MARCH 2012
2012, here we come!

With little more than 3 weeks left until we all gather in Berlin for the world's largest celebration of contemporary character culture, it's about time for the ingredients to snap into place. Which is exactly what they are starting to do...

The Festival kicks off on Wednesday the 11th of April - one day prior to the Conference - with the Character Walk, a collective stampede through numerous exhibitions, installations and group shows within the center of Berlin. Enjoy the elaborate craftsmanship and graphical boldness of Ben Newman's masks, expose yourself to the lovingly detailed oil paintings and murals of Jon Fox, get entangled in the Mesoamerican web of this year's artist in Residency Melissa Godoy Nieto, witness Billy and Low Bros collaboratively turning an abandoned gasoline station into an urban forrest and dive deep into the post-digital delights of Nina Braun, Nick Sheehy, Henning Wagenbreth or Jordan Metcalf...

Nick Sheehy aka Showchicken

Printed Character Walk maps are awaiting you for your convenient navigation at all participating galleries - or simply go with the flow. However, on the evening of the 11th we expect you for the first Pictoplasma get-together in one of Berlin's most beautiful, classic ballrooms, including old-school table phones, ongoing balloon twisting with Will de Faria and the happy tunes of DJ Treu.

But beware: the next morning sees the opening of an incredibly dense Conference program, which will pretty much keep you busy until Sunday morning - so please try to stock up on some sleep in advance.

Billy & Lowbros spreading their love

From April 12 - 14, with endless inspiration, eye-candy and visual virtuosity chasing each other on two stages during the corse of 3 days, this year's Conference promises to be the one event in 2012 you can not afford to miss.
Adding themselves to the already announced line-up of world wide mastery, the latest artists to make an appearance include revisiting friend Gary Baseman (most likely accompanied by his loyal follower Toby); internationally famed french art'n animation collective Pleix; Gemma Correll introducing her appealing zoo of hand drawn pugs and doodled cats; and masters of high-end, stylish motion graphics Sehsucht.

Toby, Toby, Toby, and Gary Baseman

Additional input awaits you every afternoon at the nearby Character Lab, ranging from the art of hand built animation graphics with Lucas Zanotto; a behind the scenes of the pixel-bliss shooter app 'Ready Steady Bang' by Animade; in-depth micro-marketing tips and tricks by Etsy, on how artists can successfully build up and reach their specific audience; and the animistic joy of adding character creation to Kodachrome photography by Aaron Leighton.

Feel free to drool over the complete pile of participating speakers and contributing artists squeezed into a schedule here!

Smells like Pictoplasma

Besides the chance to rub shoulders with today's avant-garde talent during personal artist talks and presentations, the eye-widening feast of jewels-only animation screenings and the happy exhaustion of a city-wide exhibition marathon, this year is also, more than ever, all about getting your hands dirty with an extended offer of workshops and jam sessions.

Preparing for the Biggest Monster Ever!

This it is your unique chance to collaborate with soft-sculpture specialist Joshua Ben Longo on the Biggest Felt Monsters ever, join the 8 headed art-collective Jeanspezial on their mission to infuse some contemporary cool into the craft of Linocut, or add your own creation to a growing crypto-zoological inventory during daily Sound Creatures live drawing classes with David Kamp and Miss LaLaVox.

While most of the Character Lab's jam sessions and art happenings are open and accessible, we also have two high-profile, intimate, knowledge-driven workshops reserved for a hand full of lucky conference attendees, that have managed to sign-up beforehand!

Insuries included

Mark Gmehling, indisputable master of contortionistic 3D illustration, sure knows how to tame the software without becoming its victim. In an exclusive, 2 hour class he will share his knowledge and lead 20 attendees through the process of creation, providing step by step advice on how to translate a plane 2D sketch into the imaginary third dimension.

Joel Trussell
is without doubt one of the few standing out in today's animation world. He continuously experiments with diverting styles, colour palettes, narrations and purposes, but always marks the outcome with his very own signature. With a healthy dose of disrespect for the medium, Joel will instruct a dozen of lucky participants in two exclusive sessions on how to animate everyday objects and make them the stars of an overwhelming character parade.

Looks almost 3D, but it's Mark Gmehling

Want to join? Simple, if you act fast: All those who have managed to REGISTER ONLINE for the Pictoplasma Conference 2012 until the end of this month will receive a personal email on the 2nd of April, with details and exact instruction on where and how to sign up for the limited workshops. First come - first served!

While we now plunge head first into the 3 last weeks of final preparations, you are left with slightly less time to make up your mind and snap into action: All of the above and more is yours if you head on over to - where your all-inclusive total character immersion ticket is awaiting you!


Counting the days,

peter and lars

Pictoplasma, Littenstr. 106 / 107, 10179 Berlin, Germany | pictoplasma | Facebook | Twitter
This month's eye candy - from top to bottom: 1) main conference venue Babylon - we obviously photoshopped in the "2012" / 2) post-digital chickens by Nick Sheehy / 3) mural collab by Billy & Low Bros / 4) co-speaker Toby by Gary Baseman / 5) speaker Gemma Correll plus pets / 6) No eyes? Joshua Ben Longo! / 7) Insuries expected at workshop / 8) Mark Gmehling illuminating third dimension

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