News & Media

Concept Art at Max the Mutt: Why Is Our Program Your Best Choice? 



This is what Frank Hong, creative Director at Crush Visual in Toronto has to say:

“I recommend Max the Mutt as your choice for a serious art education.
I’ve had the great pleasure to be a guest teacher at Max the Mutt. The faculty has extensive knowledge and experience in the arts industry. It is a place full of anticipation, one filled with prospects. In my short time to getting to know the students, I see so much potential in their vision. I believe that under the guidance at Max the Mutt, the students can find their true passion in their art. For this reason, this September I’m joining the faculty as a part time instructor. The faculty of working professionals with experience in the industry shines a light for the students to navigate the realities of professional arts and design. Max the Mutt is always here to give support and provide the vital learning environment and the right resources for the students to be successful.”

What do Concept Artists do?

Concept artists are the people who design the look of a film or game. They design environments, characters and props and may be called upon to do other things  as well…such as cover design, poster design, colour keys and storyboards. For mobile games, they may need to take the environment they designed and import it into 3D software, model it and get it to a level where it is “game ready.”

These rapidly growing industries need people who have the creativity and the skills required. The problem for them is that currently there is a shortage of people who have creative vision as well as both the traditional art skills and the computer skills required! 

 Additional skills that you will graduate with in this very deep program include background painting for animation; layout for animation & video games ; storyboarding for animation, games and live action; and matte painting for VFX.

Max the Mutt’s Concept Art Program remains, as far as we know, the only program in Canada that focuses in depth on concept art and preparing students for concept art and related careers.  This is important because the skill base needed is so deep that we can’t see how it could be done in 4 years in addition to studying game design, computer coding, and/or academic courses.

If you want to be a concept artist you’ll need skills in a variety of areas, and this program provides training in all of them:

  • illustration
  • a high level of proficiency in traditional, representational drawing and painting
  • animation related skills such as storyboarding, film language, location design and layout for animation
  •  concept specific courses that include research and idea development, character design, environment design, prop design, creature design,
  • advanced knowledge of Photoshop
  • familiarity with 3D computer software
  • We are now adding extra hours  to the 72 hour 3D course to bring modeling in 3D to employment level as a game artist.
  •  Matte Painting, a VFX skill in demand that requires a skill base like the one this diploma currently provides PLUS some extras, including how to import work into software used for compositing.

Our diploma program originally took us a full year to design: we received input from major concept artists in Canada and the USA. We continue to stay in tune and in touch with the industries we serve so that we can update curriculum and add new skills that will give graduates the broadest range of job possibilities.

 This 4 year course of study requires dedication and lots of hard work. If you attend, you’ll be studying with some of Canada’s top concept , animation, and VFX artists, who want to share a complex skill base that is hard to find in Canada.

Our curriculum is carefully planned to start from the basics, and help you develop the skills you need for each new challenge, allowing you to grow as an artist and produce a level of work that has really astounded us and pleased the industries we serve.

Below, you’ll find work by Max the Mutt 2014 Concept Art Graduate Brian Zuleta was the winner of Ubisoft’s only UBI Gallery Apprenticeship Award designed to find concept artists!

The competition was open to all recent art graduates from Ontario post-secondary schools.

Here’s what Brian had to say about his experience at Max the Mutt, and his thoughts on winning the prestigious award:

“My time at Max the Mutt was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. My skills were very limited when I first started, but Max really taught me everything I needed to know to meet my goals. I also had the opportunity to meet amazing people as well, they helped me grow as an artist and as a person.  Going to Max the Mutt was definitely the right choice for me and I would recommend it to anyone who is passionate about art!”

View Brian’s Portfolio here


 Ubisoft Toronto Art Director  Patrick Ingoldsby wrote this to us right after Brian won the award:   

“Having helped Max the Mutt by hosting interviews for their concept grads, I am very proud of the school for shoring up this level of talent. We see grads like this as future stars in this industry and are excited to see fresh talent emerging with us.”

Patrick Ingoldsby

Art Director

Ubisoft Toronto

Contact us now for more information!

416-703-6877, or toll free in North America 1-877-486-MUT

email: or complete the contact form inour website,

We are happy to speak with you on the phone and answer any questions you may have, and/or arrange a personal tour and information session for you and your family. If you live to far away to visit, we’re happy to book a Skype meeting for you.