Thursday, May 31, 2012

Schoolism Workshop Toronto

Schoolism's latest artist workshop in Toronto was AWESOME!!! It was an incredibly educational and inspiring experience. Over two intensive days we learned from Jason Seiler (illustrator for Rolling Stone, TIME, MAD... and more), Alex Woo (Pixar), Louis Gonzales (Pixar), Anthony Jones (Video game concept artist for God of War). Along with the live demonstrations each attendee took home a workbook for each presentation. Woweeee!

Jason Seiler - Seiler's turnover as an editorial illustrator is usually a few days for a finished painting. For this reason he has evolved an incredibly fast workflow while maintaining the highest of quality. Jason encouraged us to figure things out in the thumbnail stage, before we invest the time into rendering. He showed us how to effectively use reference, and how to capture the essence of our subject. Even the animation professionals in attendance seemed to love this workshop....After all, great art is great art!

Alex Woo & Louis Gonzales - This workshop was focused on life drawing for animation and had the attendees drawing from a live model while one teacher drew on a Cintiq display and the other walked around talking to each of us about our drawings. 99% of the life drawing courses/classes Ive attended focused solely on observational drawing. This workshop started with observational and transitioned to interpretive, where we studied the models pose and then attempted to translate that essensce to an animal of our choice (without overly anthropomorphizing). For me this progression was a great way to directly connect the art of life drawing to design work. Below are a few sketches that Louis did, showing how he was interpreting the model. WOH!

Anthony Jones - This dude is a monster at painting monsters! He put a ton of emphasis on designing silhouette, putting a large portion of his time into working and reworking his character in solid black.
Once he was happy he moved on to internal details using a layer clipping mask in photoshop. He differentiated the larger shapes and then materials. His use of "shiiing" sound effects seemed to give him magical abilities in quickly and effectively conveying metal. Soooo awesome. Below is a quick sketch he demoed.

Along with the amazing workshops I got to spend a few extra days with the guest teachers and the Imaginism Studios team. We wined, dined, and did some touristy things like checkin out Niagra Falls. Spending time with such world class artists was life changing. The biggest thing I took away was that, although each of them had a unique path to success, they ALL told stories of passionately struggling and working their butts off. So often they downplayed the importance of god given talent and emphasized the determination that drives them to practice, practice, practice! To paraphrase Anthony Jones, "The solution is to work and work until your awesome". Of course the best part is that our "work" is incredibly fun.

Here is a watercolor I gave to Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera for letting me crash at Imaginism, and a watercolor sketch I did while visiting my grandpa.

Thanks to Schoolism for supercharging my motivation and upgrading my toolset. What a great time!

Check out the Schoolism site for free interviews, online courses, and upcoming live events:

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