There is a strong demand for artists in character/scene design, and story.

A character designer is responsible for all aspects of design in regards to director feedback.  They must be flexible and willing to revise, revise and revise more in order to allow the evolution of characters to mature at the highest level of refinement.

A set designer is responsible for the environment or world of the characters within a narrative setting.  landscapes, cityscapes, props, are all part of this world.  Atmosphere, color, light, and perspective play critical roles in communicating what the director needs to help tell the story and develop a context for the characters to perform and interact.

Story Artists play a critical role with the director in help visualizing the story into a cinematic experience.  They must excel in figurative drawing, character expression, action poses, staging/design,and the ability to draw characters in convincing space.  This demanding position requires the artist to be flexible in a group critique, handling multiple comments, and the ability to meet deadlines and maturity to deal with critical feedback.

DPA needs very talented artists who have the aptitude in these job descriptions.


  • Gesture (2 pages)
  • Interior/Exterior Design (2 pages)
  • Narrative Storyboard (2 pages – 5 panels each, template provided)
  • Figure Drawing (2 pages)

What we are looking for in all art work is good narrative or story potential. Does your personal work reflect the potential for a good story? Can we imagine what will happen next?

Additional information for each component:

  • Gesture: Produce sketches of people and animals from life. Drawings can originate from everyday places (the mall, the park, coffee shop, etc.). Observe people walking, running, and talking; observe animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, and birds, in motion. Include one page of 8-10 sketches of people in active poses (walking, running, playing), and one page of 8-10 sketches of various animals moving and playing.
  • Perspective Design: Provide sketches of both exterior and interior scenes. Exterior Perspective: 3-4 designs of city and landscape. Interior Design 3-4 designs of an interior space. Try to design the space to evoke the idea that a story is behind it.
  • Narrative: Create storyboards that depict a narrative sequence of what you hope to achieve after graduating from the DPA program. Your sequence must have a beginning (introduction), middle (conflict), and end (happy or sad resolution). Use the provided storyboard template for your work.
  • Figure Drawing: Include drawings of human figures, including a male page (3 gestures and 2 detailed drawings), and a female page (3 gestures and 2 detailed drawings). Drawings must be as realistic as possible, i.e, no design (anime, caricature, or cartoon-based works), and rendered with emphases on muscle, skin, and light and shadow.


These are books that I highly recommend to students who want to pursue design and storyboarding in animation.

Force: Focul Press

These are solid books on fundamentals of drawing…

Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, Second EditionForce: Character Design from Life DrawingDrawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master ClassesPerspective Drawing Handbook (Dover Art Instruction)


Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animation Features and Shorts

Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions)

The Five C’s of Cinematography


The Animator's Survival Kit

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation


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