Parsons The New School for Design will present Pictoplasma NYC, a conference celebrating the artistic creation of character design, on Saturday, November 13. Featuring lectures, panel discussions, and short film screenings, the event is part of Illustration Week, an annual programming series across New York City that showcases the best in international character design and art.
The conference was organized by Pictoplasma founders and curators Lars Denicke and Peter Thaler, and Steven Guarnaccia, chair of Illustration at Parsons. Among the featured participants is Ice Age character designer Peter de Seve, a well-known illustrator, New Yorker cover artist, and Parsons alumnus, who will discuss the process of creating iconic characters. In addition, Guarnaccia will moderate a panel discussion on how creative skills developed in art school can translate into work-life projects and careers, featuring a range of Parsons alumni: animation director Aaron Stewart, artist Motomichi Nakamura, and ornamental painter Andy Kehoe.
Also presenting are two members of the Australian design collective Rinzen, known for its video and audio remix project, RMX. New York-based designer Craig Redman has a creative output filled with twisted optimism and simple messages executed in a colorful, bold style. His character Darcel has become a fashion icon and is often featured at famed Parisian boutique Colette, where he recently had a solo exhibition. Berlin-based designer Rilla Alexander is inspired by vintage children books and mythical stories to create characters with complex identities through a blending of illustration, graphics and 3D design. Her RMX project, Neighbourhood, involved 20 blank plush dolls that were passed around the world being reworked and remade.
Illustrator Nathan Jurevicius will discuss his most acclaimed project to date, Scarygirl. Since her creation in 2001, Scarygirl has developed a following of fans throughout the world and has been the subject of a game, graphic novel, numerous limited edition vinyl toys and travelling shows, and a forthcoming feature film.
The program will conclude with a screening of Characters in Motion 2010, a 75-minute collection of animated short films, music videos and motion graphics. Each film was selected for its innovative and style-setting character design and the intriguing way these protagonists involve the viewer in surreal settings.