Matt Rhodes is a lead concept artist at Bioware in Edmonton. He was key in the design and art direction of the Mass Effect franchise, in addition to the two most recent Dragon Age games, including Dragon Age: Inquisition, which won Game of the Year at the 2014 Video Game Awards. His unique cell shaded style has been developed to maximize speed and communication quality through years of AAA production experience.
Samantha Youssef is the founder and artistic director of Studio Technique, an artistic training studio dedicated to the artistic development of professional and amateur artists. An acclaimed feature film character animator and visual development artist, she has worked at Walt Disney animation as well as other companies such as Yowza Animation, Filmax, and Ubisoft cinematics. Her short film La Fuga Grande won an award at the Toronto International Film Festival and has been featured at several other film festivals in Canada. Her other film credits include Curious George, Bambi II, Lilo & Stitch 2 and Tarzan II among others. She is the creator of the Youssef Drawing Syllabus and the first volume in the series is titled “Movement and Form”. Samantha is currently working on personal projects, including her next book, and teaching masterclasses for industry artists around the world and online.
Karla Ortiz is an award winning concept artist currently working at Marvel Film Studios where she is responsible for the visual development and creation of movie assets, such as characters, mood pieces and illustrations. Karla is known for her ability to work across diverse styles and render original high quality concepts and designs with remarkable speed. She possesses over 10 years of concept art experience for various companies such as Paragon Studios/NcSoft, Ubisoft, Kabam, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as both an in house and a contract concept artist. An alumni of Safehouse Atelier, Karla has had her fine art work shown in Studio Gallery SF, the Safehouse studios shows, Thinkspace Art Gallery, Nucleus Gallery, Spoke Art Gallery and Hashimoto Contemporary. In addition to this, she has done illustration work for companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Ace Books, Tor Books and has provided cover work and art for various independent authors and toy makers.
Ian McQue is a veteran concept artist, designer and illustrator with over 20 years of industry experience with DMA Design and Rockstar Games, where he currently works as the Assistant Art Director. Over the years, he has contributed concepts and created characters for games such as Bully, Manhunt, Agent and Body Harvest. He has been a lead concept artist for many games in the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto franchise, and was instrumental in the art direction of Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3. Ian has also released 3 best selling books featuring his concept art work titled A Book of Drawings by Ian McQue, Another Book of Drawings by Ian McQue and Chroma - A Book of Speed Paints by Ian McQue.
Nivanh Chanthara works as a Senior Concept Artist at Eidos, Montreal where he designs characters, environments and props for games. He started his career in France as a graphic designer in street art, urban sports and fashion before making the jump to concept design with the Iron Man: Armored Adventures animated series for Method Films. A concept artist and illustrator, he relocated to Canada in 2009 and started working at Beenox Studios, where his work was featured in the video games Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and The Amazing Spider-Man. He has also worked for other companies such as Bedford Production Inc., Dreamworks Animation, 20th Century Fox, MRC Studios as a freelance concept artist on many different projects. In addition to this, Nivanh has also been working on collaborative art project titled “Babiru” with Fred Rambaud which depicts a post-apocalyptic world and its survivors.
More speakers to be announced soon! Watch this space.