EP 43 – Syn Studio Gathering of Masters ’17 – Round Table Discussion

This special edition of the Syn Studio podcast features the Round Table Discussion held at the Syn Studio Gathering of Masters ‘17, a small, laid-back festival where artists could connect with each other and work together to develop and push the boundaries of their illustration. Syn Studio invited top industry artists to share their unique knowledge and experiences of the concept art industry along with their favourite inspirations, mediums and techniques for creating astounding artwork. The Round Table Artists are: Matt Rhodes, Samantha Youssef, Karla Ortiz, Ian McQue, Nivanh Chanthara, Rasmus Poulsen and Raphael Lacoste.

“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:




Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


“Excellent class! Best teacher in the world! I learned more with Syn Studio than 4 years at university! Thanks Kelly!” […]

Read More