MAR 12
with Louis Gonzales (9:00am to 12:00pm)

with Luc Desmarchelier (1:00pm to 3:00pm)

with Nathan Fowkes (3:30pm to 6:30pm)
MAR 13
with Stephen Silver (9:00am to 12:00pm)

with Daniel Arriaga (1:00pm to 3:00pm)

with Kris Pearn (3:30pm to 6:30pm)

Our Speakers

with Louis Gonzales
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Mar. 12, 2016

In this workshop, Pixar story artist and creator, Louis Gonzales, will dissect and explain his philosophies and techniques for creating memorable characters and strong gestural poses. You will learn the importance of distilling gestures into lines of action and simple shapes, creating strong silhouettes, effectively using space, extrapolating ideas from a pose rather than just anatomy, and finding stories in your gesture drawing.

Louis will finish up by talking about the story process within the studio environment and give you insights and tips for successful story pitching that can help you get your ideas to the screen.

Workshop Details
Part 1
  • Introduction and brief bio
  • Gesture and posing lecture
  • Lines of action
  • Shapes
Part 2
  • Silhouettes
  • Space
  • Exaggeration
Part 3
  • Extrapolation
  • Story
  • Story pitch
Part 4
  • Closing lecture on gesture and story
  • Final thoughts on art and the industry
Q & A


  • Brave
  • Ratatouille
  • Finding Nemo
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • The Iron Giant


Louis Gonzales is an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience in the film and animation industries. He started in 1996 at Warner Bros. Feature Animation where he worked on his first feature, Quest for Camelot, followed by The Iron Giant and Osmosis Jones. After WBFA closed shop, he worked in live action for a time before moving to Pixar Animation where he has been ever since. His credits at Pixar include Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, and Brave. He is currently a story artist working in both traditional and digital. He has also since contributed stories to two graphic novels and is finishing a solo graphic novel of his own.

with Luc Desmarchelier
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mar. 12, 2016

In this workshop, freelance artist and former Dreamworks Art Director, Luc Desmarchelier, will present his unique approach to dramatic storytelling through effective visuals.

Luc will begin with perspective, lead into composition, and explain how he uses reference to enhance his art. From there, he will discuss set design before elaborating on the complicated subject of color and how it can be used to tell your story.

Finally, Luc will conclude with a discussion on the fundamentals of designing for pictures.

Workshop Details

Part 1: Perspective
  • Breaking down "Story" into contrasts
  • Assigning meaning and symbolism
  • Importance of research and planning
Part 2: Composition
  • Creating a strong statement
  • Thumbnails vs. isolated design
  • The "recipe" vs. happy accidents
Part 3: Reference
  • Reinforcing your statement with color and light design
  • How to block in quickly and comp your lighting
Part 4: Set Design
  • Quick fixes to production surprises
  • How to know when to stop
Part 5: Color
  • The physical aspects of color
  • Supporting the story with color
  • Color theory & color scripts
  • Using color to add style
Part 6: Conclusion
  • The fundamentals of designing for pictures


  • The Prince of Egypt
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Tomorrowland
  • Corpse Bride
  • Open Season
  • Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
  • Hotel Transylvania


Born and raised in Lyon, France, Luc started drawing and painting at an early age. When it became obvious that his first choice of being a soccer player was an unlikely option, he decided to become an artist instead -- to the horror of his parents.

Luc attended The School of Applied Arts, La Martinière, and graduated in 1984, after which he worked as an illustrator and eventually a director in advertising. In 1990, Luc became a background artist on animated movies in Paris and London. He later moved to California where he served as art director at Amblimation and Dreamworks. As art director, visual development artist and production designer, Luc has worked on a large number of films, both animated and live-action.

In 2011, Luc started as an associate professor at Laguna College of Art & Design, teaching visual development and illustration classes. He continues to work as a freelance designer and concept artist while pursuing his interests in fine art and photography.

Luc lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three kids. You can see more of his work at

with Nathan Fowkes
3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Mar. 12, 2016

This workshop is designed to give artists and art students the ability to powerfully engage their audience through the design and composition of their artwork. Nathan will present a serious exploration of designing and composing our art to best convey the mood, story, emotion and visual impact of the subjects we portray. This event will take you step by step through the practical application of design and development, theatrical scene composition, and more.

This workshop is ideal for intermediate to advanced level students.

Workshop Details
Part 1: An Explanation of Pictorial Composition
  • The design and development process. Taking a concept to a beautifully composed finish
  • The creation of mood, environment and story through pictorial composition
  • Theatrical scene composition to create compelling presentation art
  • Composition in art history. Learning from the masters
  • How to solve compositional problems quickly and effectively
Part 2: In-Depth Photoshop Demonstrations


  • The Legend of Puss in Boots
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Shrek Forever After
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  • The Road to El Dorado
  • The Prince of Egypt


Nathan Fowkes is a veteran entertainment industry artist with credits on 11 feature films including The Prince of Egypt, Spirit, several projects within the Shrek universe, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Legend of Puss in Boots. His current projects are upcoming animated films from Disney and Blue Sky Studios. Nathan is also well known as a teacher of color, lighting, design and life drawing. He teaches at the Laguna College of Art and Design and The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art and is a regular guest lecturer at Art Center College of Design and Concept Design Academy. He has also taught at studios and game houses including Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, Infinity Ward, Big Fish Games and THQ.

His work can be seen at

with Stephen Silver
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Mar. 13, 2016

Veteran TV and film industry character designer, Stephen Silver, created this workshop for artists who want to design their own lineup of interesting and compelling characters. He will cover the importance of the thumbnail process, how to achieve variety and clarity in design, maintain balance, gesturing, posing, and much more.

This workshop is ideal for beginner to intermediate level artists.his workshop is ideal for artists of all levels.

Workshop Details

Part 1
  • Introduction
  • 6-step presentation discussing my work and the theory behind it
Part 2
  • Demo: Drawing a variety of heads, face-tilting, discussing the importance of memory sketching
  • Follow-up drawing exercise
  • The importance of drawing in your sketchbook every day, tips for effective sketching
  • Demo: Drawing a full-figured character and creating various cartoon versions
  • Drawing a cartoon character from reference
Part 3
  • Presentation on fundamental character design concepts
  • Design shuffle exercise: Breaking out of your comfort zone
  • Final discussion on confidence, motivation, and being enthusiastic
  • Q & A


  • "Kim Possible"
  • "Danny Phantom"
  • "Clerks the Animated Series"
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • "The Fairly OddParents"
  • "The Cleveland Show"


Stephen first started drawing at the age of six when he found an artist's original sketchbook discarded in his backyard. At that point, he knew immediately that drawing would be his purpose in life. Stephen got his professional start in 1992, doing caricatures at amusement parks. Soon after, he founded Silvertoons.

In 1997, he was hired at Warner Bros. Television Animation as a character designer. He later went on to develop the characters for Disney's "Kim Possible", Nickelodeon's "Danny Phantom", and Kevin Smith's "Clerks the Animated Series". Stephen has published seven books on character design, sketching, and life drawing, and has trained artists from around the world. He has been invited to lecture and teach workshops for studios such as Hasbro Toys, Nickelodeon, Insomniac Games, Powerhouse Animation, and art schools and colleges worldwide.

You can see more of his work at

with Daniel Arriaga
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mar. 13, 2016

In this workshop, Daniel will teach you how to make compelling and believable original character designs to be used in a cast for animated film. Topics covered will include gesture, caricature, staging and expressive drawings.

This workshop is ideal for intermediate students.

Workshop Details

Part 1
  • Character design basics
  • Gesture and mood of characters
  • Action Lines
  • Exaggeration in character design
  • Character moments
  • Expression drawings
Part 2
  • Art of Caricature
  • Finishing touches
  • Tips and tools to help aid design process
  • Final bits of advice
Q & A


  • Ratatouille
  • Wall-E
  • Up
  • Monsters University
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Toy Story 3


Daniel Arriaga is a character designer and sketch artist at Pixar with over a decade of industry experience, having worked on such hit films as Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3.

In 2009, Daniel moved to Disney where he art directed on Prep and Landing: Naughty vs Nice and contributed designs for Wreck-It Ralph, before returning home to Pixar.

A rising star in the industry, Daniel loves to share his knowledge and teach new students who are passionate about characters.

Daniel currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and kids. You can see more of his work at

with Kris Pearn
3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Mar. 13, 2016

In this workshop, story artist and director, Kris Pearn, will talk about storyboarding as an essential tool that allows filmmakers to experiment, workshop, and test ideas and material.

He will examine the mechanical elements of storyboarding -- camera, film language, shot progression, stage line mechanics etc. -- and its emotional elements -- character, story arcs, themes vs. plot, and how to balance story with entertainment value. Furthermore, he will give advice for selling your ideas. He will talk about production boards vs. presentation boards, pitching, handling change, how to have good “bedside manner”, and how, as artists, you can most effectively communicate through your ideas and drawings in order to help the film.

Workshop Details

Part 1: Visual Storytelling
  • Introduction and brief biography
  • Visual storytelling: what is a storyboard and why do we use them?
  • How storyboards translate across mediums
Part 2: The Camera
  • The camera as a window to the storytelling process
  • Types of shots, cutting, camera moves, stage line dynamics, continuity
  • Using the camera as an emotional tool
Part 3: Character
  • What makes us care about characters?
  • Character development
  • Anchoring the job to the motivations of the actors on set
  • Iconic characters throughout film history
Part 4: Action!
  • How camera, character, and context drive the narrative of visual storytelling
  • Pitching and cutting storyboards by adding the vital ingredient: TIME
Q & A


  • Open Season
  • Open Season 2
  • Surf's Up
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • Pirates! Band of Misfits


Kris Pearn has been an animation story artist and director in the film and television industries for over 18 years. A graduate of Sheridan College’s Classical Animation Program, he started his career at Fox Animation Studios where he worked on Anastasia and Titan AE.

In the early 2000’s, as the popularity of 3D animation started to overtake 2D, Kris went into storyboarding, working on such TV shows as "Rescue Heroes", "Max and Ruby", "Franklin", "Handy Manny", and "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast".

In 2003, Kris moved his family from Canada to Los Angeles to work for Sony Pictures Animation where he added the feature films, Open Season, Surf’s Up, and Hotel Transylvania to his list of credits. He was Head of Story on Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and co-directed the sequel, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.

In between, Kris also worked at Aardman Animation Studio as a Story Artist on Pirates: Band of Misfits, Shaun the Sheep, and as Story Supervisor on Arthur Christmas.

Kris loves speaking on animation and training young talent, having taught at his alma mater, Sheridan College, and online at Schoolism.


Saturday Venue

Cegep du Vieux Montreal
255 Rue Ontario Est
Montréal, QC H2X 1X6

Sunday Venue

Loews Hotel
Floor 1, The Paris Room
1425 rue de la Montagne
Montreal, QC H3G 1Z3



Answers to the most common workshop questions can be found in our FAQ.

If you can't find the answer to your question please contact us at Schoolism.


How can I purchase my ticket?

You can purchase your Schoolism LIVE ticket online. Our default payment method is PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, we can also accept a wire transfer (additional wire charges will apply), or a check or money order (time permitting for postage transit). Please email us at for more details.

Can I purchase a ticket and give it to a friend?

Absolutely! To gift a ticket to a friend, simply purchase your ticket normally and register your friend's name at checkout. If you have already purchased a ticket but would like to transfer its ownership to your friend at a later date, please email us at with his or her name and email address and we will take care of the rest!

Are there any group discounts available?

Group discounts are available for parties of 5 or more. Please email us at for more details.

Can I purchase my ticket at the door?

If tickets for a workshop are not yet sold out by the day of the event, tickets will be available at the door to be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Door sales will be cash only.

If I purchased a ticket but can no longer attend, can I get a refund?

Yes, refunds are available up to 24 hours before the event. Refunds will be issued according to the method of your payment, i.e. if you paid via PayPal, your refund will be issued via PayPal, to the same account that you paid from. To request a refund, please email us at

Getting to the Workshop

Will there be discounted hotel rooms available for out-of-town attendees?

Discounted hotel accommodations may be available on a workshop by workshop basis. If we have a hotel partner for a particular event, it will be listed on that event's individual webpage.

Will the instructor have a meet-and-greet session after the workshop?

Unfortunately, no. Unless otherwise stated, the instructors will not have meet-and-greet sessions after the workshops. If you'd like to meet and greet the instructors, we recommend that you arrive at the venue early and speak to them at that time.

At the Workshop

Will I need to show identification to get into the workshop?

Yes, we will need to match your photo ID with the name on your e-ticket printout. If the names do not match, you may not be granted entry so please make sure that you bring your identification and that the name matches that on your ticket.

Will I be able to record parts of the workshop to review later?

Unfortunately, no unauthorized recording of any type, in whole or in part, will be permitted in the workshops. These workshops consist of the intellectual properties of the instructors, so we must do our utmost to protect them.

Will there be a question and answer period after the workshop?

Absolutely! Every workshop will end with a 15- to 30-minute session in which the instructor will field questions from the attendees.

Do I need to bring a notebook, pens, sketchpad, etc. to the workshop?

Yes, please bring something to write on and write with. You will be taking a lot of notes and maybe doing some other exercises, depending on the workshop.

Will there be intermissions during the workshop?

Yes, there will be breaks during the workshop. The number of breaks and their length will vary depending on the workshop.

Why You Can't Miss the Schoolism LIVE Montreal Workshop

Learn From The Masters

Schoolism LIVE brings together some of the best talent in the industries of feature animation, gaming, illustration, and design in an intensely focused weekend of workshops.

Schoolism LIVE Montreal welcomes Luc Desmarchelier, Louis Gonzales, Nathan Fowkes, Daniel Arriaga, Kris Pearn, and Stephen Silver, whose combined credits include Tomorrowland, Hotel Transylvania, Brave, The Iron Giant, The Prince of Egypt, How to Train Your Dragon, Up, Toy Story 3, Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, "Kim Possible", "The Cleveland Show", and more.

Meet Like Minded People

Art and creative design is a social industry so it’s important for us to meet like-minded individuals who are also interested in constant improvement and perfection of their craft.

Explore an Exciting New City

For those attending Schoolism LIVE Montreal from out of town, set aside a few days before or after the workshops to enjoy the fantastic shopping, the great history, and all the amazing sights and sounds that this vibrant city has to offer.