Understand the importance of Storytelling & IP
Storytelling lies at the heart of everything for artists working in the entertainment industry. This is an arena where every picture really does tell a story, and where the image is both a means of communication and a form of expression. Now, thanks to the billions being invested in the creation of original content by the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, the demand for artists with a firm grasp of narrative and the art of storytelling is greater than ever. On a practical level, the challenge for artists hoping to succeed in this field is to ensure their images, concepts, and designs make an intellectual connection as well as an emotional one–successfully conveying ideas, concepts, and entire narratives with economy and creative flair. The key to this is a solid understanding of both the classic rules of storytelling and the contemporary methods utilized by visual creatives working across all entertainment industries. CGMA’s Storytelling & IP Development Track has been designed to give artists exactly that.
As you complete each course, you will receive a certificate of completion for that course. In order to qualify for a course certificate of completion, students must complete at least 80% of the class assignment during the duration of the course.
Should you have any questions regarding these courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you only pay for the course(s) you take in a given term.
ROLES OF THE STORYTELLER & IP DEVELOPER
Developed and taught by instructors with decades of collective experience creating content at major creative studios including DreamWorks, Disney and Marvel, our classes equip artists with the necessary tools to become better visual communicators and ultimately develop their own storytelling language. Whether focused on Concept Art, Comics, Filmmaking, Storyboarding, or Character/Environment Design, any artist looking to develop themselves and become truly competitive in their chosen field should consider strengthening their visual voice with these courses.
Get a better sense of our courses.
As you complete each course you will receive a certificate of completion for that course. In order to qualify for an in course certificate of completion, students must complete at least 80% of the class assignment during the duration of the course.
3rd week of January
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Oct 12, 2023 - Jan 29, 2024
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Feb 06, 2023 - Apr 24, 2023
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Apr 25, 2023 - Jul 17, 2023
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Jul 19, 2023 - Oct 09, 2023
Learn from award-winning artists who've worked at top studios around the world
Polly Guo is a Storyboard Artist/Writer and Comic Artist. Her credits include “Adventure Time”, “She-Ra: The Princess of Power”, “Tig N’ Seek”, and “The Great North”. She’s also the creator of the critically acclaimed “Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight”, which appears on The Beat’s “Top 100 Comics of the Decade”.
Ainsley Dye is a Storyboard Artist who has worked for studios such as Dreamworks TV, Nickelodeon, and Disney TV. Her credits include “Trollstopia”, “Madagascar: A Little Wild”, “Big Nate”, and currently, “Primos”. A graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, with a BS in Entertainment Design/Character Animation, Ainsley’s professional experience has spanned from sitcom style comedy to cinematic comedy to musicals, for both family and kids' content.
Writer & Storyboard Artist
Joshua Pruett is an Emmy Award-winning Writer best known for his work on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH the animated series, and the original feature for Disney Plus, PHINEAS AND FERB THE MOVIE: CANDACE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE. His first original middle grade novel SHIPWRECKERS: THE CURSE OF THE CURSED TEMPLE OF CURSES, OR WE NEARLY DIED. A LOT. with Scott Peterson debuted May, 2019 from DISNEY/HYPERION.
Joshua has over fifteen years of experience inflicting laughter (and monsters) on others as storyboard artist, writer and creative consultant for Crunchyroll, Outright Games, LEGO, Warner Animation Group, Pure Imagination Studios, Disney TV, DreamWorks Feature Animation, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks TV, Awesomeness TV, Sprout/NBC Universal, Disney China/Beijing, Zombie Bake Shop, Netflix, Paramount Feature Animation as well as developing THE HAUNTED MANSION for Disney TV with Scott Peterson.
He is also the author of THE JUNGLE BOOK: THE STRENGTH OF THE WOLF IS THE PACK, with Scott Peterson, an adaptation and expansion of the 2016 live action feature film, the horror short story collection THE MISERY COMPANY and AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER: LEGACY OF THE FIRE NATION from Insight Editions (2020).
Comic Book Writer and Artist
ILYA is a 30+ year veteran of the comic industry. He has been published internationally by Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse in the USA, in Japan by Kodansha, across Europe and by independent companies worldwide.
His books include the award-winning graphic novel series THE END OF THE CENTURY CLUB (Best Graphic Novel, the UK Comic Art Convention 1997), SKIDMARKS, ROOM FOR LOVE, TIME TRAVELLER, noir anthology IT’S DARK IN LONDON, the MANGA DRAWING KIT, HOW TO DRAW COMICS, HOW TO DRAW ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, and a daring Native American (First Nations) adaptation of KING LEAR for Manga Shakespeare.
He is also author of critically acclaimed prose novel, THE CLAY DREAMING and artistically collaborated on DEADFACE/BACCHUS with Eddie Campbell, and KID SAVAGE with Joe Kelly. ILYA is currently Cartoon Historian for New Internationalist magazine (15 episodes and counting).
James Fujii graduated from Cal Arts in 1983, and has worked in the animation industry for the last 40 years. Trained in story at Walt Disney Feature Animation, his first story credits include Aladdin, Fantasia 2000, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. James then went to DreamWorks SKG for 5 years, where he worked on The Prince of Egypt, Antz, and Shrek. Since then James has worked at various studios including Warner Brothers, Universal, Netflix, and various independent studios, working in both TV and feature animation.
Concept Artist / Illustrator
Axel Sauerwald is a freelance concept artist and illustrator, currently living and working in Germany. While being a part of the team at Atomhawk Design in Newcastle he had the chance to contribute to games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Age of Empires 2:DE and various other unannounced projects, mainly creating character and costume designs, illustrations and marketing art.
Senior Concept Artist / Illustrator
Miguel Iglesias is a senior concept artist and illustrator for AAA games, films, and development of new IPs with more than 15 years of professional experience. Some of the titles he has worked on include The Division, The Division 2, FarCry 3 , World in Conflict. Now he works as a freelance artist for clients such as Ubisoft, Games Workshop, and Focus Interactive, to name a few.
Asia Alfasi is an award winning British Libyan graphic novelist. Born in Libya in 1984, she spent her formative years first in Tripoli, and then in Glasgow, Scotland where she migrated with her family. Growing up with Arabic-dubbed classical anime as a child, she later discovered its manga form and fell in love; devoting time to learning the craft, and in the process, realizing its immense potential of humanizing people and furthering understanding. Ever since, she has represented the Muslim and Arab voice through her work, whether it be animation, graphic novel work or exhibitions; with the ultimate aim of harnessing the medium as a tool for cross-cultural dialogue and societal creative exchange.
Perry Hull is a professional industry 2D animator at Bento Box Atlanta. Graduating with a BFA in Media Arts and Animation from The Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati in 2015, Perry has worked on many different projects for Disney, Marvel, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Netflix, Apple and PBS. Perry is currently making personal cartoons on Newgrounds, he has gone on to help storyboard and animate with Rooster Teeth, Hazbin Hotel, Flash Gitz, Studio Yotta, One Plays and Game Grumps.
Anthony Christov has been an industry professional for over 30 years. Starting at Disney on "Rescuers Down Under", working on various projects through the 1990s, his career culminated with art directing for Pixar for the last 18 years. Anthony has art directing credits on films like "Finding Nemo", "Wall-E", and "Incredibles II," as well as countless legacy shorts and roles on many of the well-known Pixar hits. Through the years, he has witnessed the industry change and evolve with technology, and as such he brings invaluable experience and perspective to the students at CGMA.
Art Director and Concept Artist
Mauricio is a former scientist turned concept artist living and working in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Molecular Biology before studying Illustration and Entertainment Design at the Art Center College of Design.
Since then Mauricio has worked on a variety of projects in animation, film, video games, children's books, theme parks and more with notables clients such as the Walt Disney Company, Ubisoft, Games Workshop, Simon and Schuster, and more. He's also taught classes in illustration and concept art for the LA Academy of Figurative Art and Brainstorm.
When not working at work he can be found working at home on his own author/illustrator projects which include two well-received animatic short films, a successfully Kickstarter-funded children's book and a whole assortment of fun whimsical illustrations for the imagination. When not doing any of those he's probably thinking of pizza.
Environment Concept Artist
Dominic Jaro is an Environment Concept Artist at Turtle Rock Studios. Most notably he has worked on AAA titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Back4Blood. Dominic specializes in the Video Game Industry, but also has experience in Illustration, Background Paintings for Animation, Graphic Design, Marketing Art, Arch Viz and commercial work with brands such as Verizon and Hasbro.
Lanny is a freelance storyboard and concept artist working in the advertising and film industry. Developing an interest early on in the work of the golden age illustrators, he set his focus on figurative drawing and painting, and creating art as a means of visual storytelling. After graduating from CSULB with a BFA in illustration, Lanny moved to New York where he is currently represented by Famous Frames. Aside from working as an artist, Lanny continues to study at various art schools, create personal work on his own, and is about to release his first instructional drawing book “Mastering Realism”.
Elena Vitagliano is an award winning Italian comic artist living in London. Her work is related to the analysis of human emotions and the meaning of life. She grew up in Italy during an era of predominantly Japanese anime. This had a massive impact on her, leading to her developing a keen interest in Japanese culture, culminating in a degree revolving around Oriental culture, art and language, and even spending a year living and studying in Tokyo.
Eventually, her passion got the better of her and she began to pursue a graphic design and manga career. Her winning streak encompasses various National Italian illustration awards, being a finalist at Torino Comix 2011, winning in the 2011 Manga Jiman Competition (organized by the Japanese Embassy in UK) and in 2013 the European Competition "Comics for Equality”.
Her greatest award has been received in 2018 though. She has been the first European woman to win the Grand Prix Award (first prize) in the Silent Manga Audition (international Japanese competition) - 8th edition - with the short manga “The cruelest Rule” about fair play. Furthermore, she occasionally writes articles about manga, makes manga portraits, cooperates with museums, associations and manga events and used to host a daily radio show about anime and manga. She is currently cooperating with a Japanese editor to write and draw a full-length manga novel and has just published a harvest of her short stories in Italy, called “Silent Smiles”.
Elena is the first Italian mangaka to be published in Shonen Jump Plus. You can read about it here.
Mexican artist Sergio Castañeda is part of the One Pixel Brush team, creating concept art for titles like Last of Us Part 2, Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor, among others. Starting his career as a 3D technical artist, he decided to jump into the professional concept art world in the last years starting from scratch. He is constantly looking for new tools and techniques that allow him to move quickly and get the job done in a short time. Always searching for the best way to tell the story in every single image. He enjoys challenging projects but also family, movies, music, and dogs.
Mehreen Bazm is an accomplished motion media designer with a strong educational background and a wealth of professional experience. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and a Master's Degree in Motion Media Design from Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD).
After completing her studies, Mehreen began her career in the vibrant creative scene of Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. During this time, she had the privilege of working with renowned companies such as Motion Picture Company-NY, Vice Media HBO, NBC Universal, Hogarth Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, Beehive, Loyal Kaspar, Click 3x, Spontaneous, Sirius XM, Transistors Studios, Animated Storyboards, Joule, Now what, Launch/Charlex, and Eyeball. These opportunities allowed her to gain valuable industry experience and collaborate on high-profile projects. She has worked with a diverse range of clients, such as Vida, Bitter Sweet, Ford, Rocky Mountain Institute, Charter Support, CMT ID Logos, The Profit, SharkTank, VICE HBO, Comedy Central, New York City Opera LED screen projection-Moses in Egypt, GE, Harley Davidson, La Soiree-Theater New York, Facebook, Adobe, and CNBC Networks.
In addition to her professional work, Mehreen has also ventured into teaching motion graphics. She served as a Motion Graphics instructor at the Art Institute of Colorado and played a pivotal role in revamping the motion graphics online course for Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. Currently, she excels as an online program instructor in 2D animation at RMCAD. Outside of her work, Mehreen is an avid explorer, a sun enthusiast, a passionate traveler, a skilled artist in various mediums including drawing and painting, a musician, a dancer, and an eternal seeker of knowledge. With her diverse skill set, extensive industry experience, and passion for creative expression, Mehreen Bazm continues to make her mark in the world of motion graphics and design.
Luc has over ten years of experience designing and creating world-class destinations, attractions, shows, and products for a wide range of domestic and international clients. Among other distinguished projects, Luc was a designer on the recently-opened Shanghai Disneyland Castle, the largest and most intricate to date. With his passion for sharing design experience and understanding, Luc teaches Entertainment Design at ArtCenter College of Design. Luc is currently working as CEO and Principal Designer at Steadman Design Studio in Pasadena, CA.
Clients: Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers Studio, Samsung, Paramount Studios, Dreamworks, National Geographic, MNC Land, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Warner Brothers, Resorts Worlds and many more.
Peter Han is an entertainment and concept designer who graduated from Art Center College of Design. His client list includes Sony, Konami, Cheyenne Mountain, Trion, Vivendi Universal, and many more. His titles include Warhawk, Spyro the Dragon, Stargate Worlds, Silent Hill Experience, and Defiance.
Saul was born in San Antonio, Texas. For the most part, Saul is a self-taught artist who has been drawing since the age of seven. Saul's passion for the arts has lead him to pursue an interest in music as a drummer for a variety of percussion ensembles, various forms of martial arts, dance, and of course drawing. Saul continued his artistic journey in college where he rediscovered his true passion in Animation. Saul received his BA in Strategic Management at the University of North Texas and later moved to San Francisco where he completed his MFA in Animation at the Academy of Art University. Saul currently teaches Animation at the Art Institute of San Antonio and is in production of a short animated film and a children's book.
Performance Analyst & Visual Consultant
Allen Simpson is an acting/visual consultant for animation. He is currently working on DreamWorks’ Trolls Band Together (2023) and Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024) and was also the acting consultant for The Bad Guys (2021). Allen is also a composer/songwriter and has written songs and voice-directed for The Simpsons and voice-directed for Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones and more. Allen has worked with DreamWorks, Pixar, Blue Sky, Disney, The Third Floor, Cinesite, Telltale Games, CTN, LAAFA, Chapman University, The Animation Collaborative, California College of the Arts and more.
Illustrator and Concept Artist
Ognjen Sporin is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He studied illustration in college, but dropped out to start pursuing professional art full-time 3 years ago, and never looked back. He currently lives in a small village in Serbia and mostly works on fantasy projects and his personal art. He's done illustration, concept art and visual development for video games, animated movies, books and tabletop games, and his notable past clients include Netflix, Wizards of the Coast, Marvel, NetEase and Volta.
Writer Director Animator
Sharon Colman is an Oscar nominated filmmaker who has also been recognized by several other international awards. She is best known for her short film Badgered. Sharon has over fifteen years of experience in story development and directing short form animation. She believes that we need stories more than ever to help us make sense of the world. In story development Sharon has worked for feature studios including Warner Animation Group, DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures, as well as storyboarding for Animal Logic, Jim Henson Studios, Marza Animation Planet and Aardman Animations.
Sharon is currently working on her new independent short film which she successfully Kickstarted through crowdfunding. Sharon has an MA in Animation Direction from the National Film and Television School and a BA (Hons) in Visual Communication from Glasgow School of Art.
Liza is great. She's very accommodating and friendly and her critiques were very constructive.
Was a great guy overall that explained stuff clearly
Liza was fantastic! She was incredibly attentive and helpful, always going above and beyond for us. I would absolutely take another course taught by her again.
[Louis is] awesome. He really wanted to share all of the tips and good technices to deal with real cases of simulation tasks for production.
Chris was great. I'm glad he's not only close with the Clinton, but shares the same overall passion for the industry.
She did it perfectly. I dare to say that she very experienced with speaking in public. I'm not just glad to go through the course under her guidance, I am proud of it.
Adam was fantastic! He always took the time to answer my questions and help me improve my project. I truly appreciate his advice, expertise, and instruction.
Oh, Im so happy that someone so experienced like him gave me feedback. Plus he is a great person with passion about sharing 3D modelling/ texturing tips.
Jared is a great teacher!
Sophie was great and really helpful through the whole course. Any questions were always answered with clarity, and showing us different approaches helps develop the way of thinking required for Houdini
I learned a lot about the Houdini FLIP (fluids) workflow, of which I knew very little about before.
The instructor was great and delivered what was promised of the class. Besides this, it was great to received feedback from someone with so much experience in the industry.
Just awesome. So many tips and even if a question couldn't be answered in the live QnA -they were for sure answered in the class questions afterwards. Provided great and useful feedback. Great
explanations, nice, helpful, etc.
This course has challenged me and many different ways that I otherwise would not have been able to. Nate was excellent at explaining things in ways I've never thought before and had done so in very clear, concise manner.
It develops your eye and attention to detail. This is an excellent course. Walking my instructor through my grooming scene in Houdini and getting real time feedback on things was perfect, I loved that. Having your work reviewed by such a talent really made me want to push the hard work for me. I'm grateful for that because you feel always motivated.
Jane S. Kim
Janneke van den Biggelaar
Ethan it's an awesome teacher, the way he answered all of our questions was super clear, and even if he came across a problem he doesn't know 100% he looks into it to teach us the way to solve it
Diego is awesome! He's very friendly and easy to talk to; he was always happy to answer our questions and extremely encouraging about continuing to learn and grow as artists. He provided a lot of great demos in the Q&As and always gave detailed and thoughtful answers to both specific technical questions and general career related questions. It was a truly great experience to have Diego as an instructor; his enthusiasm for his craft really comes through and his willingness to share his own career experiences and anecdotes is greatly appreciated.
Chris is a great teacher who was always very positive and encouraging, and gave helpful feedback.
Adam was an excellent instructor and offered very insightful critiques and alternative processes that spoke to our individual designs. Always in a thoughtful, patient, and professional manner. As an instructor for almost 20yrs, I'd say you have a winner in Adam Beardall.
Ashley was extremely thorough in her answers to questions and feedback advice, as well as in providing links to external resources related to the questions and feedback.
Diego is awesome! super patient and encouraging.
It really helped me understand some of the intricacies about the pipeline for animated grooms. The reviews were also really helpful.
Ed really showed me great techniques to make sure I got a realistic water simulation. Amazing course!
She is amazing! I'm really happy to have signed up with Ashley, her feedback was very constructive and supportive and I really appreciated that as a beginner.
Seemed like she was very knowledgeable about the software.
Liza was an awesome instructor. She always provided good feedback.
Chris was an absolutely amazing instructor. You can tell he is a very nice guy who is passionate about what he does.
I love how close of a conversation you can have with him. How he seems to have a working example for nearly everything, it's really helpful to visualize if a specific question is more technical.
Really helped me get a better emphasis on material definition as well as gave me the confidence to do something like texture a face from scratch
Instructor was great, gave real world production examples and treated all students respectfully
I now know how to use substance painter, texture a face, and render a scene in marmoset. Incredibly useful.
Nate is an exceptional teacher. It changed my way of taking on new projects and opened up new opportunities and horizons as a freelance artist. I cannot thank him enough for how valuable it was to take Nate's class.
The course helped answer many questions I had coming in, both about the industry and about MAYA. I learned new ways to model things that I wouldn’t have been able to before.
It was great to have an instructor with such a wide background in animation as well as a concentration in one specific aspect.
Ethan is a great artist and also a great instructor, he helped with every problem I had even when they were not related to groom so that was great.
Emiel was simply perfect. He is easy to listen to, he has a mountain of knowledge, he teaches really well, doesn't overwhelm with too much information. I would personally prefer the course to be 2 or 4 weeks longer and taught exclusively by Emiel.
Ashley is the most inspiring Zbrush mage! Her live QAs are super fun and get us hyped about trying something new in the software and in our designs! Found my love for Zbrush with her demos and feedback and hope to learn more :D
Student testimonial here
Student testimonial here
I gained a much better understanding of the project flow for game asset creation and how UVs are handled for video games.
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Magnificent transformation--strongly recommend Louis and his course to every person who wants to advance their skills.
I really enjoyed learning from Emmanuel. He was very humble and knowledgeable. I can tell he put a lot of thought and time in using our face to face time wisely by addressing as many overall issues the class was having with their projects via his demos and lectures. He also made himself available for industry based questions that are so important, yet outside of the realm of just learning how to create.
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