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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Developing Characters, Environments, and Story Boards

Mary Jane Begin

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

So, I am Mary Jane Begin, author, illustrator and professor at Rhode Island School of Design. As a book author and illustrator, I've had a lot of experience writing stories, creating characters, and building worlds. And so building on Illustrating Characters and The Stories They Tell, another course that I've taught for CreativeLive, this course will provide insight into developing a cast of characters, building their worlds and pacing their stories through the storyboard and layout. So, we'll explore the heart of storytelling to help with creating the visual, for things like, computer games, animation and books. And, I'll be showcasing some amazing work. Some of my work, but a lot of students and graduates from Rhode Island School of Design. Some very cool projects, and we'll walk through things like, the format, the layouts, the sketches, original art, I'll walk through some of my books and my processes. So we've got lots of things to do. We're breaking it, I believe, into three segm...

ents. And the final segment, I'll review some submissions and we'll talk about the work in terms of a critique. I'll break down and deconstruct how the pictures are made the characters, the environments, color, issues of design, all of that. So, I'm really looking forward to it, but we have a lot to do, so let's get started.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Character Slides Artist Reference PDF
Character Slides PDF

Ratings and Reviews


I have to say, this class and the companion class were very humbling. I assume I am not like most people who would watch this class in that I have no such artistic talent. I cannot draw at all (limited to "Spike" from TED Talks), but I had no idea such thought, imagination or ideology went into creating these designs. Professor Begin has an amazing presentation style, she is clear, concise and thoughtful. The subject matter was amazing and I can only see it helping me in evaluating my own work and taking a whole new perspective on art, light and evaluation. I highly recommend this class whatever no matter your creative bent. Thank you Creative Live for hosting this wonderful speaker.

a Creativelive Student

This course is well organized, very informative and goes into great detail regarding the best way to develop character(s) and how they should relate to their environment. Mary Jane articulates her points through art fundamentals, color theory and the power of strong research - as well as her extensive experience in the creative industry. I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in advancing their career or pursuing a career in animation, game design, or children's book publishing.

Nancy Morrison

Excellent!! This is a course that I will review over and over for there are so many great bits of information extremely well explained embedded in the broad concepts of composition and detailed illustration both in her own pieces and that of constructive critiquing her student's work. MJ is an excellent teacher! I am looking forward to her other classes! Nancy

Student Work