The New Storytelling & IP Development Program at CGMA

The New Storytelling & IP Development Program at CGMA

Storytelling lies at the heart of everything for artists working in the entertainment industry.

Storytelling lies at the heart of everything for artists working in the entertainment industry. This is an arena where every picture really does tell a story, and where the image is both a means of communication and a form of expression. Now, thanks to the billions being invested in the creation of original content by the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, the demand for artists with a firm grasp of narrative and the art of storytelling is greater than ever.

On a practical level, the challenge for artists hoping to succeed in this field is to ensure their images, concepts, and designs make an intellectual connection as well as an emotional one–successfully conveying ideas, concepts, and entire narratives with economy and creative flair. The key to this is a solid understanding of both the classic rules of storytelling and the contemporary methods utilized by visual creatives working across all entertainment industries. CGMA’s Storytelling & IP Development Program has been designed to give artists exactly that.

Should anyone have any questions or concerns about registration or employer-sponsored education (including how to get a portfolio review for course placement purposes), get connected with Admissions by phone at 1-800-959-0316 or email

with KEVIN REED – Story Artist

This is an introductory course where you will learn some techniques for visual storytelling. It will cover methods and exercises to help you generate ideas and learn tips and tricks used in storyboarding. The assignments will help you build a starter portfolio for storyboarding and equip with the basics for creating your own stories.

with JOSHUA PRUETT – Writer, Storyboard Artist

Everyone has IDEAS; now learn how to take that idea/sketch/napkin drawing and build it into a STORY with relatable characters, solid structure, and themes using timeless, but simple techniques inspired by everything from ancient myths to contemporary film, books, comics and animation. Students will develop their own ideas, characters and stories using written premises, outlines, treatments, fictional biographies and character histories, becoming the absolute authorities on their invented worlds – with an eye toward preparing each student’s creative development work for real-life application in their media of choice; film, TV, animation, comics, etc.

with MITCHELL MALLOY – Concept Artist

Illustrators working in entertainment will spend their careers creating compelling imagery for narrative and marketing purposes. The best illustrators in entertainment inject a sense of gravity, mood, and energy which draws consumers and players into the world the art portrays. This course focuses on the skills essential to good image-making, and also on those skills which elevate an illustration to the next tier of professionalism. Those enrolled will discuss what makes a lasting, impactful piece of art, cover some of the techniques and tools you can use to maximize your chances of success, and build the habits necessary to conduct ourselves in a professional environment.

with MIKI MONTLLO – Senior Concept Artist

This course is designed to be an intensive introduction to comics and narrative, from the very first stage to having the comic printed. Students will begin by looking at comics and storytelling, then create storyboards and compose our comic pages. Students will go over techniques for inking, coloring, and even lighting and special FX. In the last week, everyone will also talk about how to promote your work and show your project to a publisher!

with JASON BRUBAKER– Graphic Novel Artist

Note: This course is not an introduction to comics or graphic novels, and a script will not be provided. Participants are expected to come with their own ideas/story as well as solid drawing and digital painting skills.

During this course students will bring their own stories to life using images that will efficiently aide in creating a short or long-form visual story. The lectures and assignments will touch on all the major aspects of developing original story and imagery for comics or graphic novels: writing, character and world building integration, among many other topics. Most importantly, students will learn how to create comics or graphic novels that are relatable and emotional, with characters and stories that will resonate with audiences. By the end of the course, students will have completed the beginning pages of their comics or graphic novels, and will have a road map for going all the way to the finished product! The students will use and develop their own stories throughout the course

with ALEXANDER MANDRARJIEV– Cinematic Illustrator (Marvel)

The goal of this course is to create good looking and interesting cinematic illustrations. Students will be focusing on composition, mood, lighting and color. Assignments and topics covered will gear towards creating illustrated key frames that help tell a story moment for cinema. Students will constantly be observing and studying film composition. The point is to surrender to what drives at your imagination and inspires strong emotion. Everyone wants to express their ideas in an honest and intelligent way. This course will teach these four elements specifically. – Composition – Mood – Storytelling – Lighting & Color Each element will involve covering these four ideas. – Graphic shape abstraction in black & white and color. – Film analysis and gathering reference. – Understanding how to break down a cinematic shot and why.


As a professional artist, it’s imperative to always improve your skills and continue to grow. This not only benefits you but, more importantly, benefits your employer. It’s a win-win. Over the years, CGMA has seen artists develop new skills and techniques that allow them to further excel at their craft and it’s always amazing to see employers invest in that growth. Employer-Sponsored education is something that some companies offer but most employees are not aware of. All you have to do is ask. Over 35% of CGMA students receive tuition reimbursements from their employers. Ask your supervisor or HR department if this is something your company offers. They might have a training budget for this, and classes could be paid upfront or with tuition reimbursement. Click here for more information.

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