Syn Studio Gathering of Masters ’18

Connect, Collaborate and Challenge to Create!


    Speaker Information

    Jama Jurabaev is a senior concept artist at Industrial Light & Magic in London. Originally an aerospace engineer, Jama switched to concept art during his mid twenties and has worked for a number of companies including Framestore and MPC as a concept artist, illustrator and matte painter. Jama’s incredible artwork can be seen in many blockbuster films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange, Kong: Skull Island, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and X-Men: Days of Future Past, among many others. Jama is currently working on several high profile movies such as Ready Player One, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Aladdin.

    David Levy aka Vyle is a senior concept artist and designer with over 20 years experience in the gaming and film industries. During his career, he has worked on a lot of blockbuster games such as Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Assassin’s Creed, Turok and The Red Star as well as high profile movies like Prometheus, Tron: Legacy, the upcoming AVATAR sequels, Tomorrowland, The Thing, Spectral and Ender’s Game. PLUG, a science fiction short film that he wrote and directed, has won multiple awards in film festivals across the world and is in development for a feature. In addition to this, David is also the co-founder of Expedition Art where like minded artists raise awareness for wildlife and nature conservation through art. David is currently the CEO and concept designer at Pitch Dev studios, where he uses his unique skills to provide high end visual concept solutions across various domains such as movies, games and industrial design.

    Karla Ortiz is an award winning concept artist currently working at Universal Studios where she is responsible for the visual development and creation of movie assets. 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 Marvel Film Studios, 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. Now freelance and working mainly in the film industry, Ian's recent clients include Sony Pictures Animation, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Disney.

    Serge Birault aka Papa Ninja is a senior concept artist at Reflector Entertainment Ltd., Montreal. During his career, he has worked for a variety of companies in the advertising, publishing, music and video games industries such as WB Games Montreal, Gameloft and Ubisoft. Known for his distinctive and influential pin up style, he has won several awards on CGTalk, CGHub, CGSociety, 3Dtotal and It’s Art. In addition to this, Serge has released a book featuring his illustrations titled Corpus Delecti and teaches and gives art workshops all over the world.

    Meinert Hansen is a concept artist and illustrator who has worked in film, television, and games for over 27 years. His past credits include Arrival, 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 has conducted a hugely successful Steampunk workshop at the Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition in Toronto.

    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.

    Jeff Simpson is a senior 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. Jeff’s concept art and illustrations have been featured on other games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Magic the Gathering. He has also worked on many high profile films including Ghost in the Shell, Snow White and the Huntsman, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Last Witch Hunter and The Huntsman: Winter's War. In addition to this, Jeff’s work has also been published in various magazines and websites such as Kotaku, ImagineFX and Spectrum Fantastic Art #19 and #20, among others and he has delivered talks at many concept art events including THU 2017, SSGM ‘16 and Studio West Workshop 2015.


    Ben Lo is a senior concept artist and illustrator currently working at Electronic Arts (EA), Montreal. Prior to this, Ben was a senior concept artist at Bioware, where he worked on the hugely successful Mass Effect: Andromeda game. Ben’s other credits include Bioshock Infinite for Irrational Games and Need for Speed for EA Black Box.

    Event Outline

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

    The interactive workshops are designed so you can create art along with the masters and get their feedback on your artwork.

    Activities include figure drawing, a round-table discussion, a cocktail party, speedpainting battles and portfolio reviews.



    Syn Studio's Gathering of Masters begins on Thursday June 28th in the evening and ends Sunday evening July 1st (which is a public holiday in Canada)*


    Thursday June 28th6 PM to 8 PMRound-table discussion
    Friday June 29th 10:30 AM to 7 PMTalks, interactive workshops and activities
     8:30 PM to 11:30 PMEvening activity - cocktail party
    Saturday June 30th10:30 AM to 9 PMTalks, interactive workshops and activities
    Sunday July 1st10:30 AM to 9.30 PMTalks, interactive workshops and activities

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


    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, interactive 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 9 speakers and 65 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).


    The 2018 edition of Syn Studio Gathering of Masters is now over. 

    Please email [email protected] to be on the waiting list for next year's event.


    • Connect and bond with masters and fellow artists in the community.
    • Collaborate with other artists to find solutions for major artistic issues facing the industry today.
    • Challenge yourself to push the boundaries and develop new skills.
    • Create alongside your peers artists in interactive and fun workshops and activities.

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