Lab details

A two-week lab in which artists form a creative laboratory environment in collaboration with a veteran from the animation industry and independent artist, Michel Breton (known for his work on films like The Boxtrolls, Coraline, The Triplets of Belleville) to develop art (visual) concepts and proposals for characters and environments for an animation film. Primary focus is on understanding and developing workflows and decision-making skills when fleshing out ideas based on a story direction. Generally, work on a film development is rooted in a story context and collaboration with a director. Such is the major difference compared to fine art. We aim to enrich illustrators with such experience to be able to boost their art and processes in collaboration with an artist from the film industry.

Participants should have drawing skills already at an intermediate level and bring their own projects to the lab to boost both their skills, workflows and their projects at the same time. The project should have a story context defined as synopsis or at least as character profiles. The intense and dedicated environment and teaming up with Michel speeds up their work, boosts their career and personal connection while delivering results to be used after the lab.

Story ideas can be based on output from the first course of the Story Lab.

NOTE: LAB means that participants bring their own materials (projects) to work on


There is increasing demand for new original stories to be produced as series, feature films and as cross-media projects. Original stories require original art.



The lab aims to create a focused environment and the necessary conditions for the development of skills and the development of character and environment design for animation projects under the guidance of an experienced art director.




  1. 1)  Being a sponge.
  2. 2)  Open mindedness, constructive criticism and self-criticism, seeing the « big picture ».
  3. 3)  Cooperative work, harmony and conflicts.
  4. 4)  Know yourself.


  1. 1)  Communicating ideas with visuals- Storytelling with sequential drawings vs a single illustration. The time factor.
  2. 2)  Style as a vector of communication- Finding the right keys and recipes.
  3. 3)  Coraline & The Boxtrolls – Two styles, two ways of expressing oppositions and contrast askey elements of the story.
  4. 4)  The Triplets of Belleville & Looney Tunes cartoons. Two ways of cartooning with style.
  5. 5)  Preproduction dev. (Character and background styling)


  1. 1)  Creative input. Working on a big production VS film d’auteur.
  2. 2)  Storyboard narrative work VS Styling and location design.
  3. 3)  Color scripts.
  4. 4)  From design to realization on a stop-motion film.
  5. 5)  Matte painting on Coraline.


  1. 1)  Working tips.
  2. 2)  Composition using simple shapes.
  3. 3)  Weight of colour and shapes in a composition.
  4. 4)  Problem solving.



In order to be eligible for the lab, you need to submit your project idea as a synopsis or character profiles no more than 500 words max. along with your registration.


Blog #8: a quick look behind the scenes of ANOMALIA 2016 STORY LAB

Blog #13: what does it mean to be a good artist?

Blog #11: how to deal with non-artist clients

Blog #16: zkušenosti českých a slovenských účastníků

  • Duration
    28.8.-8.9. 2017 (10 days).
  • Mentor
    Michel Breton
  • Skill level
    at least junior and intermediate experience
  • Price
    670 EUR / 17 970 CZK

    Price includes VAT. In case of EUR/CZK exchange rate should change, the fee in EUR is derived from CZK currency.
More info


Michel Breton

Conceptual artist, production designer, art director and director. These are the different hats that Michel Breton carried for animation studios such as Hannah Barbera, Chuck Jones Films Production, National Film Board of Canada, Laika, Zanuck Entertainment. Notable projects are The Boxtrolls, Coraline, The Triplets of Belleville, Noël-Noël and Heavy Metal. In 1994, he co-founded Fourmi Rouge Animation. As consultant, the studio planned and set-up the production unit for the movie Beavis and Butthead Do America. One recent pet project of Michel was a 3-year inquiry and exploration of the French language situation in Montréal, Québec and France, in between animation projects in Portland, Oregon. Titled, La Langue à terre, the documentary made its debut in 2013 at the FFM Festival international du film de Montréal.

In addition, Michel Breton has worked with the well-known Belgian comic strip artists Turk and De Groot on their series Léonard le génie, Clifton and Robin Dubois. He contributed work that was published as hard cover books and magazines such as Tintin magazine.

Join the Lab

Our partners