International Conference and Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art


10 – 14 May 2017

Babylon am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Urban Spree, Silent Green and a series of exhibitions throughout Berlin

This May Pictoplasma once again transforms Berlin into the epicentre of character design and art and the world’s most vibrant meeting point for a diverse scene of international artists, illustrators, designers and filmmakers, trailblazing the face of tomorrow’s visual culture. While creators and producers meet for a central conference to exchange strategies for figurative aesthetics, the wider festival invites the public to discover new trends: cutting edge screenings bring the latest animation eye-candy to the big screen, and numerous exhibitions throughout the city present original works and outstanding character craftsmanship.

In its 13th edition, the conference takes a closer look on how characters move along the intersections of visual media and push the principles of narration beyond the limits of traditional storytelling, animation or gaming.

First confirmed speakers include:

Saschka Unseld (DE/USA), founding member of German Studio Soi, former Pixar director and current Creative Director at Oculus Story Studio, where he explores and defines the future of VR storytelling;

Kirsten Lepore (USA), LA-based director and animator with a client list including Google, MTV, Facebook, and Nickelodeon, famed for her Emmy-winning stop-motion episode for Cartoon Network’s hit show, ‘Adventure Time’.

Louise Rosenkrands (DK), illustrator from Denmark known for her bright and playful depictions of sassy, confident, positive women – including the occasionally protruding lady bumps;

Sean Charmatz (USA – above), former writer/director on ‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ and designer/developer for Disney and Dreamworks, currently creating some of the Internet’s most viral content by playfully combining his knack for storytelling with found objects observed in his daily life;


Chris Haughton (IRL), Irish illustrator and author of best selling children’s books such as ‘A Bit Lost’, ‘Oh No George!’ and ‘Goodnight Everyone’ with a strong interest in connecting design with fair trade;

Jack Sachs (UK), freelance designer and animator living and working between London and Berlin, famed for his trademark jumbled up faces, bright colours and lumpy shapes influenced by the pioneers of early CGI (and cover of new Varom);

Peter Millard (UK), celebrated independent filmmaker and animation enfant terrible from the Malvern Hills in England, retaining the DIY nature of his oeuvre by self funding himself with various part time jobs;

Mate Steinforth (USA), designer/director of former Psyop fame and Creative Director at Sehsucht Berlin, where he recently created an impressively immersive and dystopian 360 VR music video for the electronic act Moderat;

Sophie Koko Gate (UK – above), Royal College of Art graduate living and working between London and Berlin, using her immense illustrative skills to create animated psychedelic journeys into poetry and neuroscience full of whimsical awkwardness.

Eran Hilleli (ISR – below), Tel Aviv based animation director, merging simple shapes with cinematic flair to create faraway lands and mysterious characters


The full artist lineup and all details on the exhibitions, performances, parties and screening programs will be announced in early March.


Participation in the three-day Pictoplasma Conference (11–13 May) requires prior online registration, available for 290,- Euro at


Tickets for the festival’s animation screenings will be available directly at the venue’s box office (Babylon), entry to all accompanying exhibitions is free of charge.


As prelude to this year’s conference and festival, a series of 2-day workshops of the Pictoplasma Academy take place on May 8 and 9, inviting designers and illustrators to enhance their skills in specific media and techniques – guided by the respective masters of the craft.

First workshop to be announced: Resin Toy Moulding with Lunartik

Matt Jones aka Lunartik (UK) awaits participants for a hands-on short course on how to make your own edition of art toy multiples – from design and sculpting to moulding and resin casting. Attendees will be guided through all stages, gain the required experience with the materials and valuable insight into aspects such as safety, packaging and marketing – resulting in a first self-made designer toy in their happy hands.

Pictoplasma Academy Masterclass

Later on this year, end of September, the meanwhile 5th Pictoplasma Academy Masterclass brings together a selected group of 30+ international participants from all corners of the world to kick-start their careers as character designers. Under close, professional guidance of renown artists, designers and filmmakers such as Rilla Alexander (AUS), Nathan Jurevicius (AUS) and Philip Hunt (UK), participants learn how to further develop and refine the concept and design of their own projects. The results will be exhibited half a year later at the following Pictoplasma Festival in 2018. Deadline for applications to the masterclass is July 17, 2017.

All information on the Pictoplasma Academy at academy.pictoplasma.com

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15th February 2017

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