Pandora’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

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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…

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This is the third installment in a series designed to help you understand the responsibilities of a Visual Development Artist and create a portfolio that exceeds expectations.

In parts one and two, you intensified your visual exploration of story and character. I’m also hopeful that you began to think of your portfolio as a storytelling medium in itself…

Today, I’ll share an inspiring character development exercise that I learned from storyboard guru Justin Copeland

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During her presentation at Tom Bancroft’s Pro Weekend (which I highly recommend), Claire Keane shared the best advice about Visual Development portfolios that I’ve ever heard.

…and today I’m going to share it with you.

This is part two in a series designed to give you an advantage when pursuing one of the most competitive jobs in animation.

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Tips For A Competitive Visual Development Portfolio (Part 1): Act Hired Before You Get Hired

This is the first in a series of quick tips that will help you create a competitive Visual Development portfolio. Today I’ll share three essential steps that are so obvious they’re often ignored.

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Interview With Eric Canete: Animation Storyboard Artist & Co-Creator of “Run Love Kill” (Image Comics) :: Paper Wings Show #32

Eric Canete‘s unique drawing style demonstrates layer upon layer of artistic mastery: Anatomy, character, caricature, composition, storytelling… After 20+ years of trend-setting work in story, games and comics, his style is as distinct and intense as ever. So you might find it hard to believe that such beautiful work was once rejected by industry gatekeepers. In […]

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Interview With Character Designer Justin Rodrigues (Part 2) :: ArtCast #87

In part one, Justin Rodrigues shared healthy ways to deal with rejection and how his character design style combines 2d and 3d sensibilities. Now, in part two, he talks about how the internal and external aspects of a character inform his designs, why ‘personal style’ can be a problem and the most important question an aspiring character […]

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Interview With Character Designer Justin Rodrigues (Part 1) :: ArtCast #86

Justin Rodrigues is a good friend and one of my favorite current artists. In this episode, we discuss the most productive way to respond to rejection and how his character design style blends 2D sensibility with 3D structure. After Justin’s interview, Spanish concept artist Juan Francisco Bautista Zambrana shares the story of a recent career breakthrough and […]

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“Failing Upward” :: Interview With Animation Story Artist Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft :: Paper Wings Show #31

Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft describes her career as “failing upward.” She broke-in during the TV animation revolution and saw the beginnings of Cartoon Network, Adventure Time and Frederator. Though she lacked a clear sense of direction early-on, Aliki has since accumulated numerous impressive credits including: animated series creator, director, storyboard artist, writer, emmy-nominated songwriter and voice actor. Join us […]

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Interview With Loish :: ArtCast #85

Lois van Baarle aka “Loish” has designed a successful illustration career almost entirely on her own terms. Now she gets paid to draw and paint the images and ideas she loves most. In this interview, recorded live at a coffee shop in Amsterdam, we discuss how she got started, discovered her unique personal style and […]

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From Self-Publishing to Scholastic: An Interview With Jimmy Gownley :: Paper Wings Show #30

Since he was 15 years old, Jimmy Gownley has never stopped breaking the rules of self-publishing. He went from selling self-published comics in the hallways of his high school to huge publishing deals with both Simon & Schuster AND Scholastic. Join us as Jimmy shares what it took to break in with the big publishers. And don’t miss the interview with […]

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The Winding Road To Laika: An Interview With Jenn Ely (Part 2) :: ArtCast #84

In part one of this interview, Jenn Ely regaled us with tales of alligators, emu burgers and art school… …and just as one of Jenn’s fellow undergrads dove into a giant cupcake for her senior exhibit, so we dove into a passionate discussion about art education. Now, in part two, Jenn talks about her time at The Savannah […]

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The Winding Road To Laika: An Interview With Jenn Ely (Part 1) :: ArtCast #83

Like the design of the world of The BoxTrolls, Jenn Ely‘s life is full of quirky twists and turns. Her wonderfully bizarre childhood involved multiple encounters with emus and alligators. …and at an art school where students were jumping into giant cupcakes she had to find and fight for her identity as a commercial artist. […]

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Interview With Adam Westbrook, Creator Of The ‘Delve Video Essays’ (Part 2) :: ArtCast #82

In part one of this interview, Adam Westbrook told the story of how he left his career as a radio journalist, moved from England to Paris and created… …an ongoing series of short, snappy documentaries that challenge creative people to deepen their understanding of craft and culture. Now, in part two, we’ll talk about […]

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Interview With Adam Westbrook, Creator Of The ‘Delve Video Essays’ (Part 1) :: ArtCast #81

Leonardo Da Vinci was a LOSER. This radical proposition was so intriguing, I had no choice but to click “Play.” What followed was a brilliant video about the nature of artistic mastery and how the digital culture is actually making it more difficult to pursue. With the authenticity of Ken Burns and the roguish efficiency […]

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Creating Characters From Your Story’s Theme (Part 2) :: with Brian McDonald :: Paper Wings Show #29

Jedi master Brian McDonald is back with more revelatory perspectives that will challenge the way we think about visual storytelling. In part one, Brian showed us how theme creates character and character creates theme. Now, in part two, we discuss when to stop dreaming and start writing, how success can kill creativity, why style isn’t always a good thing, and […]

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