Syn Studio’s Gathering of Masters 2016

Gathering of Masters 2016 has ended. Tickets for the event were sold out well in advance. To reserve your spot for next year's event send an email to


    Speaker Information

    Raphael Lacoste is currently brand art director for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise. His credits also include, as art director: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Two Thrones and The Warrior Within and as matte painter or senior concept artist: Terminator Salvation, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Death Race, Immortals, Repo Men and Jupiter Ascending. In addition, Raphael has won a Visual Effects Society award for his work as Art Director on Prince of Persia the Two Thrones cinematics and is also a popular and experienced teacher.

    Terryl Whitlatch is considered to be one of the top creature designers working in the industry today. For more than a quarter century, Terryl has contributed her concepts to a variety of projects including Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Special Edition, Jumanji 1 and 2, Men in Black, Brother Bear, Dragonheart, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Curious George, The Polar Express, The Princess of Mars, Zafari, Beowulf, John Carter of Mars and Pixar's Brave. She has also published several books, including “The Wildlife of Star Wars”, “The Katurran Odyssey”, "Animals Real and Imagined", "Science of Creature Design", "Principles of Creature Design", "Creatures of Amalthea" and "Creature Anatomy with Terryl Whitlatch". In addition, Terryl is sought after speaker and an accomplished educator.

    Matt Rhodes is 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 developped to maximize speed and communication quality through years of AAA production experience.

    Jeff Simpson is a concept artist currently working on Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise. Recognized for his beautiful, sometimes disturbing and original style, he's considered one of the most exciting character designers in games today. He's also contributed designs to the Deus Ex franchise and some film projects including The Last Witch Hunter, Snow White and the Huntsman and has also illustrated Magic Cards for Wizards of the Coast.

    Thierry Doizon (aka Barontieri) is Art Director at Square Enix Montreal, responsible for Lara Croft GO, Apple's mobile game of the year. As a senior concept artist, his credits include: Tron Legacy, Prince of Persia and Deus Ex: Human Revolutions. He's released an instructional Gnomon Workshops DVD and is one of the original founding members of Steambot.

    James Gurney is an artist and illustrator best known for his famous Dinotopia adventure series. A dedicated plein air painter and sketcher who believes in getting his inspiration from observation from life, James has had solo exhibitions of his artwork featured at museums such as The Smithsonian Institution, The Norman Rockwell Museum, The Norton Museum of Art and The Delaware Art Museum, among others. James is a recipient of several awards including multiple Hugo and Chesley awards and his most recent book, “Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (2010)” was Amazon’s #1 bestselling book on painting for over 52 weeks. His art instruction videos are well known and the latest in the series are “The Mammal that ate Dinosaurs: Behind the Art” which gives helpful studio tips and techniques for painting realistic pictures of imaginative scenes, “Fantasy in the Wild: Painting Concept Art on Location” with two different science fiction subjects painted on location and “Gouache in the Wild” which features six different subjects and six different approaches to the medium. James is currently busy with his popular daily web blog which provides practical studio tips and insights into the making of the Dinotopia books, and first-hand reports from art schools and museums.

    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. The training offered in the studio focuses on drawing, animation and artistic development. 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, a unique drawing program based on various schools of academic draughtsmanship and recently released the first volume in the series 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.

    Victor Mosquera works as a concept artist at Ubisoft Toronto producing concept art, sketches and illustrations for AAA video games. Prior to this, he worked as a concept artist at Volta where his credits include the Battlefield - Hardline game, in addition to working on a variety of unannounced AAA video games, commercials and show productions. In addition to video games, Victor has created concept art and illustrations for online and printed books, commercials, a music video and a short film. His other credits include concept art and ideation sketches for the games Planet Side 2, Natural Selection 2 and Zambo Dende.

    Event Outline

    This event includes talks that are about 1 hour in length, activities and interactive workshops that are 2-3 hours in length.



    This Is What I Do: I Drink And I Know Things with Matt Rhodes

    Developing Style with Jeff Simpson

    Concepting From Life with James Gurney

    Creature Design with Terryl Whitlatch

    Image Composition In Open World Video Games with Raphael Lacoste


    Interactive Workshops:

    Designing With Intention: Character Design Workshop with Matt Rhodes

    Steal And Make Better with Jeff Simpson

    Design 2.0 with Thierry Doizon

    Flying Hexapod Design with Terryl Whitlatch 

    Concept Art In The Wild with James Gurney

    How To Train Your Dragon Lair with Raphael Lacoste



    Roundtable Discussion 

    Figure Drawing Workshop with Samantha Youssef

    Cocktail Party With Speed Painting Battle hosted by Victor Mosquera

    Portfolio Review By The Masters


    Gathering of Masters 2016 has ended. Tickets for the event were sold out well in advance. To reserve your spot for next year's event send an email to

    Syn Studio's Gathering of Masters begins on Thursday June 30th in the evening and ends Sunday evening July 3rd*


    Thursday June 30th - 6 PM to 8 PM : Round-table discussion

    Friday July 1st
    - 10:30 AM to 7 PM : talks, interactive workshops and activities

                                    8:30 to 11:30 PM : evening activity - figure drawing

    Saturday July 2nd
     - 10:30 AM to 7 PM : talks, interactive workshops and activities

                                          8:30 to 11:30 PM : evening activity - cocktail party

    Sunday July 3rd
     - 10:30 AM to 7 PM : talks, interactive workshops and activities

    The event is held at Syn Studio: 460 St. Catherine street West, #508, Montreal, Canada. The venue is located in the heart of downtown Montreal, easily accessible by public transportation and two paid parking lots are located on on the same block as the venue.

    *Participants from out of town are advised to book accommodations and transportation early as the event dates coincide with Canada Day weekend and the International Jazz Festival.


    Gathering of Masters 2016 has ended. Tickets for the event were sold out well in advance. To reserve your spot for next year's event send an email to

    Syn Studio’s Gathering of Masters is a small, laid back festival with lots of socializing and interaction between the invited guests and and participating artists. A mix of talks, workshops and fun activities, it is a gathering where artists share their knowledge, connect with each other and work together to develop and push the boundaries of their illustration, design and art direction skills.

    There will be 8-10 speakers and 100 tickets sold so it will be an intimate event where participants can have direct access to the speakers and be part of the conversation.

    The festival is presented by Syn Studio’s Concept Art Diploma Program and sponsored by Wacom and ArtStation.

    Who is this for?

    This event is aimed at concept artists and art directors working in the video game, film, television and  related industries as well as advanced students. It is a small festival for those who want to make connections, share, learn from, interact with and create art alongside their fellow artists.

    **Note: If you'd like to participate in the workshops and activities, bring a sketchbook and your favourite sketching tools (and if you have a laptop and Wacom tablet, bring those too).


    Gathering of Masters 2016 has ended. Tickets for the event were sold out well in advance. To reserve your spot for next year's event send an email to


    • Connect and bond with fellow artists in the community
    • Find solutions to major artistic issues facing the industry today
    • Create alongside your peers artists in interactive and fun workshops and activities 

    Join Our Newsletter

    For news and information about our special events, such as art workshops and free art shows with wine & food, Sign Up for Your FREE Syn Studio Newsletter: