Syn Studio in Montreal, Quebec has offered concept art courses since 2007 helping passionate students master the fundamentals and learn high level design and digital illustration skills. This year Syn Studio is launching its 18 month Concept Art Diploma Program for artists who already possess solid foundation skills and can dedicate 100% of their time to following an intensive concept art training from top industry artists in Montreal.
Over roughly the first 9 months of the program, students focus on developing high level design and illustration skills using traditional art tools, Photoshop and a couple different 3D programs. In the second half of the program, teachers take the role of art directors and students take the role of junior concept artists. The concept art assignments, pipelines, deliverables and standards match the current workplace reality of the teachers who mainly work as concept artists on AAA video games as well as in film and television. During this last 9 months, students learn critical on-the-job skills and develop a professional-level concept art portfolio.
Anthony Walsh, Syn Studio CEO explains the new program: “For a long time, Syn Studio has aimed to deliver truly world-class concept art education. Concept art is an increasingly competitive field, training is more readily available and studios can now more easily hire the best artists from around the world. After careful study of the top schools in the world and consultations with the world’s top educators and concept artists, we determined that a small, elite concept art training program that could select students from top candidates all around the world would best serve the students and the studios. A diploma program was then created and validated with the Ministry of Education and this allows foreign students to get student visas, whereas prior to this, Syn Studio’s foreign students could only take 6 months worth of classes on a tourist visa. The necessity of recruiting foreign students for a world-class program was confirmed in Syn Studio’s initial portfolio review, where out of the less than 30% of portfolios that passed, all were from foreign students (though some Canadian students were not far behind).”
Anthony sees this as a big advantage for students joining the program: “For students, this means studying alongside incredibly passionate and skilled artists from all around the world who will dream as big and work as hard as they do. These are people who will challenge themselves, move to a different country and do whatever it takes to become amazing concept artists. There is a big peer group effect on people’s outcomes in life and surrounding yourself with the right people is critical.”