Tag Archives: character design

Photographic Proof of Pictoplasma!


This past Saturday from 3-10 PM, Pictoplasma came to Parsons from Berlin. Parsons Illustration provided some talent of its own, and we attracted some 400 attendees. We also attracted the New York Fire Department, when Craig Redman’s presentation was interrupted by a fire alarm and a building evacuation. Happily, all were safe and we proceeded with the program. Above are some snaps from the event.

Thank you to all who participated and attended this fantastic event!  See you next time!

Pictoplasma NYC on November 13th at Parsons

Parsons The New School for Design will present Pictoplasma NYC, a conference celebrating the artistic creation of character design, on Saturday, November 13 from 3-10 p.m.. Featuring lectures, panel discussions, and short film screenings, the event is part of Illustration Week, an annual programming series across New York City that showcases the best in international character design and art.  The conference will be held at Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York. Admission is free, but registration is requested via email to pictoplasmaparsons@gmail.com. Pictoplasma NYC is supported by folioplanet.com.

The conference was organized by Pictoplasma founders and curators Lars Denicke and Peter Thaler, and Steven Guarnaccia, chair of Illustration at Parsons. Among the featured participants is Ice Age character designer Peter de Seve, a well-known illustrator, New Yorker cover artist, and Parsons alumnus, who will discuss the process of creating iconic characters. In addition, Guarnaccia will moderate a panel discussion on how creative skills developed in art school can translate into work-life projects and careers, featuring a range of Parsons alumni: animation director Aaron Stewart, artist Motomichi Nakamura, and ornamental painter Andy Kehoe.

Also presenting are two members of the Australian design collective Rinzen, known for its video and audio remix project, RMX. New York-based designer Craig Redman has a creative output filled with twisted optimism and simple messages executed in a colorful, bold style. His character Darcel has become a fashion icon and is often featured at famed Parisian boutique Colette, where he recently had a solo exhibition. Berlin-based designer Rilla Alexander is inspired by vintage children books and mythical stories to create characters with complex identities through a blending of illustration, graphics and 3D design. Her RMX project, Neighbourhood, involved 20 blank plush dolls that were passed around the world being reworked and remade.

Illustrator Nathan Jurevicius will discuss his most acclaimed project to date, Scarygirl. Since her creation in 2001, Scarygirl has developed a following of fans throughout the world and has been the subject of a game, graphic novel, numerous limited edition vinyl toys and travelling shows, and a forthcoming feature film.

The program will conclude with a screening of Characters in Motion 2010, a 75-minute collection of animated short films, music videos and motion graphics. Each film was selected for its innovative and style-setting character design and the intriguing way these protagonists involve the viewer in surreal settings.

Pictoplasma is acclaimed for its unique focus on contemporary character design and art. Timeless publications showcase the work of a global scene of illustrators, graphic designers and animation filmmakers. The annual conference in Berlin is the meeting point for an international audience. The inimitable mix of selected animation programs, the lively exchange between the various disciplines and face-to-face artist lectures, allowing a personal glimpse into the character centered universe of the protagonists, have proven highly inspiring and highlight the importance of characters in contemporary visual culture. Whether illustration, animation, graphic design, street or fine art – the emphasis is not on the limits of style or format, but on the shared dedication to explore character-driven aesthetics. After its US premiere in 2008, the event is now returning to New York for the second Pictoplasma NYC edition. For more information, please visit www.pictoplasma.com.

In the BFA Illustration Program at Parsons The New School for Design, one of the most prestigious and comprehensive schools of art and design in the world, students are poised to become influential, pictorial communicators. Through studio and digital course work, the program builds proficiency in drawing and media-based skills; creativity in concepts and problem solving; awareness of art and design and current social and cultural concerns; and fluency in technological tools and software. For more information, please visit http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/bfa-illustration/.

Pictoplasma NYC 2010
November 13, 2010
3-10 p.m.
Tishman Auditorium
66 W. 12th

Free and open to the public, but please RSVP to: pictoplasmaparsons@gmail.com.


A Blue Sky Evening: Creating Buck, Star of Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs


At the Society of Illustrators on September 24th, Parsons Illustration Alum Peter de Sève will lead a presentation of Blue Sky artists who will take you through the process of creating the unforgettable character Buck with a Power Point presentation and film clips. Each artist will speak about their specific area of expertise:

Peter de Sève, Character Designer
Talks about the process of design showing sketches of Buck through final design.

Mike DeFeo, Sculpting Supervisor

Describes the process of traditional sculpting referring to the Buck macquette, and the digital sculpting and 3D model evolution.

Mike Knapp, Art Director
Speaks to the design of the Lost World, color choices for the character Buck as they relate to the world as well as the fur and materials processes.

Tony Maki, Story Artist
Discusses the story boarding process with a focus on the sequences FLASHBACK and CAMPFIRE.

Galen Chu, Supervising Animator
Discusses animating the character Buck and will touch on his unique physical expressions.

The evening will close with Q & A.
$15 non-members $10 members $7 students
Thursday, September 24, 2009
6:30pm – 9:30pm
Society of Illustrators
128 East 63 Street, NY, NY

RSVP kevin@societyillustrators.org or call 212 838 2560

Pictoplasma takes place next weekend!

Pictoplasma is coming to New York City for the very first time and it’s happening next weekend, Thursday, September 4th through Saturday, September 6th.  Excitingly enough, two Parsons Illustration Alums will be featured speakers–Aaron Stewart and Motomichi Nakamura.  Here’s the official description:

Characters are taking over…

Our visual culture is being taken hostage by a new wave of characters, abstract and reduced to minimal distinguishing graphic features. In the process of a truly explosive movement, they invade digital media, animation, advertising, art, fashion and street art. They playfully quote and remix such diverse phenomena as pop culture, tribal and folklore, brand logos and comics without restricting themselves to any single one of these genres. In such a way, characters speak to observers at an emotional level as well as crossing cultural boundaries.

Starting in 1999 with the world’s first extensive inventory, collection and archive of contemporary character design, the Berlin based Pictoplasma project is defining the shape and velocity of this trend. Besides giving the characters a timeless and worthy manifestation through their acclaimed publications, Pictoplasma has been bringing together a growing international community of designers, artists, critics, producers and fans at their annual conferences in Berlin.

Go here to see the day-by-day program, including Motomichi and Aaron’s talk, which happens on Friday night from 9-11:30 p.m.  Register here!

Pictoplasma NYC
Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art
September 4th-September 6th
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
New York University
566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South
New York, NY

Theo Jansen Sea Creatures

Since about ten years Theo Jansen is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives: