ArtStation Masterclasses 3 Instructor Spotlight: Aaron Sims

ArtStation Masterclasses 3 is an online learning event that’ll give you exclusive access to learn from all-star artists in the entertainment industry. One ticket gets you access to all 10 courses and instructor Q&A forums. Join us for the next event on March 11 – 24 and take your skills to the next level!

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 Early Bird Discount ends February 19.

For the upcoming ArtStation Masterclasses 3, we’ll be joined by award-winning concept designer Aaron Sims His over 30 years in the industry spans from a beginning in makeup FX and practical creature design, to pioneering the adoption and development of concept and character design in the now ubiquitous digital medium. 

Masterclass: The Story & Soul of Iconic Creature Design

The course delves deep into all that it takes to produce an iconic concept for the screen. Aaron guides you through his complete creation process from foundational principles and understanding what you need to using 2D and 3D softwares and techniques to develop a fully realized and dimensionalized character.

What was one of your most valuable learning experiences on the job?

As a designer, I’ve always tried to not take feedback of my work too personally, as we often receive comments on both ends of the spectrum (positive and negative) from the client. What I found important is to not ever let the negative comments affect the motivation or take offense from it. It’s all part of the process. Learn and grow from those experiences. I always try to act as a buffer with our artists to provide guidance and encouragement along with constructive criticism so that they are able to stay focused and on-track, not letting the outside ‘noise’ distract from their craft.

Take us through what a regular day at work looks like for you.

I find myself in many meetings both with the client and with my team all day long, but somehow I always find the time to design. It’s certainly a challenge to run a business while also staying as connected as possible to the work itself. I’m proud to say I have a hand in every project that comes through the door and meet with every artist at least twice a day to review progress, provide notes and guidance on their work. That being said, there is no such thing as a ‘regular’ day in this industry! And that’s part of what I love, each day and each project bring new challenges… always keeping us on our toes!

What’s one thing people who follow your masterclass can expect to learn?

I believe in a practical, design-first approach to my work and try to infuse these foundational skills in every phase of visual development. I hope to convey that all the digital tools and software available to us today are merely elements of your artist’s toolkit, and that the essential disciplines of anatomy, weight, balance, form, etc. are even more crucial in creating iconic characters and worlds. The other methodology we embrace at Aaron Sims Creative is a collaborative and cohesive workflow that shepherds visual development from concept design all the way through final visual effects. Whether you are a designer, animator, or somewhere in between, embracing the entire creative workflow will help you evolve as a well-rounded artist.

More about Aaron’s course > 

Tell us the story of how the Aaron Sims Creative company was founded.

In 2005, Aaron Sims Creative was formed in an effort to bring together a wide range of the world’s most talented concept design and visual effects artists to create memorable characters, creatures, VFX, costumes, and key scenes (I am Legend, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spiderman, The Conjuring, Stranger Things, Wonder Woman, Ready Player One, and many more).  We pride ourselves on a design-first approach to creature & world-building that develops iconic characters from visionary concept to on-screen debut. Our Sketch-to-Screen workflow combines the best of concept design, rapid prototyping, pre-visualization and visual effects for a holistic approach to visual development and storytelling.


Find out more about ArtStation MasterClasses and save $50 when you buy your ticket by February 19. 

Follow Aaron Sims on ArtStation

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.