All the highlights from Vertex 2020

Vertex 2020 attendees
(Image credit: Future)

Now in its third year, Vertex is the conference for 2D and 3D artists, and is organised by our sister titles ImagineFX and 3D World. This year, all tickets quickly sold out. So what drew over 1,200 artists to London’s Olympia Conference Centre on 27-28 February? With so much going on, it’s difficult to know where to start...

There were opportunities to receive feedback on your work from top professionals, including portfolio reviews (see our inspirational design portfolios here if you missed it) and a Bring Your Own Animation meet-up. There were life-drawing classes, and live art battles. There were workshops on everything from character design to lighting. And of course, there were must-see talks from some of the creative industry’s biggest names, and must-see stands from a range of top sponsors.

Highlights included Pixar technical artist Dylan Sisson revealing the mind-boggling secrets of Toy Story 4 and Onward, Tom Reed delving into creature design for The Lion King, and artists Karla Ortiz and Lois Van Baarle (aka Loish) sharing key insights from their own careers (read our exclusive interview with Loish here). Ortiz, for instance, told the audience: “It’s okay to doubt yourself. We all do. You’re not an artist unless you want to quit at least once.” (Discover more of her tips here.)

The highlight of Vertex, though, was how open and friendly everyone was, allowing artists and speakers to freely mingle, learn from one another, and progress their careers. Indeed at the talk How to Get a Job at ILM, supervising art director Jason Horley revealed that a recent hire was recruited after they’d chatted at 2019’s Vertex, where she was advised to develop skills in 3D tools. If that’s not a reason to grab a 2021 ticket, we don’t know what is. You can see the full showreel from Vertex 2020 below.

Next year’s event is expected to be a huge success, so don't miss out on your chance to attend. Register your interest at

This article originally appeared in issue 186 of ImagineFX, the world's leading magazine for digital artists. Buy issue 186 or subscribe to ImagineFX.

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Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.