APW grad Graham Finley up for Incredibles 2 Oscar

APW grad Graham Finley up for Incredibles 2 Oscar 1

We’re proud of the work done by APW grads.  After learning drawing fundamentals at APW, these young artists go on to hone their abilities in other schools and programs and then on to the animation biz here in Toronto and internationally.  The 2019 Oscars are an opportunity for Animation Portfolio Workshop to salute Graham Finley and recognize his outstanding work.


“Learning how to draw was the most important thing that I’ve taken from APW”

Graham Finley – Animator Pixar

Graham has worked at Pixar on a number of Pixar films: Inside Out, Brave, Monsters University, Piper, and most recently, Incredibles 2.  A successful animator, devoted to his craft and producing top-notch work. 

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Animation Portfolio Workshop featured grad Chang Dai

Chang Dai’s extensive animation experience covers character design, storyboards, art direction, hand drawn animation, game design and production design in Toronto (Yowza Animation, Arc Animation, Industrial Brothers, Jam Filled Entertainment, House of Cool), , Minneapolis, and in San Francisco (Play Studios).  Chang’s professional animation experience shows a highly developed ability to draw well. 

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Spider-Verse an antidote to boredom with current animated feature-film fare

Spider-Verse an antidote to boredom with current animated feature-film fare 2

Is it possible that we’ve become tired of the increasingly similar look and feel of current animation feature films?

Consider the current response to the Sony Pictures block-buster, Oscar nominated “Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse” in this article from Animation World Network entitled “Art Triumphs Over Everything.  Animation geeks and mainstream film-goers alike are finding a virtual treasure trove of inspiration and visual interest in Spider-Verse’s artful direction by the art direction team of Patrick O’Keefe (Animation Portfolio Workshop grad)

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Animation Portfolio Workshop Character Rotations


Animation Portfolio Workshop Character Rotations 3
Character rotation by Autumn DeOliviera (Atlanta GA)

Once you design a character for your animation portfolio, you need to draw a turnaround that shows your character in four different views.  The idea here is to demonstrate a knowledge of character construction and an ability to visualize and draw the character from different angles.  Easier said than done.  No youtube “how-to-draw” video can come anywhere near being a substitute for going and getting this knowledge for yourself through lots of drawing and helpful guidance from someone who has been where you are and knows what you need to know.  Drawing.  It’s awesome.  

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Animation Portfolio Workshop Character featured grad Saud Boksmati

Animation Portfolio Workshop Character featured grad Saud Boksmati 4

Animation Portfolio Workshop grad Saud Boksmati has made Visual Development and Character Design a matter of priority in his art practise.   Soulful character designs filled with personality and humanity and meaningful story-telling are hallmarks of Saud’s personal drawings and illustrations as well as his professional work for Cartoon Network, LAIKA Entertainment,

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APW Grad Patrick O’Keefe – “Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse” Art Director


Award winning “Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse” Art Director Patrick O’Keefe talks abut his roots as an Animation Portfolio Workshop student.  Patrick cites his APW experience as seminal in forming a passion for drawing that motivates him to constantly aim high in his work as a professional.

Moving into films and working digitally, even building these crazy video game worlds, that all came from an understanding of drawing and design that I learned at APW

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APW students ask Charlie Bonifacio

Former Disney animator Charlie Bonifacio was kind enough to be our special guest judge for the APW 2014 Character Design Contest.  APW Directors Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets gathered questions from APW students to ask Charlie.  In this video, APW students ask “What is the biggest challenge to being a Disney animator?” and “How do you stay creative?”  Since Charlie also has extensive experience as an animation educator, he took quite naturally to giving clear answers to important questions from people who are just starting out in animation.


Charlie Bonifacio talks about Afia Fobi’s 1st prize winning character.

A word from of thanks from Charlie to all APW Character Design entrants.

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