Character Design Program

Develop the practical skills and build a head-turning portfolio from start-to-finish in as little as 12 months

About the program

These 4 progressively challenging courses place you on a custom-tailored track towards professional development in one of the most exciting and fast-growing industries. Starting with the first course, you will progress through the curriculum until all four courses are completed and you have developed a polished portfolio for a career in character design. You can sign up for each course individually as you make your way through the classes.

Enrollment Closes

April 21

  • Get started here


    Course 1, Fundamentals of Character Design

    Concept designer and artist, Jon Neimeister

    Mentor: Jon Neimeister, Blizzard Entertainment

    Learn to create compelling and practical characters with a course taught by a professional artist working at a major studio (Blizzard Entertainment). The curriculum includes concept development, sketching techniques, and digital painting methods to bring your designs to life.

  • Put your skills to work

  • Build your portfolio


    Course 3, Character Design Portfolio

    Professional portrait headshot of artist, Lake Hurwitz

    Mentor: Lake Hurwitz, Wizards of the Coast

    If character design is your language, this course is your dictionary. Character Design Portfolio unlocks the tools you need to develop profound ideas and execute on them to spec, to build a head-turning portfolio. This course focuses on developing design problem solving skills as well as their application while working with a client brief.

  • Pursue your career


    Course 4, Character Design with Career Development

    Professional portrait headshot of artist, Lake Hurwitz

    Mentor: Lake Hurwitz, Wizards of the Coast

    During this course, students continue to hone skills, enhance their portfolio, and outline career strategies. Every step of this process is guided by an illustration mentor, a highly vetted professional in the illustration industry.This course focuses on developing design problem solving skills as well as their application while working with a client brief.

Industry Leaders as Mentors

Concept designer and artist, Jon Neimeister

Jon Neimeister

Blizzard Entertainment

Concept Artist and character designer, Viviane Kosty

Viviane Kosty

Blizzard Entertainment

Photo of concept artist, Lake Hurwitz

Lake Hurwitz

Wizards of the Coast

Connect with industry leading guest artists

Each semester features 6 guest artists who have risen to the top of their industry, giving you access to their craft, process, and industry wisdom.

Ask questions, join the discussion, and gain industry knowledge from high-caliber artists.


How do you build a show-stopping portfolio?

Jon Neimeister (Blizzard Entertainment), Viviane Kosty (Blizzard Entertainment), and Lake Hurwitz (Wizards of the Coast) unpack every essential detail that goes into making a great portfolio that will get you work.

Book a Free Consultation

Need help determining if this is the right path for your professional and artistic development? Book a free Zoom call with our Program Director to discuss your goals and the resources offered at Visual Arts Passage.

Enrollment Closes

April 21

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Students only commit to one mentorship course per semester. Once you complete a course, you can register for the next course, to continue your progress in the mentorship program.

The Mentorship Program can be complete within a 12 month period. It is not unusual for students to repeat the final course in the program, Character Design Portfolio with Career Development, if they choose to have continued coaching from Visual Arts Passage mentors.

The Mentorship program is a "get out of it, what you put in" experience. That being said, our courses are structured to accommodate individuals with a busy schedule. We recommend setting aside a minimum of 3 hours for your live course and 2 hours to complete assignments and course work. We highly encourage students to commit more time if their schedule allows.

Mentorship courses enroll 4 times per year, during the winter, spring, summer, and fall semester. You can view the program calendar here.

We recommend that most students start with the first course in Character Design Program, Fundamentals of Character Design. Highly experienced students may qualify to attend the second course in the program, Advanced Character Design. If you are not sure, feel free to send your work to hello@visualartspassage.com and a team member will get back to you with a recommendation shortly.

Each course in this Mentorship Program is $1199.

“The Best Concept Art Schools, 2021”

Need Some Guidance?

We can help you with any questions related to enrollment, portfolio development, and the student experience.