Previous Industry Giants

Speakers and Masterclasses



Phil Tippett

  Founder and Director of Tippett Studios 


Phil Tippett is the founder and namesake of Tippett Studio. His varied career in visual effects has spanned more than 30 years and includes two Academy Awards; and six nominations, one BAFTA award and four nominations, two Emmys and the advent of modern digital effects in motion pictures.

As a child of seven, Phil was profoundly inspired by Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion classic, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Willis O'Brien's classic character King Kong. His subsequent devotion to the creation of the fantastic creatures in film has become his raison d'etre. As a kid, and then as a student always drawing, sculpting and making animations, he developed his skills in a broader context first with a Fine Arts degree from University of California at Irvine, then as an animator at the commercial house, Cascade Pictures in Los Angeles. As a young adult Phil sought out teachers and mentors establishing connections and friendships with Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury.

A huge turning point came in 1975 when George Lucas hired Phil and Jon Berg to create a stop motion miniature chess scene for Star Wars: A New Hope. Phil also had a hand in many other aspects of the Star Wars films, including modeling and casting alien heads and limbs for the busy Cantina scene in the first film. By 1978 Phil lead the animation team at Industrial Light and Magic that would launch his career bringing life to the sinister Imperial Walkers and the alien hybrid Tauntaun for The Empire Strikes Back.

In 1982, building upon insights from 'Empire', the same ILM team developed a stop-motion process that they comically christened as 'Go Motion' that produced a startlingly realistic beast for Dragonslayer and won Phil an Academy Award; nomination. And in 1983, as head of the ILM creature shop, he began work on Return of the Jedi, designing Jabba The Hut and the Rancor Pit Monster as well as animating the two legged Walker and later winning the Oscar; for Best Visual Effects.

In 1984 Phil left ILM to create a 10-minute short film, Prehistoric Beast. The newly formed Tippett Studio, then operating out of Phil's garage, drew upon Phil's wealth of experience with stop motion and his expertise in anatomical modeling and rigging. He and Tippett Studio went on to create top-notch stop motion animations for various television and film projects including Dinosaur!, Willow, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and the Robocop trilogy.

In 1991, Steven Spielberg, learning of Phil's expertise in dinosaur movement and behavior, selected him to supervise the dinosaur animation for Jurassic Park. When Phil learned of the choice to go with the computer generated dinosaurs, instead of stop motion, his initial reaction was, "I think I'm extinct!" It was this project that was responsible for Tippett Studio's transition from stop-motion to computer generated animation and for which Phil was awarded his second Oscar®.

Phil's next major challenge came in 1995 when Paul Verhoeven, again with producer Jon Davison, asked Tippett Studio to create the swarms of deadly arachnids for the sci-fi extravaganza, Starship Troopers. Leading a team of 150 computer artists and technicians, earned Phil a sixth Academy Award; nomination in 1997. Starship Troopers firmly planted Tippett Studio (and Phil) into the digital age of filmmaking.

In the following years Phil has been a guide and mentor for the Tippett Studio VFX supervisors and crew as they create monsters, aliens and appealing creatures for the numerous films that wind their way through the Tippett pipeline.

Partnering with associate, writer Ed Neumeier (Starship Troopers and Robocop scribe), the two created the story for Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, which Phil went on to direct in 2004 for Screengems.

Recently, Phil oversaw the design and creation of the wolf pack in Summit Entertainment's New Moon and Eclipse, the second and third film installments based on the Twilight series of novels by Stephanie Meyer.

Phil's roots in stop motion, modeling and practical effects and his ability to use this foundation in conjunction with developing technologies has made him one of a handful of artists whose careers have spanned the transition of visual effects from largely practical to digital. In this way he is a great teacher and mentor to the crew passing on the tradition of mentorship given to him in the early part of his career.

Artist Links:

-Tippett Studios:

-"Mad God" Kickstarter:

-IMDB Page:




Tom Bancroft

  Animator / Director / Author
  Character Performance: From Design through Animation


Tom Bancroft has almost 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature Animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He has been nominated for Annie and Rueben awards, spoken at the Kennedy Center and awarded an entry into the Chicago Children’s Film Festival.

While at Disney, Bancroft had the opportunity to contribute his talents to 10 animated feature films, five animated shorts, and numerous special projects and commercials. Among the classic films on which he worked are, “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan” and “Brother Bear.” He was also a character designer and director for Big Idea Productions, makers of the family-friendly “Veggietales” video series.

In 2005, Bancroft had his popular art instruction book “Creating Characters with Personality” published by Watson-Guptill Publishers. It has become the most recognized book on designing characters for animation, video games, comic books and cartooning, and is a required textbook at many art schools around the world. In 2012, Focal Press published his second book, “Character Mentor” and it is already one of their best-selling art instruction books. He has also illustrated over 50 children’s books, art directed a major children’s educational website (, wrote and illustrated multiple comic book series, and created character designs for TV, Film, and Video games for clients like Lego, Disney, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, CBN, Random House, Big Idea Production, Marvel, and more.

Presently, Bancroft is the Head of Character design for Seasons 2 to 4 of the “Superbook” series for Christian Broadcasting Network, President of online art instruction website (, speaks at video game companies and art schools all around the world (EA Entertainment, SCAD, Ringling, Nemo Academy-Italy, etc.) and creates art for clients all over the world.

Artist Links:

-Disney Animation Reel: Page:

-Audio Interview:

-Printed Interview:



Steve Emerson

  VFX Supervisor at LAIKA
  The Unparalleled Fusion of Stop-Motion and VFX at LAIKA


STEVE EMERSON joined LAIKA in 2008. His diverse background in visual effects is highlighted by his work as Co-VFX Supervisor on The Boxtrolls.

About The Boxtrolls (In Theaters 9/26/14): LAIKA’s third film is The Boxtrolls, based on Alan Snow’s bestselling novel Here Be Monsters. Introducing audiences to a new breed of family – The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie (Elle Fanning). Together, these soft-boiled detectives uncover the hidden connections in Eggs’ past and devise a daring plan to save his unique family.

About LAIKA: LAIKA is an animation studio that produces award-winning films. Travis Knight serves as President and CEO of the Oregon-based company, which is owned by Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight. LAIKA has produced two Oscar-nominated features: Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012) as well as the CG short Moongirl (2005). LAIKA's next animated feature, The Boxtrolls, will premiere in theaters on September 26, 2014. 

Artist Links:


-IMDB Page:



Terryl Whitlatch

  Animal Anatomist and Creature Designer
  The Romance and Science of Creature Design


Terryl Whitlatch was born in Oakland, California, and started drawing at less than three years of age. Blessed with a mother who was, and still is, a talented artist-illustrator, and a father who taught biology, her fascination with animals started early. Countless weekends were spent visiting zoos, aquariums, and museums, and her father was constantly bringing home mounted skeletons, creatures preserved in jars, and living animals as well - chicken hatchlings, bullfrogs, iguanas, and insects.

After studying illustration at the California College of Arts and the Academy of Art University, Terryl began a career that has spanned over 25 years. She has worked with many major studios and effects houses as a highly sought after creature and concept designer. Clients include Industrial Light and Magic, Lucas Film Ltd., Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, PDI, Entertainment Arts, LucasArts, Chronicle Books, and various zoos and natural history museums.

Terryl was the principal creature designer for Star Wars — the Phantom Menace. She designed most of the alien characters and creatures, from concept to fully realized anatomies and stylizations. Some of the significant characters include Jar-Jar Binx, Sebulba, the pod racers, the undersea monsters of Naboo, and the Naboo Swamp creatures. She also worked closely with George Lucas in the redesign of such pre-existing characters as Jabba the Hutt and the dewbacks.

For Disney Feature Animation’s Brother Bear, she designed bear, moose, and other animal characters, from highly realistic anatomical studies to fully branded characters. Recent films to which she has contributed concept work include John Carter of Mars and Pixar’s Brave. Terryl is also the creator and illustrator of three books: The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, The Katurran Odyssey, and the newly released Animals Real and Imagined.

Terryl has recently partnered with Copic Markers/Imagination International, Inc. on a new cutting edge online course and adventure in creature design, Tales of Amalthea, that involves teaching both real animal and imaginary creature anatomies together. In addition, she is currently writing and illustrating "Bestiary--the Natural History of Mythical Creatures for Titan Books, to be published in Fall 2015, and her newest book, "Principles of Creature Design" is slated for December 2014/early 2015.

Artist Links:


-IMDB Page:


-Wacom podcast:

-Tales of Amalthea, my online course in creature design:




Mike Mattesi

  FORCE Author and Instructor, Art Director, Animator
  FORCE Figure Drawing Workshop


Michael Mattesi has been contributing his skills as a professional production artist on many award-winning projects and has simultaneously been instructing FORCE drawing for the last twenty years. A brief client list includes Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Consumer Products, Marvel Comics, Zynga, Hasbro Toys, ABC, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks/PDI, The School of Visual Arts, Peking University, Art Center, Nickelodeon and LeapFrog. Michael’s students work in all fields of the industry and have themselves gained prestige for their abilities.

Michael’s FORCE book series, now published in three languages, have sold thousands of copies and growing. In 2015, the fourth FORCE book, FORCE Anatomy will be released.

Michael lives in northern California with his wife and two daughters. Visit him at and connect with Michael on Facebook.

Artist Links:

-About Book:

-IMDB Page:




Michael Mentler

  Founder and Director of The Society of Figurative Arts
  Life Drawing with Michael Mentler


Michael studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and Washington University in Saint Louis, where he taught figure drawing and design.

Michael's work is in many public and private collections including:

  • The Pulitzer Collection
  • The Pearson Foundation
  • The Steinberg
  • The Mead Library

Artist Links:

-The Society of Figurative Arts:




Austin Meyers

  Studio Supervisor at The Molecule L.A.
  Practical Compositing in Nuke


Austin Meyers is the Studio Supervisor for The Molecule Los Angeles, and an Emmy and VES award winning artist with over 10 years of film, television, commercial, and motion graphics experience.

Hailing from a horse farm in northeast Texas, Austin graduated from the University of Texas with a B.S. in Radio/Television/Film. After graduating, he worked in Austin for 5 years doing commercial and video production work before moving to Shreveport, Louisiana to pursue visual effects with WorldwideFX. There, he polished his VFX skills as a Lead Artist on The Expendables and as a 2D Supervisor on Drive Angry 3D, The Mechanic, and Conan the Barbarian. After completing Conan, Austin did a brief stint as a Nuke Specialist for a skunk-works project with Deluxe, and then moved to NYC to help Brainstorm Digital with award-winning Boardwalk Empire, where he later won an Emmy for Best Supporting VFX as well as a VES award for Best Compositing in a Broadcast Program. In 2012, Austin joined The Molecule NYC as a Compositing Supervisor before taking over as Studio Supervisor at their Los Angeles branch in the spring of 2014.

With his expertise in The Foundry’s Nuke, as well as a background in Apple’s Motion and Eyeon’s Fusion, Austin has always been a 2D specialist. He has been using Nuke for 5 years and is passionate about educating his crew to help them improve their skills and become more efficient node-based artists. Since he began working with node-based programs, he has been working towards developing a clean, modular method for productive, yet creative, compositing. During his career, he has supervised thousands of shots and influenced hundreds of artists.

Some of his credits include: A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Immigrant, Lee Daniel's The Butler, Winter's Tale, The Expendables, Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, The Americans, Smash, Elementary, and The Men Who Built America.

Beyond VFX, Austin is a photographer, welder, motorcyclist, water sports fanatic and all-round outdoorsy guy, always tinkering and building things when there's space and time.

Artist Links:

-The Molecule:

-The Molecule Reel:

-Austin's Boardwalk Empire Reel:

-IMDB Page:



Rachelle Lewis

  Rachelle Lewis Talent - President
  The Realities of Entering (and Surviving) the Animation and Visual Effects Industry


Rachelle has been a talent scout and top recruiter in the animation and visual effects industry for the past 15 years. Before launching her own company Rachelle Lewis Talent in 2006, she held the position of Director of Recruitment for Digital Domain, and was a Senior Recruiter at Sony Pictures Imageworks, and DreamWorks. She began her career as Director of Artistic Recruitment for Klasky Csupo, best known for the TV series Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.

To compliment her expertise in sourcing and placement, Rachelle also brings a deep knowledge and understanding of all positions within Animation and FX pipelines. Rachelle has a great eye for quality animation, FX, and technical talent. This is an invaluable advantage when pursuing very senior and accomplished candidates. She speaks to both ends of the spectrum, from the production artist to the studio executives.

Her client list includes: Framestore, MPC, Sony Pictures Imageworks, CIS Hollywood, Method, The Mill, Brainstorm Digital, Microsoft, Laika, and many others. Recent projects in feature film include: Framestore (recruiting for executive roles); Guardians of the Galaxy; Maleficent; Godzilla; The Monuments Men; The Amazing Spiderman 2; Prometheus; World War Z; Wrath of the Titans; Life of Pi; John Carter; Sherlock Holmes 2; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (Parts 1 and 2), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; 47 Ronin; The Amazing Spiderman; Men in Black III; Hotel Transylvania; and OZ: The Great and Powerful.

Rachelle lectures at universities and industry events throughout North America and Europe. She acts in an advisory capacity developing the animation and visual effects curricula with universities and works directly with artists in the area of career development. She resides in California.

Artist Links:





Tomas Gonzalez

  Senior Animator Formerly with Trendy Entertainment
  Animation for Games


Tomas Gonzalez Jr is an accomplished character animator with 12 years of experience in the gaming industry. He describes himself as a gamer first, then artist. Growing up he knew that with artistic skills he wanted to work in games. Graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas in 2001, he then began his career at Terminal Reality in 2002, working on such projects as Spy Hunter: Nowhere, Ghostbusters: The Videogame and Kinect Star Wars. His latest project was Dungeon Defenders 2, a tower defense PC game developed by Trendy Entertainment.




Greg Brown

  Modo Creative Specialist at the Foundry
  Advanced Modo/Mari Workflows


Greg Brown is a Modo Creative Specialist at the Foundry. He has worked in advertising as a 3D artist for 5 years and as a freelance character modeler for 8. Greg has produced work for variety of high profile brands during his time at Alter, including Coors, McDonalds, Corona, Bacardi, Conoco, Kenmore, Hershey's, Cascade and many others. He currently lives in Chicago, Il and spends his days serving up fresh, hot Modo goodness.




Raul Aparicio

  Senior Artist at Hammer and Chisel
  World Creation with Unreal and Modo


Raul is a Senior Enviroment Artist at Hammer and Chisel, just finished up working on their new exclusive moba only for tablets Fates Forever! He has worked on tiles such as Rage, Doom 4, Borderlands 2, Aliens Colonial Marines. On his time off, he is pretty active in online communities. Always pushing himself to take his art to new levels. Going by the username of "raul", he frequents polycount, 3dtotal.




Dale Carman

  Founder and Executive Creative Director at Reel FX
  Journey Creating the Pacific Rim Experience for Legendary and Oculus


Dale was born in Bangkok, Thailand. The son of Missionaries, Dale traveled throughout the country of Thailand, living in the city of Bangkok as well as primitive areas such as Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai. After moving back to the U.S., Dale attended Fort Worth Christian High School, where he was the valedictorian and an Advanced Placement Art student. Winning the Jim Wright Congressional Art Show, his artwork was displayed in the Rotunda of the Capital building. As a result of his hard work and talent, he received a full academic scholarship to Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma, where he studied Advertising Design and Illustration.

In order to make a living after graduation, Dale started his first business, a graphic design company called Creative Art Design. In this business venture, Dale began working for various advertising agencies in the Oklahoma City area doing everything from billboards to commercials. After learning the tricks of the trade from veteran ad people in Oklahoma, Dale moved his business to Houston, Texas. While there, Dale went to work for one of his clients Barry Siegel, Executive VP at Bernard Hodes Advertising, a firm specializing in recruitment advertising. Dale revolutionized their black and white print production methods, moving them from traditional paste-up methods to innovative desktop publishing tools based on the Macintosh platform. He also made the first steps to what would later become the GNAT, a process which could centralize creative production in Houston and digitally disseminate the work throughout the southern region of the agency. Dale collected numerous advertising industry awards for several key campaigns. He later moved into broadcast and commercial production, holding various roles such as creative director, animator, editor and production director.

After four years at Bernard Hodes, Dale connected with David Needham, a schoolmate from Fort Worth Christian High School. In 1993, they started Reel Magic, which ultimately transitioned into Reel FX Creative Studios, a new company which would become a pioneer in digital visual effects and animation. Reel FX was the first company in the central region of the U.S. to have Flame and Fire, tools from Discreet Logic which are used for high-end visual effects and animation. They would have the capability to finish commercials and projects directly by having the first broadcast quality AVID in the region. After twenty years with Reel FX, Dale has won numerous creative and technical awards and has been a keynote speaker at countless industry events. Dale is fearless when it comes to his creative vision, relentlessly pushing the boundaries of creative production with the latest tools and innovative processes.

Dale’s credits include: Man In The Moon – William Joyce/Reel FX, GI Joe: Spy Troops movie – Hasbro; GI Joe: Valor vs. Venom movie – Paramount; Action Man – Hasbro; Saving Jessica Lynch – NBC Studios; Pixel Perfect – Disney Channel; Enchanted – Disney; Tin Henry music video; Spy Kids 2: Island Of Lost Dreams – Troublemaker/Miramax; The Wild – Disney; Everyone’s Hero – Fox; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Weinstein Company/Warner Bros.; Shrek the Third and Madagascar 2 commercials – DreamWorks/McDonald’s; additional commercials for Gatorade, Pepsi and others; an award-winning CG Spec Spot for Audi; Magic Chairs theatrical trailer – AMC Theaters/Coke; and theme park attractions – a ride for Disney, a virtual ride in Dubai and specifically The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios. He has also led partnership content for Free Birds, including apps, commercials and theatrical pieces, and The Book of Life, including TV spots, apps, and in-theater content.

Artist Links:





Branndon Fricks

  Lead Modeler – Reel FX Creative Studios
  Journey Creating the Pacific Rim Experience for Legendary and Oculus


Branndon Fricks graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas in 2012. At ReelFX he has applied his skills as a 3d generalist to modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting and compositing on commercials for well known brands such as Chuck E. Cheese, Transformers, Cheetos, Dodge, Ford, and Monopoly. As Lead Modeler in the ReelFX interactive division, he has worked on the recently released Chuck E Cheese Skate Universe, as well as the Pacific Rim Rift Experience.




Chas Naylor

  CG Lead/Supervisor Reel FX Creative Studios
  Journey Creating the Pacific Rim Experience for Legendary and Oculus


After spending nearly 5 years in the United States Marine Corps, serving in communications, infantry, and Diplomatic Security (Marine Security Guard), Chas turned his focus to the media and animation industry in 2001. After his under grad studies at the Art Institute of Dallas, Chas went on to work as the Associate Director of Motion Graphics at FUNimation Studios for over five years, working on and directing hundreds of motion graphics pieces, commercials, and special features for premier anime titles such as Dragonball Z, Afro Samurai, and Fullmetal Alchemist.

After leaving FUNimation, Chas moved on to work on freelance projects and to teach VFX and Compositing at the Art Institute of Dallas in 2007. For the last two and a half years Chas has worked at Reel FX Creative Studios, specializing in look development, lighting, and compositing. He currently serves as CG Lead/Supervisor for the commercial division of Reel FX. After working on several features and dozens of commercial productions, Chas was assigned as CG Supervisor for the Pacific Rim Oculus Rift experience. He is also currently completing his final class for his MFA degree in the ATEC program at the University of Texas at Dallas, and still teaches as an adjunct instructor at AI Dallas.




Stephen Hess

  Founder, CTO - From The Future (formerly Jovian Minds)
  Journey Creating the Pacific Rim Experience for Legendary and Oculus


Stephen has been in love with computers since he discovered a dusty TRS-80 model I in a friend’s garage in elementary school. Over the last 14 years in the games industry, he has worked with several major publishers on console titles such as The Terminator: Dawn of Fate and Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma. Stephen was a lead engineer on several projects including Stuntman: Ignition and led teams in engine technology development.

In 2008, Stephen co-founded From The Future (formerly Jovian Minds), a group of industry veterans specializing in multi-platform games and business apps. Here he has had the opportunity to collaborate with dozens of high profile clients in technologies ranging from mobile to Oculus Rift. As a result, Stephen's desk is covered in an assortment of VR headsets, obscure cables, and a disturbing number of empty coffee cups.




Augusto Schillaci

  Senior Visual Effects Supervisor at Reel FX
  Book of Life Special Presentation


Augusto Schillaci is currently Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for Reel FX, where he supervises surfacing, lighting and VFX on the studio’s long-form projects. He has held this position since 2001.

At Reel FX, Schillaci has been responsible for the final look of the studio’s top client projects, including stereoscopic 3D Looney Tunes shorts (Coyote Falls, Fur of Flying, Rabid Rider, Daffy’s Rhapsody, I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat , Flash in the Pain) Open Season 3, Open Season 2, Watchmen: The Black Freighter, Shrek the Third, Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, Enchanted, and consumer product work for Madagascar 2, Bee Movie, and McDonald’s, to name a few.

He is now responsible for the surfacing, lighting and VFX production stages of the studio’s development projects and holds the role of Visual Effects Supervisor on Reel FX’s 3D feature films The Book of Life and Free Birds (where he was also the Art Director).

Before Reel FX, Augusto worked at DNA Studios, on the Oscar nominated Jimmy Neutron Movie and as a Senior Lighter at TVA International in Montreal. At TVA he worked on a co-production with France on the Xcalibur TV series, the first show completely done in Maya. Prior to his time in Canada, Augusto worked for seven years in Argentina as a Senior Look Director for a series of post-production houses with clients such as: Ford, Coca-Cola, Tag Heuer, Nike, BMW, and Audi and others.

Artist Links:


-IMDB Page:



Artist Alley

Artist Alley is a collection of local concept designers, illustrators and artists. 



Steven Quentin



Born in Readlyn, Iowa, Steve knew he wanted to be an artist from his earliest days. Saturday morning cartoons became a ritual in the Quentin household, and Steve’s love of animation led him to The Ringling School of Art and Design in 1995. There he embarked on a rigorous program of drawing and painting, often spending all day and evening in figure drawing and painting studios. After graduating in 1999, Steve fulfilled his childhood wish and was hired by Walt Disney Feature Animation in Orlando. While working in the Animation department, he worked on the cleanup crew for Kenai Bear (Brother Bear, Lilo (Lilo and Stitch),( The Little Match Girl, Pocahontas (2000 rerelease) and The Lion King (rerelease). When the Orlando studio closed, Steve moved to Dallas, TX, where he is currently employed in the commercial animation field. He has served as principal 2D and 3D animator, art director, concept artist, vis dev artist, storyboarder on hundreds of national commercials, video game trailers and movies. In addition to these projects, Steve has received many industry accolades for his freelance work, especially on the recently released “Cold War Clambake”. He has been a featured panel speaker on animation and character development, holds an honorary membership in The Dallas Screenwriter’s Association, Currently a board member of A Bunch Of Short Guys ( an animators guild) and currently moderates a figure drawing studio for fellow professional artists. He also is an accomplished Flash animator, as well as being proficient in Adobe Photoshop, SoftImage XSI, Maya, After Effects and Painter.

Steve can usually be found in his studio, working on his latest digital creation. Whether creating backgrounds, character design, animation or concept work, he brings a high level of professionalism and creativity to each of his pieces. When he wants to cut loose and relax, he can usually be found Working on his wood lathe.




Kevin Chin

  Sr. Concept Artist


Kevin is an experienced concept artist and illustrator in the entertainment industry since 2005. He’s worked at studios such as Junction Point on the Disney Epic Mickey 2 videogame and Killspace Entertainment for the Yar’s Revenge Atari remake.

Kevin has also done illustration work for the World of Warcraft card game and Warhammer 40k RPG books and has been featured in publications such as ImagineFX and Ballistic Publishing’s Exotique series.

Kevin grew up in Warren, Michigan and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. He currently resides in Austin, Texas working at KingsIsle Entertainment on the kids PC games, Wizard 101 and Pirate 101.

Artist Links:


-Tumblr Page:




Stephan Martinieree



Stephan Martiniere is an acclaimed multi award winning science fiction and fantasy artist. His film clients include ILM, Disney, Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks. As the director for the five animated musical adaptation shows Madeline Stephan Martiniere received the A.C.T Award, the Parent’s Choice Award, and the Humanitas Award and was nominated for an Emmy. Stephan Martiniere has worked on movies such as RIPD, Total Recall 2012, Tron: Legacy, Star Trek, Star Wars: Episodes 2-3, Knowing,I, Robot, The Fifth Element, Virus, Red Planet, The Astronaut’s Wife, Sphere, Titan A.E, and The Time Machine as well as the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and 300: Rise of an Empire, Stephan was the art director for the visually acclaimed ID Games Rage released in 2011, he was also the visual design director responsible for the games URU: Ages beyond Myst, URU: The Path of the Shell, and Myst 5., and worked several years at Midway Games as Visual Art Director for the game Stranglehold and later as Creative Visual Director of the concept department for several other Midway games including Blacksite: Area 51, Blitz, Ballers, Mortal Kombat vs. DC, Wheelman, and more.

Stephan Martiniere has received the Exposé Grand Master Award, thirteen Exposé Excellence Awards, five Exposé Master Awards, and two Chelsey Award for Best Book Cover, two silver and one gold Spectrum Award for Book Covers and editorial, The Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, The Ennie Award for Best Cover Art, and The Bookgasm Award for Best Cover Artist. In 2009 Stephan was voted one of the 50 Most Inspirational Artists by Imagine FX Magazine.

Artist Links:





Amanda Christensen

  Concept Artist at Gearbox Software


Amanda Christensen is a concept artist at Gearbox Software. Since joining the company in 2013, Amanda has designed characters for multiple Gearbox franchises in addition to contributing art to the upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Prior to Gearbox, Amanda attended the Maryland Institute College of Art.



David Mitchell

David Mitchell

  Freelance Concept Artist / Illustrator


David started his career at a small mobile games company in Austin, TX called D7 Studios back in January of 2011. He worked there doing concepts and UI design for iphone apps and games,as well as illustrations for digital comic covers. From there he moved on to Nerve Software as a concept artist, where he worked on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Aliens: Colonial Marines, along with a few other unlaunched titles.

He currently works as a freelance Concept Artist / Illustrator in McKinney, TX.

Artist Links:




Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor

  Concept and Storyboard Artist Element X Creative


Edward is new to the concept art world. His path took time, but he feels he's on the right one. Growing up in Hawaii, he spent more time drawing and reading comic books than spending it outdoors. It was the idea of becoming a comic book artist which drew Edward into pursuing art. In High School, he won several state and national art competitions. This helped him earn scholarships for college, allowing him to attend the University of North Texas. There he doubled majored in Psychology and Drawing and Painting and graduated with his BA and BFA in 2004. After college, Edward took a break from art to join the retail management workforce. This short sabbatical gave him perspective to use his art background to pursue a career in the animation and gaming industry. This was a dream he never really thought would be possible to achieve, but he went for it anyways. He quit his job and enrolled full time as a graduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas, in the Arts and Technology (ATEC) Program in 2007. After graduating with his MFA in Arts and Technology in 2011, he was soon teaching intro to 3D Modeling and Lighting classes at UTD. It was during this time that Edward switched his focus from 3D to 2D.

A self-taught digital painter, Edward focused his free time learning how to develop his skills in concept art and storyboarding. His art work got the attention of a local Dallas studio, Element X Creative. In May of 2013, Edward was hired on their full time staff concept and storyboard artist.

Edward has assisted in developing EXC’s in-house independent projects along with working on major commercial and corporate spots, both local and national. Edward continues to further his skills in the areas of environment and character design through on line classes with Computer Graphics Master Academy (CGMA). To Edward, there is always more to learn.

Artist Links:



Elise Hatheway

Elise Hatheway

  Visual Development Artist at Reel FX Creative Studios


Elise is a Visual Development Artist at Reel FX Creative Studios in Dallas, TX. She started her career at Turbo Squid, a 3d modeling marketplace, inspecting 3d models and artwork. Elise has a passion for visual development. Creative since childhood, Elise was never far from her sketchpad and pencils. When she realized she wouldn't be happy doing anything else, she made the move to concept design. Elise has been working with Reel FX for four years, on such movies Free Birds, and the upcoming film Book of Life coming out this October.

Artist Links:






Brett Briley



(Bio Coming Soon)



Rob DenBleyker

  Cartoonist for Cyanide and Happiness


Rob is one of the original creators of Cyanide & Happiness, an online comic and animation series. Cyanide & Happiness is based in Dallas and creates an animation a week, and is debuting an online show in the Fall after raising . Rob does writing, directing and voice acting for the animations, and creates the daily comic in collaboration with the other writers.

Artist Links:

-Cyanide and Happiness: