The International Conference and Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art is nearly ready to begin its first Free online broadcast festival!

No matter how devastating this year may be, Pictoplasma refused to give up on 2020, and took the circumstances as an opportunity and an unforeseen starting point for something new: This September 18+19, the first ever digital ‘Pictoplasma in Isolation’ is set to take place as a free 2-day livestream broadcast. The event features more than 40 artist talks by and conversations with illustrators, animation filmmakers, visual artists, and designers, as well as performance artists, activists and academics.

Make sure to register at conference.pictoplasma.com!


Participating artists include, among others, Niki Lindroth von Bahr from Stockholm, Sarina Nihei, Will Anderson, Illustrators Genie Espinosa and Cristina Daura, UK-based Hattie Stewart, British illustrator (and AOI Board member!) Dan Woodger, Jon Burgerman, and many more.


This year’s edition of the festival puts a thematic emphasis on the mask and expands on Pictoplasma’s ongoing research into how characters relate to, invade, take over and warp the human body, reexamining one of our most ancient cultural artifacts in a new light. Special sections feature lectures, presentations and conversations with artists and designers, activists, scholars, and performance artists who work with visual techniques of facial disguise.

Illustration by Dan Woodger


This year’s animation section has seen more than 900 submissions from all around the world, of which 77 hand-picked jewels are streamed to your home entertainment system in their carefully curated programs. The official selection includes award winning Anna Mantzaris‘ latest stop motion film noir following her protagonist as she struggles to make the right decision; a surprising Sci-Fi trip fast-forwarding through humanity’s development by Kirsten Lepore; a visual explosion of color and rhythm by experimental film-maker Caleb Wood; the feverish psychedelia of French animation collective Meat Department; and the latest digital nightmares by US American 3D enfant terrible Cole Kush.


A second channel features workshops that allow viewers to join forces with international artists and get hands on with different media—in the comfort of their own 4 walls. Jon Burgerman and Nathan Jurevicius both host playful sessions that put the focus on instant and spontaneous creativity. Julian Glander showcases how fast he (and only he) can build complex illustrations using the simplest shapes in Blender.

Frame by Eran Hilleli

A panel discussion explores the current stage of illustration in light of its digital transformation and whether today’s visual culture is governed by a new regime of ‘Corporate Memphis.’ A second panel focuses on animation film: In the height of lockdown, many previously shelved animation projects have been green lighted by producers as live action was no longer possible to shoot, and animation seemed pandemic proof. How will this affect the industry in the long run? We will find out.


Participation in the two-day Pictoplasma in Isolation broadcast on 18+19 September, 2020 is free. Prior online registration is available on conference.pictoplasma.com

14th September 2020

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