2017's best character artists

Check out the amazing work produced by some of the best character artists at the moment, who are all appearing at this year's Pictoplasma Festival in Germany.

Eran Hilleli, Peter Millard, Chris Haughton and Kirsten Lepore will be among other speakers at this year’s Pictoplasma Conference – which brings together illustrators, designers, artists and filmmakers to exchange ideas and creative aesthetics. 

Now in its 13th year, Pictoplasma is returning to Berlin this May for three days, bringing together some of the world’s best character artists for a mixture of talks, exhibitions, screenings and parties.

The conference will take a closer look on how characters move along the intersections of visual media and push the principles of narration beyond traditional storytelling, animation or gaming. 

The full artist line-up and further details will be announced in early March. To attend Pictoplasma Conference, held from March 11 to 13, register online

Check out who spoke at Pictoplasma Conference 2016.

Image: Irish illustrator Chris Haughton designs rugs that helps weavers in Nepal. 

Eran Hilleli 

Eran is a Tel Aviv based animation director working for Hornet. His style involves merging simple geometric shapes with cinematic flair to create mystical characters.

Eran’s cinematic flair came to recognition with his sobering short film Between Bears in his final year at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel. It won Best Animation at the inaugural Vimeo Awards in New York. Eran’s projects leave room for interpretation, often influenced by simple shapes and fantastical worlds. 

Recent work includes a haunting opening film for New York’s Style Frame conference, featuring an eclectic ensemble of unconventional characters in a dramatically slow-moving vector-based animation. The video generates a sense of strength from belonging to a diverse creative community.

Kirsten Lepore 

Kirsten Lepore has an impressive client list, including Google, MTV, Facebook and Nickelodeon, famed for her Emmy-winning stop-motion episode for Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. Her work has been featured online, in museums, at film festivals and in magazines. 

The LA-based director and animator has created short films that have taken top prizes for Slamdance, Stuttgart Animation Festival, Florida Film Fest and many others.

For more standout stop-motion short films by Kirsten check out Bottle, Sweet Dreams and Move Mountain.

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Saschka Unseld

Expert in VR storytelling Saschka Unseld is one of the founding members of German independent animation studio Studio Soi. He’s also been a former Pixar director and is a current creative director at Oculus Story Studio.

Saschka works with an array of media including CG, drawn animation, stop frame, mixed media and live-action.

Louise Rosenkrands

Louise Rosenkrands encapsulates confident and positive women in her bright and playful illustrations. 

Going by the name Miss Lotion, the Denmark illustrator works both analogue and digital techniques into her charming soft-textured depictions of sassy women.

Louise has worked on commissions for various Danish magazines, US and UK titles.

Sean Charmatz

Sean Charmatz is a designer and developer for Disney and Dreamworks, and a former writer and director on SpongeBob Squarepants.

Lately, he’s been tapping into the potential of the internet, creating viral content by combining his knack for storytelling with found objects found in his everyday life.

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Chris Haughton

Irish freelance illustrator and author of best-selling children’s books A Bit Lost, Oh No George! and Goodnight Everyone also has a strong interest in connecting design with fair trade. 

Chris has been involved in numerous non-profit projects and interior murals, including large-scale murals and framed rugs at one of the Royal London Hospital’s paediatric wards. Before that Chris co-founded Node, a business that helps weavers in Nepal recieve a fair wage through producing rugs with his designs among other illustrators. 

Chris released his first app – Hat Monkey – in 2014.

Jack Sachs 

Freelance 3D animator and designer Jack Sachs lives and works between London and Hong Kong. 

His trademark style features jumbled up faces, bright colours and lumpy shapes. 

He began out as a traditional ‘pen and paper type guy’ but a hand injury lead him to learn 3D software while he recovered. He now chooses to make work across both mediums. 

As of last year, Jack joined Blink Inn as a director where he handles larger projects. 

Clients include a number of editorials such as The New York Times and the BBC, as well as the Tate and Spotify. 

His work can be seen as T-shirts prints, sticker sets and in music videos.

Mate Steinforth

Former designer and director of Psyop and now executive creative director at Sehsucht Berlin, Mate has recently thrown himself into a dystopian 360 VR music video for electronic act Moderat.

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Sophie Koko Gate

Sophie lives and works between London and Berlin after graduating from the Royal College of Art. 

The talented illustrator and animator creates psychedelic and whimsical journeys into poetry and neuroscience.