2023 |Two Weeks left for Fall Registration. Enroll Today!

Character Design Portfolio Mentorship

Character Design Portfolio Mentorship

An 8-week mentorship course where students will strengthen their character design portfolios based on career goals and artistic direction/pursuits 
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Build a stronger portfolio

Build a stronger portfolio
PLEASE NOTE: An application is required for acceptance into this course. 

The goal of this mentorship with Disney Art Director of Characters Bill Schwab is to develop a deeper understanding of shape, silhouette, attitude and style. This class will cover multiple aspects of character design, including research, rough concepts and final design. During the eight week course we will work on designs for feature, short subject and mascot designs, and the goal is for students to create portfolio pieces from each assignment. Posing and expressions will be included in each assignment, and each assignment will be in line with studio expectations, processes and timelines.

NOTE: Course outline for each instructor may be different; for specific outline information, please select the instructor and click on “Request Syllabus” below.

PLEASE NOTE: For those applying to Character Design Portfolio Mentorship, the first round of Fall Term applicants--those received by September 4--will be notified of application status no later than September 11, 2023. The notification date for the second round of applicants is to be determined.
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Jul 19, 2023 - Oct 09, 2023
Course Start
Oct 01, 2023

Course Format

Live group sessions (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)

Skills Level

Intermediate- Advanced


8 weeks


Live (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Live group sessions (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)
Ongoing work each week (Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk)
The number one prerequisite for this class is an interest in character design! Each student should have a basic understanding of human and animal anatomy as well well as a passion for storytelling through design. *NOTE: application required Students should have a good sketching and drawing foundation, and basic knowledge in color techniques. Course prerequisites: Character Design for Animation, Character Design for Production.
Photoshop and a drawing tablet are preferred but pencil, pen and markers on paper are ok as well.

The more you know, the better.

Introduction to the course | Introduction to the instructor and overall philosophy and approach to character design | Visual contrast in design and nature
Dynamic character poses & expressions | Creating pose sheets and expressions sheets
Exploring techniques that will aid personal artistic development
Creating strong, recognizable character silhouettes | Refining design choices
Creating character line-ups
Adjust the style to suit a different type of project
Creating character turnarounds
Exploring style variation through caricature

Prepare to meet your master.

Art Director of Characters
Apply now
Course Start: Oct 01, 2023
Bill is an Art Director of Characters at Disney Feature Animation, and his recent credits include Encanto, Frozen 2, Moana, and Disney's upcoming feature Wish.

Instructor's Gallery

Concept Art
Concept Art
Concept Art


Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education, these finance options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Jul 19, 2023 - Oct 09, 2023
COURSE BEGINS on Oct 01, 2023
Character Design Portfolio Mentorship

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


He’s been very informative and was accommodating. Easy to follow, solid feedback and lectures made me think outside of the box.


He was always very encouraging but also offered great draw-overs showing potential for growth.


I was very happy how my work came out with the guidance I received!


This course helped me THINK differently as a designer, and I know my work has improved tremendously because of it.


Bill was a really great mentor with a lot of experience at his disposal. Watching him draw was really incredible too. Seeing the way another artist works and how they choose to tackle a design is seriously so helpful.


Need guidance? We’re Here to Help.

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review/course recommendations!

What are you interested in?