CHARACTER DESIGN LAB2018-11-21T13:14:42+00:00

You will collaborate on the development of character design with a leading character artist from PIXAR, Ricky Nierva, who will share his experience of particular creative approaches and design processes for animated film. This will benefit your own work on animated films and series, without regard to a specific style.

The lab’s programme is focused on mastering the creative process of the development of the design of characters for animated film within the context of the demands of a story. Drawing skills are a prerequisite for participation.


  • Character design lectures by an accomplished professional
  • Professional supervision and consulting of your project
  • Team collaboration with the mentor
  • Taking both Story and Art labs as a team project would qualify to get feedback from the panel of experts


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.


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. Participants bring their own materials, computers with Photoshop and projects to work on


  • Portfolio – expertise and experience in the field
  • Priority given to animators and artists
  • Motivational letter
    Emphasis on career motivation and vision
  • Own project
    Participants’ involvement is conditional on their having a project of their own
  • Own creative team
    Teams of at least two or more will receive priority
  • Participation in both Story & Art workshops

More about Rickey Nierva


Art Lab 2017 with Michel Breton

Art Lab 2016 with Jim Moore (Lucas Film)

Behind the scenes of ANOMALIA Art Lab 2016

Jim Moore on being a good artist

Jim Moore on dealing with non-artist clients

Zkušenosti českých a slovenských účastníků

Interested in the lab?

4 seats still available.

Register NOW and get accepted.
Don’t miss your chance.

  • Duration
    August 2019 (10 days) will be announced

  • Mentor
    Ricky Nierva
  • Skill level
     junior and intermediate experience
  • Price
    760 EUR / 19 760 CZK

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


Ricky Nierva

Ricky Nierva

Ricky Nierva joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 1997. He began with the animation team as a visual development artist and did additional storyboarding on “Toy Story 2.” He was the lead character designer for “Monster’s Inc.” and was awarded an Annie Award as the character art director for the Academy Award® winning feature “Finding Nemo.” Nierva was the production designer for another Oscar® winner, and Best Picture nominee, “Up” and most recently worked as the production designer “Monsters University.” He is currently working on an upcoming project.

Nierva has illustrated a children’s book published by Random House, titled “‘M’ is for Monster,” and his artwork is also featured in the books, “The Art of Monster’s, Inc.,” “The Art of Finding Nemo,” and “The Art of Monsters University” by Chronicle Books.

Nierva attended California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Character Animation in 1994. He credits his visual style to close mentor and famed Warner Brothers and Disney designer, the late Maurice Noble.

Ricky has worked with talented artists at Turner Feature Animation, Warner Bros., Baer Animation, and Hanna Barbera.

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