The YMA (Youth Media Alliance) and Women in Animation Vancouver (WIA) Vancouver chapter held a master class entitled A Day in the Life of an Art Director in Animation. This initiative took place on February 20,21 and 27, 2018 and 2020. The training also includes an online mentorship in early March and an online pitch session aimed at chefs, creative directors and managers.

Women (cis and trans women) as well as gender non-conforming and non-binary animators, illustrators, designers, story board designers, comic book illustrators, visual effects artists, video game artists, concept artists who show a talent and passion for animation for children’s content. In Vancouver’s burgeoning animation and visual effects industries, art direction has been identified as one of the most in-demand skills by employers in top companies. WIA Vancouver and the YMA have combined forces to present an intensive workshop for women with a background in animation who wish to explore the field and gain a better understanding of what it takes to build a career as an animation art director.​

This initative is now CLOSED/TERMINATED.

Class & Content


​Over two full days of training, a juried group of approximately 6-8 women animators, illustrators, designers, story board designers, comic book illustrators, visual effects artists, game artists, concept artists will take part in a series of workshops led by the industry’s very best professional mentors and inspired by a high-profile guest expert. The 2 day masterclass is designed to give an in-depth look at what is involved in being an Art Director as well as the creative process and responsibilities surrounding the job.​


Intensive hands-on classes providing an overview of the role of the art director in visual development, design, shape language, texture, light, colour, script and compositing in 2G and CG animation. Further sessions will look at qualifications, management skills, leadership skills, and other qualities such as adaptability, communications and creativity needed to thrive in a team oriented environment in which the art director plays a key role. Role Playing will be utilized in helping to understand the scope of the role with clients and stake holders. Participants will explore different career paths that lead to a coveted position as an animation art director and what the outlook is for work in the field.


Patricia Atchison
Following an Annie Award Nomination for Best Production Design for MGM’s animated feature film “The Addams Family”, Patricia is currently the production designer for the sequel, “The Addams Family 2”. Her skills and knowledge come from the 20+ years of experience starting as a graduate from Capilano University with fundamentals in 2D animation. Patricia’s career has ranged from supervising layout and posing on popular 2D shows like “Arthur” and “Caillou”, to storyboarding for hit series like “Pound Puppies” and “Thomas and Friends”, and art direction and production design for the Netflix and Mattel properties “Spy Kids” and “Barbie”, thus garnering her as a well-respected artist in the Vancouver animation community.​

Maisha Moore
Maisha Moore is a Vancouver based Production Designer for series, features and short films. As a graduate of Capilano University for 3D animation, she quickly found her way into Vancouver’s flourishing animation industry. Early in her career Maisha focused on CG modeling, shading and texturing. She went on to lead and supervise various CG animated properties at both the series and feature level. Seeking a new challenge in 2013 Maisha focused on delving into design. In recent years she has gone onto design and art direct a number of properties from shorts to feature films. Maisha is looking forward to many more years creating imaginative worlds and characters.



The Art Director Masterclass is free for all participants. Costs are underwritten by the initiative sponsors: Women in Animation, the YMA, Atomic Cartoons, CEA, WildBrain, Creative BC, Shaw Rocket Fund, MainFrame Studios and CineSite.


Past Recipients

Montreal, January 25, 2021 - Alliance Médias Jeunesse (AMJ) and Women in Animation Vancouver (WIA) are pleased to announce the eight candidates who will participate in the third edition of the Animation Master Class initiative. WIA Vancouver and The YMA have joined forces to present an intensive workshop for women who have a passion for youth content animation, and who are interested in discovering what it takes to make a career as an art director in this field. The selected candidates are (in alphabetical order): Francine Delgado-Alvarez, Jackie Droujko, Courtney Jenkins, Nicola Kwit, Maya Patrich, Prinita Svati, Zora Wang and Janna Wong.


​​​The selected candidates from previous years were (by last name alphabetical order):

Last year the selected candidates were: Helen Ahlberg, Laura Ambrosiano, Jenna Fifield, Jiaming Li, Claire Niebergall, Karen Poon, Avery Spavor and Gayoung BB Yang.​ ​

In 2018 the selected candidates were: Elaine Chen, Vivian Cheung, Melissa Cho, Loise Liu, Jennifer Llewellyn, Jouchelle Miranda, Bailie Alisha Rosenlund, Sarah Tachibana, Vanessa Van Brummelen, Mei Yao, Michelle Zhu and Cherry Zong


* exceptionally, very recent granduates were eligible for the 2022 edition, as the 2021 edition was cancelled due to COVID.