Visual Arts

Concept Art & Illustration: Chris Oatley's ArtCast

Chris Oatley

A Disney Character Designer answers your questions about Concept Art, Character Design for Animation, Digital Painting & Illustration.

Episodes

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104
2017-09-21 04:41:21 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, since the very beginning…

In our first installment, we checked in with Darren in 2015, shortly after the successful Kickstarter for the Nomad.

Now, in part two, we wrap up our 2015 interview and jump forward in time to February 2017, while Darren is preparing to launch the reinvented Etchr Art Satchel

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • Why you should prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • Reducing stress and overwhelm during the launch of your Kickstarter.
  • Balancing your Kickstarter project and freelance work.
  • How to get investors for your business.
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Listen To Part 2 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-104-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP2.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part three, we talk about:

  • Why Darren wasn’t satisfied with the Nomad’s big success – and how he made it bigger…
  • How to build collaborations that actually work.
  • The surprising truth behind llama awesomeness.
  • Marketing strategies for artists – that aren’t just numbers and research.
  • Choosing the perfect name for your project.
  • Creating genuine human connections through… memes?

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Awesome Links:

Shopify

Whiplash

Stripe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

You only have one life to live…

Darren encourages all of us to try and do something we feel strongly about – and reassures us that it’s ok to be scared.

…And even in failure, there’s a lesson to be learned.

What’s the most important thing a failed project has ever taught you?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

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The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103
2017-09-21 04:41:21 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe. The bag’s unique tool storage system and thoughtful design made it possible to sketch anywhere. It’s simply the best art bag in the world.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, checking in with Darren since 2015…

In our first installment, Ânia Marcos – now a Producer on The ArtCast – and Darren discuss:

  • Learning from every job you get, even if it’s a little sketchy.
  • What makes The Nomad uniquely perfect for artists.
  • Building an art career in spite of a late start.
  • Mastering the skills you need to be a successful artist, without stepping foot in a classroom.
  • When and why you should compare yourself with other artists.
  • How to keep going when your plans fall apart…

Listen To Part 1 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-103-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP1.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part two, we talk about:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • When is Kickstarter the best option?
  • When to start planning your Kickstarter Campaign…
  • Why to prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Sketchy beginnings…

Darren’s first jobs in the industry were a little, well, sketchy. But instead of getting discouraged, he used these experiences as an opportunity to become a better artist.

How do you stay focused on your craft in a challenging environment?

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102

Visual Development for ‘The Book Of Life’ by Sarah Marino. Banner Image: Illustration for Amazon Rapids by Jenn Ely.

This month, Sarah Marino (Color Supervisor at Nickelodeon)Jenn Ely (Production Designer for House Special, Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks) and I are teaching a new online workshop called First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development.

I invited them both to join me here on The ArtCast to promote First Flight and talk about how they achieved such significant success in their animation careers…

Episode Highlights include:

  • Turning fear into faith.
  • Becoming more professional by de-emotionalizing your creative process.
  • Why we stopped caring about job titles.
  • How fear cost Jenn a a big opportunity (and why she’ll never make that mistake again).
  • Why Sarah had to climb through a human hamster wheel. (That’s not a metaphor.)
  • Inspiring gumball machines and the healing power of ice cream.
  • Is a successful animation career worth the cost?

Listen To ‘Creative Bravery’:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Connect With Sarah:

Sarah Marino

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Listen to Sarah on The ArtCast

Sarah on The Rising Stars Of Animation

Connect With Jenn:

Jenn Ely

Follow Jenn on Instagram

Listen to Jenn on The ArtCast

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely and Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

In this episode, Jenn and I talked about how fear of failure cost each of us a big career opportunity.

We both survived, but we regret the moments when we let fear keep us from taking positive action…

What is a big fear you know you need to confront right now?

Don’t repeat our mistakes. Commit to taking action by sharing about it on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!

I have an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment!

To learn more, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The ‘First Flight’ Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/FirstFlight-OatleyAcademyArtCast-Announcement-TagFix.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

*Banner Image Credit: Detail from a Character VisDev painting by Sarah Marino for Book Of Life (Fox/ ReelFX).

Announcement Transcript:

Hello my friends!

Chris Oatley here with an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment! 

You can go now to http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register.

For those of you who aren’t able to visit the website right now, I’ll share a the teaser – accompanied by the new score written by Seth Earnest:

Sarah Marino (Nickelodeon) and Jenn Ely (Dreamworks, Laika) will join Maike Venhofen (Director, The Storytellers’ Summit) and me for an emotional, inspirational, educational experience unlike anything available online or offline…

First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development is a five-week online workshop that will help you launch a new career in Visual Development for Animation.

With the information-rich lessons, fifteen hours of real-time Visual Development Demos / Q&A Sessions and personalized guidance you’ll find in our Group Coaching Sessions, you will:

  • Create a Visual Development Portfolio and corresponding web presence that meets industry standards while rising above the competition.
  • Form the professional mindset and focused work habits that will help you reach the high levels of artistic skill required by the animation industry.
  • Choose an area of specialization and expand your versatility.
  • Avoid the Top Ten Visual Development Career Killers!
  • Know whether you’re “good enough” to get hired now and, if not, what you need to do to reach that level of quality with your work.
  • Strengthen your skill in the three main areas of Visual Development – Character Props and Environments – and make a plan for ongoing practice.
  • Overcome the fears and bad habits that prevent aspiring Visual Development Artists from landing their dream job.
  • Understand how an Animation Art Department works.
  • Prepare for your first week as a professional Visual Development Artist.

If you’re interested in a career as a VisDev artist for animation, it would be amazing to have you join us…

You can get all the details at http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/

…and you’ll also be able to read about How A Boring Illustration Job Changed My Life Forever.

We gave a sneak peek to some of our current students.

Here are some of the many fantastic reviews:

“I’m so excited to be starting First Flight!  Already watched the first two videos and love it so far!  I’m still working through Magic Box and Storyteller’s Summit and thrilled to add another OA class to the mix.  OA’s seriously my favorite place on the internet.  :D” 

– Veronica

“I was impressed by everything the course contains. By the second video I already felt my confidence boost.” 

– Vismaya

“I’m already feeling the love. Really like the attention you guys are putting into developing a good atmosphere and attention to the students. Looking forward to learning, growing and adding new friends in my life.” 

– Carlos

“First Flight is the Voltron of OA Courses”

– Chad

“What I like most about First Flight is how honest and clear it is about what both you and your work need to be like to be successful, and what mindset you need to achieve that. Would definitely recommend it, just the first few videos have been so mind-opening for me!” 

– Mari

“First Flight lifts the veil on Visual Development, and provides artists with the tools and trajectory to attain a professional level of success. I highly recommend it to any artist considering a career in entertainment and storytelling.  The Oatley Academy has cultivated a community that motivates people to success, and encourages new artists to discover themselves through their own artwork.” 

– Kyle

…once again, go to: http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register today!

The post [Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101

In the previous episode, we met Ryan Carlson – my Disney mentor and the person without whom The Oatley Academy may never have happened…

Now in part two, Ryan talks about:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well.
  • The greatest gift an aspiring animation professional can offer an Art Director…

PLUS: The ArtCast: Behind The Scenes with the OA Team!

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Did You Learn?

Whether from the interview with Ryan or from the panel discussion with the OA Team, what concept from this episode resonated with you the most? …and why?

Please post a comment on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100

In many ways, I owe my career to  Ryan Carlson.

He played a key role in giving me my first break at Disney, taught me more about painting than any other individual and he, more than anyone for whom I’ve worked, has intentionally helped to advance my career.

…and considering that The ArtCast probably wouldn’t exist without my time at Disney, and The Oatley Academy only exists because of The ArtCast, The Oatley Academy might not exist without Ryan…

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why failure is a necessary part of the creative process.
  • What makes a good Art Director?
  • Ryan’s process for creating a Color Script for an animated feature film…

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In Part 2, Ryan Talks About:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well…

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Download Chris Oatley’s performance of “Dance Around The Fire” by Slaid Cleaves

Lyrics to Dance Around The Fire by Slaid Cleaves

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s An ArtCast Party!

Please join the Episode 100 celebration in the comments section on The Oatley Academy website!

Post your reactions to anything in this episode that you liked and it would also be fun if you could share one of your favorite moments from the past 100 episodes of The ArtCast…

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99

In part one of our interview, John Nevarez (Sony, Illumination, Pixar, Disney) gave us a masterclass in gesture drawing technique.

Now, in part two, John talks about:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s All Good In The Neighborhood…

Inside the craziness of the animation industry, attitude is everything. John was able to sidestep getting stuck and keep moving forward with the help of his mantra, “It’s all good in the neighborhood.”

How big of a role does attitude play in your work? Do you have any go-to words of wisdom that keep you positive and focused?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98

John Nevarez approaches his art and his relationships the same way. Whether he encounters a new, blank page or a new person, John sees the opportunity to freely explore new and inspiring ideas.

The whimsical energy in his sketches combined with his delightful personality has made him one of the most reputable professionals in the animation industry.

His stellar career spans from storyboard revisionist to visual development artist, with stops along the way at every major animation studio, including Disney, Sony, Illumination, and Pixar.

Today we discuss:

  • John’s iconic, visceral drawing style…
  • Just saying no to your eraser…
  • And what two dozen rejection letters gets you.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Next: John Talks About:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

When Did You Realize…?

Growing up, John didn’t consider art to be a career path. He just knew that it made him happy.

…until The Lion King.

He was so inspired by the Disney film that he made it his mission to become part of the animation world.

Who or what in your life first introduced you to art as a career?

…and if you’re a professional, what steps did you take to go from passionate to professional?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97

In part one of our interview with Brynn Metheney, we talked about her childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

In part two, Brynn shares some nitty gritty drawing tips and practical ways to improve when your artistic growth seems slow.

She traces her path from obsessive animal doodler, to official creature teacher and talks about the benefits of specialization.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

How Do You Keep Your Art Lively?

Brynn talked about how we often start a drawing with too much detail. …and the result can be lifeless.

Have you ever encountered this problem? If so, how did you solve it?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96

Brynn Metheney puts the “dragons” in Dungeons & Dragons.

While many of her animals come from imaginary worlds, they look like they could exist in this one…

In part one of our interview, we talk about Brynn’s childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

Spoiler alert: it does not involve sitting still.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Please Share Your Thoughts…

Today Brynn talked about finding the similarities in animals and using those “blueprints” to engineer imaginary creatures.

Have you ever found a new idea by closely observing reality?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95

If Radiohead was a painter they’d be Frederic William Stewart.

Fred’s experimental mark-making is simultaneously raw but refined, deliberately spontaneous, visceral and inviting.

He was the first Background Painter on Nickelodeon’s epic animated series The Legend of Korra and today he holds a coveted role as a Dreamworks Visual Development Artist.

In this episode we talk about the early days on Korra, pushing the limits of digital media and why a diversity of influences will make your work stand out…

Listen To My Interview With Frederic William Stewart:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Check Out Fred’s Stunning Paintings:

Click here to see more of Fred’s work…

Awesome Links:

Fred’s Website

The Brush Club

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Fred Stewart thrives on pushing the limits of digital painting and his own artistic ability…

In fact, this has been a trend on The ArtCast recently – Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Jenn Ely, Prescott Harvey and, of course, Fred Stewart – have mentioned how they find inspiration in uncertainty…

How about you?

Do you look forward to – or even seek – the uncomfortable or unfamiliar in your creative process? …and why?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part three, the team from Morning Noon & Night reveals how friends can make the best collaborators and how their friendships are the creative fuel for their current animated short film project…

Morning Noon & Night:

Often, friendships snap under the strain of long-term collaboration.

A small team of friends, united by a love of art and storytelling, found that working on their animated short together did not strain their friendships, but strengthened them instead…

Learning To Be You:

It seems almost silly to risk a friendship in return for a completed project.

So why work with friends?

Friends know how to make you laugh. They also know your fears and flaws and, in moments of deepest self-doubt, can remind us of our aspirations…

“Thanks to the support and honesty of this fantastic group, I’ve been able to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and they have done nothing but inspire me to reach my full potential.”

– Sydni Gregg

“Your art allies know more about you in many ways than people that are closest to you in ‘real life’. Respect that, respect their opinions and be open to learning as much as possible from them.”

– Michael Rew

A Friendly Nudge:

We all need a push sometimes – a nudge in the right direction.

Course-correcting one another creates a bond and an understanding of one another…

“Pushing through a long-term project is difficult. That’s true even with partners at your side. But in sharing this journey with Érika, Sydni, Rafael and Michael, I’ve found creative relationships deeper and more profound than any I’ve experienced before.”

– Carolyn Arcabascio

“Better and richer stories come to life in a team environment and you realize how much you can learn from everyone!”

Rafael Vera Rodríguez

Lasting Love:

Artistic mastery is a mountain with no summit.

Making friends along the way makes the climb even more rewarding and fun…

“I can’t imagine my life without MNN now. They are friends who celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Friends willing to share laughs and shed tears. Friends who have helped me push further.”

Érika Casab

“They’ve become parts of my everyday life, and I’m so much better for it. I think more than anything else, I’ll never stop being grateful for the friendships that this collaboration has given me.”

– Sydni Gregg

Works In Progress…

Here are some lovely animated WIPS from The Morning Noon & Night Team…

Who Is Your Art Ally?

Morning Noon & Night bridged cultures, perspectives, and personalities to find true art allies.

Have you ever collaborated with a friend and achieved positive results…?

Please share your story with us in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Morning Noon & Night Team. Thanks, everyone!

[ Connect with Morning Noon & Night on Tumblr | Twitter ]

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part two, the team from Boneshaker Press reveals how combining their skills empowered them to create an anthology art book that recently became an $11,000 success on Kickstarter…

Boneshaker Press:

“I’ll never be good enough.”

…sound familiar?

We’ve all been there.

Artistic growth is tough.

…it’s exhausting.

…and while we might have very different skills to improve and different goals to reach, that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Boneshaker Press is a group of twenty artists who met through our composition course Painting Drama and bonded over a shared passion for visual storytelling.

Their collaboration exemplifies how finding the right collaborators will help you thrive in spite of the inevitable creative and emotional struggles of artistic growth…

Failing Forward:

It takes a great deal of strength to not get defeated every time a painting doesn’t turn out as we had hoped.

Instead of struggling on their own, the team of Boneshaker Press found in each other the support they needed to keep going. They helped each other grow by failing forward together.

Kira Slaght

“I pushed my work further than ever before. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you’re not on your own.

When you work alone and everything falls to you, forward progress can be exhausting and easily burn you out.

Working within the right group, alongside people who care and are passionate about the end product, is a great change of pace. Even more encouraging is knowing that every contribution helps to bring along shared success.”

Garrett McGill

I Got This:

Their anthology art book Encounters with the Imaginary is a project that would have been impossible to muster alone.

Karlen Tam

“The creative environment pushed me to work harder and do more than I thought I could, because this wasn’t for me – it was for the team. I wish I could activate this level of hyper-focus when I need to work on my own.”

Karlen Tam

“So many ideas came up that sounded great but were beyond my own knowledge or skills, and someone would step up and say, ‘I got this!’ and whew, they would do amazing work. Over and over.”

– Jeszika Le Vye

Jeszika LeVye

This journey with like-minded artists did away with wanting to quit…

“Life, for me, took some crazy turns these past few months. I felt so overwhelmed that I almost let go of being in the group. But in a way, they wouldn’t let go of me. Their continued hard work was a support for me and helped me trust more fully in the idea of collaboration.”

Sydni Kruger

Shoulder To Shoulder:

Group projects can seem intimidating. Who doesn’t remember groaning when having to push together desks in school?

While it is important to respect the group, it is equally important to hold on to individual values and perspectives.

Nick Jizba

“Compromise is a lot easier to deal with when there’s a good reason for it.”

Nick Jizba

“I felt it was important to strike a balance between respecting myself as a creator, good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with these other incredible creators – but also stepping aside and approaching the project as an opportunity to learn anything my collaborators were willing to teach.”

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Need A Hand?

Boneshaker Press created a project none of the individuals could have mustered on their own. At some point all artists need support to push through their artistic struggles.

Can you remember a time when a fellow artist support helped you push through?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Boneshaker Press Team. Thanks, everyone!

Connect with Boneshaker Press  | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Facebook Artgroup ]

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 3!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!

IanBeastOfBurden‘Beast of Burden’ assignment from ‘Painting Drama 1’ by Ian Rosenthaler

Hey, friends! We have two exciting OA announcements for you:

1.) We *finally* have a new release date for The DIY Animation Show (Wednesday, December 7th)

…and…

2.) Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama open this month!

To get all the details, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The Audio Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/OA_Announcement_Dec62016_DIYA_PD1G6_Announcement.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Announcement Highlights:

1.) The DIY Animation Show will launch Wednesday, December 7th!

DIYAS_AlbumArt_600px

After a sudden slew of mysterious tech issues deflated our launch celebration, The DIY Animation Show is finally working!

When we announce the launch on Wednesday, December 7th, could you please:

  1. Subscribe to the show in iTunes.
  2. Download all of the episodes.
  3. Tell a friend.

…and if you have time to give us a star-rating or write a review, that would also be amazingly helpful!

If we can create enough download and review activity on launch day – Wednesday, December 7th – iTunes will take notice and promote the show in their “New and Noteworthy” section.

That, as you might imagine, would be significant.

Of course, on launch day, we’ll post reminders in our podcast feeds, on our various social media platforms, and via email.

2.) ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions will open within the week:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w‘Painting Drama’ work by Sara Burke

Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama (Chris Oatley’s mentored course on composition and developing your visual voice) will open within the week.

  • Class will run for 12 weeks with a 1-week break at midterm.
  • Class will begin January 14th and will be held live, online on Saturdays from 7:30am-1:30pm PT.
  • This year I will be offering additional (optional) open office hours on Thursdays.
  • We will offer audition opportunities to Magic Box and Storytellers’ Summit students first.
  • Learn more about Painting Drama here, here and here.

Thank You!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patience while we worked through the DIYA launch delay.

Also, thank you for emphatically expressing your desire for more Mentored Courses in general and, specifically, more Painting Drama opportunities.

Your unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending support is what keeps us going and ultimately makes OA what it is.

We couldn’t do any of this without you.

followyourheart_LM

Gif by of Lauren Morse

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact OA Support!

The post [Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!

ctnx_2016_postcards_square_420wWill you be at CTNX this weekend?

Please come meet me and the Oatley Academy Team at Booth #T051!

We’re Giving Away:

  • Free Portfolio Reviews.
  • Free “Mini-Print” Postcards.
  • Free Hugs. (It’s been a tough year, right?)

Read on to get the details…

It’s A Tradition:

It’s an Oatley Academy tradition to give away our limited edition collectible postcards at CTN-X.

They’re different every year.

The 2016 set features my most recent Animal Farm digital painting, my favorite plein air sketch from the past year and our favorite illustration by Shawna Tenney, host of our children’s book podcast – Stories Unbound:

The OA Booth Is Near The Main Entrance:

ctnx2016_exhibitorfloorplan_oaboothlocation-1280w

Will You Be There?

Post in the comments below if you’ll be at CTN-X this weekend, and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

We’re super excited to meet and talk with everyone, so don’t be a stranger – come over and say hello!

The post Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part one, the team from Tales Of Three will reveal how they developed a new, collaborative workflow and created a fully illustrated, ninety-two-page book that recently became a $7,000 success on Kickstarter…

Tales of Three:

to3-headshots

Ânia (Portugal), Lise (Norway) and Fred, (Finland, originally from Belgium), met through our digital painting course and bonded over a shared desire to tell meaningful stories.

They all knew telling a meaningful story would be a challenge but their two-year collaboration across three different timezones amidst major changes in lifestyle (a new day job, a wedding, a baby etc.) brought logistical challenges for which they felt completely unprepared.

While productivity tools like Google Hangouts and Dropbox helped, their aggressive production schedule demanded even greater efficiency…

Collaborative Illustration:

Instead of dividing the illustration work per-page, per-scene or per-chapter, the To3 Team created a “pipeline” process similar to that which is used in mainstream animation studios.

To start, Ânia developed the compositions then Fred took over and produced the final line art…

thumbnails_ania_horizontal-1

fredericdaelemans_line_pancakes

Lise and Ânia both worked on the the value studies. 

Then Lise did the color comps and divided the color rendering with Fred…

fredshut

Ânia added the final polish, textures and formatted the text…

talesofthree-spread

With this collaborative “illustration pipeline” they avoided the delays and struggles that are common in their solo illustration work.

Instead, they produced the images quickly because they spent most of their work hours operating within their individual strengths.

As a bonus, this method helped them maintain a consistent style throughout the entire book.

What They Learned:

“The most important thing I learned while working on ‘Tales Of Three’ is that I actually can create stories that connect with people. I overcame my fear of not being good enough to achieve that. I also learned that storytelling is really what I’m meant to do!”

– Lise Hopland

“Luckily, Ânia and Lise compensate for my shortcomings when it comes to project management. And in spite of my general ‘lone-wolf’ attitude I learned to trust and depend on them.”

– Frederic Daelemans

“It’s amazing how the project keeps moving forward, even if you’re going through a tough time and can’t do much. That’s the power of a good collaboration.”

– Ânia Marcos

Can You See Your Own Strengths?

In the end, each illustration in Tales Of Three exemplifies the theme of the story itself – that it’s better to identify and share your strengths instead of living in fear of your weaknesses.

Can you remember a time when someone else helped you identify a strength in yourself that you previously could not see?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Erika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Tales Of Three Team. Thanks, everyone!

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 2!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”

Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply

Here’s the third installment in my ongoing Animal Farm series.

I only just realized that I’ve been illustrating scenes that don’t actually appear in the book. Rather, they are moments I imagined based on the details Orwell did provide.

In the book, we never learn the end of Snowball’s story.

…but this is how I picture it.

Scroll on to see the process video, detail images and the high-res version…

Process Video:

Click play to watch the process evolve…

Detail Images + High-Res:

For a close-up look at the brushwork, click on the thumbnails below or download the high-res version

Ooh! Shiny!

Would you like to learn how to paint shiny materials like you see here?

Stay tuned for my new “Shiny Surfaces” series coming this fall to The Magic Box!

The post Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply” appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94

Luke watches the double sunset on Tatooine in this animated scene from '4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again'

When Disney announced that JJ Abrams would direct Star Wars Episode VII, Prescott Harvey responded with an animated open letter called 4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again.

It resonated with millions of fans who were disappointed by George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and skeptical about Disney’s involvement.

The film went viral and JJ got the message.

Impressed, JJ invited Prescott to pitch a feature film concept at his company Bad Robot Productions.

Today, Prescott shares the story of how he prepared for his first feature film pitch, what he did right, what he did wrong and the new opportunities that followed…

Listen To My Interview With Prescott Harvey:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Join Us On The Storytellers’ Summit:

StorytellersSummitArt_HighQ_300w

Whether you write children’s books, screenplays or novels…

…or draw storyboards or comics: You are a storyteller.

…and every storyteller understands that turning our lofty thoughts into a finished work often feels like an uphill climb…

The Storytellers’ Summit – a new online course from The Oatley Academy – will provide guidance from some of the entertainment industry’s best teachers.

We’ll help you master fundamental concepts like:

  • Developing your protagonist
  • Building a believable world
  • Constructing a compelling plot
  • Finding your voice
  • Fighting writer’s block

Your story is waiting.

Join The Storytellers’ Summit today!

Awesome Links:

Prescott on ArtCast #70

PrescottHarvey.com

Pre-Order In Beta

The Storytellers’ Summit

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Was Your Favorite Pitching Tip?

Which of Prescott’s points of pitching advice resonated with you most? …and why?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

The post Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students

The fourth generation of  Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.

They are intelligent, professional and relentless.

Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…

André Meister:

AndreMeister_TheSirensTemptation_1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.

Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today. 

My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”

– Andre Meister

[ Connect with Andre ]

Bill Cooper:

BillCooper-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”

-Bill Cooper

[ Connect with Bill ]

Carolyn Arcabascio:

CarolynArcabascio-PD1G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.

The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.

The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”

-Carolyn Arcabascio

[ Connect with Carolyn ]

Cassandra Mazur:

Cass-Mazur-Sirens-420w“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.

I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.

‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.

I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.

I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.

This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”

-Cassandra Mazur

[ Connect with Cassandra ]

Jeszika Le Vye:

Gravity-and-Light-1280w

“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.

I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.

Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!

Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.

When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.

Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.

On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.

Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.

I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.

‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

-Jeszika Le Vye

[ Connect with Jeszika ]

Kira Slaght:

KiraSlaght-Ghosts-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.

This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”

-Kira Slaght

[ Connect with Kira ]

Linda Lithén:

LindaL-Perseus-1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.

I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.

I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”

-Linda Lithen

[ Connect with Linda ]

Lynne Yoshii:

Lynne-Yoshii-Midnight-Visit-420w

“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”

-Lynne Yoshii

[ Connect with Lynne ]

Magali Mebsout:

MagaliMebsout-Jaguar-420w“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.

I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”

-Magali Mebsout

[ Connect with Magali ]

Melissa Dow:

MelissaDow-PD1-G4-BeastOfBurden-420w“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’

In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.

I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.

You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.

I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.

Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.

Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.

…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.

I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!

What an incredible experience!”

-Melissa Dow

[ Connect with Melissa ]

Ryan James:

RyanJames-Three-Kings-1280w
“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image that isn’t working. …and understand why it isn’t working.

Now I don’t get bummed when an image is “bad” because I can spot why, and I know that next time it’ll be better.”

[ Connect with Ryan ]

Sara Burke:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w

“I went into ‘Painting Drama’ with the impression it would be helpful but no different than other composition classes I had taken before… NOT SO!

Chris takes you FAR deeper in learning about composition and how it controls the entire painting. He also equips you with tools to create successful compositions yourself.

I’m so happy to say that this class is way more than JUST copying good paintings, but teaches you the HOW and WHY good paintings work.

If I could do it all over again, I would!”

-Sara Burke

[ Connect with Sara ]

Sarah Ricketts:

SarahRicketts-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has revolutionized every aspect of how I approach image making.

I now know, no matter how jumbled my initial inspiration, I have the tools to turn idea chaos into a clear visual statement with more impact and clarity than I had ever anticipated.

What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I can’t thank The Oatley Academy enough, both the amazing staff and my classmates, for that experience.”

-Sarah Ricketts

[ Connect with Sarah ]

Sydni Kruger:

SydniKruger-Sirens-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been an incredibly in-depth, surprising introduction to composition and visual storytelling.

Chris’s teaching has given me much needed direction and clarity in my artistic choices, awareness of how and why the story choices of others succeed, as well as the chance to connect with an amazing art community that I hope to invest in for years to come.”

-Sydni Kruger

[ Connect with Sydni ]

Zijian Yan:

ZiYan-PD1-G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’, we learned how to break down the full orchestration of a composition into its smaller elements and then build them back into a living, breathing, and dramatic experience. Composition is no longer a mystery – it’s a tool.

A lot of other online painting courses feel like corporate gym memberships; there are a bunch of bells and whistles lying around but you have no idea what to start with. ‘Painting Drama’ breaks through all of that.

In ‘Painting Drama,’ Chris Oatley is a coach, a mentor, and provides the most important thing a student needs – guidance.”

-Zi Yan

[ Connect with Zi ]

See What I Mean?

…intense, right?

Their drive is visceral.

…makes you wanna paint.

But first: Please post any encouragements or questions you have for the Painting Drama artists here in the comments.

They’ll be dropping by throughout the week to respond!

…and if you liked this post, check out the highlights from Painting Drama: Generation Three!

The post 15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’

TeachersBioPhotos4up320wClockwise From Top-Left: The teachers of The Story Design Conference: Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Chris Oatley and Jenn Ely

In September of 2016, Claire Keane (Disney), Jenn Ely (Laika), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney) and I will host The Story Design Conference in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

This isn’t simply a “sit quietly and watch famous artists be awesome” kind of thing.

It’s a personal, participatory conference designed to help you discover and develop your unique strengths as a visual storyteller.

So whether you’re an aspiring animation professional or a seasoned pro, we would love for you to join us!

Here are eleven reasons you won’t want to miss it…

1.) A Wealth Of Wisdom and Experience:

Claire Keane is one of the industry’s most revered visual development artists. Her heartfelt passion for art, story, color and character is contagious.

Brian McDonald‘s books and workshops have influenced some of the best animated films of the last decade. When Pixar gets stuck, they call Brian for help!

Jenn Ely has designed for a wide variety of animation styles including stop-motion and innovative mediums such as Google Spotlight Stories & virtual reality. Her career is, in many ways, a picture of the future for aspiring animation professionals.

…and in addition to their accomplished backgrounds, they’re all fantastic teachers who care deeply about your artistic growth and are dedicated to transferring their extensive knowledge to you.

2.) Personal Guidance From Invested Mentors:

Jenn-Ely-MentorForest Spirit by Jenn Ely

The Story Design Conference is loaded with lessons about Color, Composition and Character Development (more on that in a minute), but we also have time set aside every single day for personal interaction.

It’s a super-small venue where the student-to-teacher ratio is the same as a small art college, so we’ll have lots of opportunities to answer questions and offer feedback on your portfolio or personal project.

Any self-taught artist knows that there’s a limit to how much you can learn on your own. A few thoughtful words from a wise mentor who understands your specific situation will almost always be more effective than a thousand words from a pre-recorded video.

3.) Renew Your Passion:

'Stuck Tin Man'Stuck Tin Man by Chris Oatley

Aesop’s Fables, Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard Of Oz, Bambi, E.T., The Legend Of Zelda, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Lord Of The Rings

For thousands of years, great stories have been changing the world.

They don’t just teach us how to survive, but why. They unite us in our joy and in our pain. They transmit the power of healing virtues like selflessness, trust, forgiveness and love…

With lessons like “Finding Your Visual Voice,” Claire Keane’s “Creating Believable Characters” and Brian McDonald’s “The Power Of Storytelling,” The Story Design Conference will remind us why we fell in love with animation in the first place.

This experience will renew our passion for the craft and help us find new focus for the future.

4.) Inspired Productivity:

We’ll be sketching and generating story ideas throughout the entire conference. Your in-class productivity means you’ll leave with a sketchbook full of stuff to work on.

5.) Breaking-In Isn’t What It Used To Be:

We call the current era “The Information Age.”

…and it’s a great time to be an artist.

But because a lot of the information out there is antiquated, irrelevant or just plain wrong, many artists feel more confused and directionless than ever before.

With panel discussions like “What It Takes To Make It In The Entertainment Industry Today” (featuring all of the guests) and an interactive presentation on portfolios (Claire, Jenn and I are teaching that one together!) The Story Design Conference will help you get current and also correct misconceptions that are wasting your time or delaying your success.

6.) Demystifying Color:

ClaireKeane-RapunzelRembrantStyleVisDev300wRapunzel Character Visual Development for Tangled by Claire Keane

Claire Keane and I are currently creating an awesome “nuts and bolts” session for the conference where we will present our most effective tips and techniques for getting your color palettes under control.

On the day following that session, I’ll give a lesson that reveals the secret power of color in sequential storytelling.

After that, Claire will reveal her process further when she selects a volunteer from the audience to be the subject of her LIVE pastel portrait demo! (AAAAAH!!!)

…and if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Ely will demonstrate the techniques she uses in her work as a Color Stylist – an awesome job that a lot of aspiring artists don’t know much about.

7.) Demystifying Composition:

Animal Farm: Mourning Chores by Chris Oatley

Many artists think of color as the most mysterious fundamental concept. But Composition is way weirder.

Brian McDonald and I will approach Composition the same way Claire and I will with Color. We’ll clear up the confusion and equip you with useful tools for further study.

8.) Creating Believable Characters:

“Character Day” at the conference belongs to Claire and Brian. They will present two richly-researched presentations on character development.

I’ve heard some early versions of these presentations and they are completely mind-blowing.

But the lessons are more than just inspiring. Because Claire and Brian are such great teachers, you can immediately begin applying the concepts to your own work.

These sessions alone will make the entire conference worth your time.

9.) Tools and Techniques:

Many live conferences feel great while they’re happening but don’t actually solve your problems.

You get back home, and you still don’t know what you, personally, need to do next.

I have made it my personal responsibility to ensure that The Story Design Conference is completely different.

We are working hard to provide examples and specific applications in every single lesson. Our live demonstrations will also help to solidify the concepts in your mind.

…and as I mentioned earlier, we’ll have lots of time to personalize the information for you.

10.) BFFs!

Left To Right: Ania Marcos, Manny Daniels and Maria Paiz at CTN-X.

The best part of working in animation, games, vfx and publishing is the opportunity to create beautiful, meaningful stories in collaboration with other like-minded, creative people.

The primary goal of The Story Design Conference is to help you become the great visual storyteller you’re meant to be.

Some artists chase greatness for selfish reasons. Some artists aren’t interested in greatness at all.

This conference will bring passionate, focused, big-hearted creators together in an amazing, inspiring environment. …and will undoubtedly spark long-lasting friendships and connections for many of you!

11.) Rome Is A Storytelling Mecca:

NicoleBauerRomeBuildingsMagicHourRome At Magic Hour by Nicole Ziza Bauer

Rome is one of the most breathtaking cities you will ever visit.

You’ll find evidence of the ancient power of Visual Storytelling everywhere you turn.

The architecture, the landscape, the people – This place is amazing.

You will not be able to resist stopping to sketch or paint en plein air. (Maybe I’ll even take a group out for a surprise plein air demo! …oh wait! I’ve said too much! Uhhh…. Spoiler alert?)

Oh, and then there’s the food…

The word “pizza” will be completely redefined for you.

…and so will “coffee.”

…and so will “wine.”

Seriously, friends.

...the wine.

No Time To Read? No Problem!

For your convenience, I created an audio version of this post:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/StoryDesignConference-11ReasonsAnimation-Audio.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Meet Our Amazing Partners:

Our partners in the creation of this conference are the wonderful staff of The Idea Academy in Rome.

They have asked me to communicate to you that they are available to help with anything you need that has to do with registration, travel, accommodations etc.

Also, we have a private Facebook Group for all of the conference attendees. This group will make it easy to find traveling companions, roommates etc.

Plus, we can begin developing relationships before the conference so we have a sense of belonging long before we arrive in Rome!

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the event are completely sold out.

If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Oatley Academy Support.

The Story Design Conference will take place from September 28th – October 2nd 2016.

The post 11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93

JennEly-FlashlightIn part oneClaire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House)Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I announced that we will be teaching at The Story Design Conference from September 28th – October 2nd 2016*, in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy!

(*Note: The conference was moved from May to September.)

In celebration of our announcement, we decided to have a conversation about some of the big ideas we’ll be discussing during the conference.

What followed was a riveting discussion about art, fear and finding your calling…

In this second part you’ll hear us talk about:

  • How to convey emotion through your work.
  • What makes student work stand out.
  • How to keep going when you feel defeated.
  • What we’re looking forward to at The Story Design Conference!

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

New Dates For The Story Design Conference!

We were planning to hold the conference in the Spring, but I failed to realize what so many potential attendees communicated to us immediately following the announcement: You need more than two months to make international travel plans.

…so we moved the dates!

This year’s conference will now take place in the fall: September 28th – October 2nd 2016 to be exact.

It will still take place in the awe-inspiringly beautiful city of Rome, Italy. The guests and curriculum (which focuses on Color, Composition and Character Development) are still the same.

Visit our partners at The Idea Academy to find out more and register for the event!

Awesome Links:

Claire Keane

Jenn Ely

Brian McDonald

Brian’s ‘Invisible Ink’ Blog

Claire Keane on Paper Wings

Jenn Ely on The ArtCast

Brian McDonald on Paper Wings

‘Painting In The Dark’ by Adam Westbrook

Leo Matsuda

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92

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Claire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House), Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks) and Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I have created a unique conference designed to help you become the great visual storyteller you are meant to be.

In May of 2016, our Story Design Conference will take place in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

…and we would love for you to join us.

Claire, Jenn and Brian are all here today in celebration of this announcement!

This is the first of a two-part series in which you’ll hear us discuss:

  • Why you might never find your calling (and why that’s a good thing).
  • How the most intimidating problems can also be the most inspiring.
  • Why fear never goes away (no matter how successful you become).

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91

091-ArmandSerranoP2-share

In part one we heard the story of Armand’s long road to success in the animation industry…

Now, the conversation with Armand gets spiritual as we discuss ‘pure creativity,’ the role of Armand’s faith in his career and creative process and how many aspiring artists are working backwards…

The conversation then spins around 180 degrees to focus on technique and workflow.

Of course, we also ask Armand about the closing of the Disney Florida Studio and his subsequent transition to Sony.

…and as long-time listeners of The ArtCast might expect, Chris cannot resist completely geeking-out about Surf’s Up.

Jose-Luis Segura joins me as a guest co-host.

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

Awesome Links:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Jose-Luis Segura

Films On Paper

Dream On Silly Dreamer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

The Long Haul

*Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

In today’s fast-paced world we are led to believe that the journey to success is one that should happen quickly. However, as we saw today with Armand, the reality is that more often than not it is a slow process.

What do think of this disparity? How do you deal with the reality of the long haul?

Share and discuss your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90

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Armand Serrano‘s inventive compositions, visceral line work and story-rich environment designs have made him a living legend in the animation industry.

Join us today as we discuss the start of his long road to success in the animation industry which led to the creation of his trend-setting work on Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Surf’s Up and Big Hero 6…

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

More From Armand:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Learn More:

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Hidden Strengths?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Even though he transitioned into animation, Armand’s background in engineering has aided him in his career as a layout and environment artist…

What seemingly unrelated aspects of your life have influenced your art in unexpected ways?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events

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Many artists are under the misconception that “the portfolio” is a fixed, finishable thing

This misconception can be particularly restrictive at conventions, job fairs and other recruiting events where you get frequent feedback from industry pros.

In this episode we share a strategy that will help you design a physical portfolio that can adapt to the feedback and unexpected opportunities you’ll encounter throughout the event…

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Our New Show:

[ download the mp3 ]

*Escape From Art Jail will launch on November 10th, 2015 as part of The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass becomes available!

Awesome Links:

Staples Presentation Binder

Jenn Ely

Melissa Manwill

7 Upcoming Visual Development Artists Who Impressed At CTN-X

Intro Music: Philly Run by B-Ju

Outro music: Slums of Heaven by Smoked Meat Fax Machine

So, What Do You Think Of Our New Show?!

We’re all sUUUper-excited!

Please share your thoughts on this episode at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34

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In the first two parts of this interview, Jason Brubaker told us the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provided fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Now, in part three, we discuss his career-defining graphic novel reMIND, his record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns and the broad appeal of deeply personal work…

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 3 Of The Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

Awesome Links:

Don’t forget to claim your name at Paypal.me!

Escape From Art Jail Episode 3

MakingComics.com

Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

Why Are Personal Projects So Powerful?

Independent creators are, by definition, purveyors of their own personal projects.

And now, many (if not most) influential pros agree that personal projects are one of the main ways to break into the entertainment industry.

Why is that? Why are personal projects so powerful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89

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In part one of this interview, my good friend Jason Brubaker and I discussed his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Now, in part 2, he tells the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provides fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

What Are Your Thoughts On Competition?

Do you embrace it or avoid it? Why?

Can a competitive attitude benefit artists without letting it consume them? If so, how?

Join the conversation at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88

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My friend Jason Brubaker has achieved impressive success in both the mainstream entertainment industry and as an independent creator.

He held a coveted Visual Development position at DreamWorks Feature Animation, broke Kickstarter records with his original graphic novel reMIND and now makes his living entirely from personal projects.

In this episode, Jason and I discuss his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Oh! …and the comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

The Comments Section Has Moved!

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Jason talked about the importance of trying to spend our limited time in meaningful ways.

Do you have a passion to make meaningful art or tell meaningful stories? If so, what are you doing to realize that passion?

…and if you’re still searching for your meaningful path, did Jason help at all? If so, how?

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio

Pandora_Detail_320wPandora’s Box, The Holy Grail, The One Ring, Lightsabers, Reese’s Pieces, The Red Pill, The Ark Of The Covenant, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, The Flux Capacitor, Thor’s Hammer…

Props are essential for creating believable worlds.

So why are they often neglected in Visual Development portfolios?

In this article, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe – Editorial Assistant for The Oatley Academy – and I share three creative challenges that will help you fill your portfolio with props that tell a story.

This is the fourth part of an ongoing series

1.) Create A History For Every Prop:

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Era-specific materials, style, taste, texture, color, dust, weather, fabrics, patterns, storage, quantity, physical condition, monetary value, dents, scratches, inscriptions, creative customizations…

There are stories in the objects that surround us.

When you design a prop, you’re designing its history as well.

You don’t have to write an epic backstory for every single prop in your portfolio.

…but an imaginary history will inspire authenticity in your designs.

…and authenticity is essential for designing believable worlds.

2.) Connect Your Props To Your Characters:

Fozzie_Puppeteer_MuppetShowYou didn’t spring into existence, full of memories, tastes, hopes and fears…

Rather, your individuality was formed by your life experiences.

…and you, like everyone else, own a collection of objects that you associate with specific memories from your life experience.

There are memories in the objects we collect.

Whenever possible (and especially for your portfolio) design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.

What is the character’s relationship to the object?

DocBrownHelmetWhy did the character keep this object?

…or did they lose it?

Did the character augment or affect the appearance of the object?

Do they take care of it?

…or take it for granted?

Did the character make it?

…or break it?

“Whenever possible, design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.”

[ click to tweet this quote ]

3.) Prepare With A Personal Project:

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While extensive research will certainly help you become a better prop designer, research without clear goals can become overwhelming.

Personal Projects focus your study and guide your visual development process.

That focus alone will make research more manageable.

…but choose a topic that interests you and your innate, creative curiosity will keep you going.

Develop several pages full of props for your Personal Project and you will feel way more confident and prepared for your next studio gig.

4.) Learn How Stuff Works:

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Whether you’re a gearhead, a costume designer or a hobbyist historian, specialized knowledge will support your creative career.

It could even lead to related work on an animated production.

My (Chris) first visual development gig was as a “Prop Visual Development Painter.”

My job was to paint over prop designs to make them look like they would appear in the final film. (You can see a few examples on my art page. You can learn more about the process here, here and here.)

I learned how to paint many different materials. I learned how certain mechanical objects were built and how they work. I learned about nature, anthropology and meteorology…

…but imagine the advantage you will have if you can demonstrate this knowledge in your portfolio the next time you apply for a VisDev job.

What Is Your Favorite Famous Prop and Why?

Tweet me and tell me what you think.

…and if you’re interested in developing original visual stories for your portfolio or as an independent venture, you’ll find help in The Magic Box.

The post From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33
2017-09-21 04:41:22 UTC
Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33

PWP33_ClaireKeane

Claire Keane is a brilliant illustrator and visual development artist, who has helped to develop numerous immersive worlds, including Tangled and Duet.

After leaving Disney, she released her first illustrated children’s book: Once Upon A Cloud. It’s a beautifully rendered, heartwarming story about family and following your dreams.

Join us today as we discuss humanizing your fictional characters, the versatile power of line, leaving Disney and Claire’s new artistic path…

Listen To Our Interview With Claire Keane:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Claire Keane:

Claire’s Website

Claire on Twitter

Claire on Instagram

‘Once Upon A Cloud’ by Claire Keane

Awesome Links:

Brian McDonald

Charley Harper

‘Man And His Symbols’ by Carl Jung

‘The Wisdom Of Joseph Campbell’ on Audible.com

Carl Jung – Wikipedia

Joseph Campbell – Wikipedia

Theme music by Research Division

Transition music by The Years

Join The Notification List For OA Live!

ChrisOatleyLoraInnes_OAsiteHomePagePanel1

The OA Teachers and some of your favorite podcast guests join forces to bring you a visual storytelling education unlike anything the Internet has ever seen.

Click here to learn more >>

Brainstorm and Share!

Despite the extraordinary quality of the story, Claire’s idea for Once Upon A Cloud came from a very ordinary place.

Can you find a few extraordinary story ideas in the ordinary aspects of your own life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, since the very beginning…

In our first installment, we checked in with Darren in 2015, shortly after the successful Kickstarter for the Nomad.

Now, in part two, we wrap up our 2015 interview and jump forward in time to February 2017, while Darren is preparing to launch the reinvented Etchr Art Satchel

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • Why you should prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • Reducing stress and overwhelm during the launch of your Kickstarter.
  • Balancing your Kickstarter project and freelance work.
  • How to get investors for your business.
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Listen To Part 2 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-104-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP2.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part three, we talk about:

  • Why Darren wasn’t satisfied with the Nomad’s big success – and how he made it bigger…
  • How to build collaborations that actually work.
  • The surprising truth behind llama awesomeness.
  • Marketing strategies for artists – that aren’t just numbers and research.
  • Choosing the perfect name for your project.
  • Creating genuine human connections through… memes?

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Awesome Links:

Shopify

Whiplash

Stripe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

You only have one life to live…

Darren encourages all of us to try and do something we feel strongly about – and reassures us that it’s ok to be scared.

…And even in failure, there’s a lesson to be learned.

What’s the most important thing a failed project has ever taught you?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe. The bag’s unique tool storage system and thoughtful design made it possible to sketch anywhere. It’s simply the best art bag in the world.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, checking in with Darren since 2015…

In our first installment, Ânia Marcos – now a Producer on The ArtCast – and Darren discuss:

  • Learning from every job you get, even if it’s a little sketchy.
  • What makes The Nomad uniquely perfect for artists.
  • Building an art career in spite of a late start.
  • Mastering the skills you need to be a successful artist, without stepping foot in a classroom.
  • When and why you should compare yourself with other artists.
  • How to keep going when your plans fall apart…

Listen To Part 1 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-103-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP1.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part two, we talk about:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • When is Kickstarter the best option?
  • When to start planning your Kickstarter Campaign…
  • Why to prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Sketchy beginnings…

Darren’s first jobs in the industry were a little, well, sketchy. But instead of getting discouraged, he used these experiences as an opportunity to become a better artist.

How do you stay focused on your craft in a challenging environment?

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102

Visual Development for ‘The Book Of Life’ by Sarah Marino. Banner Image: Illustration for Amazon Rapids by Jenn Ely.

This month, Sarah Marino (Color Supervisor at Nickelodeon)Jenn Ely (Production Designer for House Special, Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks) and I are teaching a new online workshop called First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development.

I invited them both to join me here on The ArtCast to promote First Flight and talk about how they achieved such significant success in their animation careers…

Episode Highlights include:

  • Turning fear into faith.
  • Becoming more professional by de-emotionalizing your creative process.
  • Why we stopped caring about job titles.
  • How fear cost Jenn a a big opportunity (and why she’ll never make that mistake again).
  • Why Sarah had to climb through a human hamster wheel. (That’s not a metaphor.)
  • Inspiring gumball machines and the healing power of ice cream.
  • Is a successful animation career worth the cost?

Listen To ‘Creative Bravery’:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Connect With Sarah:

Sarah Marino

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Listen to Sarah on The ArtCast

Sarah on The Rising Stars Of Animation

Connect With Jenn:

Jenn Ely

Follow Jenn on Instagram

Listen to Jenn on The ArtCast

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely and Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

In this episode, Jenn and I talked about how fear of failure cost each of us a big career opportunity.

We both survived, but we regret the moments when we let fear keep us from taking positive action…

What is a big fear you know you need to confront right now?

Don’t repeat our mistakes. Commit to taking action by sharing about it on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!

I have an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment!

To learn more, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The ‘First Flight’ Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/FirstFlight-OatleyAcademyArtCast-Announcement-TagFix.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

*Banner Image Credit: Detail from a Character VisDev painting by Sarah Marino for Book Of Life (Fox/ ReelFX).

Announcement Transcript:

Hello my friends!

Chris Oatley here with an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment! 

You can go now to http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register.

For those of you who aren’t able to visit the website right now, I’ll share a the teaser – accompanied by the new score written by Seth Earnest:

Sarah Marino (Nickelodeon) and Jenn Ely (Dreamworks, Laika) will join Maike Venhofen (Director, The Storytellers’ Summit) and me for an emotional, inspirational, educational experience unlike anything available online or offline…

First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development is a five-week online workshop that will help you launch a new career in Visual Development for Animation.

With the information-rich lessons, fifteen hours of real-time Visual Development Demos / Q&A Sessions and personalized guidance you’ll find in our Group Coaching Sessions, you will:

  • Create a Visual Development Portfolio and corresponding web presence that meets industry standards while rising above the competition.
  • Form the professional mindset and focused work habits that will help you reach the high levels of artistic skill required by the animation industry.
  • Choose an area of specialization and expand your versatility.
  • Avoid the Top Ten Visual Development Career Killers!
  • Know whether you’re “good enough” to get hired now and, if not, what you need to do to reach that level of quality with your work.
  • Strengthen your skill in the three main areas of Visual Development – Character Props and Environments – and make a plan for ongoing practice.
  • Overcome the fears and bad habits that prevent aspiring Visual Development Artists from landing their dream job.
  • Understand how an Animation Art Department works.
  • Prepare for your first week as a professional Visual Development Artist.

If you’re interested in a career as a VisDev artist for animation, it would be amazing to have you join us…

You can get all the details at http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/

…and you’ll also be able to read about How A Boring Illustration Job Changed My Life Forever.

We gave a sneak peek to some of our current students.

Here are some of the many fantastic reviews:

“I’m so excited to be starting First Flight!  Already watched the first two videos and love it so far!  I’m still working through Magic Box and Storyteller’s Summit and thrilled to add another OA class to the mix.  OA’s seriously my favorite place on the internet.  :D” 

– Veronica

“I was impressed by everything the course contains. By the second video I already felt my confidence boost.” 

– Vismaya

“I’m already feeling the love. Really like the attention you guys are putting into developing a good atmosphere and attention to the students. Looking forward to learning, growing and adding new friends in my life.” 

– Carlos

“First Flight is the Voltron of OA Courses”

– Chad

“What I like most about First Flight is how honest and clear it is about what both you and your work need to be like to be successful, and what mindset you need to achieve that. Would definitely recommend it, just the first few videos have been so mind-opening for me!” 

– Mari

“First Flight lifts the veil on Visual Development, and provides artists with the tools and trajectory to attain a professional level of success. I highly recommend it to any artist considering a career in entertainment and storytelling.  The Oatley Academy has cultivated a community that motivates people to success, and encourages new artists to discover themselves through their own artwork.” 

– Kyle

…once again, go to: http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register today!

The post [Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101

In the previous episode, we met Ryan Carlson – my Disney mentor and the person without whom The Oatley Academy may never have happened…

Now in part two, Ryan talks about:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well.
  • The greatest gift an aspiring animation professional can offer an Art Director…

PLUS: The ArtCast: Behind The Scenes with the OA Team!

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Did You Learn?

Whether from the interview with Ryan or from the panel discussion with the OA Team, what concept from this episode resonated with you the most? …and why?

Please post a comment on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100

In many ways, I owe my career to  Ryan Carlson.

He played a key role in giving me my first break at Disney, taught me more about painting than any other individual and he, more than anyone for whom I’ve worked, has intentionally helped to advance my career.

…and considering that The ArtCast probably wouldn’t exist without my time at Disney, and The Oatley Academy only exists because of The ArtCast, The Oatley Academy might not exist without Ryan…

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why failure is a necessary part of the creative process.
  • What makes a good Art Director?
  • Ryan’s process for creating a Color Script for an animated feature film…

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In Part 2, Ryan Talks About:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well…

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Download Chris Oatley’s performance of “Dance Around The Fire” by Slaid Cleaves

Lyrics to Dance Around The Fire by Slaid Cleaves

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s An ArtCast Party!

Please join the Episode 100 celebration in the comments section on The Oatley Academy website!

Post your reactions to anything in this episode that you liked and it would also be fun if you could share one of your favorite moments from the past 100 episodes of The ArtCast…

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99

In part one of our interview, John Nevarez (Sony, Illumination, Pixar, Disney) gave us a masterclass in gesture drawing technique.

Now, in part two, John talks about:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s All Good In The Neighborhood…

Inside the craziness of the animation industry, attitude is everything. John was able to sidestep getting stuck and keep moving forward with the help of his mantra, “It’s all good in the neighborhood.”

How big of a role does attitude play in your work? Do you have any go-to words of wisdom that keep you positive and focused?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98

John Nevarez approaches his art and his relationships the same way. Whether he encounters a new, blank page or a new person, John sees the opportunity to freely explore new and inspiring ideas.

The whimsical energy in his sketches combined with his delightful personality has made him one of the most reputable professionals in the animation industry.

His stellar career spans from storyboard revisionist to visual development artist, with stops along the way at every major animation studio, including Disney, Sony, Illumination, and Pixar.

Today we discuss:

  • John’s iconic, visceral drawing style…
  • Just saying no to your eraser…
  • And what two dozen rejection letters gets you.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Next: John Talks About:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

When Did You Realize…?

Growing up, John didn’t consider art to be a career path. He just knew that it made him happy.

…until The Lion King.

He was so inspired by the Disney film that he made it his mission to become part of the animation world.

Who or what in your life first introduced you to art as a career?

…and if you’re a professional, what steps did you take to go from passionate to professional?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97

In part one of our interview with Brynn Metheney, we talked about her childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

In part two, Brynn shares some nitty gritty drawing tips and practical ways to improve when your artistic growth seems slow.

She traces her path from obsessive animal doodler, to official creature teacher and talks about the benefits of specialization.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

How Do You Keep Your Art Lively?

Brynn talked about how we often start a drawing with too much detail. …and the result can be lifeless.

Have you ever encountered this problem? If so, how did you solve it?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96

Brynn Metheney puts the “dragons” in Dungeons & Dragons.

While many of her animals come from imaginary worlds, they look like they could exist in this one…

In part one of our interview, we talk about Brynn’s childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

Spoiler alert: it does not involve sitting still.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Please Share Your Thoughts…

Today Brynn talked about finding the similarities in animals and using those “blueprints” to engineer imaginary creatures.

Have you ever found a new idea by closely observing reality?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95

If Radiohead was a painter they’d be Frederic William Stewart.

Fred’s experimental mark-making is simultaneously raw but refined, deliberately spontaneous, visceral and inviting.

He was the first Background Painter on Nickelodeon’s epic animated series The Legend of Korra and today he holds a coveted role as a Dreamworks Visual Development Artist.

In this episode we talk about the early days on Korra, pushing the limits of digital media and why a diversity of influences will make your work stand out…

Listen To My Interview With Frederic William Stewart:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Check Out Fred’s Stunning Paintings:

Click here to see more of Fred’s work…

Awesome Links:

Fred’s Website

The Brush Club

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Fred Stewart thrives on pushing the limits of digital painting and his own artistic ability…

In fact, this has been a trend on The ArtCast recently – Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Jenn Ely, Prescott Harvey and, of course, Fred Stewart – have mentioned how they find inspiration in uncertainty…

How about you?

Do you look forward to – or even seek – the uncomfortable or unfamiliar in your creative process? …and why?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part three, the team from Morning Noon & Night reveals how friends can make the best collaborators and how their friendships are the creative fuel for their current animated short film project…

Morning Noon & Night:

Often, friendships snap under the strain of long-term collaboration.

A small team of friends, united by a love of art and storytelling, found that working on their animated short together did not strain their friendships, but strengthened them instead…

Learning To Be You:

It seems almost silly to risk a friendship in return for a completed project.

So why work with friends?

Friends know how to make you laugh. They also know your fears and flaws and, in moments of deepest self-doubt, can remind us of our aspirations…

“Thanks to the support and honesty of this fantastic group, I’ve been able to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and they have done nothing but inspire me to reach my full potential.”

– Sydni Gregg

“Your art allies know more about you in many ways than people that are closest to you in ‘real life’. Respect that, respect their opinions and be open to learning as much as possible from them.”

– Michael Rew

A Friendly Nudge:

We all need a push sometimes – a nudge in the right direction.

Course-correcting one another creates a bond and an understanding of one another…

“Pushing through a long-term project is difficult. That’s true even with partners at your side. But in sharing this journey with Érika, Sydni, Rafael and Michael, I’ve found creative relationships deeper and more profound than any I’ve experienced before.”

– Carolyn Arcabascio

“Better and richer stories come to life in a team environment and you realize how much you can learn from everyone!”

Rafael Vera Rodríguez

Lasting Love:

Artistic mastery is a mountain with no summit.

Making friends along the way makes the climb even more rewarding and fun…

“I can’t imagine my life without MNN now. They are friends who celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Friends willing to share laughs and shed tears. Friends who have helped me push further.”

Érika Casab

“They’ve become parts of my everyday life, and I’m so much better for it. I think more than anything else, I’ll never stop being grateful for the friendships that this collaboration has given me.”

– Sydni Gregg

Works In Progress…

Here are some lovely animated WIPS from The Morning Noon & Night Team…

Who Is Your Art Ally?

Morning Noon & Night bridged cultures, perspectives, and personalities to find true art allies.

Have you ever collaborated with a friend and achieved positive results…?

Please share your story with us in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Morning Noon & Night Team. Thanks, everyone!

[ Connect with Morning Noon & Night on Tumblr | Twitter ]

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part two, the team from Boneshaker Press reveals how combining their skills empowered them to create an anthology art book that recently became an $11,000 success on Kickstarter…

Boneshaker Press:

“I’ll never be good enough.”

…sound familiar?

We’ve all been there.

Artistic growth is tough.

…it’s exhausting.

…and while we might have very different skills to improve and different goals to reach, that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Boneshaker Press is a group of twenty artists who met through our composition course Painting Drama and bonded over a shared passion for visual storytelling.

Their collaboration exemplifies how finding the right collaborators will help you thrive in spite of the inevitable creative and emotional struggles of artistic growth…

Failing Forward:

It takes a great deal of strength to not get defeated every time a painting doesn’t turn out as we had hoped.

Instead of struggling on their own, the team of Boneshaker Press found in each other the support they needed to keep going. They helped each other grow by failing forward together.

Kira Slaght

“I pushed my work further than ever before. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you’re not on your own.

When you work alone and everything falls to you, forward progress can be exhausting and easily burn you out.

Working within the right group, alongside people who care and are passionate about the end product, is a great change of pace. Even more encouraging is knowing that every contribution helps to bring along shared success.”

Garrett McGill

I Got This:

Their anthology art book Encounters with the Imaginary is a project that would have been impossible to muster alone.

Karlen Tam

“The creative environment pushed me to work harder and do more than I thought I could, because this wasn’t for me – it was for the team. I wish I could activate this level of hyper-focus when I need to work on my own.”

Karlen Tam

“So many ideas came up that sounded great but were beyond my own knowledge or skills, and someone would step up and say, ‘I got this!’ and whew, they would do amazing work. Over and over.”

– Jeszika Le Vye

Jeszika LeVye

This journey with like-minded artists did away with wanting to quit…

“Life, for me, took some crazy turns these past few months. I felt so overwhelmed that I almost let go of being in the group. But in a way, they wouldn’t let go of me. Their continued hard work was a support for me and helped me trust more fully in the idea of collaboration.”

Sydni Kruger

Shoulder To Shoulder:

Group projects can seem intimidating. Who doesn’t remember groaning when having to push together desks in school?

While it is important to respect the group, it is equally important to hold on to individual values and perspectives.

Nick Jizba

“Compromise is a lot easier to deal with when there’s a good reason for it.”

Nick Jizba

“I felt it was important to strike a balance between respecting myself as a creator, good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with these other incredible creators – but also stepping aside and approaching the project as an opportunity to learn anything my collaborators were willing to teach.”

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Need A Hand?

Boneshaker Press created a project none of the individuals could have mustered on their own. At some point all artists need support to push through their artistic struggles.

Can you remember a time when a fellow artist support helped you push through?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Boneshaker Press Team. Thanks, everyone!

Connect with Boneshaker Press  | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Facebook Artgroup ]

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 3!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!

IanBeastOfBurden‘Beast of Burden’ assignment from ‘Painting Drama 1’ by Ian Rosenthaler

Hey, friends! We have two exciting OA announcements for you:

1.) We *finally* have a new release date for The DIY Animation Show (Wednesday, December 7th)

…and…

2.) Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama open this month!

To get all the details, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The Audio Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/OA_Announcement_Dec62016_DIYA_PD1G6_Announcement.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Announcement Highlights:

1.) The DIY Animation Show will launch Wednesday, December 7th!

DIYAS_AlbumArt_600px

After a sudden slew of mysterious tech issues deflated our launch celebration, The DIY Animation Show is finally working!

When we announce the launch on Wednesday, December 7th, could you please:

  1. Subscribe to the show in iTunes.
  2. Download all of the episodes.
  3. Tell a friend.

…and if you have time to give us a star-rating or write a review, that would also be amazingly helpful!

If we can create enough download and review activity on launch day – Wednesday, December 7th – iTunes will take notice and promote the show in their “New and Noteworthy” section.

That, as you might imagine, would be significant.

Of course, on launch day, we’ll post reminders in our podcast feeds, on our various social media platforms, and via email.

2.) ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions will open within the week:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w‘Painting Drama’ work by Sara Burke

Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama (Chris Oatley’s mentored course on composition and developing your visual voice) will open within the week.

  • Class will run for 12 weeks with a 1-week break at midterm.
  • Class will begin January 14th and will be held live, online on Saturdays from 7:30am-1:30pm PT.
  • This year I will be offering additional (optional) open office hours on Thursdays.
  • We will offer audition opportunities to Magic Box and Storytellers’ Summit students first.
  • Learn more about Painting Drama here, here and here.

Thank You!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patience while we worked through the DIYA launch delay.

Also, thank you for emphatically expressing your desire for more Mentored Courses in general and, specifically, more Painting Drama opportunities.

Your unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending support is what keeps us going and ultimately makes OA what it is.

We couldn’t do any of this without you.

followyourheart_LM

Gif by of Lauren Morse

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact OA Support!

The post [Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!

ctnx_2016_postcards_square_420wWill you be at CTNX this weekend?

Please come meet me and the Oatley Academy Team at Booth #T051!

We’re Giving Away:

  • Free Portfolio Reviews.
  • Free “Mini-Print” Postcards.
  • Free Hugs. (It’s been a tough year, right?)

Read on to get the details…

It’s A Tradition:

It’s an Oatley Academy tradition to give away our limited edition collectible postcards at CTN-X.

They’re different every year.

The 2016 set features my most recent Animal Farm digital painting, my favorite plein air sketch from the past year and our favorite illustration by Shawna Tenney, host of our children’s book podcast – Stories Unbound:

The OA Booth Is Near The Main Entrance:

ctnx2016_exhibitorfloorplan_oaboothlocation-1280w

Will You Be There?

Post in the comments below if you’ll be at CTN-X this weekend, and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

We’re super excited to meet and talk with everyone, so don’t be a stranger – come over and say hello!

The post Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part one, the team from Tales Of Three will reveal how they developed a new, collaborative workflow and created a fully illustrated, ninety-two-page book that recently became a $7,000 success on Kickstarter…

Tales of Three:

to3-headshots

Ânia (Portugal), Lise (Norway) and Fred, (Finland, originally from Belgium), met through our digital painting course and bonded over a shared desire to tell meaningful stories.

They all knew telling a meaningful story would be a challenge but their two-year collaboration across three different timezones amidst major changes in lifestyle (a new day job, a wedding, a baby etc.) brought logistical challenges for which they felt completely unprepared.

While productivity tools like Google Hangouts and Dropbox helped, their aggressive production schedule demanded even greater efficiency…

Collaborative Illustration:

Instead of dividing the illustration work per-page, per-scene or per-chapter, the To3 Team created a “pipeline” process similar to that which is used in mainstream animation studios.

To start, Ânia developed the compositions then Fred took over and produced the final line art…

thumbnails_ania_horizontal-1

fredericdaelemans_line_pancakes

Lise and Ânia both worked on the the value studies. 

Then Lise did the color comps and divided the color rendering with Fred…

fredshut

Ânia added the final polish, textures and formatted the text…

talesofthree-spread

With this collaborative “illustration pipeline” they avoided the delays and struggles that are common in their solo illustration work.

Instead, they produced the images quickly because they spent most of their work hours operating within their individual strengths.

As a bonus, this method helped them maintain a consistent style throughout the entire book.

What They Learned:

“The most important thing I learned while working on ‘Tales Of Three’ is that I actually can create stories that connect with people. I overcame my fear of not being good enough to achieve that. I also learned that storytelling is really what I’m meant to do!”

– Lise Hopland

“Luckily, Ânia and Lise compensate for my shortcomings when it comes to project management. And in spite of my general ‘lone-wolf’ attitude I learned to trust and depend on them.”

– Frederic Daelemans

“It’s amazing how the project keeps moving forward, even if you’re going through a tough time and can’t do much. That’s the power of a good collaboration.”

– Ânia Marcos

Can You See Your Own Strengths?

In the end, each illustration in Tales Of Three exemplifies the theme of the story itself – that it’s better to identify and share your strengths instead of living in fear of your weaknesses.

Can you remember a time when someone else helped you identify a strength in yourself that you previously could not see?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Erika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Tales Of Three Team. Thanks, everyone!

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 2!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”

Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply

Here’s the third installment in my ongoing Animal Farm series.

I only just realized that I’ve been illustrating scenes that don’t actually appear in the book. Rather, they are moments I imagined based on the details Orwell did provide.

In the book, we never learn the end of Snowball’s story.

…but this is how I picture it.

Scroll on to see the process video, detail images and the high-res version…

Process Video:

Click play to watch the process evolve…

Detail Images + High-Res:

For a close-up look at the brushwork, click on the thumbnails below or download the high-res version

Ooh! Shiny!

Would you like to learn how to paint shiny materials like you see here?

Stay tuned for my new “Shiny Surfaces” series coming this fall to The Magic Box!

The post Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply” appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94

Luke watches the double sunset on Tatooine in this animated scene from '4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again'

When Disney announced that JJ Abrams would direct Star Wars Episode VII, Prescott Harvey responded with an animated open letter called 4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again.

It resonated with millions of fans who were disappointed by George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and skeptical about Disney’s involvement.

The film went viral and JJ got the message.

Impressed, JJ invited Prescott to pitch a feature film concept at his company Bad Robot Productions.

Today, Prescott shares the story of how he prepared for his first feature film pitch, what he did right, what he did wrong and the new opportunities that followed…

Listen To My Interview With Prescott Harvey:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Join Us On The Storytellers’ Summit:

StorytellersSummitArt_HighQ_300w

Whether you write children’s books, screenplays or novels…

…or draw storyboards or comics: You are a storyteller.

…and every storyteller understands that turning our lofty thoughts into a finished work often feels like an uphill climb…

The Storytellers’ Summit – a new online course from The Oatley Academy – will provide guidance from some of the entertainment industry’s best teachers.

We’ll help you master fundamental concepts like:

  • Developing your protagonist
  • Building a believable world
  • Constructing a compelling plot
  • Finding your voice
  • Fighting writer’s block

Your story is waiting.

Join The Storytellers’ Summit today!

Awesome Links:

Prescott on ArtCast #70

PrescottHarvey.com

Pre-Order In Beta

The Storytellers’ Summit

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Was Your Favorite Pitching Tip?

Which of Prescott’s points of pitching advice resonated with you most? …and why?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

The post Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students

The fourth generation of  Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.

They are intelligent, professional and relentless.

Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…

André Meister:

AndreMeister_TheSirensTemptation_1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.

Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today. 

My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”

– Andre Meister

[ Connect with Andre ]

Bill Cooper:

BillCooper-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”

-Bill Cooper

[ Connect with Bill ]

Carolyn Arcabascio:

CarolynArcabascio-PD1G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.

The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.

The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”

-Carolyn Arcabascio

[ Connect with Carolyn ]

Cassandra Mazur:

Cass-Mazur-Sirens-420w“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.

I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.

‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.

I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.

I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.

This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”

-Cassandra Mazur

[ Connect with Cassandra ]

Jeszika Le Vye:

Gravity-and-Light-1280w

“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.

I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.

Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!

Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.

When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.

Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.

On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.

Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.

I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.

‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

-Jeszika Le Vye

[ Connect with Jeszika ]

Kira Slaght:

KiraSlaght-Ghosts-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.

This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”

-Kira Slaght

[ Connect with Kira ]

Linda Lithén:

LindaL-Perseus-1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.

I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.

I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”

-Linda Lithen

[ Connect with Linda ]

Lynne Yoshii:

Lynne-Yoshii-Midnight-Visit-420w

“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”

-Lynne Yoshii

[ Connect with Lynne ]

Magali Mebsout:

MagaliMebsout-Jaguar-420w“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.

I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”

-Magali Mebsout

[ Connect with Magali ]

Melissa Dow:

MelissaDow-PD1-G4-BeastOfBurden-420w“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’

In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.

I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.

You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.

I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.

Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.

Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.

…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.

I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!

What an incredible experience!”

-Melissa Dow

[ Connect with Melissa ]

Ryan James:

RyanJames-Three-Kings-1280w
“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image that isn’t working. …and understand why it isn’t working.

Now I don’t get bummed when an image is “bad” because I can spot why, and I know that next time it’ll be better.”

[ Connect with Ryan ]

Sara Burke:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w

“I went into ‘Painting Drama’ with the impression it would be helpful but no different than other composition classes I had taken before… NOT SO!

Chris takes you FAR deeper in learning about composition and how it controls the entire painting. He also equips you with tools to create successful compositions yourself.

I’m so happy to say that this class is way more than JUST copying good paintings, but teaches you the HOW and WHY good paintings work.

If I could do it all over again, I would!”

-Sara Burke

[ Connect with Sara ]

Sarah Ricketts:

SarahRicketts-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has revolutionized every aspect of how I approach image making.

I now know, no matter how jumbled my initial inspiration, I have the tools to turn idea chaos into a clear visual statement with more impact and clarity than I had ever anticipated.

What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I can’t thank The Oatley Academy enough, both the amazing staff and my classmates, for that experience.”

-Sarah Ricketts

[ Connect with Sarah ]

Sydni Kruger:

SydniKruger-Sirens-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been an incredibly in-depth, surprising introduction to composition and visual storytelling.

Chris’s teaching has given me much needed direction and clarity in my artistic choices, awareness of how and why the story choices of others succeed, as well as the chance to connect with an amazing art community that I hope to invest in for years to come.”

-Sydni Kruger

[ Connect with Sydni ]

Zijian Yan:

ZiYan-PD1-G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’, we learned how to break down the full orchestration of a composition into its smaller elements and then build them back into a living, breathing, and dramatic experience. Composition is no longer a mystery – it’s a tool.

A lot of other online painting courses feel like corporate gym memberships; there are a bunch of bells and whistles lying around but you have no idea what to start with. ‘Painting Drama’ breaks through all of that.

In ‘Painting Drama,’ Chris Oatley is a coach, a mentor, and provides the most important thing a student needs – guidance.”

-Zi Yan

[ Connect with Zi ]

See What I Mean?

…intense, right?

Their drive is visceral.

…makes you wanna paint.

But first: Please post any encouragements or questions you have for the Painting Drama artists here in the comments.

They’ll be dropping by throughout the week to respond!

…and if you liked this post, check out the highlights from Painting Drama: Generation Three!

The post 15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’

TeachersBioPhotos4up320wClockwise From Top-Left: The teachers of The Story Design Conference: Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Chris Oatley and Jenn Ely

In September of 2016, Claire Keane (Disney), Jenn Ely (Laika), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney) and I will host The Story Design Conference in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

This isn’t simply a “sit quietly and watch famous artists be awesome” kind of thing.

It’s a personal, participatory conference designed to help you discover and develop your unique strengths as a visual storyteller.

So whether you’re an aspiring animation professional or a seasoned pro, we would love for you to join us!

Here are eleven reasons you won’t want to miss it…

1.) A Wealth Of Wisdom and Experience:

Claire Keane is one of the industry’s most revered visual development artists. Her heartfelt passion for art, story, color and character is contagious.

Brian McDonald‘s books and workshops have influenced some of the best animated films of the last decade. When Pixar gets stuck, they call Brian for help!

Jenn Ely has designed for a wide variety of animation styles including stop-motion and innovative mediums such as Google Spotlight Stories & virtual reality. Her career is, in many ways, a picture of the future for aspiring animation professionals.

…and in addition to their accomplished backgrounds, they’re all fantastic teachers who care deeply about your artistic growth and are dedicated to transferring their extensive knowledge to you.

2.) Personal Guidance From Invested Mentors:

Jenn-Ely-MentorForest Spirit by Jenn Ely

The Story Design Conference is loaded with lessons about Color, Composition and Character Development (more on that in a minute), but we also have time set aside every single day for personal interaction.

It’s a super-small venue where the student-to-teacher ratio is the same as a small art college, so we’ll have lots of opportunities to answer questions and offer feedback on your portfolio or personal project.

Any self-taught artist knows that there’s a limit to how much you can learn on your own. A few thoughtful words from a wise mentor who understands your specific situation will almost always be more effective than a thousand words from a pre-recorded video.

3.) Renew Your Passion:

'Stuck Tin Man'Stuck Tin Man by Chris Oatley

Aesop’s Fables, Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard Of Oz, Bambi, E.T., The Legend Of Zelda, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Lord Of The Rings

For thousands of years, great stories have been changing the world.

They don’t just teach us how to survive, but why. They unite us in our joy and in our pain. They transmit the power of healing virtues like selflessness, trust, forgiveness and love…

With lessons like “Finding Your Visual Voice,” Claire Keane’s “Creating Believable Characters” and Brian McDonald’s “The Power Of Storytelling,” The Story Design Conference will remind us why we fell in love with animation in the first place.

This experience will renew our passion for the craft and help us find new focus for the future.

4.) Inspired Productivity:

We’ll be sketching and generating story ideas throughout the entire conference. Your in-class productivity means you’ll leave with a sketchbook full of stuff to work on.

5.) Breaking-In Isn’t What It Used To Be:

We call the current era “The Information Age.”

…and it’s a great time to be an artist.

But because a lot of the information out there is antiquated, irrelevant or just plain wrong, many artists feel more confused and directionless than ever before.

With panel discussions like “What It Takes To Make It In The Entertainment Industry Today” (featuring all of the guests) and an interactive presentation on portfolios (Claire, Jenn and I are teaching that one together!) The Story Design Conference will help you get current and also correct misconceptions that are wasting your time or delaying your success.

6.) Demystifying Color:

ClaireKeane-RapunzelRembrantStyleVisDev300wRapunzel Character Visual Development for Tangled by Claire Keane

Claire Keane and I are currently creating an awesome “nuts and bolts” session for the conference where we will present our most effective tips and techniques for getting your color palettes under control.

On the day following that session, I’ll give a lesson that reveals the secret power of color in sequential storytelling.

After that, Claire will reveal her process further when she selects a volunteer from the audience to be the subject of her LIVE pastel portrait demo! (AAAAAH!!!)

…and if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Ely will demonstrate the techniques she uses in her work as a Color Stylist – an awesome job that a lot of aspiring artists don’t know much about.

7.) Demystifying Composition:

Animal Farm: Mourning Chores by Chris Oatley

Many artists think of color as the most mysterious fundamental concept. But Composition is way weirder.

Brian McDonald and I will approach Composition the same way Claire and I will with Color. We’ll clear up the confusion and equip you with useful tools for further study.

8.) Creating Believable Characters:

“Character Day” at the conference belongs to Claire and Brian. They will present two richly-researched presentations on character development.

I’ve heard some early versions of these presentations and they are completely mind-blowing.

But the lessons are more than just inspiring. Because Claire and Brian are such great teachers, you can immediately begin applying the concepts to your own work.

These sessions alone will make the entire conference worth your time.

9.) Tools and Techniques:

Many live conferences feel great while they’re happening but don’t actually solve your problems.

You get back home, and you still don’t know what you, personally, need to do next.

I have made it my personal responsibility to ensure that The Story Design Conference is completely different.

We are working hard to provide examples and specific applications in every single lesson. Our live demonstrations will also help to solidify the concepts in your mind.

…and as I mentioned earlier, we’ll have lots of time to personalize the information for you.

10.) BFFs!

Left To Right: Ania Marcos, Manny Daniels and Maria Paiz at CTN-X.

The best part of working in animation, games, vfx and publishing is the opportunity to create beautiful, meaningful stories in collaboration with other like-minded, creative people.

The primary goal of The Story Design Conference is to help you become the great visual storyteller you’re meant to be.

Some artists chase greatness for selfish reasons. Some artists aren’t interested in greatness at all.

This conference will bring passionate, focused, big-hearted creators together in an amazing, inspiring environment. …and will undoubtedly spark long-lasting friendships and connections for many of you!

11.) Rome Is A Storytelling Mecca:

NicoleBauerRomeBuildingsMagicHourRome At Magic Hour by Nicole Ziza Bauer

Rome is one of the most breathtaking cities you will ever visit.

You’ll find evidence of the ancient power of Visual Storytelling everywhere you turn.

The architecture, the landscape, the people – This place is amazing.

You will not be able to resist stopping to sketch or paint en plein air. (Maybe I’ll even take a group out for a surprise plein air demo! …oh wait! I’ve said too much! Uhhh…. Spoiler alert?)

Oh, and then there’s the food…

The word “pizza” will be completely redefined for you.

…and so will “coffee.”

…and so will “wine.”

Seriously, friends.

...the wine.

No Time To Read? No Problem!

For your convenience, I created an audio version of this post:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/StoryDesignConference-11ReasonsAnimation-Audio.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Meet Our Amazing Partners:

Our partners in the creation of this conference are the wonderful staff of The Idea Academy in Rome.

They have asked me to communicate to you that they are available to help with anything you need that has to do with registration, travel, accommodations etc.

Also, we have a private Facebook Group for all of the conference attendees. This group will make it easy to find traveling companions, roommates etc.

Plus, we can begin developing relationships before the conference so we have a sense of belonging long before we arrive in Rome!

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the event are completely sold out.

If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Oatley Academy Support.

The Story Design Conference will take place from September 28th – October 2nd 2016.

The post 11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93

JennEly-FlashlightIn part oneClaire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House)Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I announced that we will be teaching at The Story Design Conference from September 28th – October 2nd 2016*, in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy!

(*Note: The conference was moved from May to September.)

In celebration of our announcement, we decided to have a conversation about some of the big ideas we’ll be discussing during the conference.

What followed was a riveting discussion about art, fear and finding your calling…

In this second part you’ll hear us talk about:

  • How to convey emotion through your work.
  • What makes student work stand out.
  • How to keep going when you feel defeated.
  • What we’re looking forward to at The Story Design Conference!

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

New Dates For The Story Design Conference!

We were planning to hold the conference in the Spring, but I failed to realize what so many potential attendees communicated to us immediately following the announcement: You need more than two months to make international travel plans.

…so we moved the dates!

This year’s conference will now take place in the fall: September 28th – October 2nd 2016 to be exact.

It will still take place in the awe-inspiringly beautiful city of Rome, Italy. The guests and curriculum (which focuses on Color, Composition and Character Development) are still the same.

Visit our partners at The Idea Academy to find out more and register for the event!

Awesome Links:

Claire Keane

Jenn Ely

Brian McDonald

Brian’s ‘Invisible Ink’ Blog

Claire Keane on Paper Wings

Jenn Ely on The ArtCast

Brian McDonald on Paper Wings

‘Painting In The Dark’ by Adam Westbrook

Leo Matsuda

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92

092_ArtFearFindingYourCalling_P1_PostImage

Claire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House), Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks) and Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I have created a unique conference designed to help you become the great visual storyteller you are meant to be.

In May of 2016, our Story Design Conference will take place in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

…and we would love for you to join us.

Claire, Jenn and Brian are all here today in celebration of this announcement!

This is the first of a two-part series in which you’ll hear us discuss:

  • Why you might never find your calling (and why that’s a good thing).
  • How the most intimidating problems can also be the most inspiring.
  • Why fear never goes away (no matter how successful you become).

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91

091-ArmandSerranoP2-share

In part one we heard the story of Armand’s long road to success in the animation industry…

Now, the conversation with Armand gets spiritual as we discuss ‘pure creativity,’ the role of Armand’s faith in his career and creative process and how many aspiring artists are working backwards…

The conversation then spins around 180 degrees to focus on technique and workflow.

Of course, we also ask Armand about the closing of the Disney Florida Studio and his subsequent transition to Sony.

…and as long-time listeners of The ArtCast might expect, Chris cannot resist completely geeking-out about Surf’s Up.

Jose-Luis Segura joins me as a guest co-host.

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

Awesome Links:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Jose-Luis Segura

Films On Paper

Dream On Silly Dreamer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

The Long Haul

*Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

In today’s fast-paced world we are led to believe that the journey to success is one that should happen quickly. However, as we saw today with Armand, the reality is that more often than not it is a slow process.

What do think of this disparity? How do you deal with the reality of the long haul?

Share and discuss your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90

90_ArmandSerranoP1_1280w

Armand Serrano‘s inventive compositions, visceral line work and story-rich environment designs have made him a living legend in the animation industry.

Join us today as we discuss the start of his long road to success in the animation industry which led to the creation of his trend-setting work on Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Surf’s Up and Big Hero 6…

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

More From Armand:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Learn More:

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Hidden Strengths?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Even though he transitioned into animation, Armand’s background in engineering has aided him in his career as a layout and environment artist…

What seemingly unrelated aspects of your life have influenced your art in unexpected ways?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events

EAJ5_CO_PostArt_580w

Many artists are under the misconception that “the portfolio” is a fixed, finishable thing

This misconception can be particularly restrictive at conventions, job fairs and other recruiting events where you get frequent feedback from industry pros.

In this episode we share a strategy that will help you design a physical portfolio that can adapt to the feedback and unexpected opportunities you’ll encounter throughout the event…

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Our New Show:

[ download the mp3 ]

*Escape From Art Jail will launch on November 10th, 2015 as part of The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass becomes available!

Awesome Links:

Staples Presentation Binder

Jenn Ely

Melissa Manwill

7 Upcoming Visual Development Artists Who Impressed At CTN-X

Intro Music: Philly Run by B-Ju

Outro music: Slums of Heaven by Smoked Meat Fax Machine

So, What Do You Think Of Our New Show?!

We’re all sUUUper-excited!

Please share your thoughts on this episode at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34

PWP34_JBruP3_580w

In the first two parts of this interview, Jason Brubaker told us the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provided fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Now, in part three, we discuss his career-defining graphic novel reMIND, his record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns and the broad appeal of deeply personal work…

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 3 Of The Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

Awesome Links:

Don’t forget to claim your name at Paypal.me!

Escape From Art Jail Episode 3

MakingComics.com

Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

Why Are Personal Projects So Powerful?

Independent creators are, by definition, purveyors of their own personal projects.

And now, many (if not most) influential pros agree that personal projects are one of the main ways to break into the entertainment industry.

Why is that? Why are personal projects so powerful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89

KFP2_Location_TavernWaterfall_JB_002_580w

In part one of this interview, my good friend Jason Brubaker and I discussed his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Now, in part 2, he tells the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provides fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

What Are Your Thoughts On Competition?

Do you embrace it or avoid it? Why?

Can a competitive attitude benefit artists without letting it consume them? If so, how?

Join the conversation at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88

JasonBrubakerPeacock580w

My friend Jason Brubaker has achieved impressive success in both the mainstream entertainment industry and as an independent creator.

He held a coveted Visual Development position at DreamWorks Feature Animation, broke Kickstarter records with his original graphic novel reMIND and now makes his living entirely from personal projects.

In this episode, Jason and I discuss his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Oh! …and the comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

The Comments Section Has Moved!

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Jason talked about the importance of trying to spend our limited time in meaningful ways.

Do you have a passion to make meaningful art or tell meaningful stories? If so, what are you doing to realize that passion?

…and if you’re still searching for your meaningful path, did Jason help at all? If so, how?

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio

Pandora_Detail_320wPandora’s Box, The Holy Grail, The One Ring, Lightsabers, Reese’s Pieces, The Red Pill, The Ark Of The Covenant, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, The Flux Capacitor, Thor’s Hammer…

Props are essential for creating believable worlds.

So why are they often neglected in Visual Development portfolios?

In this article, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe – Editorial Assistant for The Oatley Academy – and I share three creative challenges that will help you fill your portfolio with props that tell a story.

This is the fourth part of an ongoing series

1.) Create A History For Every Prop:

RaidersIdol_580w

Era-specific materials, style, taste, texture, color, dust, weather, fabrics, patterns, storage, quantity, physical condition, monetary value, dents, scratches, inscriptions, creative customizations…

There are stories in the objects that surround us.

When you design a prop, you’re designing its history as well.

You don’t have to write an epic backstory for every single prop in your portfolio.

…but an imaginary history will inspire authenticity in your designs.

…and authenticity is essential for designing believable worlds.

2.) Connect Your Props To Your Characters:

Fozzie_Puppeteer_MuppetShowYou didn’t spring into existence, full of memories, tastes, hopes and fears…

Rather, your individuality was formed by your life experiences.

…and you, like everyone else, own a collection of objects that you associate with specific memories from your life experience.

There are memories in the objects we collect.

Whenever possible (and especially for your portfolio) design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.

What is the character’s relationship to the object?

DocBrownHelmetWhy did the character keep this object?

…or did they lose it?

Did the character augment or affect the appearance of the object?

Do they take care of it?

…or take it for granted?

Did the character make it?

…or break it?

“Whenever possible, design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.”

[ click to tweet this quote ]

3.) Prepare With A Personal Project:

Wilson_580w

While extensive research will certainly help you become a better prop designer, research without clear goals can become overwhelming.

Personal Projects focus your study and guide your visual development process.

That focus alone will make research more manageable.

…but choose a topic that interests you and your innate, creative curiosity will keep you going.

Develop several pages full of props for your Personal Project and you will feel way more confident and prepared for your next studio gig.

4.) Learn How Stuff Works:

T2Arm_Miles_580w

Whether you’re a gearhead, a costume designer or a hobbyist historian, specialized knowledge will support your creative career.

It could even lead to related work on an animated production.

My (Chris) first visual development gig was as a “Prop Visual Development Painter.”

My job was to paint over prop designs to make them look like they would appear in the final film. (You can see a few examples on my art page. You can learn more about the process here, here and here.)

I learned how to paint many different materials. I learned how certain mechanical objects were built and how they work. I learned about nature, anthropology and meteorology…

…but imagine the advantage you will have if you can demonstrate this knowledge in your portfolio the next time you apply for a VisDev job.

What Is Your Favorite Famous Prop and Why?

Tweet me and tell me what you think.

…and if you’re interested in developing original visual stories for your portfolio or as an independent venture, you’ll find help in The Magic Box.

The post From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33
2017-09-21 13:58:38 UTC
Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33

PWP33_ClaireKeane

Claire Keane is a brilliant illustrator and visual development artist, who has helped to develop numerous immersive worlds, including Tangled and Duet.

After leaving Disney, she released her first illustrated children’s book: Once Upon A Cloud. It’s a beautifully rendered, heartwarming story about family and following your dreams.

Join us today as we discuss humanizing your fictional characters, the versatile power of line, leaving Disney and Claire’s new artistic path…

Listen To Our Interview With Claire Keane:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Claire Keane:

Claire’s Website

Claire on Twitter

Claire on Instagram

‘Once Upon A Cloud’ by Claire Keane

Awesome Links:

Brian McDonald

Charley Harper

‘Man And His Symbols’ by Carl Jung

‘The Wisdom Of Joseph Campbell’ on Audible.com

Carl Jung – Wikipedia

Joseph Campbell – Wikipedia

Theme music by Research Division

Transition music by The Years

Join The Notification List For OA Live!

ChrisOatleyLoraInnes_OAsiteHomePagePanel1

The OA Teachers and some of your favorite podcast guests join forces to bring you a visual storytelling education unlike anything the Internet has ever seen.

Click here to learn more >>

Brainstorm and Share!

Despite the extraordinary quality of the story, Claire’s idea for Once Upon A Cloud came from a very ordinary place.

Can you find a few extraordinary story ideas in the ordinary aspects of your own life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, since the very beginning…

In our first installment, we checked in with Darren in 2015, shortly after the successful Kickstarter for the Nomad.

Now, in part two, we wrap up our 2015 interview and jump forward in time to February 2017, while Darren is preparing to launch the reinvented Etchr Art Satchel

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • Why you should prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • Reducing stress and overwhelm during the launch of your Kickstarter.
  • Balancing your Kickstarter project and freelance work.
  • How to get investors for your business.
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Listen To Part 2 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-104-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP2.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part three, we talk about:

  • Why Darren wasn’t satisfied with the Nomad’s big success – and how he made it bigger…
  • How to build collaborations that actually work.
  • The surprising truth behind llama awesomeness.
  • Marketing strategies for artists – that aren’t just numbers and research.
  • Choosing the perfect name for your project.
  • Creating genuine human connections through… memes?

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Awesome Links:

Shopify

Whiplash

Stripe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

You only have one life to live…

Darren encourages all of us to try and do something we feel strongly about – and reassures us that it’s ok to be scared.

…And even in failure, there’s a lesson to be learned.

What’s the most important thing a failed project has ever taught you?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe. The bag’s unique tool storage system and thoughtful design made it possible to sketch anywhere. It’s simply the best art bag in the world.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, checking in with Darren since 2015…

In our first installment, Ânia Marcos – now a Producer on The ArtCast – and Darren discuss:

  • Learning from every job you get, even if it’s a little sketchy.
  • What makes The Nomad uniquely perfect for artists.
  • Building an art career in spite of a late start.
  • Mastering the skills you need to be a successful artist, without stepping foot in a classroom.
  • When and why you should compare yourself with other artists.
  • How to keep going when your plans fall apart…

Listen To Part 1 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-103-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP1.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part two, we talk about:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • When is Kickstarter the best option?
  • When to start planning your Kickstarter Campaign…
  • Why to prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Sketchy beginnings…

Darren’s first jobs in the industry were a little, well, sketchy. But instead of getting discouraged, he used these experiences as an opportunity to become a better artist.

How do you stay focused on your craft in a challenging environment?

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102

Visual Development for ‘The Book Of Life’ by Sarah Marino. Banner Image: Illustration for Amazon Rapids by Jenn Ely.

This month, Sarah Marino (Color Supervisor at Nickelodeon)Jenn Ely (Production Designer for House Special, Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks) and I are teaching a new online workshop called First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development.

I invited them both to join me here on The ArtCast to promote First Flight and talk about how they achieved such significant success in their animation careers…

Episode Highlights include:

  • Turning fear into faith.
  • Becoming more professional by de-emotionalizing your creative process.
  • Why we stopped caring about job titles.
  • How fear cost Jenn a a big opportunity (and why she’ll never make that mistake again).
  • Why Sarah had to climb through a human hamster wheel. (That’s not a metaphor.)
  • Inspiring gumball machines and the healing power of ice cream.
  • Is a successful animation career worth the cost?

Listen To ‘Creative Bravery’:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Connect With Sarah:

Sarah Marino

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Listen to Sarah on The ArtCast

Sarah on The Rising Stars Of Animation

Connect With Jenn:

Jenn Ely

Follow Jenn on Instagram

Listen to Jenn on The ArtCast

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely and Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

In this episode, Jenn and I talked about how fear of failure cost each of us a big career opportunity.

We both survived, but we regret the moments when we let fear keep us from taking positive action…

What is a big fear you know you need to confront right now?

Don’t repeat our mistakes. Commit to taking action by sharing about it on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!

I have an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment!

To learn more, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The ‘First Flight’ Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/FirstFlight-OatleyAcademyArtCast-Announcement-TagFix.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

*Banner Image Credit: Detail from a Character VisDev painting by Sarah Marino for Book Of Life (Fox/ ReelFX).

Announcement Transcript:

Hello my friends!

Chris Oatley here with an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment! 

You can go now to http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register.

For those of you who aren’t able to visit the website right now, I’ll share a the teaser – accompanied by the new score written by Seth Earnest:

Sarah Marino (Nickelodeon) and Jenn Ely (Dreamworks, Laika) will join Maike Venhofen (Director, The Storytellers’ Summit) and me for an emotional, inspirational, educational experience unlike anything available online or offline…

First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development is a five-week online workshop that will help you launch a new career in Visual Development for Animation.

With the information-rich lessons, fifteen hours of real-time Visual Development Demos / Q&A Sessions and personalized guidance you’ll find in our Group Coaching Sessions, you will:

  • Create a Visual Development Portfolio and corresponding web presence that meets industry standards while rising above the competition.
  • Form the professional mindset and focused work habits that will help you reach the high levels of artistic skill required by the animation industry.
  • Choose an area of specialization and expand your versatility.
  • Avoid the Top Ten Visual Development Career Killers!
  • Know whether you’re “good enough” to get hired now and, if not, what you need to do to reach that level of quality with your work.
  • Strengthen your skill in the three main areas of Visual Development – Character Props and Environments – and make a plan for ongoing practice.
  • Overcome the fears and bad habits that prevent aspiring Visual Development Artists from landing their dream job.
  • Understand how an Animation Art Department works.
  • Prepare for your first week as a professional Visual Development Artist.

If you’re interested in a career as a VisDev artist for animation, it would be amazing to have you join us…

You can get all the details at http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/

…and you’ll also be able to read about How A Boring Illustration Job Changed My Life Forever.

We gave a sneak peek to some of our current students.

Here are some of the many fantastic reviews:

“I’m so excited to be starting First Flight!  Already watched the first two videos and love it so far!  I’m still working through Magic Box and Storyteller’s Summit and thrilled to add another OA class to the mix.  OA’s seriously my favorite place on the internet.  :D” 

– Veronica

“I was impressed by everything the course contains. By the second video I already felt my confidence boost.” 

– Vismaya

“I’m already feeling the love. Really like the attention you guys are putting into developing a good atmosphere and attention to the students. Looking forward to learning, growing and adding new friends in my life.” 

– Carlos

“First Flight is the Voltron of OA Courses”

– Chad

“What I like most about First Flight is how honest and clear it is about what both you and your work need to be like to be successful, and what mindset you need to achieve that. Would definitely recommend it, just the first few videos have been so mind-opening for me!” 

– Mari

“First Flight lifts the veil on Visual Development, and provides artists with the tools and trajectory to attain a professional level of success. I highly recommend it to any artist considering a career in entertainment and storytelling.  The Oatley Academy has cultivated a community that motivates people to success, and encourages new artists to discover themselves through their own artwork.” 

– Kyle

…once again, go to: http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register today!

The post [Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101

In the previous episode, we met Ryan Carlson – my Disney mentor and the person without whom The Oatley Academy may never have happened…

Now in part two, Ryan talks about:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well.
  • The greatest gift an aspiring animation professional can offer an Art Director…

PLUS: The ArtCast: Behind The Scenes with the OA Team!

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Did You Learn?

Whether from the interview with Ryan or from the panel discussion with the OA Team, what concept from this episode resonated with you the most? …and why?

Please post a comment on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100

In many ways, I owe my career to  Ryan Carlson.

He played a key role in giving me my first break at Disney, taught me more about painting than any other individual and he, more than anyone for whom I’ve worked, has intentionally helped to advance my career.

…and considering that The ArtCast probably wouldn’t exist without my time at Disney, and The Oatley Academy only exists because of The ArtCast, The Oatley Academy might not exist without Ryan…

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why failure is a necessary part of the creative process.
  • What makes a good Art Director?
  • Ryan’s process for creating a Color Script for an animated feature film…

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In Part 2, Ryan Talks About:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well…

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Download Chris Oatley’s performance of “Dance Around The Fire” by Slaid Cleaves

Lyrics to Dance Around The Fire by Slaid Cleaves

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s An ArtCast Party!

Please join the Episode 100 celebration in the comments section on The Oatley Academy website!

Post your reactions to anything in this episode that you liked and it would also be fun if you could share one of your favorite moments from the past 100 episodes of The ArtCast…

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99

In part one of our interview, John Nevarez (Sony, Illumination, Pixar, Disney) gave us a masterclass in gesture drawing technique.

Now, in part two, John talks about:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s All Good In The Neighborhood…

Inside the craziness of the animation industry, attitude is everything. John was able to sidestep getting stuck and keep moving forward with the help of his mantra, “It’s all good in the neighborhood.”

How big of a role does attitude play in your work? Do you have any go-to words of wisdom that keep you positive and focused?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98

John Nevarez approaches his art and his relationships the same way. Whether he encounters a new, blank page or a new person, John sees the opportunity to freely explore new and inspiring ideas.

The whimsical energy in his sketches combined with his delightful personality has made him one of the most reputable professionals in the animation industry.

His stellar career spans from storyboard revisionist to visual development artist, with stops along the way at every major animation studio, including Disney, Sony, Illumination, and Pixar.

Today we discuss:

  • John’s iconic, visceral drawing style…
  • Just saying no to your eraser…
  • And what two dozen rejection letters gets you.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Next: John Talks About:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

When Did You Realize…?

Growing up, John didn’t consider art to be a career path. He just knew that it made him happy.

…until The Lion King.

He was so inspired by the Disney film that he made it his mission to become part of the animation world.

Who or what in your life first introduced you to art as a career?

…and if you’re a professional, what steps did you take to go from passionate to professional?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97

In part one of our interview with Brynn Metheney, we talked about her childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

In part two, Brynn shares some nitty gritty drawing tips and practical ways to improve when your artistic growth seems slow.

She traces her path from obsessive animal doodler, to official creature teacher and talks about the benefits of specialization.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

How Do You Keep Your Art Lively?

Brynn talked about how we often start a drawing with too much detail. …and the result can be lifeless.

Have you ever encountered this problem? If so, how did you solve it?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96

Brynn Metheney puts the “dragons” in Dungeons & Dragons.

While many of her animals come from imaginary worlds, they look like they could exist in this one…

In part one of our interview, we talk about Brynn’s childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

Spoiler alert: it does not involve sitting still.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Please Share Your Thoughts…

Today Brynn talked about finding the similarities in animals and using those “blueprints” to engineer imaginary creatures.

Have you ever found a new idea by closely observing reality?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95

If Radiohead was a painter they’d be Frederic William Stewart.

Fred’s experimental mark-making is simultaneously raw but refined, deliberately spontaneous, visceral and inviting.

He was the first Background Painter on Nickelodeon’s epic animated series The Legend of Korra and today he holds a coveted role as a Dreamworks Visual Development Artist.

In this episode we talk about the early days on Korra, pushing the limits of digital media and why a diversity of influences will make your work stand out…

Listen To My Interview With Frederic William Stewart:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Check Out Fred’s Stunning Paintings:

Click here to see more of Fred’s work…

Awesome Links:

Fred’s Website

The Brush Club

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Fred Stewart thrives on pushing the limits of digital painting and his own artistic ability…

In fact, this has been a trend on The ArtCast recently – Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Jenn Ely, Prescott Harvey and, of course, Fred Stewart – have mentioned how they find inspiration in uncertainty…

How about you?

Do you look forward to – or even seek – the uncomfortable or unfamiliar in your creative process? …and why?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part three, the team from Morning Noon & Night reveals how friends can make the best collaborators and how their friendships are the creative fuel for their current animated short film project…

Morning Noon & Night:

Often, friendships snap under the strain of long-term collaboration.

A small team of friends, united by a love of art and storytelling, found that working on their animated short together did not strain their friendships, but strengthened them instead…

Learning To Be You:

It seems almost silly to risk a friendship in return for a completed project.

So why work with friends?

Friends know how to make you laugh. They also know your fears and flaws and, in moments of deepest self-doubt, can remind us of our aspirations…

“Thanks to the support and honesty of this fantastic group, I’ve been able to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and they have done nothing but inspire me to reach my full potential.”

– Sydni Gregg

“Your art allies know more about you in many ways than people that are closest to you in ‘real life’. Respect that, respect their opinions and be open to learning as much as possible from them.”

– Michael Rew

A Friendly Nudge:

We all need a push sometimes – a nudge in the right direction.

Course-correcting one another creates a bond and an understanding of one another…

“Pushing through a long-term project is difficult. That’s true even with partners at your side. But in sharing this journey with Érika, Sydni, Rafael and Michael, I’ve found creative relationships deeper and more profound than any I’ve experienced before.”

– Carolyn Arcabascio

“Better and richer stories come to life in a team environment and you realize how much you can learn from everyone!”

Rafael Vera Rodríguez

Lasting Love:

Artistic mastery is a mountain with no summit.

Making friends along the way makes the climb even more rewarding and fun…

“I can’t imagine my life without MNN now. They are friends who celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Friends willing to share laughs and shed tears. Friends who have helped me push further.”

Érika Casab

“They’ve become parts of my everyday life, and I’m so much better for it. I think more than anything else, I’ll never stop being grateful for the friendships that this collaboration has given me.”

– Sydni Gregg

Works In Progress…

Here are some lovely animated WIPS from The Morning Noon & Night Team…

Who Is Your Art Ally?

Morning Noon & Night bridged cultures, perspectives, and personalities to find true art allies.

Have you ever collaborated with a friend and achieved positive results…?

Please share your story with us in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Morning Noon & Night Team. Thanks, everyone!

[ Connect with Morning Noon & Night on Tumblr | Twitter ]

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part two, the team from Boneshaker Press reveals how combining their skills empowered them to create an anthology art book that recently became an $11,000 success on Kickstarter…

Boneshaker Press:

“I’ll never be good enough.”

…sound familiar?

We’ve all been there.

Artistic growth is tough.

…it’s exhausting.

…and while we might have very different skills to improve and different goals to reach, that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Boneshaker Press is a group of twenty artists who met through our composition course Painting Drama and bonded over a shared passion for visual storytelling.

Their collaboration exemplifies how finding the right collaborators will help you thrive in spite of the inevitable creative and emotional struggles of artistic growth…

Failing Forward:

It takes a great deal of strength to not get defeated every time a painting doesn’t turn out as we had hoped.

Instead of struggling on their own, the team of Boneshaker Press found in each other the support they needed to keep going. They helped each other grow by failing forward together.

Kira Slaght

“I pushed my work further than ever before. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you’re not on your own.

When you work alone and everything falls to you, forward progress can be exhausting and easily burn you out.

Working within the right group, alongside people who care and are passionate about the end product, is a great change of pace. Even more encouraging is knowing that every contribution helps to bring along shared success.”

Garrett McGill

I Got This:

Their anthology art book Encounters with the Imaginary is a project that would have been impossible to muster alone.

Karlen Tam

“The creative environment pushed me to work harder and do more than I thought I could, because this wasn’t for me – it was for the team. I wish I could activate this level of hyper-focus when I need to work on my own.”

Karlen Tam

“So many ideas came up that sounded great but were beyond my own knowledge or skills, and someone would step up and say, ‘I got this!’ and whew, they would do amazing work. Over and over.”

– Jeszika Le Vye

Jeszika LeVye

This journey with like-minded artists did away with wanting to quit…

“Life, for me, took some crazy turns these past few months. I felt so overwhelmed that I almost let go of being in the group. But in a way, they wouldn’t let go of me. Their continued hard work was a support for me and helped me trust more fully in the idea of collaboration.”

Sydni Kruger

Shoulder To Shoulder:

Group projects can seem intimidating. Who doesn’t remember groaning when having to push together desks in school?

While it is important to respect the group, it is equally important to hold on to individual values and perspectives.

Nick Jizba

“Compromise is a lot easier to deal with when there’s a good reason for it.”

Nick Jizba

“I felt it was important to strike a balance between respecting myself as a creator, good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with these other incredible creators – but also stepping aside and approaching the project as an opportunity to learn anything my collaborators were willing to teach.”

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Need A Hand?

Boneshaker Press created a project none of the individuals could have mustered on their own. At some point all artists need support to push through their artistic struggles.

Can you remember a time when a fellow artist support helped you push through?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Boneshaker Press Team. Thanks, everyone!

Connect with Boneshaker Press  | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Facebook Artgroup ]

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 3!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!

IanBeastOfBurden‘Beast of Burden’ assignment from ‘Painting Drama 1’ by Ian Rosenthaler

Hey, friends! We have two exciting OA announcements for you:

1.) We *finally* have a new release date for The DIY Animation Show (Wednesday, December 7th)

…and…

2.) Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama open this month!

To get all the details, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The Audio Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/OA_Announcement_Dec62016_DIYA_PD1G6_Announcement.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Announcement Highlights:

1.) The DIY Animation Show will launch Wednesday, December 7th!

DIYAS_AlbumArt_600px

After a sudden slew of mysterious tech issues deflated our launch celebration, The DIY Animation Show is finally working!

When we announce the launch on Wednesday, December 7th, could you please:

  1. Subscribe to the show in iTunes.
  2. Download all of the episodes.
  3. Tell a friend.

…and if you have time to give us a star-rating or write a review, that would also be amazingly helpful!

If we can create enough download and review activity on launch day – Wednesday, December 7th – iTunes will take notice and promote the show in their “New and Noteworthy” section.

That, as you might imagine, would be significant.

Of course, on launch day, we’ll post reminders in our podcast feeds, on our various social media platforms, and via email.

2.) ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions will open within the week:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w‘Painting Drama’ work by Sara Burke

Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama (Chris Oatley’s mentored course on composition and developing your visual voice) will open within the week.

  • Class will run for 12 weeks with a 1-week break at midterm.
  • Class will begin January 14th and will be held live, online on Saturdays from 7:30am-1:30pm PT.
  • This year I will be offering additional (optional) open office hours on Thursdays.
  • We will offer audition opportunities to Magic Box and Storytellers’ Summit students first.
  • Learn more about Painting Drama here, here and here.

Thank You!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patience while we worked through the DIYA launch delay.

Also, thank you for emphatically expressing your desire for more Mentored Courses in general and, specifically, more Painting Drama opportunities.

Your unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending support is what keeps us going and ultimately makes OA what it is.

We couldn’t do any of this without you.

followyourheart_LM

Gif by of Lauren Morse

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact OA Support!

The post [Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!

ctnx_2016_postcards_square_420wWill you be at CTNX this weekend?

Please come meet me and the Oatley Academy Team at Booth #T051!

We’re Giving Away:

  • Free Portfolio Reviews.
  • Free “Mini-Print” Postcards.
  • Free Hugs. (It’s been a tough year, right?)

Read on to get the details…

It’s A Tradition:

It’s an Oatley Academy tradition to give away our limited edition collectible postcards at CTN-X.

They’re different every year.

The 2016 set features my most recent Animal Farm digital painting, my favorite plein air sketch from the past year and our favorite illustration by Shawna Tenney, host of our children’s book podcast – Stories Unbound:

The OA Booth Is Near The Main Entrance:

ctnx2016_exhibitorfloorplan_oaboothlocation-1280w

Will You Be There?

Post in the comments below if you’ll be at CTN-X this weekend, and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

We’re super excited to meet and talk with everyone, so don’t be a stranger – come over and say hello!

The post Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part one, the team from Tales Of Three will reveal how they developed a new, collaborative workflow and created a fully illustrated, ninety-two-page book that recently became a $7,000 success on Kickstarter…

Tales of Three:

to3-headshots

Ânia (Portugal), Lise (Norway) and Fred, (Finland, originally from Belgium), met through our digital painting course and bonded over a shared desire to tell meaningful stories.

They all knew telling a meaningful story would be a challenge but their two-year collaboration across three different timezones amidst major changes in lifestyle (a new day job, a wedding, a baby etc.) brought logistical challenges for which they felt completely unprepared.

While productivity tools like Google Hangouts and Dropbox helped, their aggressive production schedule demanded even greater efficiency…

Collaborative Illustration:

Instead of dividing the illustration work per-page, per-scene or per-chapter, the To3 Team created a “pipeline” process similar to that which is used in mainstream animation studios.

To start, Ânia developed the compositions then Fred took over and produced the final line art…

thumbnails_ania_horizontal-1

fredericdaelemans_line_pancakes

Lise and Ânia both worked on the the value studies. 

Then Lise did the color comps and divided the color rendering with Fred…

fredshut

Ânia added the final polish, textures and formatted the text…

talesofthree-spread

With this collaborative “illustration pipeline” they avoided the delays and struggles that are common in their solo illustration work.

Instead, they produced the images quickly because they spent most of their work hours operating within their individual strengths.

As a bonus, this method helped them maintain a consistent style throughout the entire book.

What They Learned:

“The most important thing I learned while working on ‘Tales Of Three’ is that I actually can create stories that connect with people. I overcame my fear of not being good enough to achieve that. I also learned that storytelling is really what I’m meant to do!”

– Lise Hopland

“Luckily, Ânia and Lise compensate for my shortcomings when it comes to project management. And in spite of my general ‘lone-wolf’ attitude I learned to trust and depend on them.”

– Frederic Daelemans

“It’s amazing how the project keeps moving forward, even if you’re going through a tough time and can’t do much. That’s the power of a good collaboration.”

– Ânia Marcos

Can You See Your Own Strengths?

In the end, each illustration in Tales Of Three exemplifies the theme of the story itself – that it’s better to identify and share your strengths instead of living in fear of your weaknesses.

Can you remember a time when someone else helped you identify a strength in yourself that you previously could not see?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Erika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Tales Of Three Team. Thanks, everyone!

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 2!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”

Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply

Here’s the third installment in my ongoing Animal Farm series.

I only just realized that I’ve been illustrating scenes that don’t actually appear in the book. Rather, they are moments I imagined based on the details Orwell did provide.

In the book, we never learn the end of Snowball’s story.

…but this is how I picture it.

Scroll on to see the process video, detail images and the high-res version…

Process Video:

Click play to watch the process evolve…

Detail Images + High-Res:

For a close-up look at the brushwork, click on the thumbnails below or download the high-res version

Ooh! Shiny!

Would you like to learn how to paint shiny materials like you see here?

Stay tuned for my new “Shiny Surfaces” series coming this fall to The Magic Box!

The post Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply” appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94

Luke watches the double sunset on Tatooine in this animated scene from '4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again'

When Disney announced that JJ Abrams would direct Star Wars Episode VII, Prescott Harvey responded with an animated open letter called 4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again.

It resonated with millions of fans who were disappointed by George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and skeptical about Disney’s involvement.

The film went viral and JJ got the message.

Impressed, JJ invited Prescott to pitch a feature film concept at his company Bad Robot Productions.

Today, Prescott shares the story of how he prepared for his first feature film pitch, what he did right, what he did wrong and the new opportunities that followed…

Listen To My Interview With Prescott Harvey:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Join Us On The Storytellers’ Summit:

StorytellersSummitArt_HighQ_300w

Whether you write children’s books, screenplays or novels…

…or draw storyboards or comics: You are a storyteller.

…and every storyteller understands that turning our lofty thoughts into a finished work often feels like an uphill climb…

The Storytellers’ Summit – a new online course from The Oatley Academy – will provide guidance from some of the entertainment industry’s best teachers.

We’ll help you master fundamental concepts like:

  • Developing your protagonist
  • Building a believable world
  • Constructing a compelling plot
  • Finding your voice
  • Fighting writer’s block

Your story is waiting.

Join The Storytellers’ Summit today!

Awesome Links:

Prescott on ArtCast #70

PrescottHarvey.com

Pre-Order In Beta

The Storytellers’ Summit

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Was Your Favorite Pitching Tip?

Which of Prescott’s points of pitching advice resonated with you most? …and why?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

The post Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students

The fourth generation of  Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.

They are intelligent, professional and relentless.

Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…

André Meister:

AndreMeister_TheSirensTemptation_1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.

Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today. 

My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”

– Andre Meister

[ Connect with Andre ]

Bill Cooper:

BillCooper-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”

-Bill Cooper

[ Connect with Bill ]

Carolyn Arcabascio:

CarolynArcabascio-PD1G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.

The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.

The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”

-Carolyn Arcabascio

[ Connect with Carolyn ]

Cassandra Mazur:

Cass-Mazur-Sirens-420w“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.

I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.

‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.

I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.

I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.

This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”

-Cassandra Mazur

[ Connect with Cassandra ]

Jeszika Le Vye:

Gravity-and-Light-1280w

“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.

I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.

Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!

Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.

When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.

Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.

On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.

Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.

I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.

‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

-Jeszika Le Vye

[ Connect with Jeszika ]

Kira Slaght:

KiraSlaght-Ghosts-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.

This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”

-Kira Slaght

[ Connect with Kira ]

Linda Lithén:

LindaL-Perseus-1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.

I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.

I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”

-Linda Lithen

[ Connect with Linda ]

Lynne Yoshii:

Lynne-Yoshii-Midnight-Visit-420w

“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”

-Lynne Yoshii

[ Connect with Lynne ]

Magali Mebsout:

MagaliMebsout-Jaguar-420w“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.

I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”

-Magali Mebsout

[ Connect with Magali ]

Melissa Dow:

MelissaDow-PD1-G4-BeastOfBurden-420w“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’

In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.

I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.

You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.

I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.

Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.

Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.

…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.

I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!

What an incredible experience!”

-Melissa Dow

[ Connect with Melissa ]

Ryan James:

RyanJames-Three-Kings-1280w
“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image that isn’t working. …and understand why it isn’t working.

Now I don’t get bummed when an image is “bad” because I can spot why, and I know that next time it’ll be better.”

[ Connect with Ryan ]

Sara Burke:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w

“I went into ‘Painting Drama’ with the impression it would be helpful but no different than other composition classes I had taken before… NOT SO!

Chris takes you FAR deeper in learning about composition and how it controls the entire painting. He also equips you with tools to create successful compositions yourself.

I’m so happy to say that this class is way more than JUST copying good paintings, but teaches you the HOW and WHY good paintings work.

If I could do it all over again, I would!”

-Sara Burke

[ Connect with Sara ]

Sarah Ricketts:

SarahRicketts-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has revolutionized every aspect of how I approach image making.

I now know, no matter how jumbled my initial inspiration, I have the tools to turn idea chaos into a clear visual statement with more impact and clarity than I had ever anticipated.

What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I can’t thank The Oatley Academy enough, both the amazing staff and my classmates, for that experience.”

-Sarah Ricketts

[ Connect with Sarah ]

Sydni Kruger:

SydniKruger-Sirens-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been an incredibly in-depth, surprising introduction to composition and visual storytelling.

Chris’s teaching has given me much needed direction and clarity in my artistic choices, awareness of how and why the story choices of others succeed, as well as the chance to connect with an amazing art community that I hope to invest in for years to come.”

-Sydni Kruger

[ Connect with Sydni ]

Zijian Yan:

ZiYan-PD1-G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’, we learned how to break down the full orchestration of a composition into its smaller elements and then build them back into a living, breathing, and dramatic experience. Composition is no longer a mystery – it’s a tool.

A lot of other online painting courses feel like corporate gym memberships; there are a bunch of bells and whistles lying around but you have no idea what to start with. ‘Painting Drama’ breaks through all of that.

In ‘Painting Drama,’ Chris Oatley is a coach, a mentor, and provides the most important thing a student needs – guidance.”

-Zi Yan

[ Connect with Zi ]

See What I Mean?

…intense, right?

Their drive is visceral.

…makes you wanna paint.

But first: Please post any encouragements or questions you have for the Painting Drama artists here in the comments.

They’ll be dropping by throughout the week to respond!

…and if you liked this post, check out the highlights from Painting Drama: Generation Three!

The post 15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’

TeachersBioPhotos4up320wClockwise From Top-Left: The teachers of The Story Design Conference: Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Chris Oatley and Jenn Ely

In September of 2016, Claire Keane (Disney), Jenn Ely (Laika), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney) and I will host The Story Design Conference in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

This isn’t simply a “sit quietly and watch famous artists be awesome” kind of thing.

It’s a personal, participatory conference designed to help you discover and develop your unique strengths as a visual storyteller.

So whether you’re an aspiring animation professional or a seasoned pro, we would love for you to join us!

Here are eleven reasons you won’t want to miss it…

1.) A Wealth Of Wisdom and Experience:

Claire Keane is one of the industry’s most revered visual development artists. Her heartfelt passion for art, story, color and character is contagious.

Brian McDonald‘s books and workshops have influenced some of the best animated films of the last decade. When Pixar gets stuck, they call Brian for help!

Jenn Ely has designed for a wide variety of animation styles including stop-motion and innovative mediums such as Google Spotlight Stories & virtual reality. Her career is, in many ways, a picture of the future for aspiring animation professionals.

…and in addition to their accomplished backgrounds, they’re all fantastic teachers who care deeply about your artistic growth and are dedicated to transferring their extensive knowledge to you.

2.) Personal Guidance From Invested Mentors:

Jenn-Ely-MentorForest Spirit by Jenn Ely

The Story Design Conference is loaded with lessons about Color, Composition and Character Development (more on that in a minute), but we also have time set aside every single day for personal interaction.

It’s a super-small venue where the student-to-teacher ratio is the same as a small art college, so we’ll have lots of opportunities to answer questions and offer feedback on your portfolio or personal project.

Any self-taught artist knows that there’s a limit to how much you can learn on your own. A few thoughtful words from a wise mentor who understands your specific situation will almost always be more effective than a thousand words from a pre-recorded video.

3.) Renew Your Passion:

'Stuck Tin Man'Stuck Tin Man by Chris Oatley

Aesop’s Fables, Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard Of Oz, Bambi, E.T., The Legend Of Zelda, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Lord Of The Rings

For thousands of years, great stories have been changing the world.

They don’t just teach us how to survive, but why. They unite us in our joy and in our pain. They transmit the power of healing virtues like selflessness, trust, forgiveness and love…

With lessons like “Finding Your Visual Voice,” Claire Keane’s “Creating Believable Characters” and Brian McDonald’s “The Power Of Storytelling,” The Story Design Conference will remind us why we fell in love with animation in the first place.

This experience will renew our passion for the craft and help us find new focus for the future.

4.) Inspired Productivity:

We’ll be sketching and generating story ideas throughout the entire conference. Your in-class productivity means you’ll leave with a sketchbook full of stuff to work on.

5.) Breaking-In Isn’t What It Used To Be:

We call the current era “The Information Age.”

…and it’s a great time to be an artist.

But because a lot of the information out there is antiquated, irrelevant or just plain wrong, many artists feel more confused and directionless than ever before.

With panel discussions like “What It Takes To Make It In The Entertainment Industry Today” (featuring all of the guests) and an interactive presentation on portfolios (Claire, Jenn and I are teaching that one together!) The Story Design Conference will help you get current and also correct misconceptions that are wasting your time or delaying your success.

6.) Demystifying Color:

ClaireKeane-RapunzelRembrantStyleVisDev300wRapunzel Character Visual Development for Tangled by Claire Keane

Claire Keane and I are currently creating an awesome “nuts and bolts” session for the conference where we will present our most effective tips and techniques for getting your color palettes under control.

On the day following that session, I’ll give a lesson that reveals the secret power of color in sequential storytelling.

After that, Claire will reveal her process further when she selects a volunteer from the audience to be the subject of her LIVE pastel portrait demo! (AAAAAH!!!)

…and if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Ely will demonstrate the techniques she uses in her work as a Color Stylist – an awesome job that a lot of aspiring artists don’t know much about.

7.) Demystifying Composition:

Animal Farm: Mourning Chores by Chris Oatley

Many artists think of color as the most mysterious fundamental concept. But Composition is way weirder.

Brian McDonald and I will approach Composition the same way Claire and I will with Color. We’ll clear up the confusion and equip you with useful tools for further study.

8.) Creating Believable Characters:

“Character Day” at the conference belongs to Claire and Brian. They will present two richly-researched presentations on character development.

I’ve heard some early versions of these presentations and they are completely mind-blowing.

But the lessons are more than just inspiring. Because Claire and Brian are such great teachers, you can immediately begin applying the concepts to your own work.

These sessions alone will make the entire conference worth your time.

9.) Tools and Techniques:

Many live conferences feel great while they’re happening but don’t actually solve your problems.

You get back home, and you still don’t know what you, personally, need to do next.

I have made it my personal responsibility to ensure that The Story Design Conference is completely different.

We are working hard to provide examples and specific applications in every single lesson. Our live demonstrations will also help to solidify the concepts in your mind.

…and as I mentioned earlier, we’ll have lots of time to personalize the information for you.

10.) BFFs!

Left To Right: Ania Marcos, Manny Daniels and Maria Paiz at CTN-X.

The best part of working in animation, games, vfx and publishing is the opportunity to create beautiful, meaningful stories in collaboration with other like-minded, creative people.

The primary goal of The Story Design Conference is to help you become the great visual storyteller you’re meant to be.

Some artists chase greatness for selfish reasons. Some artists aren’t interested in greatness at all.

This conference will bring passionate, focused, big-hearted creators together in an amazing, inspiring environment. …and will undoubtedly spark long-lasting friendships and connections for many of you!

11.) Rome Is A Storytelling Mecca:

NicoleBauerRomeBuildingsMagicHourRome At Magic Hour by Nicole Ziza Bauer

Rome is one of the most breathtaking cities you will ever visit.

You’ll find evidence of the ancient power of Visual Storytelling everywhere you turn.

The architecture, the landscape, the people – This place is amazing.

You will not be able to resist stopping to sketch or paint en plein air. (Maybe I’ll even take a group out for a surprise plein air demo! …oh wait! I’ve said too much! Uhhh…. Spoiler alert?)

Oh, and then there’s the food…

The word “pizza” will be completely redefined for you.

…and so will “coffee.”

…and so will “wine.”

Seriously, friends.

...the wine.

No Time To Read? No Problem!

For your convenience, I created an audio version of this post:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/StoryDesignConference-11ReasonsAnimation-Audio.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Meet Our Amazing Partners:

Our partners in the creation of this conference are the wonderful staff of The Idea Academy in Rome.

They have asked me to communicate to you that they are available to help with anything you need that has to do with registration, travel, accommodations etc.

Also, we have a private Facebook Group for all of the conference attendees. This group will make it easy to find traveling companions, roommates etc.

Plus, we can begin developing relationships before the conference so we have a sense of belonging long before we arrive in Rome!

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the event are completely sold out.

If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Oatley Academy Support.

The Story Design Conference will take place from September 28th – October 2nd 2016.

The post 11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93

JennEly-FlashlightIn part oneClaire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House)Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I announced that we will be teaching at The Story Design Conference from September 28th – October 2nd 2016*, in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy!

(*Note: The conference was moved from May to September.)

In celebration of our announcement, we decided to have a conversation about some of the big ideas we’ll be discussing during the conference.

What followed was a riveting discussion about art, fear and finding your calling…

In this second part you’ll hear us talk about:

  • How to convey emotion through your work.
  • What makes student work stand out.
  • How to keep going when you feel defeated.
  • What we’re looking forward to at The Story Design Conference!

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

New Dates For The Story Design Conference!

We were planning to hold the conference in the Spring, but I failed to realize what so many potential attendees communicated to us immediately following the announcement: You need more than two months to make international travel plans.

…so we moved the dates!

This year’s conference will now take place in the fall: September 28th – October 2nd 2016 to be exact.

It will still take place in the awe-inspiringly beautiful city of Rome, Italy. The guests and curriculum (which focuses on Color, Composition and Character Development) are still the same.

Visit our partners at The Idea Academy to find out more and register for the event!

Awesome Links:

Claire Keane

Jenn Ely

Brian McDonald

Brian’s ‘Invisible Ink’ Blog

Claire Keane on Paper Wings

Jenn Ely on The ArtCast

Brian McDonald on Paper Wings

‘Painting In The Dark’ by Adam Westbrook

Leo Matsuda

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92

092_ArtFearFindingYourCalling_P1_PostImage

Claire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House), Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks) and Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I have created a unique conference designed to help you become the great visual storyteller you are meant to be.

In May of 2016, our Story Design Conference will take place in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

…and we would love for you to join us.

Claire, Jenn and Brian are all here today in celebration of this announcement!

This is the first of a two-part series in which you’ll hear us discuss:

  • Why you might never find your calling (and why that’s a good thing).
  • How the most intimidating problems can also be the most inspiring.
  • Why fear never goes away (no matter how successful you become).

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91

091-ArmandSerranoP2-share

In part one we heard the story of Armand’s long road to success in the animation industry…

Now, the conversation with Armand gets spiritual as we discuss ‘pure creativity,’ the role of Armand’s faith in his career and creative process and how many aspiring artists are working backwards…

The conversation then spins around 180 degrees to focus on technique and workflow.

Of course, we also ask Armand about the closing of the Disney Florida Studio and his subsequent transition to Sony.

…and as long-time listeners of The ArtCast might expect, Chris cannot resist completely geeking-out about Surf’s Up.

Jose-Luis Segura joins me as a guest co-host.

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

Awesome Links:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Jose-Luis Segura

Films On Paper

Dream On Silly Dreamer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

The Long Haul

*Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

In today’s fast-paced world we are led to believe that the journey to success is one that should happen quickly. However, as we saw today with Armand, the reality is that more often than not it is a slow process.

What do think of this disparity? How do you deal with the reality of the long haul?

Share and discuss your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90

90_ArmandSerranoP1_1280w

Armand Serrano‘s inventive compositions, visceral line work and story-rich environment designs have made him a living legend in the animation industry.

Join us today as we discuss the start of his long road to success in the animation industry which led to the creation of his trend-setting work on Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Surf’s Up and Big Hero 6…

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

More From Armand:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Learn More:

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Hidden Strengths?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Even though he transitioned into animation, Armand’s background in engineering has aided him in his career as a layout and environment artist…

What seemingly unrelated aspects of your life have influenced your art in unexpected ways?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events

EAJ5_CO_PostArt_580w

Many artists are under the misconception that “the portfolio” is a fixed, finishable thing

This misconception can be particularly restrictive at conventions, job fairs and other recruiting events where you get frequent feedback from industry pros.

In this episode we share a strategy that will help you design a physical portfolio that can adapt to the feedback and unexpected opportunities you’ll encounter throughout the event…

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Our New Show:

[ download the mp3 ]

*Escape From Art Jail will launch on November 10th, 2015 as part of The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass becomes available!

Awesome Links:

Staples Presentation Binder

Jenn Ely

Melissa Manwill

7 Upcoming Visual Development Artists Who Impressed At CTN-X

Intro Music: Philly Run by B-Ju

Outro music: Slums of Heaven by Smoked Meat Fax Machine

So, What Do You Think Of Our New Show?!

We’re all sUUUper-excited!

Please share your thoughts on this episode at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34

PWP34_JBruP3_580w

In the first two parts of this interview, Jason Brubaker told us the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provided fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Now, in part three, we discuss his career-defining graphic novel reMIND, his record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns and the broad appeal of deeply personal work…

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 3 Of The Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

Awesome Links:

Don’t forget to claim your name at Paypal.me!

Escape From Art Jail Episode 3

MakingComics.com

Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

Why Are Personal Projects So Powerful?

Independent creators are, by definition, purveyors of their own personal projects.

And now, many (if not most) influential pros agree that personal projects are one of the main ways to break into the entertainment industry.

Why is that? Why are personal projects so powerful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89

KFP2_Location_TavernWaterfall_JB_002_580w

In part one of this interview, my good friend Jason Brubaker and I discussed his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Now, in part 2, he tells the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provides fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

What Are Your Thoughts On Competition?

Do you embrace it or avoid it? Why?

Can a competitive attitude benefit artists without letting it consume them? If so, how?

Join the conversation at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88

JasonBrubakerPeacock580w

My friend Jason Brubaker has achieved impressive success in both the mainstream entertainment industry and as an independent creator.

He held a coveted Visual Development position at DreamWorks Feature Animation, broke Kickstarter records with his original graphic novel reMIND and now makes his living entirely from personal projects.

In this episode, Jason and I discuss his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Oh! …and the comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

The Comments Section Has Moved!

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Jason talked about the importance of trying to spend our limited time in meaningful ways.

Do you have a passion to make meaningful art or tell meaningful stories? If so, what are you doing to realize that passion?

…and if you’re still searching for your meaningful path, did Jason help at all? If so, how?

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio

Pandora_Detail_320wPandora’s Box, The Holy Grail, The One Ring, Lightsabers, Reese’s Pieces, The Red Pill, The Ark Of The Covenant, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, The Flux Capacitor, Thor’s Hammer…

Props are essential for creating believable worlds.

So why are they often neglected in Visual Development portfolios?

In this article, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe – Editorial Assistant for The Oatley Academy – and I share three creative challenges that will help you fill your portfolio with props that tell a story.

This is the fourth part of an ongoing series

1.) Create A History For Every Prop:

RaidersIdol_580w

Era-specific materials, style, taste, texture, color, dust, weather, fabrics, patterns, storage, quantity, physical condition, monetary value, dents, scratches, inscriptions, creative customizations…

There are stories in the objects that surround us.

When you design a prop, you’re designing its history as well.

You don’t have to write an epic backstory for every single prop in your portfolio.

…but an imaginary history will inspire authenticity in your designs.

…and authenticity is essential for designing believable worlds.

2.) Connect Your Props To Your Characters:

Fozzie_Puppeteer_MuppetShowYou didn’t spring into existence, full of memories, tastes, hopes and fears…

Rather, your individuality was formed by your life experiences.

…and you, like everyone else, own a collection of objects that you associate with specific memories from your life experience.

There are memories in the objects we collect.

Whenever possible (and especially for your portfolio) design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.

What is the character’s relationship to the object?

DocBrownHelmetWhy did the character keep this object?

…or did they lose it?

Did the character augment or affect the appearance of the object?

Do they take care of it?

…or take it for granted?

Did the character make it?

…or break it?

“Whenever possible, design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.”

[ click to tweet this quote ]

3.) Prepare With A Personal Project:

Wilson_580w

While extensive research will certainly help you become a better prop designer, research without clear goals can become overwhelming.

Personal Projects focus your study and guide your visual development process.

That focus alone will make research more manageable.

…but choose a topic that interests you and your innate, creative curiosity will keep you going.

Develop several pages full of props for your Personal Project and you will feel way more confident and prepared for your next studio gig.

4.) Learn How Stuff Works:

T2Arm_Miles_580w

Whether you’re a gearhead, a costume designer or a hobbyist historian, specialized knowledge will support your creative career.

It could even lead to related work on an animated production.

My (Chris) first visual development gig was as a “Prop Visual Development Painter.”

My job was to paint over prop designs to make them look like they would appear in the final film. (You can see a few examples on my art page. You can learn more about the process here, here and here.)

I learned how to paint many different materials. I learned how certain mechanical objects were built and how they work. I learned about nature, anthropology and meteorology…

…but imagine the advantage you will have if you can demonstrate this knowledge in your portfolio the next time you apply for a VisDev job.

What Is Your Favorite Famous Prop and Why?

Tweet me and tell me what you think.

…and if you’re interested in developing original visual stories for your portfolio or as an independent venture, you’ll find help in The Magic Box.

The post From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33
2017-09-22 13:58:48 UTC
Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33

PWP33_ClaireKeane

Claire Keane is a brilliant illustrator and visual development artist, who has helped to develop numerous immersive worlds, including Tangled and Duet.

After leaving Disney, she released her first illustrated children’s book: Once Upon A Cloud. It’s a beautifully rendered, heartwarming story about family and following your dreams.

Join us today as we discuss humanizing your fictional characters, the versatile power of line, leaving Disney and Claire’s new artistic path…

Listen To Our Interview With Claire Keane:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Claire Keane:

Claire’s Website

Claire on Twitter

Claire on Instagram

‘Once Upon A Cloud’ by Claire Keane

Awesome Links:

Brian McDonald

Charley Harper

‘Man And His Symbols’ by Carl Jung

‘The Wisdom Of Joseph Campbell’ on Audible.com

Carl Jung – Wikipedia

Joseph Campbell – Wikipedia

Theme music by Research Division

Transition music by The Years

Join The Notification List For OA Live!

ChrisOatleyLoraInnes_OAsiteHomePagePanel1

The OA Teachers and some of your favorite podcast guests join forces to bring you a visual storytelling education unlike anything the Internet has ever seen.

Click here to learn more >>

Brainstorm and Share!

Despite the extraordinary quality of the story, Claire’s idea for Once Upon A Cloud came from a very ordinary place.

Can you find a few extraordinary story ideas in the ordinary aspects of your own life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, since the very beginning…

In our first installment, we checked in with Darren in 2015, shortly after the successful Kickstarter for the Nomad.

Now, in part two, we wrap up our 2015 interview and jump forward in time to February 2017, while Darren is preparing to launch the reinvented Etchr Art Satchel

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • Why you should prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • Reducing stress and overwhelm during the launch of your Kickstarter.
  • Balancing your Kickstarter project and freelance work.
  • How to get investors for your business.
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Listen To Part 2 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-104-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP2.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part three, we talk about:

  • Why Darren wasn’t satisfied with the Nomad’s big success – and how he made it bigger…
  • How to build collaborations that actually work.
  • The surprising truth behind llama awesomeness.
  • Marketing strategies for artists – that aren’t just numbers and research.
  • Choosing the perfect name for your project.
  • Creating genuine human connections through… memes?

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Awesome Links:

Shopify

Whiplash

Stripe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

You only have one life to live…

Darren encourages all of us to try and do something we feel strongly about – and reassures us that it’s ok to be scared.

…And even in failure, there’s a lesson to be learned.

What’s the most important thing a failed project has ever taught you?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe. The bag’s unique tool storage system and thoughtful design made it possible to sketch anywhere. It’s simply the best art bag in the world.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, checking in with Darren since 2015…

In our first installment, Ânia Marcos – now a Producer on The ArtCast – and Darren discuss:

  • Learning from every job you get, even if it’s a little sketchy.
  • What makes The Nomad uniquely perfect for artists.
  • Building an art career in spite of a late start.
  • Mastering the skills you need to be a successful artist, without stepping foot in a classroom.
  • When and why you should compare yourself with other artists.
  • How to keep going when your plans fall apart…

Listen To Part 1 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-103-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP1.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part two, we talk about:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • When is Kickstarter the best option?
  • When to start planning your Kickstarter Campaign…
  • Why to prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Sketchy beginnings…

Darren’s first jobs in the industry were a little, well, sketchy. But instead of getting discouraged, he used these experiences as an opportunity to become a better artist.

How do you stay focused on your craft in a challenging environment?

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102

Visual Development for ‘The Book Of Life’ by Sarah Marino. Banner Image: Illustration for Amazon Rapids by Jenn Ely.

This month, Sarah Marino (Color Supervisor at Nickelodeon)Jenn Ely (Production Designer for House Special, Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks) and I are teaching a new online workshop called First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development.

I invited them both to join me here on The ArtCast to promote First Flight and talk about how they achieved such significant success in their animation careers…

Episode Highlights include:

  • Turning fear into faith.
  • Becoming more professional by de-emotionalizing your creative process.
  • Why we stopped caring about job titles.
  • How fear cost Jenn a a big opportunity (and why she’ll never make that mistake again).
  • Why Sarah had to climb through a human hamster wheel. (That’s not a metaphor.)
  • Inspiring gumball machines and the healing power of ice cream.
  • Is a successful animation career worth the cost?

Listen To ‘Creative Bravery’:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Connect With Sarah:

Sarah Marino

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Listen to Sarah on The ArtCast

Sarah on The Rising Stars Of Animation

Connect With Jenn:

Jenn Ely

Follow Jenn on Instagram

Listen to Jenn on The ArtCast

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely and Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

In this episode, Jenn and I talked about how fear of failure cost each of us a big career opportunity.

We both survived, but we regret the moments when we let fear keep us from taking positive action…

What is a big fear you know you need to confront right now?

Don’t repeat our mistakes. Commit to taking action by sharing about it on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!

I have an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment!

To learn more, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The ‘First Flight’ Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/FirstFlight-OatleyAcademyArtCast-Announcement-TagFix.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

*Banner Image Credit: Detail from a Character VisDev painting by Sarah Marino for Book Of Life (Fox/ ReelFX).

Announcement Transcript:

Hello my friends!

Chris Oatley here with an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment! 

You can go now to http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register.

For those of you who aren’t able to visit the website right now, I’ll share a the teaser – accompanied by the new score written by Seth Earnest:

Sarah Marino (Nickelodeon) and Jenn Ely (Dreamworks, Laika) will join Maike Venhofen (Director, The Storytellers’ Summit) and me for an emotional, inspirational, educational experience unlike anything available online or offline…

First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development is a five-week online workshop that will help you launch a new career in Visual Development for Animation.

With the information-rich lessons, fifteen hours of real-time Visual Development Demos / Q&A Sessions and personalized guidance you’ll find in our Group Coaching Sessions, you will:

  • Create a Visual Development Portfolio and corresponding web presence that meets industry standards while rising above the competition.
  • Form the professional mindset and focused work habits that will help you reach the high levels of artistic skill required by the animation industry.
  • Choose an area of specialization and expand your versatility.
  • Avoid the Top Ten Visual Development Career Killers!
  • Know whether you’re “good enough” to get hired now and, if not, what you need to do to reach that level of quality with your work.
  • Strengthen your skill in the three main areas of Visual Development – Character Props and Environments – and make a plan for ongoing practice.
  • Overcome the fears and bad habits that prevent aspiring Visual Development Artists from landing their dream job.
  • Understand how an Animation Art Department works.
  • Prepare for your first week as a professional Visual Development Artist.

If you’re interested in a career as a VisDev artist for animation, it would be amazing to have you join us…

You can get all the details at http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/

…and you’ll also be able to read about How A Boring Illustration Job Changed My Life Forever.

We gave a sneak peek to some of our current students.

Here are some of the many fantastic reviews:

“I’m so excited to be starting First Flight!  Already watched the first two videos and love it so far!  I’m still working through Magic Box and Storyteller’s Summit and thrilled to add another OA class to the mix.  OA’s seriously my favorite place on the internet.  :D” 

– Veronica

“I was impressed by everything the course contains. By the second video I already felt my confidence boost.” 

– Vismaya

“I’m already feeling the love. Really like the attention you guys are putting into developing a good atmosphere and attention to the students. Looking forward to learning, growing and adding new friends in my life.” 

– Carlos

“First Flight is the Voltron of OA Courses”

– Chad

“What I like most about First Flight is how honest and clear it is about what both you and your work need to be like to be successful, and what mindset you need to achieve that. Would definitely recommend it, just the first few videos have been so mind-opening for me!” 

– Mari

“First Flight lifts the veil on Visual Development, and provides artists with the tools and trajectory to attain a professional level of success. I highly recommend it to any artist considering a career in entertainment and storytelling.  The Oatley Academy has cultivated a community that motivates people to success, and encourages new artists to discover themselves through their own artwork.” 

– Kyle

…once again, go to: http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register today!

The post [Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101

In the previous episode, we met Ryan Carlson – my Disney mentor and the person without whom The Oatley Academy may never have happened…

Now in part two, Ryan talks about:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well.
  • The greatest gift an aspiring animation professional can offer an Art Director…

PLUS: The ArtCast: Behind The Scenes with the OA Team!

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Did You Learn?

Whether from the interview with Ryan or from the panel discussion with the OA Team, what concept from this episode resonated with you the most? …and why?

Please post a comment on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100

In many ways, I owe my career to  Ryan Carlson.

He played a key role in giving me my first break at Disney, taught me more about painting than any other individual and he, more than anyone for whom I’ve worked, has intentionally helped to advance my career.

…and considering that The ArtCast probably wouldn’t exist without my time at Disney, and The Oatley Academy only exists because of The ArtCast, The Oatley Academy might not exist without Ryan…

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why failure is a necessary part of the creative process.
  • What makes a good Art Director?
  • Ryan’s process for creating a Color Script for an animated feature film…

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In Part 2, Ryan Talks About:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well…

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Download Chris Oatley’s performance of “Dance Around The Fire” by Slaid Cleaves

Lyrics to Dance Around The Fire by Slaid Cleaves

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s An ArtCast Party!

Please join the Episode 100 celebration in the comments section on The Oatley Academy website!

Post your reactions to anything in this episode that you liked and it would also be fun if you could share one of your favorite moments from the past 100 episodes of The ArtCast…

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99

In part one of our interview, John Nevarez (Sony, Illumination, Pixar, Disney) gave us a masterclass in gesture drawing technique.

Now, in part two, John talks about:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s All Good In The Neighborhood…

Inside the craziness of the animation industry, attitude is everything. John was able to sidestep getting stuck and keep moving forward with the help of his mantra, “It’s all good in the neighborhood.”

How big of a role does attitude play in your work? Do you have any go-to words of wisdom that keep you positive and focused?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98

John Nevarez approaches his art and his relationships the same way. Whether he encounters a new, blank page or a new person, John sees the opportunity to freely explore new and inspiring ideas.

The whimsical energy in his sketches combined with his delightful personality has made him one of the most reputable professionals in the animation industry.

His stellar career spans from storyboard revisionist to visual development artist, with stops along the way at every major animation studio, including Disney, Sony, Illumination, and Pixar.

Today we discuss:

  • John’s iconic, visceral drawing style…
  • Just saying no to your eraser…
  • And what two dozen rejection letters gets you.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Next: John Talks About:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

When Did You Realize…?

Growing up, John didn’t consider art to be a career path. He just knew that it made him happy.

…until The Lion King.

He was so inspired by the Disney film that he made it his mission to become part of the animation world.

Who or what in your life first introduced you to art as a career?

…and if you’re a professional, what steps did you take to go from passionate to professional?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97

In part one of our interview with Brynn Metheney, we talked about her childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

In part two, Brynn shares some nitty gritty drawing tips and practical ways to improve when your artistic growth seems slow.

She traces her path from obsessive animal doodler, to official creature teacher and talks about the benefits of specialization.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

How Do You Keep Your Art Lively?

Brynn talked about how we often start a drawing with too much detail. …and the result can be lifeless.

Have you ever encountered this problem? If so, how did you solve it?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96

Brynn Metheney puts the “dragons” in Dungeons & Dragons.

While many of her animals come from imaginary worlds, they look like they could exist in this one…

In part one of our interview, we talk about Brynn’s childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

Spoiler alert: it does not involve sitting still.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Please Share Your Thoughts…

Today Brynn talked about finding the similarities in animals and using those “blueprints” to engineer imaginary creatures.

Have you ever found a new idea by closely observing reality?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95

If Radiohead was a painter they’d be Frederic William Stewart.

Fred’s experimental mark-making is simultaneously raw but refined, deliberately spontaneous, visceral and inviting.

He was the first Background Painter on Nickelodeon’s epic animated series The Legend of Korra and today he holds a coveted role as a Dreamworks Visual Development Artist.

In this episode we talk about the early days on Korra, pushing the limits of digital media and why a diversity of influences will make your work stand out…

Listen To My Interview With Frederic William Stewart:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Check Out Fred’s Stunning Paintings:

Click here to see more of Fred’s work…

Awesome Links:

Fred’s Website

The Brush Club

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Fred Stewart thrives on pushing the limits of digital painting and his own artistic ability…

In fact, this has been a trend on The ArtCast recently – Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Jenn Ely, Prescott Harvey and, of course, Fred Stewart – have mentioned how they find inspiration in uncertainty…

How about you?

Do you look forward to – or even seek – the uncomfortable or unfamiliar in your creative process? …and why?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part three, the team from Morning Noon & Night reveals how friends can make the best collaborators and how their friendships are the creative fuel for their current animated short film project…

Morning Noon & Night:

Often, friendships snap under the strain of long-term collaboration.

A small team of friends, united by a love of art and storytelling, found that working on their animated short together did not strain their friendships, but strengthened them instead…

Learning To Be You:

It seems almost silly to risk a friendship in return for a completed project.

So why work with friends?

Friends know how to make you laugh. They also know your fears and flaws and, in moments of deepest self-doubt, can remind us of our aspirations…

“Thanks to the support and honesty of this fantastic group, I’ve been able to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and they have done nothing but inspire me to reach my full potential.”

– Sydni Gregg

“Your art allies know more about you in many ways than people that are closest to you in ‘real life’. Respect that, respect their opinions and be open to learning as much as possible from them.”

– Michael Rew

A Friendly Nudge:

We all need a push sometimes – a nudge in the right direction.

Course-correcting one another creates a bond and an understanding of one another…

“Pushing through a long-term project is difficult. That’s true even with partners at your side. But in sharing this journey with Érika, Sydni, Rafael and Michael, I’ve found creative relationships deeper and more profound than any I’ve experienced before.”

– Carolyn Arcabascio

“Better and richer stories come to life in a team environment and you realize how much you can learn from everyone!”

Rafael Vera Rodríguez

Lasting Love:

Artistic mastery is a mountain with no summit.

Making friends along the way makes the climb even more rewarding and fun…

“I can’t imagine my life without MNN now. They are friends who celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Friends willing to share laughs and shed tears. Friends who have helped me push further.”

Érika Casab

“They’ve become parts of my everyday life, and I’m so much better for it. I think more than anything else, I’ll never stop being grateful for the friendships that this collaboration has given me.”

– Sydni Gregg

Works In Progress…

Here are some lovely animated WIPS from The Morning Noon & Night Team…

Who Is Your Art Ally?

Morning Noon & Night bridged cultures, perspectives, and personalities to find true art allies.

Have you ever collaborated with a friend and achieved positive results…?

Please share your story with us in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Morning Noon & Night Team. Thanks, everyone!

[ Connect with Morning Noon & Night on Tumblr | Twitter ]

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part two, the team from Boneshaker Press reveals how combining their skills empowered them to create an anthology art book that recently became an $11,000 success on Kickstarter…

Boneshaker Press:

“I’ll never be good enough.”

…sound familiar?

We’ve all been there.

Artistic growth is tough.

…it’s exhausting.

…and while we might have very different skills to improve and different goals to reach, that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Boneshaker Press is a group of twenty artists who met through our composition course Painting Drama and bonded over a shared passion for visual storytelling.

Their collaboration exemplifies how finding the right collaborators will help you thrive in spite of the inevitable creative and emotional struggles of artistic growth…

Failing Forward:

It takes a great deal of strength to not get defeated every time a painting doesn’t turn out as we had hoped.

Instead of struggling on their own, the team of Boneshaker Press found in each other the support they needed to keep going. They helped each other grow by failing forward together.

Kira Slaght

“I pushed my work further than ever before. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you’re not on your own.

When you work alone and everything falls to you, forward progress can be exhausting and easily burn you out.

Working within the right group, alongside people who care and are passionate about the end product, is a great change of pace. Even more encouraging is knowing that every contribution helps to bring along shared success.”

Garrett McGill

I Got This:

Their anthology art book Encounters with the Imaginary is a project that would have been impossible to muster alone.

Karlen Tam

“The creative environment pushed me to work harder and do more than I thought I could, because this wasn’t for me – it was for the team. I wish I could activate this level of hyper-focus when I need to work on my own.”

Karlen Tam

“So many ideas came up that sounded great but were beyond my own knowledge or skills, and someone would step up and say, ‘I got this!’ and whew, they would do amazing work. Over and over.”

– Jeszika Le Vye

Jeszika LeVye

This journey with like-minded artists did away with wanting to quit…

“Life, for me, took some crazy turns these past few months. I felt so overwhelmed that I almost let go of being in the group. But in a way, they wouldn’t let go of me. Their continued hard work was a support for me and helped me trust more fully in the idea of collaboration.”

Sydni Kruger

Shoulder To Shoulder:

Group projects can seem intimidating. Who doesn’t remember groaning when having to push together desks in school?

While it is important to respect the group, it is equally important to hold on to individual values and perspectives.

Nick Jizba

“Compromise is a lot easier to deal with when there’s a good reason for it.”

Nick Jizba

“I felt it was important to strike a balance between respecting myself as a creator, good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with these other incredible creators – but also stepping aside and approaching the project as an opportunity to learn anything my collaborators were willing to teach.”

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Need A Hand?

Boneshaker Press created a project none of the individuals could have mustered on their own. At some point all artists need support to push through their artistic struggles.

Can you remember a time when a fellow artist support helped you push through?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Boneshaker Press Team. Thanks, everyone!

Connect with Boneshaker Press  | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Facebook Artgroup ]

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 3!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!

IanBeastOfBurden‘Beast of Burden’ assignment from ‘Painting Drama 1’ by Ian Rosenthaler

Hey, friends! We have two exciting OA announcements for you:

1.) We *finally* have a new release date for The DIY Animation Show (Wednesday, December 7th)

…and…

2.) Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama open this month!

To get all the details, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The Audio Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/OA_Announcement_Dec62016_DIYA_PD1G6_Announcement.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Announcement Highlights:

1.) The DIY Animation Show will launch Wednesday, December 7th!

DIYAS_AlbumArt_600px

After a sudden slew of mysterious tech issues deflated our launch celebration, The DIY Animation Show is finally working!

When we announce the launch on Wednesday, December 7th, could you please:

  1. Subscribe to the show in iTunes.
  2. Download all of the episodes.
  3. Tell a friend.

…and if you have time to give us a star-rating or write a review, that would also be amazingly helpful!

If we can create enough download and review activity on launch day – Wednesday, December 7th – iTunes will take notice and promote the show in their “New and Noteworthy” section.

That, as you might imagine, would be significant.

Of course, on launch day, we’ll post reminders in our podcast feeds, on our various social media platforms, and via email.

2.) ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions will open within the week:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w‘Painting Drama’ work by Sara Burke

Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama (Chris Oatley’s mentored course on composition and developing your visual voice) will open within the week.

  • Class will run for 12 weeks with a 1-week break at midterm.
  • Class will begin January 14th and will be held live, online on Saturdays from 7:30am-1:30pm PT.
  • This year I will be offering additional (optional) open office hours on Thursdays.
  • We will offer audition opportunities to Magic Box and Storytellers’ Summit students first.
  • Learn more about Painting Drama here, here and here.

Thank You!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patience while we worked through the DIYA launch delay.

Also, thank you for emphatically expressing your desire for more Mentored Courses in general and, specifically, more Painting Drama opportunities.

Your unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending support is what keeps us going and ultimately makes OA what it is.

We couldn’t do any of this without you.

followyourheart_LM

Gif by of Lauren Morse

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact OA Support!

The post [Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!

ctnx_2016_postcards_square_420wWill you be at CTNX this weekend?

Please come meet me and the Oatley Academy Team at Booth #T051!

We’re Giving Away:

  • Free Portfolio Reviews.
  • Free “Mini-Print” Postcards.
  • Free Hugs. (It’s been a tough year, right?)

Read on to get the details…

It’s A Tradition:

It’s an Oatley Academy tradition to give away our limited edition collectible postcards at CTN-X.

They’re different every year.

The 2016 set features my most recent Animal Farm digital painting, my favorite plein air sketch from the past year and our favorite illustration by Shawna Tenney, host of our children’s book podcast – Stories Unbound:

The OA Booth Is Near The Main Entrance:

ctnx2016_exhibitorfloorplan_oaboothlocation-1280w

Will You Be There?

Post in the comments below if you’ll be at CTN-X this weekend, and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

We’re super excited to meet and talk with everyone, so don’t be a stranger – come over and say hello!

The post Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part one, the team from Tales Of Three will reveal how they developed a new, collaborative workflow and created a fully illustrated, ninety-two-page book that recently became a $7,000 success on Kickstarter…

Tales of Three:

to3-headshots

Ânia (Portugal), Lise (Norway) and Fred, (Finland, originally from Belgium), met through our digital painting course and bonded over a shared desire to tell meaningful stories.

They all knew telling a meaningful story would be a challenge but their two-year collaboration across three different timezones amidst major changes in lifestyle (a new day job, a wedding, a baby etc.) brought logistical challenges for which they felt completely unprepared.

While productivity tools like Google Hangouts and Dropbox helped, their aggressive production schedule demanded even greater efficiency…

Collaborative Illustration:

Instead of dividing the illustration work per-page, per-scene or per-chapter, the To3 Team created a “pipeline” process similar to that which is used in mainstream animation studios.

To start, Ânia developed the compositions then Fred took over and produced the final line art…

thumbnails_ania_horizontal-1

fredericdaelemans_line_pancakes

Lise and Ânia both worked on the the value studies. 

Then Lise did the color comps and divided the color rendering with Fred…

fredshut

Ânia added the final polish, textures and formatted the text…

talesofthree-spread

With this collaborative “illustration pipeline” they avoided the delays and struggles that are common in their solo illustration work.

Instead, they produced the images quickly because they spent most of their work hours operating within their individual strengths.

As a bonus, this method helped them maintain a consistent style throughout the entire book.

What They Learned:

“The most important thing I learned while working on ‘Tales Of Three’ is that I actually can create stories that connect with people. I overcame my fear of not being good enough to achieve that. I also learned that storytelling is really what I’m meant to do!”

– Lise Hopland

“Luckily, Ânia and Lise compensate for my shortcomings when it comes to project management. And in spite of my general ‘lone-wolf’ attitude I learned to trust and depend on them.”

– Frederic Daelemans

“It’s amazing how the project keeps moving forward, even if you’re going through a tough time and can’t do much. That’s the power of a good collaboration.”

– Ânia Marcos

Can You See Your Own Strengths?

In the end, each illustration in Tales Of Three exemplifies the theme of the story itself – that it’s better to identify and share your strengths instead of living in fear of your weaknesses.

Can you remember a time when someone else helped you identify a strength in yourself that you previously could not see?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Erika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Tales Of Three Team. Thanks, everyone!

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 2!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”

Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply

Here’s the third installment in my ongoing Animal Farm series.

I only just realized that I’ve been illustrating scenes that don’t actually appear in the book. Rather, they are moments I imagined based on the details Orwell did provide.

In the book, we never learn the end of Snowball’s story.

…but this is how I picture it.

Scroll on to see the process video, detail images and the high-res version…

Process Video:

Click play to watch the process evolve…

Detail Images + High-Res:

For a close-up look at the brushwork, click on the thumbnails below or download the high-res version

Ooh! Shiny!

Would you like to learn how to paint shiny materials like you see here?

Stay tuned for my new “Shiny Surfaces” series coming this fall to The Magic Box!

The post Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply” appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94

Luke watches the double sunset on Tatooine in this animated scene from '4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again'

When Disney announced that JJ Abrams would direct Star Wars Episode VII, Prescott Harvey responded with an animated open letter called 4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again.

It resonated with millions of fans who were disappointed by George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and skeptical about Disney’s involvement.

The film went viral and JJ got the message.

Impressed, JJ invited Prescott to pitch a feature film concept at his company Bad Robot Productions.

Today, Prescott shares the story of how he prepared for his first feature film pitch, what he did right, what he did wrong and the new opportunities that followed…

Listen To My Interview With Prescott Harvey:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Join Us On The Storytellers’ Summit:

StorytellersSummitArt_HighQ_300w

Whether you write children’s books, screenplays or novels…

…or draw storyboards or comics: You are a storyteller.

…and every storyteller understands that turning our lofty thoughts into a finished work often feels like an uphill climb…

The Storytellers’ Summit – a new online course from The Oatley Academy – will provide guidance from some of the entertainment industry’s best teachers.

We’ll help you master fundamental concepts like:

  • Developing your protagonist
  • Building a believable world
  • Constructing a compelling plot
  • Finding your voice
  • Fighting writer’s block

Your story is waiting.

Join The Storytellers’ Summit today!

Awesome Links:

Prescott on ArtCast #70

PrescottHarvey.com

Pre-Order In Beta

The Storytellers’ Summit

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Was Your Favorite Pitching Tip?

Which of Prescott’s points of pitching advice resonated with you most? …and why?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

The post Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students

The fourth generation of  Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.

They are intelligent, professional and relentless.

Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…

André Meister:

AndreMeister_TheSirensTemptation_1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.

Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today. 

My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”

– Andre Meister

[ Connect with Andre ]

Bill Cooper:

BillCooper-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”

-Bill Cooper

[ Connect with Bill ]

Carolyn Arcabascio:

CarolynArcabascio-PD1G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.

The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.

The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”

-Carolyn Arcabascio

[ Connect with Carolyn ]

Cassandra Mazur:

Cass-Mazur-Sirens-420w“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.

I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.

‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.

I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.

I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.

This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”

-Cassandra Mazur

[ Connect with Cassandra ]

Jeszika Le Vye:

Gravity-and-Light-1280w

“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.

I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.

Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!

Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.

When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.

Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.

On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.

Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.

I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.

‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

-Jeszika Le Vye

[ Connect with Jeszika ]

Kira Slaght:

KiraSlaght-Ghosts-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.

This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”

-Kira Slaght

[ Connect with Kira ]

Linda Lithén:

LindaL-Perseus-1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.

I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.

I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”

-Linda Lithen

[ Connect with Linda ]

Lynne Yoshii:

Lynne-Yoshii-Midnight-Visit-420w

“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”

-Lynne Yoshii

[ Connect with Lynne ]

Magali Mebsout:

MagaliMebsout-Jaguar-420w“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.

I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”

-Magali Mebsout

[ Connect with Magali ]

Melissa Dow:

MelissaDow-PD1-G4-BeastOfBurden-420w“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’

In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.

I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.

You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.

I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.

Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.

Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.

…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.

I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!

What an incredible experience!”

-Melissa Dow

[ Connect with Melissa ]

Ryan James:

RyanJames-Three-Kings-1280w
“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image that isn’t working. …and understand why it isn’t working.

Now I don’t get bummed when an image is “bad” because I can spot why, and I know that next time it’ll be better.”

[ Connect with Ryan ]

Sara Burke:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w

“I went into ‘Painting Drama’ with the impression it would be helpful but no different than other composition classes I had taken before… NOT SO!

Chris takes you FAR deeper in learning about composition and how it controls the entire painting. He also equips you with tools to create successful compositions yourself.

I’m so happy to say that this class is way more than JUST copying good paintings, but teaches you the HOW and WHY good paintings work.

If I could do it all over again, I would!”

-Sara Burke

[ Connect with Sara ]

Sarah Ricketts:

SarahRicketts-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has revolutionized every aspect of how I approach image making.

I now know, no matter how jumbled my initial inspiration, I have the tools to turn idea chaos into a clear visual statement with more impact and clarity than I had ever anticipated.

What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I can’t thank The Oatley Academy enough, both the amazing staff and my classmates, for that experience.”

-Sarah Ricketts

[ Connect with Sarah ]

Sydni Kruger:

SydniKruger-Sirens-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been an incredibly in-depth, surprising introduction to composition and visual storytelling.

Chris’s teaching has given me much needed direction and clarity in my artistic choices, awareness of how and why the story choices of others succeed, as well as the chance to connect with an amazing art community that I hope to invest in for years to come.”

-Sydni Kruger

[ Connect with Sydni ]

Zijian Yan:

ZiYan-PD1-G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’, we learned how to break down the full orchestration of a composition into its smaller elements and then build them back into a living, breathing, and dramatic experience. Composition is no longer a mystery – it’s a tool.

A lot of other online painting courses feel like corporate gym memberships; there are a bunch of bells and whistles lying around but you have no idea what to start with. ‘Painting Drama’ breaks through all of that.

In ‘Painting Drama,’ Chris Oatley is a coach, a mentor, and provides the most important thing a student needs – guidance.”

-Zi Yan

[ Connect with Zi ]

See What I Mean?

…intense, right?

Their drive is visceral.

…makes you wanna paint.

But first: Please post any encouragements or questions you have for the Painting Drama artists here in the comments.

They’ll be dropping by throughout the week to respond!

…and if you liked this post, check out the highlights from Painting Drama: Generation Three!

The post 15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’

TeachersBioPhotos4up320wClockwise From Top-Left: The teachers of The Story Design Conference: Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Chris Oatley and Jenn Ely

In September of 2016, Claire Keane (Disney), Jenn Ely (Laika), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney) and I will host The Story Design Conference in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

This isn’t simply a “sit quietly and watch famous artists be awesome” kind of thing.

It’s a personal, participatory conference designed to help you discover and develop your unique strengths as a visual storyteller.

So whether you’re an aspiring animation professional or a seasoned pro, we would love for you to join us!

Here are eleven reasons you won’t want to miss it…

1.) A Wealth Of Wisdom and Experience:

Claire Keane is one of the industry’s most revered visual development artists. Her heartfelt passion for art, story, color and character is contagious.

Brian McDonald‘s books and workshops have influenced some of the best animated films of the last decade. When Pixar gets stuck, they call Brian for help!

Jenn Ely has designed for a wide variety of animation styles including stop-motion and innovative mediums such as Google Spotlight Stories & virtual reality. Her career is, in many ways, a picture of the future for aspiring animation professionals.

…and in addition to their accomplished backgrounds, they’re all fantastic teachers who care deeply about your artistic growth and are dedicated to transferring their extensive knowledge to you.

2.) Personal Guidance From Invested Mentors:

Jenn-Ely-MentorForest Spirit by Jenn Ely

The Story Design Conference is loaded with lessons about Color, Composition and Character Development (more on that in a minute), but we also have time set aside every single day for personal interaction.

It’s a super-small venue where the student-to-teacher ratio is the same as a small art college, so we’ll have lots of opportunities to answer questions and offer feedback on your portfolio or personal project.

Any self-taught artist knows that there’s a limit to how much you can learn on your own. A few thoughtful words from a wise mentor who understands your specific situation will almost always be more effective than a thousand words from a pre-recorded video.

3.) Renew Your Passion:

'Stuck Tin Man'Stuck Tin Man by Chris Oatley

Aesop’s Fables, Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard Of Oz, Bambi, E.T., The Legend Of Zelda, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Lord Of The Rings

For thousands of years, great stories have been changing the world.

They don’t just teach us how to survive, but why. They unite us in our joy and in our pain. They transmit the power of healing virtues like selflessness, trust, forgiveness and love…

With lessons like “Finding Your Visual Voice,” Claire Keane’s “Creating Believable Characters” and Brian McDonald’s “The Power Of Storytelling,” The Story Design Conference will remind us why we fell in love with animation in the first place.

This experience will renew our passion for the craft and help us find new focus for the future.

4.) Inspired Productivity:

We’ll be sketching and generating story ideas throughout the entire conference. Your in-class productivity means you’ll leave with a sketchbook full of stuff to work on.

5.) Breaking-In Isn’t What It Used To Be:

We call the current era “The Information Age.”

…and it’s a great time to be an artist.

But because a lot of the information out there is antiquated, irrelevant or just plain wrong, many artists feel more confused and directionless than ever before.

With panel discussions like “What It Takes To Make It In The Entertainment Industry Today” (featuring all of the guests) and an interactive presentation on portfolios (Claire, Jenn and I are teaching that one together!) The Story Design Conference will help you get current and also correct misconceptions that are wasting your time or delaying your success.

6.) Demystifying Color:

ClaireKeane-RapunzelRembrantStyleVisDev300wRapunzel Character Visual Development for Tangled by Claire Keane

Claire Keane and I are currently creating an awesome “nuts and bolts” session for the conference where we will present our most effective tips and techniques for getting your color palettes under control.

On the day following that session, I’ll give a lesson that reveals the secret power of color in sequential storytelling.

After that, Claire will reveal her process further when she selects a volunteer from the audience to be the subject of her LIVE pastel portrait demo! (AAAAAH!!!)

…and if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Ely will demonstrate the techniques she uses in her work as a Color Stylist – an awesome job that a lot of aspiring artists don’t know much about.

7.) Demystifying Composition:

Animal Farm: Mourning Chores by Chris Oatley

Many artists think of color as the most mysterious fundamental concept. But Composition is way weirder.

Brian McDonald and I will approach Composition the same way Claire and I will with Color. We’ll clear up the confusion and equip you with useful tools for further study.

8.) Creating Believable Characters:

“Character Day” at the conference belongs to Claire and Brian. They will present two richly-researched presentations on character development.

I’ve heard some early versions of these presentations and they are completely mind-blowing.

But the lessons are more than just inspiring. Because Claire and Brian are such great teachers, you can immediately begin applying the concepts to your own work.

These sessions alone will make the entire conference worth your time.

9.) Tools and Techniques:

Many live conferences feel great while they’re happening but don’t actually solve your problems.

You get back home, and you still don’t know what you, personally, need to do next.

I have made it my personal responsibility to ensure that The Story Design Conference is completely different.

We are working hard to provide examples and specific applications in every single lesson. Our live demonstrations will also help to solidify the concepts in your mind.

…and as I mentioned earlier, we’ll have lots of time to personalize the information for you.

10.) BFFs!

Left To Right: Ania Marcos, Manny Daniels and Maria Paiz at CTN-X.

The best part of working in animation, games, vfx and publishing is the opportunity to create beautiful, meaningful stories in collaboration with other like-minded, creative people.

The primary goal of The Story Design Conference is to help you become the great visual storyteller you’re meant to be.

Some artists chase greatness for selfish reasons. Some artists aren’t interested in greatness at all.

This conference will bring passionate, focused, big-hearted creators together in an amazing, inspiring environment. …and will undoubtedly spark long-lasting friendships and connections for many of you!

11.) Rome Is A Storytelling Mecca:

NicoleBauerRomeBuildingsMagicHourRome At Magic Hour by Nicole Ziza Bauer

Rome is one of the most breathtaking cities you will ever visit.

You’ll find evidence of the ancient power of Visual Storytelling everywhere you turn.

The architecture, the landscape, the people – This place is amazing.

You will not be able to resist stopping to sketch or paint en plein air. (Maybe I’ll even take a group out for a surprise plein air demo! …oh wait! I’ve said too much! Uhhh…. Spoiler alert?)

Oh, and then there’s the food…

The word “pizza” will be completely redefined for you.

…and so will “coffee.”

…and so will “wine.”

Seriously, friends.

...the wine.

No Time To Read? No Problem!

For your convenience, I created an audio version of this post:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/StoryDesignConference-11ReasonsAnimation-Audio.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Meet Our Amazing Partners:

Our partners in the creation of this conference are the wonderful staff of The Idea Academy in Rome.

They have asked me to communicate to you that they are available to help with anything you need that has to do with registration, travel, accommodations etc.

Also, we have a private Facebook Group for all of the conference attendees. This group will make it easy to find traveling companions, roommates etc.

Plus, we can begin developing relationships before the conference so we have a sense of belonging long before we arrive in Rome!

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the event are completely sold out.

If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Oatley Academy Support.

The Story Design Conference will take place from September 28th – October 2nd 2016.

The post 11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93

JennEly-FlashlightIn part oneClaire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House)Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I announced that we will be teaching at The Story Design Conference from September 28th – October 2nd 2016*, in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy!

(*Note: The conference was moved from May to September.)

In celebration of our announcement, we decided to have a conversation about some of the big ideas we’ll be discussing during the conference.

What followed was a riveting discussion about art, fear and finding your calling…

In this second part you’ll hear us talk about:

  • How to convey emotion through your work.
  • What makes student work stand out.
  • How to keep going when you feel defeated.
  • What we’re looking forward to at The Story Design Conference!

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

New Dates For The Story Design Conference!

We were planning to hold the conference in the Spring, but I failed to realize what so many potential attendees communicated to us immediately following the announcement: You need more than two months to make international travel plans.

…so we moved the dates!

This year’s conference will now take place in the fall: September 28th – October 2nd 2016 to be exact.

It will still take place in the awe-inspiringly beautiful city of Rome, Italy. The guests and curriculum (which focuses on Color, Composition and Character Development) are still the same.

Visit our partners at The Idea Academy to find out more and register for the event!

Awesome Links:

Claire Keane

Jenn Ely

Brian McDonald

Brian’s ‘Invisible Ink’ Blog

Claire Keane on Paper Wings

Jenn Ely on The ArtCast

Brian McDonald on Paper Wings

‘Painting In The Dark’ by Adam Westbrook

Leo Matsuda

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92

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Claire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House), Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks) and Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I have created a unique conference designed to help you become the great visual storyteller you are meant to be.

In May of 2016, our Story Design Conference will take place in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

…and we would love for you to join us.

Claire, Jenn and Brian are all here today in celebration of this announcement!

This is the first of a two-part series in which you’ll hear us discuss:

  • Why you might never find your calling (and why that’s a good thing).
  • How the most intimidating problems can also be the most inspiring.
  • Why fear never goes away (no matter how successful you become).

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91

091-ArmandSerranoP2-share

In part one we heard the story of Armand’s long road to success in the animation industry…

Now, the conversation with Armand gets spiritual as we discuss ‘pure creativity,’ the role of Armand’s faith in his career and creative process and how many aspiring artists are working backwards…

The conversation then spins around 180 degrees to focus on technique and workflow.

Of course, we also ask Armand about the closing of the Disney Florida Studio and his subsequent transition to Sony.

…and as long-time listeners of The ArtCast might expect, Chris cannot resist completely geeking-out about Surf’s Up.

Jose-Luis Segura joins me as a guest co-host.

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

Awesome Links:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Jose-Luis Segura

Films On Paper

Dream On Silly Dreamer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

The Long Haul

*Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

In today’s fast-paced world we are led to believe that the journey to success is one that should happen quickly. However, as we saw today with Armand, the reality is that more often than not it is a slow process.

What do think of this disparity? How do you deal with the reality of the long haul?

Share and discuss your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90

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Armand Serrano‘s inventive compositions, visceral line work and story-rich environment designs have made him a living legend in the animation industry.

Join us today as we discuss the start of his long road to success in the animation industry which led to the creation of his trend-setting work on Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Surf’s Up and Big Hero 6…

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

More From Armand:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Learn More:

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Hidden Strengths?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Even though he transitioned into animation, Armand’s background in engineering has aided him in his career as a layout and environment artist…

What seemingly unrelated aspects of your life have influenced your art in unexpected ways?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events

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Many artists are under the misconception that “the portfolio” is a fixed, finishable thing

This misconception can be particularly restrictive at conventions, job fairs and other recruiting events where you get frequent feedback from industry pros.

In this episode we share a strategy that will help you design a physical portfolio that can adapt to the feedback and unexpected opportunities you’ll encounter throughout the event…

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Our New Show:

[ download the mp3 ]

*Escape From Art Jail will launch on November 10th, 2015 as part of The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass becomes available!

Awesome Links:

Staples Presentation Binder

Jenn Ely

Melissa Manwill

7 Upcoming Visual Development Artists Who Impressed At CTN-X

Intro Music: Philly Run by B-Ju

Outro music: Slums of Heaven by Smoked Meat Fax Machine

So, What Do You Think Of Our New Show?!

We’re all sUUUper-excited!

Please share your thoughts on this episode at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34

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In the first two parts of this interview, Jason Brubaker told us the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provided fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Now, in part three, we discuss his career-defining graphic novel reMIND, his record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns and the broad appeal of deeply personal work…

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 3 Of The Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

Awesome Links:

Don’t forget to claim your name at Paypal.me!

Escape From Art Jail Episode 3

MakingComics.com

Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

Why Are Personal Projects So Powerful?

Independent creators are, by definition, purveyors of their own personal projects.

And now, many (if not most) influential pros agree that personal projects are one of the main ways to break into the entertainment industry.

Why is that? Why are personal projects so powerful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89

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In part one of this interview, my good friend Jason Brubaker and I discussed his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Now, in part 2, he tells the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provides fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

What Are Your Thoughts On Competition?

Do you embrace it or avoid it? Why?

Can a competitive attitude benefit artists without letting it consume them? If so, how?

Join the conversation at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88

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My friend Jason Brubaker has achieved impressive success in both the mainstream entertainment industry and as an independent creator.

He held a coveted Visual Development position at DreamWorks Feature Animation, broke Kickstarter records with his original graphic novel reMIND and now makes his living entirely from personal projects.

In this episode, Jason and I discuss his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Oh! …and the comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

The Comments Section Has Moved!

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Jason talked about the importance of trying to spend our limited time in meaningful ways.

Do you have a passion to make meaningful art or tell meaningful stories? If so, what are you doing to realize that passion?

…and if you’re still searching for your meaningful path, did Jason help at all? If so, how?

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio

Pandora_Detail_320wPandora’s Box, The Holy Grail, The One Ring, Lightsabers, Reese’s Pieces, The Red Pill, The Ark Of The Covenant, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, The Flux Capacitor, Thor’s Hammer…

Props are essential for creating believable worlds.

So why are they often neglected in Visual Development portfolios?

In this article, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe – Editorial Assistant for The Oatley Academy – and I share three creative challenges that will help you fill your portfolio with props that tell a story.

This is the fourth part of an ongoing series

1.) Create A History For Every Prop:

RaidersIdol_580w

Era-specific materials, style, taste, texture, color, dust, weather, fabrics, patterns, storage, quantity, physical condition, monetary value, dents, scratches, inscriptions, creative customizations…

There are stories in the objects that surround us.

When you design a prop, you’re designing its history as well.

You don’t have to write an epic backstory for every single prop in your portfolio.

…but an imaginary history will inspire authenticity in your designs.

…and authenticity is essential for designing believable worlds.

2.) Connect Your Props To Your Characters:

Fozzie_Puppeteer_MuppetShowYou didn’t spring into existence, full of memories, tastes, hopes and fears…

Rather, your individuality was formed by your life experiences.

…and you, like everyone else, own a collection of objects that you associate with specific memories from your life experience.

There are memories in the objects we collect.

Whenever possible (and especially for your portfolio) design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.

What is the character’s relationship to the object?

DocBrownHelmetWhy did the character keep this object?

…or did they lose it?

Did the character augment or affect the appearance of the object?

Do they take care of it?

…or take it for granted?

Did the character make it?

…or break it?

“Whenever possible, design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.”

[ click to tweet this quote ]

3.) Prepare With A Personal Project:

Wilson_580w

While extensive research will certainly help you become a better prop designer, research without clear goals can become overwhelming.

Personal Projects focus your study and guide your visual development process.

That focus alone will make research more manageable.

…but choose a topic that interests you and your innate, creative curiosity will keep you going.

Develop several pages full of props for your Personal Project and you will feel way more confident and prepared for your next studio gig.

4.) Learn How Stuff Works:

T2Arm_Miles_580w

Whether you’re a gearhead, a costume designer or a hobbyist historian, specialized knowledge will support your creative career.

It could even lead to related work on an animated production.

My (Chris) first visual development gig was as a “Prop Visual Development Painter.”

My job was to paint over prop designs to make them look like they would appear in the final film. (You can see a few examples on my art page. You can learn more about the process here, here and here.)

I learned how to paint many different materials. I learned how certain mechanical objects were built and how they work. I learned about nature, anthropology and meteorology…

…but imagine the advantage you will have if you can demonstrate this knowledge in your portfolio the next time you apply for a VisDev job.

What Is Your Favorite Famous Prop and Why?

Tweet me and tell me what you think.

…and if you’re interested in developing original visual stories for your portfolio or as an independent venture, you’ll find help in The Magic Box.

The post From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33
2017-09-22 23:39:26 UTC
Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33

PWP33_ClaireKeane

Claire Keane is a brilliant illustrator and visual development artist, who has helped to develop numerous immersive worlds, including Tangled and Duet.

After leaving Disney, she released her first illustrated children’s book: Once Upon A Cloud. It’s a beautifully rendered, heartwarming story about family and following your dreams.

Join us today as we discuss humanizing your fictional characters, the versatile power of line, leaving Disney and Claire’s new artistic path…

Listen To Our Interview With Claire Keane:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Claire Keane:

Claire’s Website

Claire on Twitter

Claire on Instagram

‘Once Upon A Cloud’ by Claire Keane

Awesome Links:

Brian McDonald

Charley Harper

‘Man And His Symbols’ by Carl Jung

‘The Wisdom Of Joseph Campbell’ on Audible.com

Carl Jung – Wikipedia

Joseph Campbell – Wikipedia

Theme music by Research Division

Transition music by The Years

Join The Notification List For OA Live!

ChrisOatleyLoraInnes_OAsiteHomePagePanel1

The OA Teachers and some of your favorite podcast guests join forces to bring you a visual storytelling education unlike anything the Internet has ever seen.

Click here to learn more >>

Brainstorm and Share!

Despite the extraordinary quality of the story, Claire’s idea for Once Upon A Cloud came from a very ordinary place.

Can you find a few extraordinary story ideas in the ordinary aspects of your own life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104
2017-10-05 04:31:03 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, since the very beginning…

In our first installment, we checked in with Darren in 2015, shortly after the successful Kickstarter for the Nomad.

Now, in part two, we wrap up our 2015 interview and jump forward in time to February 2017, while Darren is preparing to launch the reinvented Etchr Art Satchel

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • Why you should prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • Reducing stress and overwhelm during the launch of your Kickstarter.
  • Balancing your Kickstarter project and freelance work.
  • How to get investors for your business.
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Listen To Part 2 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-104-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP2.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part three, we talk about:

  • Why Darren wasn’t satisfied with the Nomad’s big success – and how he made it bigger…
  • How to build collaborations that actually work.
  • The surprising truth behind llama awesomeness.
  • Marketing strategies for artists – that aren’t just numbers and research.
  • Choosing the perfect name for your project.
  • Creating genuine human connections through… memes?

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Awesome Links:

Shopify

Whiplash

Stripe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

You only have one life to live…

Darren encourages all of us to try and do something we feel strongly about – and reassures us that it’s ok to be scared.

…And even in failure, there’s a lesson to be learned.

What’s the most important thing a failed project has ever taught you?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103
2017-10-05 04:31:03 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe. The bag’s unique tool storage system and thoughtful design made it possible to sketch anywhere. It’s simply the best art bag in the world.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, checking in with Darren since 2015…

In our first installment, Ânia Marcos – now a Producer on The ArtCast – and Darren discuss:

  • Learning from every job you get, even if it’s a little sketchy.
  • What makes The Nomad uniquely perfect for artists.
  • Building an art career in spite of a late start.
  • Mastering the skills you need to be a successful artist, without stepping foot in a classroom.
  • When and why you should compare yourself with other artists.
  • How to keep going when your plans fall apart…

Listen To Part 1 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-103-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP1.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part two, we talk about:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • When is Kickstarter the best option?
  • When to start planning your Kickstarter Campaign…
  • Why to prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Sketchy beginnings…

Darren’s first jobs in the industry were a little, well, sketchy. But instead of getting discouraged, he used these experiences as an opportunity to become a better artist.

How do you stay focused on your craft in a challenging environment?

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102

Visual Development for ‘The Book Of Life’ by Sarah Marino. Banner Image: Illustration for Amazon Rapids by Jenn Ely.

This month, Sarah Marino (Color Supervisor at Nickelodeon)Jenn Ely (Production Designer for House Special, Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks) and I are teaching a new online workshop called First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development.

I invited them both to join me here on The ArtCast to promote First Flight and talk about how they achieved such significant success in their animation careers…

Episode Highlights include:

  • Turning fear into faith.
  • Becoming more professional by de-emotionalizing your creative process.
  • Why we stopped caring about job titles.
  • How fear cost Jenn a a big opportunity (and why she’ll never make that mistake again).
  • Why Sarah had to climb through a human hamster wheel. (That’s not a metaphor.)
  • Inspiring gumball machines and the healing power of ice cream.
  • Is a successful animation career worth the cost?

Listen To ‘Creative Bravery’:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Connect With Sarah:

Sarah Marino

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Listen to Sarah on The ArtCast

Sarah on The Rising Stars Of Animation

Connect With Jenn:

Jenn Ely

Follow Jenn on Instagram

Listen to Jenn on The ArtCast

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely and Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

In this episode, Jenn and I talked about how fear of failure cost each of us a big career opportunity.

We both survived, but we regret the moments when we let fear keep us from taking positive action…

What is a big fear you know you need to confront right now?

Don’t repeat our mistakes. Commit to taking action by sharing about it on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!

I have an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment!

To learn more, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The ‘First Flight’ Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/FirstFlight-OatleyAcademyArtCast-Announcement-TagFix.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

*Banner Image Credit: Detail from a Character VisDev painting by Sarah Marino for Book Of Life (Fox/ ReelFX).

Announcement Transcript:

Hello my friends!

Chris Oatley here with an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment! 

You can go now to http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register.

For those of you who aren’t able to visit the website right now, I’ll share a the teaser – accompanied by the new score written by Seth Earnest:

Sarah Marino (Nickelodeon) and Jenn Ely (Dreamworks, Laika) will join Maike Venhofen (Director, The Storytellers’ Summit) and me for an emotional, inspirational, educational experience unlike anything available online or offline…

First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development is a five-week online workshop that will help you launch a new career in Visual Development for Animation.

With the information-rich lessons, fifteen hours of real-time Visual Development Demos / Q&A Sessions and personalized guidance you’ll find in our Group Coaching Sessions, you will:

  • Create a Visual Development Portfolio and corresponding web presence that meets industry standards while rising above the competition.
  • Form the professional mindset and focused work habits that will help you reach the high levels of artistic skill required by the animation industry.
  • Choose an area of specialization and expand your versatility.
  • Avoid the Top Ten Visual Development Career Killers!
  • Know whether you’re “good enough” to get hired now and, if not, what you need to do to reach that level of quality with your work.
  • Strengthen your skill in the three main areas of Visual Development – Character Props and Environments – and make a plan for ongoing practice.
  • Overcome the fears and bad habits that prevent aspiring Visual Development Artists from landing their dream job.
  • Understand how an Animation Art Department works.
  • Prepare for your first week as a professional Visual Development Artist.

If you’re interested in a career as a VisDev artist for animation, it would be amazing to have you join us…

You can get all the details at http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/

…and you’ll also be able to read about How A Boring Illustration Job Changed My Life Forever.

We gave a sneak peek to some of our current students.

Here are some of the many fantastic reviews:

“I’m so excited to be starting First Flight!  Already watched the first two videos and love it so far!  I’m still working through Magic Box and Storyteller’s Summit and thrilled to add another OA class to the mix.  OA’s seriously my favorite place on the internet.  :D” 

– Veronica

“I was impressed by everything the course contains. By the second video I already felt my confidence boost.” 

– Vismaya

“I’m already feeling the love. Really like the attention you guys are putting into developing a good atmosphere and attention to the students. Looking forward to learning, growing and adding new friends in my life.” 

– Carlos

“First Flight is the Voltron of OA Courses”

– Chad

“What I like most about First Flight is how honest and clear it is about what both you and your work need to be like to be successful, and what mindset you need to achieve that. Would definitely recommend it, just the first few videos have been so mind-opening for me!” 

– Mari

“First Flight lifts the veil on Visual Development, and provides artists with the tools and trajectory to attain a professional level of success. I highly recommend it to any artist considering a career in entertainment and storytelling.  The Oatley Academy has cultivated a community that motivates people to success, and encourages new artists to discover themselves through their own artwork.” 

– Kyle

…once again, go to: http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register today!

The post [Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101

In the previous episode, we met Ryan Carlson – my Disney mentor and the person without whom The Oatley Academy may never have happened…

Now in part two, Ryan talks about:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well.
  • The greatest gift an aspiring animation professional can offer an Art Director…

PLUS: The ArtCast: Behind The Scenes with the OA Team!

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Did You Learn?

Whether from the interview with Ryan or from the panel discussion with the OA Team, what concept from this episode resonated with you the most? …and why?

Please post a comment on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100

In many ways, I owe my career to  Ryan Carlson.

He played a key role in giving me my first break at Disney, taught me more about painting than any other individual and he, more than anyone for whom I’ve worked, has intentionally helped to advance my career.

…and considering that The ArtCast probably wouldn’t exist without my time at Disney, and The Oatley Academy only exists because of The ArtCast, The Oatley Academy might not exist without Ryan…

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why failure is a necessary part of the creative process.
  • What makes a good Art Director?
  • Ryan’s process for creating a Color Script for an animated feature film…

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In Part 2, Ryan Talks About:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well…

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Download Chris Oatley’s performance of “Dance Around The Fire” by Slaid Cleaves

Lyrics to Dance Around The Fire by Slaid Cleaves

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s An ArtCast Party!

Please join the Episode 100 celebration in the comments section on The Oatley Academy website!

Post your reactions to anything in this episode that you liked and it would also be fun if you could share one of your favorite moments from the past 100 episodes of The ArtCast…

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99

In part one of our interview, John Nevarez (Sony, Illumination, Pixar, Disney) gave us a masterclass in gesture drawing technique.

Now, in part two, John talks about:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s All Good In The Neighborhood…

Inside the craziness of the animation industry, attitude is everything. John was able to sidestep getting stuck and keep moving forward with the help of his mantra, “It’s all good in the neighborhood.”

How big of a role does attitude play in your work? Do you have any go-to words of wisdom that keep you positive and focused?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98

John Nevarez approaches his art and his relationships the same way. Whether he encounters a new, blank page or a new person, John sees the opportunity to freely explore new and inspiring ideas.

The whimsical energy in his sketches combined with his delightful personality has made him one of the most reputable professionals in the animation industry.

His stellar career spans from storyboard revisionist to visual development artist, with stops along the way at every major animation studio, including Disney, Sony, Illumination, and Pixar.

Today we discuss:

  • John’s iconic, visceral drawing style…
  • Just saying no to your eraser…
  • And what two dozen rejection letters gets you.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Next: John Talks About:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

When Did You Realize…?

Growing up, John didn’t consider art to be a career path. He just knew that it made him happy.

…until The Lion King.

He was so inspired by the Disney film that he made it his mission to become part of the animation world.

Who or what in your life first introduced you to art as a career?

…and if you’re a professional, what steps did you take to go from passionate to professional?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97

In part one of our interview with Brynn Metheney, we talked about her childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

In part two, Brynn shares some nitty gritty drawing tips and practical ways to improve when your artistic growth seems slow.

She traces her path from obsessive animal doodler, to official creature teacher and talks about the benefits of specialization.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

How Do You Keep Your Art Lively?

Brynn talked about how we often start a drawing with too much detail. …and the result can be lifeless.

Have you ever encountered this problem? If so, how did you solve it?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96

Brynn Metheney puts the “dragons” in Dungeons & Dragons.

While many of her animals come from imaginary worlds, they look like they could exist in this one…

In part one of our interview, we talk about Brynn’s childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

Spoiler alert: it does not involve sitting still.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Please Share Your Thoughts…

Today Brynn talked about finding the similarities in animals and using those “blueprints” to engineer imaginary creatures.

Have you ever found a new idea by closely observing reality?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95

If Radiohead was a painter they’d be Frederic William Stewart.

Fred’s experimental mark-making is simultaneously raw but refined, deliberately spontaneous, visceral and inviting.

He was the first Background Painter on Nickelodeon’s epic animated series The Legend of Korra and today he holds a coveted role as a Dreamworks Visual Development Artist.

In this episode we talk about the early days on Korra, pushing the limits of digital media and why a diversity of influences will make your work stand out…

Listen To My Interview With Frederic William Stewart:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Check Out Fred’s Stunning Paintings:

Click here to see more of Fred’s work…

Awesome Links:

Fred’s Website

The Brush Club

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Fred Stewart thrives on pushing the limits of digital painting and his own artistic ability…

In fact, this has been a trend on The ArtCast recently – Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Jenn Ely, Prescott Harvey and, of course, Fred Stewart – have mentioned how they find inspiration in uncertainty…

How about you?

Do you look forward to – or even seek – the uncomfortable or unfamiliar in your creative process? …and why?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part three, the team from Morning Noon & Night reveals how friends can make the best collaborators and how their friendships are the creative fuel for their current animated short film project…

Morning Noon & Night:

Often, friendships snap under the strain of long-term collaboration.

A small team of friends, united by a love of art and storytelling, found that working on their animated short together did not strain their friendships, but strengthened them instead…

Learning To Be You:

It seems almost silly to risk a friendship in return for a completed project.

So why work with friends?

Friends know how to make you laugh. They also know your fears and flaws and, in moments of deepest self-doubt, can remind us of our aspirations…

“Thanks to the support and honesty of this fantastic group, I’ve been able to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and they have done nothing but inspire me to reach my full potential.”

– Sydni Gregg

“Your art allies know more about you in many ways than people that are closest to you in ‘real life’. Respect that, respect their opinions and be open to learning as much as possible from them.”

– Michael Rew

A Friendly Nudge:

We all need a push sometimes – a nudge in the right direction.

Course-correcting one another creates a bond and an understanding of one another…

“Pushing through a long-term project is difficult. That’s true even with partners at your side. But in sharing this journey with Érika, Sydni, Rafael and Michael, I’ve found creative relationships deeper and more profound than any I’ve experienced before.”

– Carolyn Arcabascio

“Better and richer stories come to life in a team environment and you realize how much you can learn from everyone!”

Rafael Vera Rodríguez

Lasting Love:

Artistic mastery is a mountain with no summit.

Making friends along the way makes the climb even more rewarding and fun…

“I can’t imagine my life without MNN now. They are friends who celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Friends willing to share laughs and shed tears. Friends who have helped me push further.”

Érika Casab

“They’ve become parts of my everyday life, and I’m so much better for it. I think more than anything else, I’ll never stop being grateful for the friendships that this collaboration has given me.”

– Sydni Gregg

Works In Progress…

Here are some lovely animated WIPS from The Morning Noon & Night Team…

Who Is Your Art Ally?

Morning Noon & Night bridged cultures, perspectives, and personalities to find true art allies.

Have you ever collaborated with a friend and achieved positive results…?

Please share your story with us in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Morning Noon & Night Team. Thanks, everyone!

[ Connect with Morning Noon & Night on Tumblr | Twitter ]

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part two, the team from Boneshaker Press reveals how combining their skills empowered them to create an anthology art book that recently became an $11,000 success on Kickstarter…

Boneshaker Press:

“I’ll never be good enough.”

…sound familiar?

We’ve all been there.

Artistic growth is tough.

…it’s exhausting.

…and while we might have very different skills to improve and different goals to reach, that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Boneshaker Press is a group of twenty artists who met through our composition course Painting Drama and bonded over a shared passion for visual storytelling.

Their collaboration exemplifies how finding the right collaborators will help you thrive in spite of the inevitable creative and emotional struggles of artistic growth…

Failing Forward:

It takes a great deal of strength to not get defeated every time a painting doesn’t turn out as we had hoped.

Instead of struggling on their own, the team of Boneshaker Press found in each other the support they needed to keep going. They helped each other grow by failing forward together.

Kira Slaght

“I pushed my work further than ever before. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you’re not on your own.

When you work alone and everything falls to you, forward progress can be exhausting and easily burn you out.

Working within the right group, alongside people who care and are passionate about the end product, is a great change of pace. Even more encouraging is knowing that every contribution helps to bring along shared success.”

Garrett McGill

I Got This:

Their anthology art book Encounters with the Imaginary is a project that would have been impossible to muster alone.

Karlen Tam

“The creative environment pushed me to work harder and do more than I thought I could, because this wasn’t for me – it was for the team. I wish I could activate this level of hyper-focus when I need to work on my own.”

Karlen Tam

“So many ideas came up that sounded great but were beyond my own knowledge or skills, and someone would step up and say, ‘I got this!’ and whew, they would do amazing work. Over and over.”

– Jeszika Le Vye

Jeszika LeVye

This journey with like-minded artists did away with wanting to quit…

“Life, for me, took some crazy turns these past few months. I felt so overwhelmed that I almost let go of being in the group. But in a way, they wouldn’t let go of me. Their continued hard work was a support for me and helped me trust more fully in the idea of collaboration.”

Sydni Kruger

Shoulder To Shoulder:

Group projects can seem intimidating. Who doesn’t remember groaning when having to push together desks in school?

While it is important to respect the group, it is equally important to hold on to individual values and perspectives.

Nick Jizba

“Compromise is a lot easier to deal with when there’s a good reason for it.”

Nick Jizba

“I felt it was important to strike a balance between respecting myself as a creator, good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with these other incredible creators – but also stepping aside and approaching the project as an opportunity to learn anything my collaborators were willing to teach.”

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Need A Hand?

Boneshaker Press created a project none of the individuals could have mustered on their own. At some point all artists need support to push through their artistic struggles.

Can you remember a time when a fellow artist support helped you push through?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Boneshaker Press Team. Thanks, everyone!

Connect with Boneshaker Press  | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Facebook Artgroup ]

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 3!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!

IanBeastOfBurden‘Beast of Burden’ assignment from ‘Painting Drama 1’ by Ian Rosenthaler

Hey, friends! We have two exciting OA announcements for you:

1.) We *finally* have a new release date for The DIY Animation Show (Wednesday, December 7th)

…and…

2.) Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama open this month!

To get all the details, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The Audio Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/OA_Announcement_Dec62016_DIYA_PD1G6_Announcement.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Announcement Highlights:

1.) The DIY Animation Show will launch Wednesday, December 7th!

DIYAS_AlbumArt_600px

After a sudden slew of mysterious tech issues deflated our launch celebration, The DIY Animation Show is finally working!

When we announce the launch on Wednesday, December 7th, could you please:

  1. Subscribe to the show in iTunes.
  2. Download all of the episodes.
  3. Tell a friend.

…and if you have time to give us a star-rating or write a review, that would also be amazingly helpful!

If we can create enough download and review activity on launch day – Wednesday, December 7th – iTunes will take notice and promote the show in their “New and Noteworthy” section.

That, as you might imagine, would be significant.

Of course, on launch day, we’ll post reminders in our podcast feeds, on our various social media platforms, and via email.

2.) ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions will open within the week:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w‘Painting Drama’ work by Sara Burke

Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama (Chris Oatley’s mentored course on composition and developing your visual voice) will open within the week.

  • Class will run for 12 weeks with a 1-week break at midterm.
  • Class will begin January 14th and will be held live, online on Saturdays from 7:30am-1:30pm PT.
  • This year I will be offering additional (optional) open office hours on Thursdays.
  • We will offer audition opportunities to Magic Box and Storytellers’ Summit students first.
  • Learn more about Painting Drama here, here and here.

Thank You!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patience while we worked through the DIYA launch delay.

Also, thank you for emphatically expressing your desire for more Mentored Courses in general and, specifically, more Painting Drama opportunities.

Your unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending support is what keeps us going and ultimately makes OA what it is.

We couldn’t do any of this without you.

followyourheart_LM

Gif by of Lauren Morse

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact OA Support!

The post [Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!

ctnx_2016_postcards_square_420wWill you be at CTNX this weekend?

Please come meet me and the Oatley Academy Team at Booth #T051!

We’re Giving Away:

  • Free Portfolio Reviews.
  • Free “Mini-Print” Postcards.
  • Free Hugs. (It’s been a tough year, right?)

Read on to get the details…

It’s A Tradition:

It’s an Oatley Academy tradition to give away our limited edition collectible postcards at CTN-X.

They’re different every year.

The 2016 set features my most recent Animal Farm digital painting, my favorite plein air sketch from the past year and our favorite illustration by Shawna Tenney, host of our children’s book podcast – Stories Unbound:

The OA Booth Is Near The Main Entrance:

ctnx2016_exhibitorfloorplan_oaboothlocation-1280w

Will You Be There?

Post in the comments below if you’ll be at CTN-X this weekend, and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

We’re super excited to meet and talk with everyone, so don’t be a stranger – come over and say hello!

The post Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part one, the team from Tales Of Three will reveal how they developed a new, collaborative workflow and created a fully illustrated, ninety-two-page book that recently became a $7,000 success on Kickstarter…

Tales of Three:

to3-headshots

Ânia (Portugal), Lise (Norway) and Fred, (Finland, originally from Belgium), met through our digital painting course and bonded over a shared desire to tell meaningful stories.

They all knew telling a meaningful story would be a challenge but their two-year collaboration across three different timezones amidst major changes in lifestyle (a new day job, a wedding, a baby etc.) brought logistical challenges for which they felt completely unprepared.

While productivity tools like Google Hangouts and Dropbox helped, their aggressive production schedule demanded even greater efficiency…

Collaborative Illustration:

Instead of dividing the illustration work per-page, per-scene or per-chapter, the To3 Team created a “pipeline” process similar to that which is used in mainstream animation studios.

To start, Ânia developed the compositions then Fred took over and produced the final line art…

thumbnails_ania_horizontal-1

fredericdaelemans_line_pancakes

Lise and Ânia both worked on the the value studies. 

Then Lise did the color comps and divided the color rendering with Fred…

fredshut

Ânia added the final polish, textures and formatted the text…

talesofthree-spread

With this collaborative “illustration pipeline” they avoided the delays and struggles that are common in their solo illustration work.

Instead, they produced the images quickly because they spent most of their work hours operating within their individual strengths.

As a bonus, this method helped them maintain a consistent style throughout the entire book.

What They Learned:

“The most important thing I learned while working on ‘Tales Of Three’ is that I actually can create stories that connect with people. I overcame my fear of not being good enough to achieve that. I also learned that storytelling is really what I’m meant to do!”

– Lise Hopland

“Luckily, Ânia and Lise compensate for my shortcomings when it comes to project management. And in spite of my general ‘lone-wolf’ attitude I learned to trust and depend on them.”

– Frederic Daelemans

“It’s amazing how the project keeps moving forward, even if you’re going through a tough time and can’t do much. That’s the power of a good collaboration.”

– Ânia Marcos

Can You See Your Own Strengths?

In the end, each illustration in Tales Of Three exemplifies the theme of the story itself – that it’s better to identify and share your strengths instead of living in fear of your weaknesses.

Can you remember a time when someone else helped you identify a strength in yourself that you previously could not see?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Erika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Tales Of Three Team. Thanks, everyone!

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 2!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”

Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply

Here’s the third installment in my ongoing Animal Farm series.

I only just realized that I’ve been illustrating scenes that don’t actually appear in the book. Rather, they are moments I imagined based on the details Orwell did provide.

In the book, we never learn the end of Snowball’s story.

…but this is how I picture it.

Scroll on to see the process video, detail images and the high-res version…

Process Video:

Click play to watch the process evolve…

Detail Images + High-Res:

For a close-up look at the brushwork, click on the thumbnails below or download the high-res version

Ooh! Shiny!

Would you like to learn how to paint shiny materials like you see here?

Stay tuned for my new “Shiny Surfaces” series coming this fall to The Magic Box!

The post Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply” appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94

Luke watches the double sunset on Tatooine in this animated scene from '4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again'

When Disney announced that JJ Abrams would direct Star Wars Episode VII, Prescott Harvey responded with an animated open letter called 4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again.

It resonated with millions of fans who were disappointed by George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and skeptical about Disney’s involvement.

The film went viral and JJ got the message.

Impressed, JJ invited Prescott to pitch a feature film concept at his company Bad Robot Productions.

Today, Prescott shares the story of how he prepared for his first feature film pitch, what he did right, what he did wrong and the new opportunities that followed…

Listen To My Interview With Prescott Harvey:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Join Us On The Storytellers’ Summit:

StorytellersSummitArt_HighQ_300w

Whether you write children’s books, screenplays or novels…

…or draw storyboards or comics: You are a storyteller.

…and every storyteller understands that turning our lofty thoughts into a finished work often feels like an uphill climb…

The Storytellers’ Summit – a new online course from The Oatley Academy – will provide guidance from some of the entertainment industry’s best teachers.

We’ll help you master fundamental concepts like:

  • Developing your protagonist
  • Building a believable world
  • Constructing a compelling plot
  • Finding your voice
  • Fighting writer’s block

Your story is waiting.

Join The Storytellers’ Summit today!

Awesome Links:

Prescott on ArtCast #70

PrescottHarvey.com

Pre-Order In Beta

The Storytellers’ Summit

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Was Your Favorite Pitching Tip?

Which of Prescott’s points of pitching advice resonated with you most? …and why?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

The post Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students

The fourth generation of  Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.

They are intelligent, professional and relentless.

Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…

André Meister:

AndreMeister_TheSirensTemptation_1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.

Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today. 

My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”

– Andre Meister

[ Connect with Andre ]

Bill Cooper:

BillCooper-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”

-Bill Cooper

[ Connect with Bill ]

Carolyn Arcabascio:

CarolynArcabascio-PD1G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.

The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.

The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”

-Carolyn Arcabascio

[ Connect with Carolyn ]

Cassandra Mazur:

Cass-Mazur-Sirens-420w“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.

I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.

‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.

I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.

I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.

This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”

-Cassandra Mazur

[ Connect with Cassandra ]

Jeszika Le Vye:

Gravity-and-Light-1280w

“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.

I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.

Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!

Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.

When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.

Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.

On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.

Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.

I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.

‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

-Jeszika Le Vye

[ Connect with Jeszika ]

Kira Slaght:

KiraSlaght-Ghosts-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.

This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”

-Kira Slaght

[ Connect with Kira ]

Linda Lithén:

LindaL-Perseus-1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.

I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.

I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”

-Linda Lithen

[ Connect with Linda ]

Lynne Yoshii:

Lynne-Yoshii-Midnight-Visit-420w

“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”

-Lynne Yoshii

[ Connect with Lynne ]

Magali Mebsout:

MagaliMebsout-Jaguar-420w“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.

I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”

-Magali Mebsout

[ Connect with Magali ]

Melissa Dow:

MelissaDow-PD1-G4-BeastOfBurden-420w“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’

In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.

I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.

You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.

I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.

Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.

Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.

…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.

I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!

What an incredible experience!”

-Melissa Dow

[ Connect with Melissa ]

Ryan James:

RyanJames-Three-Kings-1280w
“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image that isn’t working. …and understand why it isn’t working.

Now I don’t get bummed when an image is “bad” because I can spot why, and I know that next time it’ll be better.”

[ Connect with Ryan ]

Sara Burke:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w

“I went into ‘Painting Drama’ with the impression it would be helpful but no different than other composition classes I had taken before… NOT SO!

Chris takes you FAR deeper in learning about composition and how it controls the entire painting. He also equips you with tools to create successful compositions yourself.

I’m so happy to say that this class is way more than JUST copying good paintings, but teaches you the HOW and WHY good paintings work.

If I could do it all over again, I would!”

-Sara Burke

[ Connect with Sara ]

Sarah Ricketts:

SarahRicketts-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has revolutionized every aspect of how I approach image making.

I now know, no matter how jumbled my initial inspiration, I have the tools to turn idea chaos into a clear visual statement with more impact and clarity than I had ever anticipated.

What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I can’t thank The Oatley Academy enough, both the amazing staff and my classmates, for that experience.”

-Sarah Ricketts

[ Connect with Sarah ]

Sydni Kruger:

SydniKruger-Sirens-PD1-G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been an incredibly in-depth, surprising introduction to composition and visual storytelling.

Chris’s teaching has given me much needed direction and clarity in my artistic choices, awareness of how and why the story choices of others succeed, as well as the chance to connect with an amazing art community that I hope to invest in for years to come.”

-Sydni Kruger

[ Connect with Sydni ]

Zijian Yan:

ZiYan-PD1-G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama’, we learned how to break down the full orchestration of a composition into its smaller elements and then build them back into a living, breathing, and dramatic experience. Composition is no longer a mystery – it’s a tool.

A lot of other online painting courses feel like corporate gym memberships; there are a bunch of bells and whistles lying around but you have no idea what to start with. ‘Painting Drama’ breaks through all of that.

In ‘Painting Drama,’ Chris Oatley is a coach, a mentor, and provides the most important thing a student needs – guidance.”

-Zi Yan

[ Connect with Zi ]

See What I Mean?

…intense, right?

Their drive is visceral.

…makes you wanna paint.

But first: Please post any encouragements or questions you have for the Painting Drama artists here in the comments.

They’ll be dropping by throughout the week to respond!

…and if you liked this post, check out the highlights from Painting Drama: Generation Three!

The post 15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’

TeachersBioPhotos4up320wClockwise From Top-Left: The teachers of The Story Design Conference: Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Chris Oatley and Jenn Ely

In September of 2016, Claire Keane (Disney), Jenn Ely (Laika), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney) and I will host The Story Design Conference in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

This isn’t simply a “sit quietly and watch famous artists be awesome” kind of thing.

It’s a personal, participatory conference designed to help you discover and develop your unique strengths as a visual storyteller.

So whether you’re an aspiring animation professional or a seasoned pro, we would love for you to join us!

Here are eleven reasons you won’t want to miss it…

1.) A Wealth Of Wisdom and Experience:

Claire Keane is one of the industry’s most revered visual development artists. Her heartfelt passion for art, story, color and character is contagious.

Brian McDonald‘s books and workshops have influenced some of the best animated films of the last decade. When Pixar gets stuck, they call Brian for help!

Jenn Ely has designed for a wide variety of animation styles including stop-motion and innovative mediums such as Google Spotlight Stories & virtual reality. Her career is, in many ways, a picture of the future for aspiring animation professionals.

…and in addition to their accomplished backgrounds, they’re all fantastic teachers who care deeply about your artistic growth and are dedicated to transferring their extensive knowledge to you.

2.) Personal Guidance From Invested Mentors:

Jenn-Ely-MentorForest Spirit by Jenn Ely

The Story Design Conference is loaded with lessons about Color, Composition and Character Development (more on that in a minute), but we also have time set aside every single day for personal interaction.

It’s a super-small venue where the student-to-teacher ratio is the same as a small art college, so we’ll have lots of opportunities to answer questions and offer feedback on your portfolio or personal project.

Any self-taught artist knows that there’s a limit to how much you can learn on your own. A few thoughtful words from a wise mentor who understands your specific situation will almost always be more effective than a thousand words from a pre-recorded video.

3.) Renew Your Passion:

'Stuck Tin Man'Stuck Tin Man by Chris Oatley

Aesop’s Fables, Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard Of Oz, Bambi, E.T., The Legend Of Zelda, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Lord Of The Rings

For thousands of years, great stories have been changing the world.

They don’t just teach us how to survive, but why. They unite us in our joy and in our pain. They transmit the power of healing virtues like selflessness, trust, forgiveness and love…

With lessons like “Finding Your Visual Voice,” Claire Keane’s “Creating Believable Characters” and Brian McDonald’s “The Power Of Storytelling,” The Story Design Conference will remind us why we fell in love with animation in the first place.

This experience will renew our passion for the craft and help us find new focus for the future.

4.) Inspired Productivity:

We’ll be sketching and generating story ideas throughout the entire conference. Your in-class productivity means you’ll leave with a sketchbook full of stuff to work on.

5.) Breaking-In Isn’t What It Used To Be:

We call the current era “The Information Age.”

…and it’s a great time to be an artist.

But because a lot of the information out there is antiquated, irrelevant or just plain wrong, many artists feel more confused and directionless than ever before.

With panel discussions like “What It Takes To Make It In The Entertainment Industry Today” (featuring all of the guests) and an interactive presentation on portfolios (Claire, Jenn and I are teaching that one together!) The Story Design Conference will help you get current and also correct misconceptions that are wasting your time or delaying your success.

6.) Demystifying Color:

ClaireKeane-RapunzelRembrantStyleVisDev300wRapunzel Character Visual Development for Tangled by Claire Keane

Claire Keane and I are currently creating an awesome “nuts and bolts” session for the conference where we will present our most effective tips and techniques for getting your color palettes under control.

On the day following that session, I’ll give a lesson that reveals the secret power of color in sequential storytelling.

After that, Claire will reveal her process further when she selects a volunteer from the audience to be the subject of her LIVE pastel portrait demo! (AAAAAH!!!)

…and if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Ely will demonstrate the techniques she uses in her work as a Color Stylist – an awesome job that a lot of aspiring artists don’t know much about.

7.) Demystifying Composition:

Animal Farm: Mourning Chores by Chris Oatley

Many artists think of color as the most mysterious fundamental concept. But Composition is way weirder.

Brian McDonald and I will approach Composition the same way Claire and I will with Color. We’ll clear up the confusion and equip you with useful tools for further study.

8.) Creating Believable Characters:

“Character Day” at the conference belongs to Claire and Brian. They will present two richly-researched presentations on character development.

I’ve heard some early versions of these presentations and they are completely mind-blowing.

But the lessons are more than just inspiring. Because Claire and Brian are such great teachers, you can immediately begin applying the concepts to your own work.

These sessions alone will make the entire conference worth your time.

9.) Tools and Techniques:

Many live conferences feel great while they’re happening but don’t actually solve your problems.

You get back home, and you still don’t know what you, personally, need to do next.

I have made it my personal responsibility to ensure that The Story Design Conference is completely different.

We are working hard to provide examples and specific applications in every single lesson. Our live demonstrations will also help to solidify the concepts in your mind.

…and as I mentioned earlier, we’ll have lots of time to personalize the information for you.

10.) BFFs!

Left To Right: Ania Marcos, Manny Daniels and Maria Paiz at CTN-X.

The best part of working in animation, games, vfx and publishing is the opportunity to create beautiful, meaningful stories in collaboration with other like-minded, creative people.

The primary goal of The Story Design Conference is to help you become the great visual storyteller you’re meant to be.

Some artists chase greatness for selfish reasons. Some artists aren’t interested in greatness at all.

This conference will bring passionate, focused, big-hearted creators together in an amazing, inspiring environment. …and will undoubtedly spark long-lasting friendships and connections for many of you!

11.) Rome Is A Storytelling Mecca:

NicoleBauerRomeBuildingsMagicHourRome At Magic Hour by Nicole Ziza Bauer

Rome is one of the most breathtaking cities you will ever visit.

You’ll find evidence of the ancient power of Visual Storytelling everywhere you turn.

The architecture, the landscape, the people – This place is amazing.

You will not be able to resist stopping to sketch or paint en plein air. (Maybe I’ll even take a group out for a surprise plein air demo! …oh wait! I’ve said too much! Uhhh…. Spoiler alert?)

Oh, and then there’s the food…

The word “pizza” will be completely redefined for you.

…and so will “coffee.”

…and so will “wine.”

Seriously, friends.

...the wine.

No Time To Read? No Problem!

For your convenience, I created an audio version of this post:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/StoryDesignConference-11ReasonsAnimation-Audio.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Meet Our Amazing Partners:

Our partners in the creation of this conference are the wonderful staff of The Idea Academy in Rome.

They have asked me to communicate to you that they are available to help with anything you need that has to do with registration, travel, accommodations etc.

Also, we have a private Facebook Group for all of the conference attendees. This group will make it easy to find traveling companions, roommates etc.

Plus, we can begin developing relationships before the conference so we have a sense of belonging long before we arrive in Rome!

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the event are completely sold out.

If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Oatley Academy Support.

The Story Design Conference will take place from September 28th – October 2nd 2016.

The post 11 Reasons Animation Artists Should Attend ‘The Story Design Conference’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93

JennEly-FlashlightIn part oneClaire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House)Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks), Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I announced that we will be teaching at The Story Design Conference from September 28th – October 2nd 2016*, in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy!

(*Note: The conference was moved from May to September.)

In celebration of our announcement, we decided to have a conversation about some of the big ideas we’ll be discussing during the conference.

What followed was a riveting discussion about art, fear and finding your calling…

In this second part you’ll hear us talk about:

  • How to convey emotion through your work.
  • What makes student work stand out.
  • How to keep going when you feel defeated.
  • What we’re looking forward to at The Story Design Conference!

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

New Dates For The Story Design Conference!

We were planning to hold the conference in the Spring, but I failed to realize what so many potential attendees communicated to us immediately following the announcement: You need more than two months to make international travel plans.

…so we moved the dates!

This year’s conference will now take place in the fall: September 28th – October 2nd 2016 to be exact.

It will still take place in the awe-inspiringly beautiful city of Rome, Italy. The guests and curriculum (which focuses on Color, Composition and Character Development) are still the same.

Visit our partners at The Idea Academy to find out more and register for the event!

Awesome Links:

Claire Keane

Jenn Ely

Brian McDonald

Brian’s ‘Invisible Ink’ Blog

Claire Keane on Paper Wings

Jenn Ely on The ArtCast

Brian McDonald on Paper Wings

‘Painting In The Dark’ by Adam Westbrook

Leo Matsuda

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 2) :: ArtCast #93 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92

092_ArtFearFindingYourCalling_P1_PostImage

Claire Keane (Disney, Penguin Random House), Jenn Ely (Laika, Google, Dreamworks) and Brian McDonald (Pixar, Disney, Industrial Light & Magic) and I have created a unique conference designed to help you become the great visual storyteller you are meant to be.

In May of 2016, our Story Design Conference will take place in the awe-inspiring city of Rome, Italy.

…and we would love for you to join us.

Claire, Jenn and Brian are all here today in celebration of this announcement!

This is the first of a two-part series in which you’ll hear us discuss:

  • Why you might never find your calling (and why that’s a good thing).
  • How the most intimidating problems can also be the most inspiring.
  • Why fear never goes away (no matter how successful you become).

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

The post Claire Keane, Jenn Ely & Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling (Part 1) :: ArtCast #92 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91

091-ArmandSerranoP2-share

In part one we heard the story of Armand’s long road to success in the animation industry…

Now, the conversation with Armand gets spiritual as we discuss ‘pure creativity,’ the role of Armand’s faith in his career and creative process and how many aspiring artists are working backwards…

The conversation then spins around 180 degrees to focus on technique and workflow.

Of course, we also ask Armand about the closing of the Disney Florida Studio and his subsequent transition to Sony.

…and as long-time listeners of The ArtCast might expect, Chris cannot resist completely geeking-out about Surf’s Up.

Jose-Luis Segura joins me as a guest co-host.

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

Awesome Links:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Jose-Luis Segura

Films On Paper

Dream On Silly Dreamer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

The Long Haul

*Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

In today’s fast-paced world we are led to believe that the journey to success is one that should happen quickly. However, as we saw today with Armand, the reality is that more often than not it is a slow process.

What do think of this disparity? How do you deal with the reality of the long haul?

Share and discuss your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview with Armand Serrano (Part 2) :: ArtCast #91 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90

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Armand Serrano‘s inventive compositions, visceral line work and story-rich environment designs have made him a living legend in the animation industry.

Join us today as we discuss the start of his long road to success in the animation industry which led to the creation of his trend-setting work on Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Surf’s Up and Big Hero 6…

*The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Armand Serrano:

[ download the mp3 ]

Are You Trying To Escape From “Art Jail”?

EAJAlbumArt_300wAvailable exclusively to OA Backstage Pass subscribers, Escape From Art Jail is our new, premium podcast designed to help you become a competitive, creative professional.

Start a free 30-day trial today and you’ll also get access to our monthly live portfolio review presentations, extended interviews from some of our favorite podcast guests and way, way more.

Find out more…

More From Armand:

ArmandSerrano.com

Armand on Facebook

Armand on Twitter

Learn More:

Top 10 Essential Concept Art Books (Part 1)

Hidden Strengths?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Even though he transitioned into animation, Armand’s background in engineering has aided him in his career as a layout and environment artist…

What seemingly unrelated aspects of your life have influenced your art in unexpected ways?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Armand Serrano (Part 1) :: ArtCast #90 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events

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Many artists are under the misconception that “the portfolio” is a fixed, finishable thing

This misconception can be particularly restrictive at conventions, job fairs and other recruiting events where you get frequent feedback from industry pros.

In this episode we share a strategy that will help you design a physical portfolio that can adapt to the feedback and unexpected opportunities you’ll encounter throughout the event…

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Our New Show:

[ download the mp3 ]

*Escape From Art Jail will launch on November 10th, 2015 as part of The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass becomes available!

Awesome Links:

Staples Presentation Binder

Jenn Ely

Melissa Manwill

7 Upcoming Visual Development Artists Who Impressed At CTN-X

Intro Music: Philly Run by B-Ju

Outro music: Slums of Heaven by Smoked Meat Fax Machine

So, What Do You Think Of Our New Show?!

We’re all sUUUper-excited!

Please share your thoughts on this episode at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post PREVIEW OUR NEW SHOW! Escape From Art Jail #5: Designing An Adaptive Portfolio For Conventions & Recruiting Events appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34

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In the first two parts of this interview, Jason Brubaker told us the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provided fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Now, in part three, we discuss his career-defining graphic novel reMIND, his record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns and the broad appeal of deeply personal work…

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 3 Of The Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

Awesome Links:

Don’t forget to claim your name at Paypal.me!

Escape From Art Jail Episode 3

MakingComics.com

Unnatural Talent by Jason Brubaker

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

Why Are Personal Projects So Powerful?

Independent creators are, by definition, purveyors of their own personal projects.

And now, many (if not most) influential pros agree that personal projects are one of the main ways to break into the entertainment industry.

Why is that? Why are personal projects so powerful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 3) :: Paper Wings Show #34 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89

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In part one of this interview, my good friend Jason Brubaker and I discussed his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Now, in part 2, he tells the story of his unexpected success at DreamWorks Animation and provides fresh perspective on the power of persistence.

Reminder: The comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 2 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

What Are Your Thoughts On Competition?

Do you embrace it or avoid it? Why?

Can a competitive attitude benefit artists without letting it consume them? If so, how?

Join the conversation at OatleyAcademy.com!

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 2) :: ArtCast #89 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88

JasonBrubakerPeacock580w

My friend Jason Brubaker has achieved impressive success in both the mainstream entertainment industry and as an independent creator.

He held a coveted Visual Development position at DreamWorks Feature Animation, broke Kickstarter records with his original graphic novel reMIND and now makes his living entirely from personal projects.

In this episode, Jason and I discuss his first big break, midlife crises, the brevity of life and the desire to create work with meaning.

Oh! …and the comments section has moved! Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Listen To Part 1 Of My Interview With Jason Brubaker:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Jason:

Jason’s Patreon

Jason on Twitter

Jason on Instagram

Jason on YouTube

Sithrah by Jason Brubaker

reMIND by Jason Brubaker

The Backstage Pass Is Coming Soon:

EAJalbumart320wWith The Oatley Academy Backstage Pass, you get access to:

Learn more about The Backstage Pass.

Join the notification list and we’ll email you as soon as The Backstage Pass subscriptions are available!

The Comments Section Has Moved!

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

Jason talked about the importance of trying to spend our limited time in meaningful ways.

Do you have a passion to make meaningful art or tell meaningful stories? If so, what are you doing to realize that passion?

…and if you’re still searching for your meaningful path, did Jason help at all? If so, how?

The post Interview With Jason Brubaker: DreamWorks Visual Development Artist and Creator Of “reMIND” (Part 1) :: ArtCast #88 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio

Pandora_Detail_320wPandora’s Box, The Holy Grail, The One Ring, Lightsabers, Reese’s Pieces, The Red Pill, The Ark Of The Covenant, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, The Flux Capacitor, Thor’s Hammer…

Props are essential for creating believable worlds.

So why are they often neglected in Visual Development portfolios?

In this article, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe – Editorial Assistant for The Oatley Academy – and I share three creative challenges that will help you fill your portfolio with props that tell a story.

This is the fourth part of an ongoing series

1.) Create A History For Every Prop:

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Era-specific materials, style, taste, texture, color, dust, weather, fabrics, patterns, storage, quantity, physical condition, monetary value, dents, scratches, inscriptions, creative customizations…

There are stories in the objects that surround us.

When you design a prop, you’re designing its history as well.

You don’t have to write an epic backstory for every single prop in your portfolio.

…but an imaginary history will inspire authenticity in your designs.

…and authenticity is essential for designing believable worlds.

2.) Connect Your Props To Your Characters:

Fozzie_Puppeteer_MuppetShowYou didn’t spring into existence, full of memories, tastes, hopes and fears…

Rather, your individuality was formed by your life experiences.

…and you, like everyone else, own a collection of objects that you associate with specific memories from your life experience.

There are memories in the objects we collect.

Whenever possible (and especially for your portfolio) design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.

What is the character’s relationship to the object?

DocBrownHelmetWhy did the character keep this object?

…or did they lose it?

Did the character augment or affect the appearance of the object?

Do they take care of it?

…or take it for granted?

Did the character make it?

…or break it?

“Whenever possible, design props that communicate a relationship with one or more of your characters.”

[ click to tweet this quote ]

3.) Prepare With A Personal Project:

Wilson_580w

While extensive research will certainly help you become a better prop designer, research without clear goals can become overwhelming.

Personal Projects focus your study and guide your visual development process.

That focus alone will make research more manageable.

…but choose a topic that interests you and your innate, creative curiosity will keep you going.

Develop several pages full of props for your Personal Project and you will feel way more confident and prepared for your next studio gig.

4.) Learn How Stuff Works:

T2Arm_Miles_580w

Whether you’re a gearhead, a costume designer or a hobbyist historian, specialized knowledge will support your creative career.

It could even lead to related work on an animated production.

My (Chris) first visual development gig was as a “Prop Visual Development Painter.”

My job was to paint over prop designs to make them look like they would appear in the final film. (You can see a few examples on my art page. You can learn more about the process here, here and here.)

I learned how to paint many different materials. I learned how certain mechanical objects were built and how they work. I learned about nature, anthropology and meteorology…

…but imagine the advantage you will have if you can demonstrate this knowledge in your portfolio the next time you apply for a VisDev job.

What Is Your Favorite Famous Prop and Why?

Tweet me and tell me what you think.

…and if you’re interested in developing original visual stories for your portfolio or as an independent venture, you’ll find help in The Magic Box.

The post From Pandora’s Box To The Holy Grail: Why Prop Design Is Essential For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33
2017-10-05 04:31:04 UTC
Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33

PWP33_ClaireKeane

Claire Keane is a brilliant illustrator and visual development artist, who has helped to develop numerous immersive worlds, including Tangled and Duet.

After leaving Disney, she released her first illustrated children’s book: Once Upon A Cloud. It’s a beautifully rendered, heartwarming story about family and following your dreams.

Join us today as we discuss humanizing your fictional characters, the versatile power of line, leaving Disney and Claire’s new artistic path…

Listen To Our Interview With Claire Keane:

[ download the mp3 ]

More From Claire Keane:

Claire’s Website

Claire on Twitter

Claire on Instagram

‘Once Upon A Cloud’ by Claire Keane

Awesome Links:

Brian McDonald

Charley Harper

‘Man And His Symbols’ by Carl Jung

‘The Wisdom Of Joseph Campbell’ on Audible.com

Carl Jung – Wikipedia

Joseph Campbell – Wikipedia

Theme music by Research Division

Transition music by The Years

Join The Notification List For OA Live!

ChrisOatleyLoraInnes_OAsiteHomePagePanel1

The OA Teachers and some of your favorite podcast guests join forces to bring you a visual storytelling education unlike anything the Internet has ever seen.

Click here to learn more >>

Brainstorm and Share!

Despite the extraordinary quality of the story, Claire’s idea for Once Upon A Cloud came from a very ordinary place.

Can you find a few extraordinary story ideas in the ordinary aspects of your own life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Interview With Claire Keane :: Paper Wings Show #33 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104
2017-10-07 23:30:34 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, since the very beginning…

In our first installment, we checked in with Darren in 2015, shortly after the successful Kickstarter for the Nomad.

Now, in part two, we wrap up our 2015 interview and jump forward in time to February 2017, while Darren is preparing to launch the reinvented Etchr Art Satchel

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • Why you should prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • Reducing stress and overwhelm during the launch of your Kickstarter.
  • Balancing your Kickstarter project and freelance work.
  • How to get investors for your business.
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Listen To Part 2 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-104-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP2.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part three, we talk about:

  • Why Darren wasn’t satisfied with the Nomad’s big success – and how he made it bigger…
  • How to build collaborations that actually work.
  • The surprising truth behind llama awesomeness.
  • Marketing strategies for artists – that aren’t just numbers and research.
  • Choosing the perfect name for your project.
  • Creating genuine human connections through… memes?

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Awesome Links:

Shopify

Whiplash

Stripe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

You only have one life to live…

Darren encourages all of us to try and do something we feel strongly about – and reassures us that it’s ok to be scared.

…And even in failure, there’s a lesson to be learned.

What’s the most important thing a failed project has ever taught you?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 2) :: ArtCast #104 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103
2017-10-07 23:30:34 UTC
Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103

Three years ago, Darren Yeow, a successful, self-taught Concept Artist created The Nomad Art Satchel: a product we didn’t know we wanted, yet it changed the lives of artists around the globe. The bag’s unique tool storage system and thoughtful design made it possible to sketch anywhere. It’s simply the best art bag in the world.

Now, the Kickstarter for The Nomad’s successor, The Etchr Art Satchel, made over $200,000 within the first 24 hours of launch…

…and we’ve been recording the whole story, checking in with Darren since 2015…

In our first installment, Ânia Marcos – now a Producer on The ArtCast – and Darren discuss:

  • Learning from every job you get, even if it’s a little sketchy.
  • What makes The Nomad uniquely perfect for artists.
  • Building an art career in spite of a late start.
  • Mastering the skills you need to be a successful artist, without stepping foot in a classroom.
  • When and why you should compare yourself with other artists.
  • How to keep going when your plans fall apart…

Listen To Part 1 Of ‘The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World’:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/ArtCast-103-MakingOfTheBestArtBagInTheWorldP1.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In part two, we talk about:

  • What is your idea worth?
  • When is Kickstarter the best option?
  • When to start planning your Kickstarter Campaign…
  • Why to prepare before opportunity knocks.
  • Is resilience a skill you can develop?
  • How Darren future-proofed his career.

Connect With Darren:

Darren Yeow on Facebook

Listen to Darren on The ArtCast

Etchr Lab

Etchr Lab on Facebook

Etchr Lab on Instagram

Back Etchr Lab on Kickstarter

Connect With Ânia and Edge:

Ânia Marcos

Tales Of Three

Ejiwa (Edge) Ebenebe

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Sketchy beginnings…

Darren’s first jobs in the industry were a little, well, sketchy. But instead of getting discouraged, he used these experiences as an opportunity to become a better artist.

How do you stay focused on your craft in a challenging environment?

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips so please, join the conversation on The Oatley Academy website!

SaveSave

The post Quick, Draw! The Making Of The Best Art Bag In The World (Part 1) :: ArtCast #103 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102
2017-10-07 23:30:35 UTC
Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102

Visual Development for ‘The Book Of Life’ by Sarah Marino. Banner Image: Illustration for Amazon Rapids by Jenn Ely.

This month, Sarah Marino (Color Supervisor at Nickelodeon)Jenn Ely (Production Designer for House Special, Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks) and I are teaching a new online workshop called First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development.

I invited them both to join me here on The ArtCast to promote First Flight and talk about how they achieved such significant success in their animation careers…

Episode Highlights include:

  • Turning fear into faith.
  • Becoming more professional by de-emotionalizing your creative process.
  • Why we stopped caring about job titles.
  • How fear cost Jenn a a big opportunity (and why she’ll never make that mistake again).
  • Why Sarah had to climb through a human hamster wheel. (That’s not a metaphor.)
  • Inspiring gumball machines and the healing power of ice cream.
  • Is a successful animation career worth the cost?

Listen To ‘Creative Bravery’:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Connect With Sarah:

Sarah Marino

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Listen to Sarah on The ArtCast

Sarah on The Rising Stars Of Animation

Connect With Jenn:

Jenn Ely

Follow Jenn on Instagram

Listen to Jenn on The ArtCast

Claire Keane, Jenn Ely and Brian McDonald on Art, Fear & Finding Your Calling

Music Credits:

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

In this episode, Jenn and I talked about how fear of failure cost each of us a big career opportunity.

We both survived, but we regret the moments when we let fear keep us from taking positive action…

What is a big fear you know you need to confront right now?

Don’t repeat our mistakes. Commit to taking action by sharing about it on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Creative Bravery: Why Animation Pros Sarah Marino and Jenn Ely Thrive In A Challenging Industry :: ArtCast #102 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!
2017-10-07 23:30:35 UTC
[Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available!

I have an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment!

To learn more, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The ‘First Flight’ Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/FirstFlight-OatleyAcademyArtCast-Announcement-TagFix.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

*Banner Image Credit: Detail from a Character VisDev painting by Sarah Marino for Book Of Life (Fox/ ReelFX).

Announcement Transcript:

Hello my friends!

Chris Oatley here with an urgent (but awesome) announcement!

Our new Visual Development Workshop is finally open for enrollment! 

You can go now to http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register.

For those of you who aren’t able to visit the website right now, I’ll share a the teaser – accompanied by the new score written by Seth Earnest:

Sarah Marino (Nickelodeon) and Jenn Ely (Dreamworks, Laika) will join Maike Venhofen (Director, The Storytellers’ Summit) and me for an emotional, inspirational, educational experience unlike anything available online or offline…

First Flight: How To Create Your New Career In Visual Development is a five-week online workshop that will help you launch a new career in Visual Development for Animation.

With the information-rich lessons, fifteen hours of real-time Visual Development Demos / Q&A Sessions and personalized guidance you’ll find in our Group Coaching Sessions, you will:

  • Create a Visual Development Portfolio and corresponding web presence that meets industry standards while rising above the competition.
  • Form the professional mindset and focused work habits that will help you reach the high levels of artistic skill required by the animation industry.
  • Choose an area of specialization and expand your versatility.
  • Avoid the Top Ten Visual Development Career Killers!
  • Know whether you’re “good enough” to get hired now and, if not, what you need to do to reach that level of quality with your work.
  • Strengthen your skill in the three main areas of Visual Development – Character Props and Environments – and make a plan for ongoing practice.
  • Overcome the fears and bad habits that prevent aspiring Visual Development Artists from landing their dream job.
  • Understand how an Animation Art Department works.
  • Prepare for your first week as a professional Visual Development Artist.

If you’re interested in a career as a VisDev artist for animation, it would be amazing to have you join us…

You can get all the details at http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/

…and you’ll also be able to read about How A Boring Illustration Job Changed My Life Forever.

We gave a sneak peek to some of our current students.

Here are some of the many fantastic reviews:

“I’m so excited to be starting First Flight!  Already watched the first two videos and love it so far!  I’m still working through Magic Box and Storyteller’s Summit and thrilled to add another OA class to the mix.  OA’s seriously my favorite place on the internet.  :D” 

– Veronica

“I was impressed by everything the course contains. By the second video I already felt my confidence boost.” 

– Vismaya

“I’m already feeling the love. Really like the attention you guys are putting into developing a good atmosphere and attention to the students. Looking forward to learning, growing and adding new friends in my life.” 

– Carlos

“First Flight is the Voltron of OA Courses”

– Chad

“What I like most about First Flight is how honest and clear it is about what both you and your work need to be like to be successful, and what mindset you need to achieve that. Would definitely recommend it, just the first few videos have been so mind-opening for me!” 

– Mari

“First Flight lifts the veil on Visual Development, and provides artists with the tools and trajectory to attain a professional level of success. I highly recommend it to any artist considering a career in entertainment and storytelling.  The Oatley Academy has cultivated a community that motivates people to success, and encourages new artists to discover themselves through their own artwork.” 

– Kyle

…once again, go to: http://OatleyAcademy.com/go/ff/ to learn more and register today!

The post [Announcement] New Visual Development Workshop Now Available! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101
2017-10-07 23:30:36 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101

In the previous episode, we met Ryan Carlson – my Disney mentor and the person without whom The Oatley Academy may never have happened…

Now in part two, Ryan talks about:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well.
  • The greatest gift an aspiring animation professional can offer an Art Director…

PLUS: The ArtCast: Behind The Scenes with the OA Team!

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Did You Learn?

Whether from the interview with Ryan or from the panel discussion with the OA Team, what concept from this episode resonated with you the most? …and why?

Please post a comment on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 2) :: ArtCast #101 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100
2017-10-07 23:30:36 UTC
Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100

In many ways, I owe my career to  Ryan Carlson.

He played a key role in giving me my first break at Disney, taught me more about painting than any other individual and he, more than anyone for whom I’ve worked, has intentionally helped to advance my career.

…and considering that The ArtCast probably wouldn’t exist without my time at Disney, and The Oatley Academy only exists because of The ArtCast, The Oatley Academy might not exist without Ryan…

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why failure is a necessary part of the creative process.
  • What makes a good Art Director?
  • Ryan’s process for creating a Color Script for an animated feature film…

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Ryan Carlson:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

In Part 2, Ryan Talks About:

  • Working on The Iron Giant and what he learned from Brad Bird.
  • His advancement from Assistant Effects Animator to Art Director.
  • How to lead a team of creative professionals well…

Awesome Links:

Ryan Carlson

Download Chris Oatley’s performance of “Dance Around The Fire” by Slaid Cleaves

Lyrics to Dance Around The Fire by Slaid Cleaves

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s An ArtCast Party!

Please join the Episode 100 celebration in the comments section on The Oatley Academy website!

Post your reactions to anything in this episode that you liked and it would also be fun if you could share one of your favorite moments from the past 100 episodes of The ArtCast…

The post Interview with Animation Art Director Ryan Carlson (Part 1) :: ArtCast #100 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99
2017-10-07 23:30:36 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99

In part one of our interview, John Nevarez (Sony, Illumination, Pixar, Disney) gave us a masterclass in gesture drawing technique.

Now, in part two, John talks about:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

It’s All Good In The Neighborhood…

Inside the craziness of the animation industry, attitude is everything. John was able to sidestep getting stuck and keep moving forward with the help of his mantra, “It’s all good in the neighborhood.”

How big of a role does attitude play in your work? Do you have any go-to words of wisdom that keep you positive and focused?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 2) :: ArtCast #99 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98
2017-10-07 23:30:37 UTC
Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98

John Nevarez approaches his art and his relationships the same way. Whether he encounters a new, blank page or a new person, John sees the opportunity to freely explore new and inspiring ideas.

The whimsical energy in his sketches combined with his delightful personality has made him one of the most reputable professionals in the animation industry.

His stellar career spans from storyboard revisionist to visual development artist, with stops along the way at every major animation studio, including Disney, Sony, Illumination, and Pixar.

Today we discuss:

  • John’s iconic, visceral drawing style…
  • Just saying no to your eraser…
  • And what two dozen rejection letters gets you.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With John Nevarez:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Next: John Talks About:

  • What that first day at Pixar is really like,
  • Sneaky ways to get your work noticed,
  • And the secret to staying sane in this crazy business…

Awesome Links:

John Nevarez

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

When Did You Realize…?

Growing up, John didn’t consider art to be a career path. He just knew that it made him happy.

…until The Lion King.

He was so inspired by the Disney film that he made it his mission to become part of the animation world.

Who or what in your life first introduced you to art as a career?

…and if you’re a professional, what steps did you take to go from passionate to professional?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Animation Layout & Visual Development Artist, John Nevarez (Part 1) :: ArtCast #98 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97
2017-10-07 23:30:37 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97

In part one of our interview with Brynn Metheney, we talked about her childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

In part two, Brynn shares some nitty gritty drawing tips and practical ways to improve when your artistic growth seems slow.

She traces her path from obsessive animal doodler, to official creature teacher and talks about the benefits of specialization.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 2 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

How Do You Keep Your Art Lively?

Brynn talked about how we often start a drawing with too much detail. …and the result can be lifeless.

Have you ever encountered this problem? If so, how did you solve it?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 2) :: ArtCast #97 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96
2017-10-07 23:30:38 UTC
Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96

Brynn Metheney puts the “dragons” in Dungeons & Dragons.

While many of her animals come from imaginary worlds, they look like they could exist in this one…

In part one of our interview, we talk about Brynn’s childhood in the desert, how her father’s job as an engineer helped her understand creature design, and how she makes her animals feel so real…

Spoiler alert: it does not involve sitting still.

Ejiwa Ebenebe – now a producer on The ArtCast – joins me as co-host.

Listen To Part 1 Of Our Interview With Brynn Metheney:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Awesome Links:

BrynnArt.com

Brynn on Facebook

Brynn on Twitter

Robert Hunt

Dugald Stermer

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Please Share Your Thoughts…

Today Brynn talked about finding the similarities in animals and using those “blueprints” to engineer imaginary creatures.

Have you ever found a new idea by closely observing reality?

Please share your thoughts on The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with Creature Designer & Fantasy Illustrator Brynn Metheney (Part 1) :: ArtCast #96 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95
2017-10-07 23:30:38 UTC
Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95

If Radiohead was a painter they’d be Frederic William Stewart.

Fred’s experimental mark-making is simultaneously raw but refined, deliberately spontaneous, visceral and inviting.

He was the first Background Painter on Nickelodeon’s epic animated series The Legend of Korra and today he holds a coveted role as a Dreamworks Visual Development Artist.

In this episode we talk about the early days on Korra, pushing the limits of digital media and why a diversity of influences will make your work stand out…

Listen To My Interview With Frederic William Stewart:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Check Out Fred’s Stunning Paintings:

Click here to see more of Fred’s work…

Awesome Links:

Fred’s Website

The Brush Club

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

Are You Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Fred Stewart thrives on pushing the limits of digital painting and his own artistic ability…

In fact, this has been a trend on The ArtCast recently – Claire Keane, Brian McDonald, Jenn Ely, Prescott Harvey and, of course, Fred Stewart – have mentioned how they find inspiration in uncertainty…

How about you?

Do you look forward to – or even seek – the uncomfortable or unfamiliar in your creative process? …and why?

Please share your thoughts at The Oatley Academy website!

The post Interview with ‘Korra’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Artist, Frederic William Stewart :: ArtCast #95 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’
2017-10-07 23:30:39 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part three, the team from Morning Noon & Night reveals how friends can make the best collaborators and how their friendships are the creative fuel for their current animated short film project…

Morning Noon & Night:

Often, friendships snap under the strain of long-term collaboration.

A small team of friends, united by a love of art and storytelling, found that working on their animated short together did not strain their friendships, but strengthened them instead…

Learning To Be You:

It seems almost silly to risk a friendship in return for a completed project.

So why work with friends?

Friends know how to make you laugh. They also know your fears and flaws and, in moments of deepest self-doubt, can remind us of our aspirations…

“Thanks to the support and honesty of this fantastic group, I’ve been able to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and they have done nothing but inspire me to reach my full potential.”

– Sydni Gregg

“Your art allies know more about you in many ways than people that are closest to you in ‘real life’. Respect that, respect their opinions and be open to learning as much as possible from them.”

– Michael Rew

A Friendly Nudge:

We all need a push sometimes – a nudge in the right direction.

Course-correcting one another creates a bond and an understanding of one another…

“Pushing through a long-term project is difficult. That’s true even with partners at your side. But in sharing this journey with Érika, Sydni, Rafael and Michael, I’ve found creative relationships deeper and more profound than any I’ve experienced before.”

– Carolyn Arcabascio

“Better and richer stories come to life in a team environment and you realize how much you can learn from everyone!”

Rafael Vera Rodríguez

Lasting Love:

Artistic mastery is a mountain with no summit.

Making friends along the way makes the climb even more rewarding and fun…

“I can’t imagine my life without MNN now. They are friends who celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Friends willing to share laughs and shed tears. Friends who have helped me push further.”

Érika Casab

“They’ve become parts of my everyday life, and I’m so much better for it. I think more than anything else, I’ll never stop being grateful for the friendships that this collaboration has given me.”

– Sydni Gregg

Works In Progress…

Here are some lovely animated WIPS from The Morning Noon & Night Team…

Who Is Your Art Ally?

Morning Noon & Night bridged cultures, perspectives, and personalities to find true art allies.

Have you ever collaborated with a friend and achieved positive results…?

Please share your story with us in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Morning Noon & Night Team. Thanks, everyone!

[ Connect with Morning Noon & Night on Tumblr | Twitter ]

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 3): ‘Morning Noon & Night’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’
2017-10-07 23:30:39 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part two, the team from Boneshaker Press reveals how combining their skills empowered them to create an anthology art book that recently became an $11,000 success on Kickstarter…

Boneshaker Press:

“I’ll never be good enough.”

…sound familiar?

We’ve all been there.

Artistic growth is tough.

…it’s exhausting.

…and while we might have very different skills to improve and different goals to reach, that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

Boneshaker Press is a group of twenty artists who met through our composition course Painting Drama and bonded over a shared passion for visual storytelling.

Their collaboration exemplifies how finding the right collaborators will help you thrive in spite of the inevitable creative and emotional struggles of artistic growth…

Failing Forward:

It takes a great deal of strength to not get defeated every time a painting doesn’t turn out as we had hoped.

Instead of struggling on their own, the team of Boneshaker Press found in each other the support they needed to keep going. They helped each other grow by failing forward together.

Kira Slaght

“I pushed my work further than ever before. It’s amazing how much more you can achieve when you’re not on your own.

When you work alone and everything falls to you, forward progress can be exhausting and easily burn you out.

Working within the right group, alongside people who care and are passionate about the end product, is a great change of pace. Even more encouraging is knowing that every contribution helps to bring along shared success.”

Garrett McGill

I Got This:

Their anthology art book Encounters with the Imaginary is a project that would have been impossible to muster alone.

Karlen Tam

“The creative environment pushed me to work harder and do more than I thought I could, because this wasn’t for me – it was for the team. I wish I could activate this level of hyper-focus when I need to work on my own.”

Karlen Tam

“So many ideas came up that sounded great but were beyond my own knowledge or skills, and someone would step up and say, ‘I got this!’ and whew, they would do amazing work. Over and over.”

– Jeszika Le Vye

Jeszika LeVye

This journey with like-minded artists did away with wanting to quit…

“Life, for me, took some crazy turns these past few months. I felt so overwhelmed that I almost let go of being in the group. But in a way, they wouldn’t let go of me. Their continued hard work was a support for me and helped me trust more fully in the idea of collaboration.”

Sydni Kruger

Shoulder To Shoulder:

Group projects can seem intimidating. Who doesn’t remember groaning when having to push together desks in school?

While it is important to respect the group, it is equally important to hold on to individual values and perspectives.

Nick Jizba

“Compromise is a lot easier to deal with when there’s a good reason for it.”

Nick Jizba

“I felt it was important to strike a balance between respecting myself as a creator, good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with these other incredible creators – but also stepping aside and approaching the project as an opportunity to learn anything my collaborators were willing to teach.”

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Need A Hand?

Boneshaker Press created a project none of the individuals could have mustered on their own. At some point all artists need support to push through their artistic struggles.

Can you remember a time when a fellow artist support helped you push through?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Maike VenhofenErika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Boneshaker Press Team. Thanks, everyone!

Connect with Boneshaker Press  | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Facebook Artgroup ]

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 3!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 2): ‘Boneshaker Press’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!
2017-10-07 23:30:39 UTC
[Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon!

IanBeastOfBurden‘Beast of Burden’ assignment from ‘Painting Drama 1’ by Ian Rosenthaler

Hey, friends! We have two exciting OA announcements for you:

1.) We *finally* have a new release date for The DIY Animation Show (Wednesday, December 7th)

…and…

2.) Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama open this month!

To get all the details, listen to the audio announcement via the media player below…

Listen To The Audio Announcement:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/oatley/OA_Announcement_Dec62016_DIYA_PD1G6_Announcement.mp3

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Announcement Highlights:

1.) The DIY Animation Show will launch Wednesday, December 7th!

DIYAS_AlbumArt_600px

After a sudden slew of mysterious tech issues deflated our launch celebration, The DIY Animation Show is finally working!

When we announce the launch on Wednesday, December 7th, could you please:

  1. Subscribe to the show in iTunes.
  2. Download all of the episodes.
  3. Tell a friend.

…and if you have time to give us a star-rating or write a review, that would also be amazingly helpful!

If we can create enough download and review activity on launch day – Wednesday, December 7th – iTunes will take notice and promote the show in their “New and Noteworthy” section.

That, as you might imagine, would be significant.

Of course, on launch day, we’ll post reminders in our podcast feeds, on our various social media platforms, and via email.

2.) ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions will open within the week:

SaraBurke-PD1G4-1280w‘Painting Drama’ work by Sara Burke

Auditions for the next generation of Painting Drama (Chris Oatley’s mentored course on composition and developing your visual voice) will open within the week.

  • Class will run for 12 weeks with a 1-week break at midterm.
  • Class will begin January 14th and will be held live, online on Saturdays from 7:30am-1:30pm PT.
  • This year I will be offering additional (optional) open office hours on Thursdays.
  • We will offer audition opportunities to Magic Box and Storytellers’ Summit students first.
  • Learn more about Painting Drama here, here and here.

Thank You!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patience while we worked through the DIYA launch delay.

Also, thank you for emphatically expressing your desire for more Mentored Courses in general and, specifically, more Painting Drama opportunities.

Your unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending support is what keeps us going and ultimately makes OA what it is.

We couldn’t do any of this without you.

followyourheart_LM

Gif by of Lauren Morse

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact OA Support!

The post [Announcement] New Release Date for ‘DIY Animation’ + ‘Painting Drama’ Auditions Open Soon! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!
2017-10-07 23:30:40 UTC
Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X!

ctnx_2016_postcards_square_420wWill you be at CTNX this weekend?

Please come meet me and the Oatley Academy Team at Booth #T051!

We’re Giving Away:

  • Free Portfolio Reviews.
  • Free “Mini-Print” Postcards.
  • Free Hugs. (It’s been a tough year, right?)

Read on to get the details…

It’s A Tradition:

It’s an Oatley Academy tradition to give away our limited edition collectible postcards at CTN-X.

They’re different every year.

The 2016 set features my most recent Animal Farm digital painting, my favorite plein air sketch from the past year and our favorite illustration by Shawna Tenney, host of our children’s book podcast – Stories Unbound:

The OA Booth Is Near The Main Entrance:

ctnx2016_exhibitorfloorplan_oaboothlocation-1280w

Will You Be There?

Post in the comments below if you’ll be at CTN-X this weekend, and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

We’re super excited to meet and talk with everyone, so don’t be a stranger – come over and say hello!

The post Get Free OA Postcards + Portfolio Reviews at CTN-X! appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’
2017-10-07 23:30:40 UTC
Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’

The Oatley Academy offers an effective education in visual storytelling but it’s also a vibrant, active community where artists and storytellers develop deep friendships, form Circles of Trust and find like-minded collaborators.

In this series of Collaboration Stories, we’ll feature three current OA projects, meet the artists involved and learn from their experience.

Today, in part one, the team from Tales Of Three will reveal how they developed a new, collaborative workflow and created a fully illustrated, ninety-two-page book that recently became a $7,000 success on Kickstarter…

Tales of Three:

to3-headshots

Ânia (Portugal), Lise (Norway) and Fred, (Finland, originally from Belgium), met through our digital painting course and bonded over a shared desire to tell meaningful stories.

They all knew telling a meaningful story would be a challenge but their two-year collaboration across three different timezones amidst major changes in lifestyle (a new day job, a wedding, a baby etc.) brought logistical challenges for which they felt completely unprepared.

While productivity tools like Google Hangouts and Dropbox helped, their aggressive production schedule demanded even greater efficiency…

Collaborative Illustration:

Instead of dividing the illustration work per-page, per-scene or per-chapter, the To3 Team created a “pipeline” process similar to that which is used in mainstream animation studios.

To start, Ânia developed the compositions then Fred took over and produced the final line art…

thumbnails_ania_horizontal-1

fredericdaelemans_line_pancakes

Lise and Ânia both worked on the the value studies. 

Then Lise did the color comps and divided the color rendering with Fred…

fredshut

Ânia added the final polish, textures and formatted the text…

talesofthree-spread

With this collaborative “illustration pipeline” they avoided the delays and struggles that are common in their solo illustration work.

Instead, they produced the images quickly because they spent most of their work hours operating within their individual strengths.

As a bonus, this method helped them maintain a consistent style throughout the entire book.

What They Learned:

“The most important thing I learned while working on ‘Tales Of Three’ is that I actually can create stories that connect with people. I overcame my fear of not being good enough to achieve that. I also learned that storytelling is really what I’m meant to do!”

– Lise Hopland

“Luckily, Ânia and Lise compensate for my shortcomings when it comes to project management. And in spite of my general ‘lone-wolf’ attitude I learned to trust and depend on them.”

– Frederic Daelemans

“It’s amazing how the project keeps moving forward, even if you’re going through a tough time and can’t do much. That’s the power of a good collaboration.”

– Ânia Marcos

Can You See Your Own Strengths?

In the end, each illustration in Tales Of Three exemplifies the theme of the story itself – that it’s better to identify and share your strengths instead of living in fear of your weaknesses.

Can you remember a time when someone else helped you identify a strength in yourself that you previously could not see?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

*This post was co-authored by Erika Casab, Jessie Kate Patterson and Chris Oatley with a lot of help from the Tales Of Three Team. Thanks, everyone!

…and now check out Collaboration Stories: Part 2!

The post Collaboration Stories (Part 1): ‘Tales of Three’ appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”
2017-10-07 23:30:41 UTC
Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply”

Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply

Here’s the third installment in my ongoing Animal Farm series.

I only just realized that I’ve been illustrating scenes that don’t actually appear in the book. Rather, they are moments I imagined based on the details Orwell did provide.

In the book, we never learn the end of Snowball’s story.

…but this is how I picture it.

Scroll on to see the process video, detail images and the high-res version…

Process Video:

Click play to watch the process evolve…

Detail Images + High-Res:

For a close-up look at the brushwork, click on the thumbnails below or download the high-res version

Ooh! Shiny!

Would you like to learn how to paint shiny materials like you see here?

Stay tuned for my new “Shiny Surfaces” series coming this fall to The Magic Box!

The post Personal Work: “Animal Farm: The Failure To Comply” appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94
2017-10-07 23:30:41 UTC
Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94

Luke watches the double sunset on Tatooine in this animated scene from '4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again'

When Disney announced that JJ Abrams would direct Star Wars Episode VII, Prescott Harvey responded with an animated open letter called 4 Rules To Make Star Wars Great Again.

It resonated with millions of fans who were disappointed by George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and skeptical about Disney’s involvement.

The film went viral and JJ got the message.

Impressed, JJ invited Prescott to pitch a feature film concept at his company Bad Robot Productions.

Today, Prescott shares the story of how he prepared for his first feature film pitch, what he did right, what he did wrong and the new opportunities that followed…

Listen To My Interview With Prescott Harvey:

[ download the mp3 ] [ subscribe in iTunes ]

Join Us On The Storytellers’ Summit:

StorytellersSummitArt_HighQ_300w

Whether you write children’s books, screenplays or novels…

…or draw storyboards or comics: You are a storyteller.

…and every storyteller understands that turning our lofty thoughts into a finished work often feels like an uphill climb…

The Storytellers’ Summit – a new online course from The Oatley Academy – will provide guidance from some of the entertainment industry’s best teachers.

We’ll help you master fundamental concepts like:

  • Developing your protagonist
  • Building a believable world
  • Constructing a compelling plot
  • Finding your voice
  • Fighting writer’s block

Your story is waiting.

Join The Storytellers’ Summit today!

Awesome Links:

Prescott on ArtCast #70

PrescottHarvey.com

Pre-Order In Beta

The Storytellers’ Summit

Theme Music by Storybook Steve

Recurring Musical Segments by Kangaralien

Outro Music by The Years

What Was Your Favorite Pitching Tip?

Which of Prescott’s points of pitching advice resonated with you most? …and why?

Please join us on The Oatley Academy website to comment on this episode!

The post Advice For Your First Feature Film Pitch :: ArtCast #94 appeared first on ChrisOatley.com.

15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students
2017-10-07 23:30:41 UTC
15 Fantastic Compositions From My ‘Painting Drama’ G4 Students

The fourth generation of  Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.

They are intelligent, professional and relentless.

Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…

André Meister:

AndreMeister_TheSirensTemptation_1280w

“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.

Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today. 

My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”

– Andre Meister

[ Connect with Andre ]

Bill Cooper:

BillCooper-PD1G4-1280w

“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”

-Bill Cooper

[ Connect with Bill ]

Carolyn Arcabascio:

CarolynArcabascio-PD1G4-420w“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.

The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.

The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”

-Carolyn Arcabascio

[ Connect with Carolyn ]

Cassandra Mazur:

Cass-Mazur-Sirens-420w“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.

I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.

‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.

I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.

I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.

This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”

-Cassandra Mazur

[ Connect with Cassandra ]

Jeszika Le Vye:

Gravity-and-Light-1280w

“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.

I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.

Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!

Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.

When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.

Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.

On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.

Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.

I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.

‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

-Jeszika Le Vye

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Kira Slaght:

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“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.

This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”

-Kira Slaght

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Linda Lithén:

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“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.

I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.

I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”

-Linda Lithen

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Lynne Yoshii:

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“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”

-Lynne Yoshii

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Magali Mebsout:

MagaliMebsout-Jaguar-420w“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.

I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”

-Magali Mebsout

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Melissa Dow:

MelissaDow-PD1-G4-BeastOfBurden-420w“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’

In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.

I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.

You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.

I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.

Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.

Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.

…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.

I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!

What an incredible experience!”

-Melissa Dow

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Ryan James:

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“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image t