Concept Art and Character Design

After the Digital Design Talks on Wednesday with Peter Gikandi from Big Park Studios, I was inspired to do some Concept Art. The first things that came to mind were: ‘boat,’ ‘captain’ and ‘monkey with an attitude.’ I opened up Photoshop, started sketching, and the image presented here is what I ended up with.

It was a great feeling to just take out some time without worrying about my final project and do some experimentation.

I’m looking forward to future talks with Peter Gikandi — this one was inspirational, and his demos are awesome.


Digital Design Talks ‘Chops’ with J.R. Canest and Peter Gikandi

VFS Digital Design Talks Chops

The Digital Design Talks lecture series is changing it up this week. We have two heavy-hitters on the roster instead of the usual three. This will allow them both to dive a bit deeper into their presentations. The theme is ‘Chops’ and the bodies of work that our speakers have created proves unequivocally that they  have them.

Peter Gikandi, an environment and character artist working at Big Park Studios is returning for an encore presentation. He blew the students away a year ago when he did a live, improvised character-design tutorial. He had the audience shout out suggestions as he created a character from scratch, allowing their ideas to be his inspiration and walking us through  his approach to creating unique and memorable characters, impressing everyone with his technical prowess and showing everyone a few new tricks along the way. What will the results be this time? You’ll have to attend the presentation to find out!

J.R. Canest (Jorge R. Canedo Estrada) came to VFS as one of the VFS Youtube Scholarship winners. Crazy Enough (his title sequence project) started winning awards while Jorge was still a student (including being a finalist in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards) and  and has been featured on numerous Motion Design blogs. After graduating in 2009 he moved to LA to work at Buck in LA where the praise for his work continued on projects that he did for  Google Talk and the acclaimed documentary Waiting for Superman. We’re thrilled to have him back in Vancouver where he is now working at Giant Ant.

The event takes place on Wednesday March 14th, starting at 4:30pm in the Main Theatre at the 420 Homer Street Campus of VFS. Although it is part of the Digital Design curriculum it is open to the public. If you are interested in attending please send an RSVP to