. Click here to learn more.

Ludia (MONTREAL) is looking for a 2D Artist. Click here to learn more.

Phoenix Labs (VANCOUVER) is looking for a UI Artist. Click here to learn more.

Bkom Studios (QUEBEC CITY) is looking for a 2D Artist / Illustrator. Click here to learn more.

Rainmaker Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Storyboard Artist. Click here to learn more.

Capcom (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Character Artist. Click here to learn more.

Eidos (MONTREAL) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

CryptoKitties (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Character Designer. Click here to learn more.

Xavier Etchepare is a senior concept artist at Ubisoft Montreal, where he is working on an unannounced AAA project. Xavier has over 10 years of industry experience and has worked on titles such as Far Cry Primal, For Honor and Just Dance 4. Xavier is also an accomplished illustrator, matte painter, 3D artist and graphic designer, and his work has been featured in music videos, animated films, advertising, live events and multiple issues of 2d Artist Magazine.

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

Charles Vinh is a 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: Drawing the Human Form, Analytical Sketching and Visual Communication I  in the Concept Art Diploma program.

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 this term. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Louis Sciannambolo is a freelance concept artist and game artist and former co-founder and Art Director of Rad Sandwich Studios. During his time at Rad Sandwich he worked on VR projects such as Poltergus as well as prototypes with Minority Media. In his freelance career, he has worked for a variety of clients such as Sauropod Games, Kitfox Games and Clever Endeavour Games on titles such as The Shrouded Isle, Moon Hunters and Castle Story.

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

Andrew Sonea is a 2D Marketing Artist at Gameloft, Montreal. A former winner of the L.Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future Award, Andrew specializes in character design and worked as a 2D artist for Fox Cub Games before joining Gameloft. During his freelance career, he has worked for a variety of companies including Cryptozoic Entertainment, Modiphius Entertainment, Fantasy Flight Games, Alderac Entertainment Group and Art by Gameco on games such as HEX: Shards of Fate, Conan RPG, Infinity RPG, Emerald Lands: A Sourcebook for Rokugan, Lost Legacy: Legend of the Five Rings and Might and Magic: Duels of Champions. In addition to this, Andrew’s work has also been featured in volumes 20, 23 and 25 of Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. 

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

Diana Van Damme is a freelance illustrator best known for her fantasy illustrations. During her career, she has created artwork for various clients in the video game, comic book, tabletop and publishing industries such as Hex Entertainment and Aethera RPG. Diana’s artwork has also been featured in ImagineFX and Infected by Art.

Diana teaches: Drawing from LifeIntro to Digital Painting and Digital Painting.

Subroto Bhaumik is a concept artist and illustrator with roughly 8 years of industry experience. Subroto has worked for WB Games on various AAA titles including Injustice 2 as well as for Hibernum on Zootopia: Crime Files and is currently at Behaviour Interactive. His artwork is also featured in the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

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

Sean Vo is currently a concept artist at Eidos, Montreal where he is working on the upcoming blockbuster Avengers game. During his career, Sean has worked for multiple companies and clients on a variety of projects. Some of these include Powerhouse Animation Studios, Inc. where he worked on visual development and background designs for Netflix’s Castlevania animated series, and WB Games Montreal, Inc. where he worked as a concept artist on an unannounced AAA project. Sean is also a Syn Studio alumni.

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

Sean Bigham is freelance concept artist based in Montreal. Sean has worked for a variety of high profile clients including Activision, Tantor Media and Atomic Cartoons. His designs have been featured in AAA videogame franchises in the Star Trek and Halo universes. Sean is currently working as a contract concept artist for Digital Extremes on their successful Warframe title.

Sean teaches: Prop and Vehicle Design and Prop and Vehicle Design II in the Concept Art Diploma Program.

Allana Benham is an accomplished fine artist with a specialization in artistic anatomy. Allana holds an MFA degree from the New York Academy of Art and has been teaching traditional drawing, artistic anatomy and intensive contemporary art for figurative artists at Atelier de Brésoles for the past 15 years. In addition to being an instructor at Atelier de Brésoles, Allana has also been a workshop instructor and lecturer at Ubisoft, Montreal, The Academy of Realist Art, Boston and the Sadie Valeri Atelier in San Francisco.

Allana is taking a break this term. We expect her to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Rui Hao is a freelance artist and illustrator specializing in figure drawing and human anatomy. An alumni of the Sheridan Animation faculty, Rui possesses 8 years of experience as a concept and 2D artist in the video games industry, having worked for companies like NetEase and 3Mind Games. During her time at NetEase, she was involved in various MMORPG games such as Meng Huan Xi You (Fantasy Westward Journey), Tian Xia 2 and the unreleased Chuang Shi Xi You. Rui’s student film Mother was nominated for the best student film in the 2015 Annie Awards.

Rui is taking a break this term. We expect her to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Squiggle Park (TORONTO) is looking for a 2D Artist / Animator. Click here to learn more.

Prodigy Game (BURLINGTON, ON) is looking for a Lead 2d Game Artist. Click here to learn more.

Lune Rouge (MONTREAL) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Lune Rouge (MONTREAL) is looking for an illustrator. Click here to learn more.

A Thinking Ape (VANCOUVER) is looking for a 2D Game Artist. Click here to learn more.

Playmind (MONTREAL) is looking for an Illustration Intern for a mobile/web game project. Interested applicants should send their CV + portfolio to  [email protected].

Prodigy Game (TORONTO, ON) is looking for a Lead 2D Artist. Click here to learn more.

Digital District Canada (MONTREAL) is looking for a Lead DMP/ENV Artist. Click here to learn more.

Cinesite (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Matte Painter / Digital Environment Artist. Click here to learn more.

Digital District Canada (MONTREAL) is looking for a DMP / ENV Artist. Click here to learn more.

IGG (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Senior 2D Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Eidos (MONTREAL) is looking for a Senior Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

CryptoKitties (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Character Designer. Click here to learn more.

Classcraft is looking for an Illustration Lead. Click here to learn more.

Ludia (MONTREAL) is looking for a Lead UI Artist. Click here to learn more.

MPC (MONTREAL) is looking for a Layout TD. Click here to learn more.

Animal Logic (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Concept Artist for LEGO 2. Click here to learn more.

Synapse Exhibits is looking for a talented student for a trainee position and possible permanent job position involving the design and creation of exhibition booths and promotional event displays. Send your resume/portfolio to Adriana Barros at [email protected]

Ubisoft (TORONTO) is looking for a UI Artist. Click here to learn more.

Tactic Studios (LONDON, ON) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Rodeo FX is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Oasis Animation is looking for 2D Digital Animators. Click here to learn more.

Oasis Animation is looking for Storyboard Clean-up Artists. Click here to learn more.

Digital Extremes (LONDON, ON) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Beenox (Quebec City) is looking for a UI Designer. Click here to learn more.

Atomhawk (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Behaviour Interactive is looking for a UI Designer for their Game of Thrones game. Click here to learn more.

Game Hive (Toronto) is looking for a 2D Game Artist. Click here to learn more.

Pear Fiction Studios is looking for a Senior 2D Illustrator (Freelance/Remote). Click here to learn more.

Pear Fiction Studios is looking for a Senior 2D Illustrator (In-House). Click here to learn more.

Double Negative Visual Effects (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Big Bad Boo Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Storyboard Artist. Click here to learn more.

Big Bad Boo Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Concept Artist: Character Designer. Click here to learn more.

Big Bad Boo Studios (VANCOUVER) is looking for a Concept Artist: Background Design. Click here to learn more.

Mr. X Inc. (Toronto) is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Clipwire Games (Toronto) is looking for a 2D Artist, Illustrator, Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

BKOM Studios is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Beenox is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

L’ATELIER ANIMATION Inc. is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to learn more.

Budge Studios is looking for a Animator/2D Artist. Click here to learn more.

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“It’s all about the art. I think you really have to show how important this is to you, how hard you work and how often you want to share this material with your peers and your community”

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen, Caity and Jose discuss comics, the production behind his short film Red Ruby and delve into the mysteries of lucid dreaming, time, space and the universe.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[00:44] – How Quantum mechanics and shower thoughts inspired Jose on making his short film, Red Ruby
[07:50] – Can near death experiences connect us to alternate universes? Jose shares some of his research on his comic book
[13:19] – Jose elaborates on his character “Ruby” from his award winning film and reveals when it will be available for public viewing
[17:35] – Jose talks about working on the Assassin’s Creed Comic Books, storyboarding for the games and talking hardcore lore with the fans on twitter
[20:11] – The type of constraints a storyboard artist will need to work with when dealing with video games and working one-on-one with directors
[25:41] – Jose tells the story behind designing Quicksilver’s cast in X-Men : Apocalypse
[28:10] – How to create an artist brand that can reach people
[30:20] – The challenges of being a first time director, deciding a budget, choosing actors and finding the time to shoot the film
[34:08] – Jose’s origin story, from living in London as a child to becoming a veteran artist in Montreal
[41:29] – “I had the piece of mind to diversify, to survive” – from reading scripts, to Graphic Design to conventions in the States, Jose tells us about his artistic journey
[44:31] – Giving out CVs, double dipping and great tips for building a Storyboard portfolio
[57:55] – How Jose keeps himself disciplined plus the group delves into the topic of lucid dreaming and post-waking hallucinations
[01:11:32] – The talk turns to various scientific studies regarding information sharing via dreams, genetics and emotional links
[01:22:38] – The group discusses their opinions on the universe plus government surveillance techniques in both fiction and real life
[01:36:22] – “It’s a window into your dedication, your perseverance, your work ethic”  – Jose shares how to create a professional online presence
[01:39:41] – Jose gives two important pieces of advice and what students should absolutely not do
[01:43:29] – Some comic book artists you need to check out plus Jose tells us which film directors he loved working with
[01:48:05] – Exercises that Jose did to learn the basics of perspective, anatomy, posing, etc.
[01:57:32] – Teaming up with writer and lawyer Ryan Garcia for the comic “Fallen”
[02:04:58] – “Now is our time, more than anything” – Jose on how artists can now publish, direct and create through their own platforms

Links you’ll like…

Jose Holder:

People:

Misc:

L’ATELIER ANIMATION is looking for a Matte Painting Artist. Click here to know more!

L’ATELIER ANIMATION is looking for a Concept Artist. Click here to know more!

Bin Li is a 3D Modeler and concept artist who specializes in character sculpting. He is currently working at Framestore on the following upcoming feature films: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Mary Poppins and Scooby Doo. During his career he has worked on many high profile projects for clients including Sesame Street, Ugly Dolls, Nike, BMW, Toyota, Ford and the USA National Olympic team as well as Black Science and Deadly Class comics. In addition to this, his artwork has been featured in Virtual Reality Projects such as Son of Jaguar and Power Rangers: Zord Rising.

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

L’ATELIER ANIMATION is looking for a Matte Painting Supervisor. Click here to know more!

“Your taste in design takes time to develop and that comes with research, and looking at stuff, and learning and the experience of noticing things in your own life.”

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen, Caity and Grant discuss the historic settings of Syndicate and Black flag, to building a thick skin in the concept art industry, to Grant’s sketchbook and personal art style.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[01:32] – Grant gives us the best Assassin’s Creed games to play and his personal favourite to work on
[02:42] – The story behind the The Gauntlet and the design challenges it created for the Assassin’s Creed team
[05:08] – “No matter how good you get, you’re never too good to do anatomy studies, you’re never too good to do life drawing” – Grant on developing a larger mental vocabulary
[06:47] – Studying the Victorian era in London for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: from Rat Catchers to living conditions and more
[15:14] – How the research on a game’s time period is transformed into strong character designs that reflect the environment’s mood
[17:44] – From the challenges of designing Steampunk art to animated movies like Akira – the group discusses inspirations and techniques
[21:40] – Has technology allowed us to surpass the Old Masters? The group discusses Michelangelo and Da Vinci vs artists today
[24:56] – “When we’re all using the same Google internet search for ‘sci-fi crate’ how do you make a sci-fi crate that’s original?” – Grant on finding your own voice among the masses of Artstation
[30:38] – The group debunks a few pirate myths and discusses the time period in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
[41:53] – Why aren’t videogame to movie adaptations successful? The group discusses the ups and downs of the Assassin’s Creed movie
[44:48] – The group peruses the “Mature Content section” on Grant’s Artstation which features his amazing and risqué sketchbook art
[48:06] – What is Grant’s most questionable Google search that was concept art related?
[50:50] – “The critique on your art is not the critique on you as a person” – Grant explains how to build a thick skin in the art industry
[56:17] – From a small town in Newfoundland, Grant tells us about how he got his start in the industry
[01:11:38] – Art and Fear : Grant explains how to counter artist block and self-doubt
[01:15:42] – Grant recounts a Drink & Draw he went to with Fred Rambaud and Jeff Simpson plus explains why sculpting is a great way to improve your drawing
[01:27:18] – Why VR and AR have potential in the video game industry
[01:29:01] – Grant reveals his biggest pet peeve in the video game industry
[01:42:25] – How to add storytelling into Concept Art? Grant tells us how to develop a painting with a narrative
[01:45:23] – After 10 years of experience working in the game industry, Grant describes his dream project

Links you’ll like…

Grant Hillier:

People:

Misc:

Noa Ikeda works as a freelance concept artist and illustrator for various Japanese and Western companies including Glu Mobile, Pocket Gems, Udon Entertainment, Gaia Online, Worlder Inc., Miraishonen Inc. and DeNA Co., Ltd. Equally adept at both traditional and digital media, her portrait paintings and character assets have been featured in many mobile games such as Nicki Minaj: The Empire, Episode, and Shop Heroes. Her artwork has also been displayed at the Hammond Museum in New York.

Noa is taking a break this term. We expect her to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

“It’s all about your work, the love you have for it, the love you have to learn and improve upon it – that is what will take you way further to places you’ve never even thought of.” – Karla Ortiz

 

In This Episode…

Anthony talks with top industry artists about their different workflows, careers and advice they might have for aspiring concept artists. The Round Table Artists are: Matt Rhodes, Samantha Youssef, Karla Ortiz, Ian McQue, Nivanh Chanthara, Rasmus Poulsen and Raphael Lacoste.

To learn more about each artist, you can visit the Syn Studio Gathering of Masters page under Speaker Info.

 

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[06:56] – Why people skills and communication are as important as technique in the Concept Art industry
[11:07] – What can students and artists do to avoid hitting dead ends and blind alleys in their artwork and learning process?
[14:34] – “Where you want to be is to find your own voice, and that comes from the fact that nobody else has got the experience that you’ve got” – Ian explains how his hometown influenced his art style
[16:56] – “Style is effectively smoke. How do you get smoke? You got to build a fire” – Matt Rhodes discusses with the group how artists create a signature style
[19:08] – Women in Concept Art : Samantha and Karla share their experiences working in male dominated environments and how the gender imbalance is changing
[25:13] – “You don’t try to find the new design, or the original design – you find the right design” – Matt Rhodes on generating project creation ideas
[40:03] – What is the most helpful thing the masters have done to push past doubts, insecurities and imposter syndrome?
[41:50] – The group spills the beans on what they are sick and tired of seeing in every concept art illustration!
[50:20] – If you could spend a day with an artist, dead or alive, who would you pick and what do you spend your day doing?
[55:14] – Films vs. Games : the artists discuss their experiences and the differences and similarities between both
[01:01:41] – The talk turns to social media: how to use it, how NOT to use it and how, for some of the artists, it was life changing
[01:13:57] – From cooking to keyboard shortcuts, the artists share a few of their favourite life hacks that improve the overall quality of their art
[01:26:49] – “Manipulate something else, changing your mind, having ideas through another medium” – Nivanh and the group discuss how experimenting with new mediums can reinvent your strengths
[01:35:57] – The masters answer their first audience question: what advice would they give to first-time art directors?
[01:38:30] – The artists talk about how they approach a new topic that they’ve never drawn before
[01:40:35] – The masters divulge their dream job and which IP they would work on if they had the chance
[01:42:29] – What do the artists love to see in artwork and games that is new and exciting?[01:45:23] – When you’ve reached your dream, where do you go from there? The masters talk about what happens when your hobby becomes your job
[01:54:29] – “Do what you need to do to earn a living and keep your personal practice going, so when you have a chance to do it, you’re ready” – Ian McQue on becoming a concept artist through different means

 

Links you’ll like…

Round Table Artists:

Books:

People:

Misc:

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: Fantasy Environment Sketching and Anatomy Study II in the Concept Art Diploma Program.

Mike Wiesmeier is an animation production professional with 24 years of experience.  He has worked in various capacities for companies such as Walt Disney Feature Animation, Eidos-Montréal/Square Enix and Toon Boom Animation, among others. His artwork has been featured in acclaimed animated movies such as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Fantasia 2000, Tarzan, and Beauty and the Beast . Mike started teaching at the American Animation Institute when he was working at Disney and since then he has been teaching at various prestigious schools around the world including CalArts and The Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles and Nemo Academy in Florence.

Mike teaches: Dynamic Anatomy.

 

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: Intro to Cartooning and Dynamic Drawing

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 and Drawing the Human Form 

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.

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 s taking a break this term. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

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 s taking a break this term. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

Nick Oroc is a senior concept artist at Ubisoft, Montreal. His credits include: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Rainbow Six (Lockdown, Vegas, Siege and more), Splinter Cell (Conviction and Blacklist), Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy, Far Cry Primal and Child of Light. Prior to this, Nick worked as a senior concept artist at Behaviour Interactive, where was involved in games such as WET, Iron Man and Rango. His artwork and tutorials have been published several times in 2dartist magazine and he has been a guest speaker at two Adapt Conferences (2008 and 2009). In addition to this, Nick was also a guest artist at the The Art of Games exhibition in Aosta, Italy and is an experienced teacher.

Nick teaches: Creature Design III in the Concept Art Diploma Program.

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, X-Men: Apocalypse, 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: Digital Sketching for Production and Environment Design III in the Concept Art Diploma Program.

Thierry Doizon aka Barontieri is a 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 currently works as a senior concept artist at Ubisoft, Montreal.

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

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 teaches: Urban Sketching in Perspective, Expressive Painting in Watercolour, and Analytical Sketching

André-Lang Huynh is a senior concept artist at WB Games Montreal on an unannounced AAA game in the DC Universe. During his career here, he has worked on games such as Injustice 2, No Way Out and multiple unannounced AAA titles. In addition to this, he has also been working on his popular personal project titled “Mech Nuggets” where he experiments with spaceship and mech design.

André-Lang is taking a break this term. We expect him to be back to teach at Syn Studio soon.

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.

“Simplify. Go back to the basics of just the depth and the silhouettes and the choice of composition before going too far into the rendering.”

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen, Caity and Raphael discuss Raphael’s incredible experience working on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, what it’s like to be an Art Director, his inspirations, travels, artwork and more!

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[01:37] – Raphael talks about the types of landscapes that inspire his artwork often related to his travels
[04:49] – We talk WORLDS, and Raphael tells us about his background in 3D animation, photography for theatre and how he discovered what he wanted to pursue as an art career
[09:10] – Raphael talks about moving to Canada to work at Ubisoft and his experience as a first-time art director on Prince of Persia
[12:15] – Looking to challenge himself, Raphael tells us about joining the film industry and working on Hollywood movies
[17:44] – Why Black Flag was Raphael’s favourite Assassin’s Creed game to work on and the kinds of art and architecture that inspired the conception team
[21:25] – The highlights of Raphael’s film career and how Raphael balances his life with kids, work and personal art
[24:33] – Raphael discusses the creation process and programs behind his piece Landing Scene
[29:51] – What top three fundamentals would Raphael suggest to upcoming Concept Artists based on his experience reviewing portfolios
[32:03] – “How to loosen the details and get back to the fundamentals” – Raphael on challenging himself and studying other artists like in Tribute to Earle
[33:48] – Raphael discusses what he teaches his students and describes his process for creating Compositions And Shapes exploration
[37:17] – Drinking rum, travelling the world and joining a Pirate Crew? – Raphael tells us about the research his team did for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
[44:03] – Life as a Ubisoft art director and the various tasks Raphael accomplishes throughout pre-production and production
[48:01] – What advice would Raphael give to junior artists getting hired on triple A projects?
[58:20] – Raphael divulges what game he would work on if he could pick anything in the world
[01:03:49] – “It’s not about recreating reality but about how you make the right choices to be yourself in the painting you’re making” – Raphael’s biggest inspirations and how they shaped the artist he is today
[01:10:26] – Raphael talks about one of his personal projects, Little Boy and his Rhino, the life events that inspired him and where he plans to go with it

Links you’ll like…

Raphael Lacoste:

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“Take the time to speak with your fellow artists, brainstorm, and sometimes ideas will pop in and you’ll get your inspiration back” – Mathieu on artist block

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen, Caity and Mathieu discuss Mathieu’s journey from 2D animation, to Concept Artist at EA motive, his techniques, inspirations plus some thoughts and banter revolving around AI, movies and games

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[04:06] – Mathieu talks about the latest project he is working on at EA motive and how the team coordinates together
[09:35] – Since Mathieu has been with EA motive early on, he tells us what it was like working at a company and seeing it grow very quickly
[11:06] – What Mathieu thinks is the biggest mistake amateur Concept Artists can do during a job interview
[12:30] – Learning 2D animation the old school way at Vieux Montreal College and how it shaped the artist Mathieu is today
[13:19] – Mathieu tells us about how he creates, the programs he uses and the benefits of using 3D in video game concept art
[16:48] – Mathieu gives us 3 great tricks on creating strong compositions for art
[18:41] – From 2D Animation to Concept Art – Mathieu talks about his search to find a career path that he could make a living off of as an artist
[22:21] – Getting in the mood: Mathieu talks about how he gets a drawing started and elaborates a bit on his pipeline
[24:04] – How does one design an Opium Room or an Asylum? Mathieu lets us in on the kind of research he had to do to create one
[29:58] – The group persuses Mathieu’s Escape Pods , Rusty Ship, Temple Entrance and discussion turns to why Brutalist architecture suits the Concept Art style
[36:16] – Are you a singularity believer? The talk turns deep as the group discusses techno religions and predictions of the future with AI
[43:09] – Mathieu describes his first Virtual Reality experience while riding on a roller coaster
[49:33] – A useful tip for using social media as an up-and-coming Concept Artist
[50:57] – “For an environment, from scratch, something that I am happy and comfortable with – 3 days” – Mathieu discusses why this is the perfect time frame to create a piece
[55:38] – “It’s good to learn new techniques, but at the end of the day, it has to be efficient for you” – Mathieu on learning new programs
[57:46] – Mathieu tells us about the places he’s traveled that have inspired him and where he plans to go next
[01:00:59] – The group’s final thoughts on Star Wars, CGI actors, conspiracy theories and Shaquille O’Neal

Links you’ll like…

Mathieu Latour-Duhaime:

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“When it comes down to it, creating images and design is just problem solving, so the more you train at problem solving, will it be puzzles or video games, the better you will be at being a Concept Artist”

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen, Caity and Yohann discuss the fundamentals of artwork, his tricks to improving and the big secrets behind how Yohann was able to break into the Concept Art industry.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[05:06] – The origin story of Oxan Studio, Yohann’s visual development studio which he co-owns with his wife and how their collaboration helped him become the artist he is today
[07:19] – Yohann talks about the contrasting artistic journeys between he and his wife for the same end goal
[14:44] – From studying in France to working 2 jobs and studying in Australia all while learning English – Yohann recounts his early travels
[29:49] – Yohann describes the best conditions for an ideal work environment and how to find ways to make a project even more interesting
[32:42] – What makes a good Art Director? What should Art Directors avoid? Yohann gives us his take on it
[37:07] – Designing hidden desert bases on Independance Day 2 and concept art for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Yohann tells us what these projects taught him
[40:15] – Yohann talks TINKIET, his personal project, the reasons why he started it and how some of his designs have a WALL-E influence
[45:29] – “Everyday I see artwork that blows my mind” – Yohann discusses Richard Schmid and Ruan Jia and how he learned color theory by studying their styles
[49:21] – “There’s different ways of teaching: tell somebody, show somebody, and make somebody do” – Yohann talks about the importance of practice and teaching
[56:06] – Yohann discusses managing artists who work for him and what he looks for when he is hiring new artists for Oxan Studio
[01:02:03] – We explore Yohann’s gallery and the origin of the name TINKIET. See the art discuss here: Live long and Fester, Fremen
[01:07:15] – The talk shifts to TV shows like Dirk Gently, Superhero shows, the importance of great bad guys in storytelling plus Yohann’s top anime pick
[01:21:32] – “I try to mix everything, would it be science politics or art” – Yohann talks about how a well-rounded knowledge base is beneficial to any concept artist
[01:27:52] – Yohann gives us an important tip he learned from his wife, regarding the types of references an artist should use and a fun fact on how Eucalyptus trees can change your paintings
[01:43:23] – Yohann talks about meeting Fred Rambault and how Fred introduced him to the world of Concept Art
[01:47:34] -“If I learn one thing – just one thing – that makes me better or faster, it was worth it” – Yohann’s techniques on learning new art tricks
[01:50:55] – What does it take to be an artist? Yohann breaks it down to the essentials and talks about his early influences, from strategy games to Dungeons and Dragons
[02:00:48] – We read Yohann a fan question! If you have any questions you would like to ask top future guest Concept Artists, don’t hesitate to send us a message on our Facebook!
[02:03:25] – Important advice for artists who are looking to Freelance plus Yohann gives us the scoop on what it was like working on Rise of the Tomb Raider

Links you’ll like…

Yohann Schepacz:

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“You have a huge screen, but if you don’t lead the eyes of the audience on something, they see nothing.”

In This Episode…

Charles talks with Anthony and Caity about the process behind making Ubisoft’s VR game, Eagle Flight and his experiences with being an animator, a video game designer and a comic book artist.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

[03:04] – The dramatic behind the scenes of the video game industry and how it’s radically different from animation and movies
[05:48] – “You can doubt – but at your house, alone in your room” Charles tells us about being a Creative Director on a video game
[07:49] – From drones to eagles to the extinction of humankind – Charles talks about brainstorming on Eagle Flight within a very short timeframe
[14:30] – Charles discusses researching Eagles and meeting a wildlife documentarist during the making of Eagle Flight
[17:11] – “One achievement in video games is to make people cry” – Charles tells us of some of the more heartwarming scenes in Eagle Flight
[18:44] – What VR has that can be more powerful than a movie or a short animation
[26:06] – Charles tells us the origin story of his nickname “Kalkair” during his street art experience with chalk
[28:43] – Skin jackin – sounds painful, but it isn’t! Charles defines it for us and tells us fun, related stories
[34:08] – The group discusses Animation: the techniques Charles learned and the story of how he managed to score a meeting with the director of Evangelion and FLCL in Japan
[46:03] – Charles recommends everyone check out the animated movie Persepolis and tells us a great story about the particular artists that were behind it
[49:51] – Les 9 derniers mois – What made Charles decide to document, in comic-form, his introduction to fatherhood and what message he hopes people will retain from it
[55:21] – Penis de table: exploring the sexuality of seven guys – Charles tells us about his new comic book project on giving men a voice to talk freely about their sexuality
[01:01:08] – From working on a game to seeing it on the big screen – Charles tells us how surreal it was for the Assassin’s Creed team to see their work interpreted by Hollywood
[01:10:03] – Are we in the year of VR? Why Charles thinks Virtual Reality is finally gaining momentum and what we can expect in the next few years
[01:14:19] – How do you design concept art for a VR game? Charles tells us what they came up with for Eagle Flight
[01:18:28] – A few final, funny stories from Charles of some of the more memorable reactions of people who played Eagle Flight in VR

Links you’ll like…

Charles Huteau:

People:

Misc:

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