ProWeekend Animation Seminar Update – Lipscomb Press Release

‘Frozen’ illustrator, Disney animators and character designers headline animation and illustration workshop hosted by Lipscomb University Oct. 25-26

Claire Keane, designer for ‘Frozen,’ ‘Tangled’ and granddaughter of ‘The Family Circus’ comic strip creator Bill Keane, among featured artists

NASHVILLE (Sept. 30, 2014) – Animators, illustrators and character designers will have a unique opportunity to learn from some of the top artists in the industry including those who have designed for a variety of Disney blockbusters such as “Frozen” and “The Lion King” among others in a unique workshop that is coming to Nashville for the first time.

Lipscomb University’s College of Entertainment & the Arts is hosting ProWeekend Animation and Illustration Weekend Artist Seminar, presented by, Oct. 25-26 in Shamblin Theatre, located on the campus. The seminar is an opportunity for artists to learn techniques, tips and tricks used by professional animators, comic artists, character designers and concept artists who have worked on well-known and popular movies. In addition to the lectures, there will be an exciting character design contest and plenty of opportunities to ask your questions of these talented artists.

“We are excited to partner with to bring this unique seminar to Nashville,” said Mike Fernandez, dean of the College of Entertainment and the Arts, which was formed this fall. “Typically these workshops are offered on the West Coast and not in our part of the country. This seminar is geared toward artists and will give them an opportunity to interact with these artists as well as to enhance their work. Several attendees will also have an opportunity to have their work reviewed by these experts. This is an example of the types of programs the College of Entertainment and the Arts will be bringing to the community as a leader in arts education.”

Headlining the event are:

  • Tom Bancroft, artist-in-residence at Lipscomb’s College of Entertainment & the Arts and 25-year veteran of the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature animation where he was an animator for 11 years on films like “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan” and “Brother Bear.”  His popular character design instruction books, “Creating Characters with Personality” and “Character Mentor” have become the most recognized books on designing characters for animation, video games, comic books, and cartooning and are required textbooks at many art schools around the world.
  • Ruben Aquino, a character animator who draws by hand and supervising animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. His work includes several of Disney’s most-loved characters including adult Simba in “The Lion King,” Chief Powhatan in “Pocahontas,” Maurice in “Beauty and the Beast,” Denahi in “Brother Bear,” Captain Shang in “Mulan” and the infamous villain Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.”
  • Claire Keane, Disney concept artist, illustrator and visual-development artist who worked for many years at Walt Disney Animation Studios. While at Disney, Keane designed on movies such as “Tangled,” “Enchanted” and “Frozen.” She studied at the Ecole Superieure D’Arts Graphiques in Paris, where she met her husband and part-time collaborator, Vincent Rogozyk. Claire is the daughter of legendary animator Glen Keane and granddaughter of Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip “The Family Circus.”

In addition, other well know animators, comic artists and cartoonists will be taking part in this event including animators John Pomeroy, comic strip writer Guy Gilchrist and TV show and video game creator/director Doug TenNapel.

Each of the headlining artists will be lecturing and demonstrating their craft for attendees on Saturday. Attendees will be notified a week in advance, with the character design contest requirements, so they can bring them with them to the event on Saturday. The contestants, competing for valuable prizes, will be judged by the visiting artists. Select contestants will also have their work critiqued.

“I am excited about having this seminar on Lipscomb’s campus especially as it relates to my new role as artist-in-residence here,” said Bancroft. “This is a unique opportunity for Nashville as the professional artists that have moved here are trying to make this a new mecca for animation. The industry has been quietly growing and expanding in Nashville. It’s fast becoming known as an artistically creative town -building on the strong foundation of music we already have.  I am excited to see Nashville grow in this exciting new direction- with animation, app, and video game development..”

Registration is $150 (price increases to $175 after Oct. 10). Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University students may register for only $75. Valid Lipscomb student ID required. Registration includes all sessions on Saturday, but. Saturday lunch is not included. A VIP dinner featuring visiting Pros along with other surprise guests kicks-off the seminar on Friday, Oct. 24. Tickets are $99 (in addition to the seminar registration fee). Seating is limited.

For more information or to register visit


Taught By A Pro

After working at Disney feature animation for over 11 years, lecturing at art schools, video game and animation studios, and writing some of the best-selling books on the subject of character design, Tom Bancroft, President of Taught By A Pro (, had a few ideas about how artists learn. Taught By A Pro believes that we learn by Listening, Watching, then Doing – then Doing again, and again. Seeing an experienced artist face the same challenge a student does is one of the best ways to learn!   Second to teaching, our goal with Taught By A Pro ( is to provide a platform where previously untapped PRO artists can pass along their knowledge onto the world.


Lipscomb University’s College of Entertainment & the Arts

Building on the university’s strong liberal arts foundation, the College of Entertainment and the Arts will combine the university’s exceptional art, music and theatre departments with its fashion merchandising program and its graduate film and creative media program. It will then add exciting new programs to prepare students for careers in contemporary music, digital entertainment, film, design, gaming and animation. The result will be a cutting-edge arts training ground with four major departments (music, visual arts, theatre, cinematic arts) and five new undergraduate programs planned in contemporary music, interactive media, film, fashion and design and dance. The college will also bring on board experts in the industry as artists-in-residence to shape its future. The college is an integration of several disciplines formerly in the College of Arts and Sciences