2015 is filled with brand new and long established digital art festivals open to the public. With a raft of events offering practical workshops, a chance to network with art directors, and get your work picked up by a studio, this could be a career-defining year.
CreativeBloq has been to all the best events around the world for animators and concept artists, and this is our pick of the best.
01. Trojan Horse was a Unicorn (opens in new tab)
- Date: 15-19 September
- Location: Portugal
- Tickets: €500
Three years ago it was the new kid on the block, now its passionate artist-centred ethos is being copied by other festivals - and for good reason!
Like its title, THU is unique. Set in sun-drenched Portugal on a luxury island, it provides an enclosed, intimate five days of networking and lasting inspiration.
Pariah Studios's creative director, and CreativeBloq writer, Rob Redman went to all the events of 2014, but this was his favourite: "If you plan on attending any show from an artist point of view, this is the one. THU is the event of the season for me," says Redman, "it was so refreshing to see big names being naturally accessible and welcoming."
There's workshops galore, plus mentorship sessions where attendees can shadow artists like Rockstar's Ian McQue or Korean genius Kim Jung Gi, not to mention workshops, life drawing, ad fireside chats with industry legends like Syd Mead.
You can keep updated with 2015's schedule, and get your tickets to this year's best event (opens in new tab), now!
02. Siggraph (opens in new tab) & Siggraph Asia (opens in new tab)
- US & Asia
- Date: 09-13 August / 02-05 November
- Location: Los Angeles, USA / Kobe, Japan
- Tickets: TBC
Both the US and Asian Siggraph are monster events – the US has been rolling since 1974, the Asian one is in its eighth year. Though both have a trade show it is much more about new technologies, future thinking and computer science.
"In 2014 none of the big developers had stands,"recalls Redman," although a few asian resellers were there, which meant there was more focus on newer players, or more focused products.
The talks and conference section was far less about headline projects and much more about technological breakthroughs that will help software deliver better results at some point in the future."
03. FMX (opens in new tab)
- Date: 05-08 May
- Location: Stuttgart, Germany
- Tickets: €320 (full), €160 (students)
This German event has been going strong since 1994, and today has found itself a good balance between trade show and informative/inspirational convention.
"For those wanting to talk to software developers and check out the latest new tools the trade floor is great," says Redman, "the venue has a good number of halls where industry notables give talks on key projects and techniques."
The 2014 highlight for many was Andy Serkis, who packed out the venue and gave a fascinating talk on mobcap and showed some preview shots from the then unreleased Apes movie. "Another aspect of FMX was the recruitment hall," Redman comments, "where many of the big studios had booths where prospective employees could chat and apply."
04. IT'S ART Master Classes (opens in new tab)
- Date: 14-15 March
- Location: Paris, France
- Tickets: Earlybird - £79.54 (opens in new tab)
The IT'S ART website has long been dedicated to discovering and championing the greatest talents in computer arts - from games, film and illustration.
Now they're bringing their passion to Palais Brongniart, in Paris, for this weekend of workshops and inspiration.
Creative director for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise Raphael Lacoste will speak, as will the exceptional book cover artist Marc Simonetti, and several cmpanies will be running recruitment stalls throughout the weekend.
If you can't make it to France's captical, however, there are video tickets on sale that'll let you enjoy the master classes whereever you are.
If IT'S ART long history of dedication to the digital arts is anything to go by, this is another first-time event of 2015 that's not to be missed.
All workshops and talks will be in English.
05. IFCC (opens in new tab)
- Date: 25-30 May
- Location: Zagreb, Croatia
- Tickets: €350
Unapologetically inspired by our number one choice, Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, The Independent Festival of Creative Communication event is debuting this year, and it's bursting with potential.
Already boasting some great names that cover film, game and illustration, its relatively cheap ticket price - for six days!! - and beautiful location, suggest it&'s going to be a festival with creative inspiration and broad networking as its core values.
In a clear move to tap more of the central European creative talent, we can&'t wait to see how IFCC plays out.
Next page: five more fantastic events not to miss in 2015...