The average symposium runs 1–3 hours in length.

Times and location details for all events can be found at the schedules link above or in the downloadable ARTinerary below.


Lauren Panepinto
Easy as 1.2.3.

1: Social Media/Self Promo
2: Portfolios
3: Contracts & Invoicing & Paperwork
You’re alone in an alley and the vermin of the seedy underbelly emerge from the cracks and crevices, they’ve chosen you as the unassuming victim. You drop the contents in your arms, your precious papers scatter, you scream, and turn to run. There’s nowhere to go, your path is blocked in all directions and miasmatic darkness has engulfed you. You’re sure this is it, you're going to meet your maker and there is no hope. “Yeah,” you think to yourself, “This pretty much sums up the life of a fledgling illustrator.” The world that could sustain your creative success seems overwhelming and more terrifying than a giant crocodilian man-beast. You shudder in defeat and call to the heavens for a sign. Miraculously a ray of hope appears. A shining green letter L on the silvery clouds above. Is it a vigilante crime fighter? A super-powered bearer of magical jewelry? Nope, it's much more useful…it’s Lauren Panepinto! An icon in the industry and a beacon of hope for aspiring illustrators across the globe. Her posts, articles, workshops, seminars, and professional generosity have created a legion of fans and there’s a reason why; she’s here to help you ace your next portfolio review, what to expect when working with professionals, how to handle social media, and get you paid. Everybody loves dollar bills ya’ll. Join Lauren as she gives you the advice you need most to drive your new creative career to new levels. For the record, while we can’t prove that Lauren moonlights as a vigilante crimefighter, let’s just say we haven't found proof she doesn’t, just saying.

Chris Oatley
You’re A Better Artist Than You Think You Are: How To Improve Quickly Without Ever Picking Up A Pencil

Chris Oatley is a Visual Development Artist and Illustrator for Disney, The host of iTunes’ #1 Illustration Podcast and the Director of The Oatley Academy Of Visual Storytelling.

In this deeply emotional and inspiring presentation, you’ll learn: 

How Chris almost destroyed his own animation career before it even got started (and what to do if the same thing happens to you).The best way to harvest oranges in Southern California (and what that has to do with maintaining a successful art career). What a great mentor can do for you that you probably can’t do for yourself.…and the one, major mindset shift that will improve your art instantaneously.  

Jake Parker
We Have an INKling You'll Love this Symposium

You get an Inktober, you get an Inktober...You all get Inktobers! Jake Parker illustrator extraordinaire and creator of the international phenomenon Inktober will be joining us via the magic of the internet. We're still working on his symposium but we can assure you it will be better than a #3 series 7 with a full load of ink and crisp bright white piece of plate finish bristol board.

Neilson Carlin
Process Makes Perfect: The Art of the Sketch

Oodles of doodles! The yummy scrumptious blend of thoughts, designs, conception, and investigation all mixed together with a bit of tender loving care. Neilson Carlin, artist of the Holy Family Portrait for the Meeting of the Family in 2015 and grand liturgical multi-figure works demonstrates the art of designing a masterpiece from the initial conceptions to finished color studies and beyond, Explore the process of disegno and how it has been the muse of the masters for millennia,

Crystal Sully
C.L.A.W. – Creature Lifedrawing & Anatomical Workshop

Q: What do you do when a Rhodactus Glowing Tiger is stalking you on the prairies of Zaxterra 19935? Or if you stumble upon a herd of Wallumpfs grazing around the Hanging Marble Basins of Gillimunk? What if you scare a flock of Fanged–Toothed Marmoducks and they are intent on consuming you like you would a Philly Cheesesteak after a long night out?

A: Simple, after you’re through running for your life and maybe a tad bit of screaming, you whip out your sketchbook and preferred drawing medium and you get to work. Those exotic creatures aren’t going to draw themselves and you’re the worlds next imaginary creature concept artist superstar. Crystal can up your morphological game by showing you what’s going on underneath and just what goes into an amazing creature design.

David Palumbo
Reference Photography For The Visual Artist

Are wonky arms that bend the wrong way a problem in your latest grueling creation? Lighting that just doesn't work the way you imagined? Gnarled and hideous hands and feet? Look, let’s be fair, we all have had our fair share of appendage kerfuffles. There's a solution and Dave Palumbo has your prescription. A healthy dose of reference photography. Join Dave as he presents an overview of photo–referencing for illustration, covering basic camera operation, lighting, and general discussion on tips and best practices, as well as examples of application.

Jon Sideriadis
World–Building for Demi–Gods

You're reading Artistacon’s workshop descriptions and you stumble upon Zaxterra 19935 and think "who thinks of this malarky?" We do! We’re aware it needs a bit of work and admit our world-building skills need a bit of help as well. That's why you'll find us attending John's seminar soaking up all the glorious world-building knowledge he is going to drop. Join us as he demonstrates how to create compelling places you'll want to visit and other locales where you'll want to drop a danger beacon, warning other spacetime travelers to steer clear. After you have a solid grasp on your destination of choice, and all the creepy crawlies that inhabit your cosmos traveling vivarium, you'll need to know how to make them look amazing! John has that market cornered as well. I guess you could say this will be an EVOLUTIONARY workshop!


Dani Hedlund believes that storytelling is a tool that can be used to empower people and change lives. In this seminar, Hedlund, the Founder & CEO of the Brink Literacy Project and Founder & Editor-in-Chief of F(r)iction Magazine, will give attendees an overview of her life-long efforts to foster a love of literature, increase literacy rates, and use storytelling to empower underserved communities through the education, community and publishing divisions of Brink.


An exploration by artist and illustrator Jeremy Wilson of conceptual elements used in composition and design, beyond placement, that overall successfully serve the purpose of the image. The presentation will look at art and illustration images that use methods such as Shape Interruption, Dichotomy, Mark Making and Grouping to further the idea of the artwork or feeling derived from it.


Genre is infused into just about every piece of Sci Fi and Fantasy art out there. But what if genre wasn't set in stone? What if it was something fluid, transmutable, and controllable, and something you could to push and stretch to suit your purpose? Artist Clark Huggins created Reckless Deck, the idea generating card deck series, to help facilitate making these kinds of bold, genre-mashing choices. Clark will discuss how his experiences in both the art , film, and theater world combined to reveal how the genre tropes that appear in sci fi and fantasy can be wielded as a tool to make your art more provocative, more original, and more personal.

Seth Polansky
1. Contracts for Creatives
2. Starting your Creative Business

Heretofore on the set date of the 23rd in the year of 2019, this day in the month of March, blah, blah, blah. Did we just lose you? Because, you know, legal stuff. The legalities of being a creative are daunting and so often it's hard to know where to turn. Well, Super Seth is going to kick down the legal door and help a creative out! We believe there is no better legal superhero to have in your corner and that is why we hired him to deliver the goods. Spending just a small amount of time with this savior of legal woes will demystify the intricacies of the legal world that us right-brained imagineers have to inhabit.

Carl Potts
The Art of Visual StoryTelling

All sequential visual storytelling media - comics, film, TV, etc.- are composed of three main creative elements: Narrative, Visuals and Sequential Visual Storytelling. This comprehensive seminar covers all three, but with a special emphasis on sequential visual storytelling. To learn what to show, and how to show it when telling your sequential visual story, you must attend this seminar! Join Carl Potts, the artist/writer/editor who discovered and mentored many of comics’ top talents, as he gives a concentrated symposium that will give you the tools to tell clear and compelling visual tales!


Publishing is another venue to get your work out to the world. It can help build awareness for your work and an income stream. Electronic and print distribution channels have opened avenues for artists to make this possible.

This session will present publishing through the eyes of a publisher and former art buyer who will offer insights for the artist who wants to know more about the publishing business and

  • Creating your own imprint

  • Copyright tips for illustrators

  • Successful communication tactics for repeat illustration assignments


Join cartoonists Melissa Lomax and her husband Christian “Patch” Patchell for a discussion on the ins and outs of creativity. They will each walk you through several different creative endeavors from their vast careers. Discussing each project from inception to completion and everything in between. Ever wonder what it takes to start a web comic from the ground up? Curious about translating your comic book characters to animation? How about greeting card design, self-publishing, or creating your own merch for cons and shows? Join us for an in-depth conversation about being creative partners and the ups and downs of the creative lifestyle. With a pen and ink demo and Q & A to follow. 


Mike Manley, comics DC and Marvel legend, artist on The Phantom and Judge Parker will guide the viewer through an extensive symposium on creating emotional resonance within an illustration and provide ticks and tips on how the “Pros” do it


Dr. Mike Palmer, PHD, is a professional psychologist at Healthmark Counseling. This lecture will explore the psychology of the artist and what makes them tick. He will discuss an artist’s motivation, fear of failure, how to overcome common hurdles that can hamper a creatives ability to work efficiently and potentially derail a career.

Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk.”

Leo Buscaglio