Cancellation of 2020 Illustration Intensive

It is with great sadness that, due to the deadly COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, we here at Fantasy Art Workshop have decided to cancel our 2020 Illustration Intensive

We take the health and safety of everyone attending our events very seriously and do not want to put anyone in harm’s way.  We discussed moving the conference to an online format. However, the in-person, hands-on, one-on-one learning environment that attendees get at our workshop can not be replicated online. It simply is not the same experience.

We look forward to returning strong in summer of 2021. Rest assured that we will announce our date and lineup as soon as we’re able.

We can’t thank you, our friends and peers, enough for your constant understanding and support. During these difficult times, we wish you and yours comfort and well-being.


Jeff Miracola and Silvia Acevedo
Fantasy Art Workshop

Fantasy Art Workshop’s Illustration Intensive is a five-day workshop for aspiring and professional illustrators who want to take their art to a whole new level in an encouraging and creative environment, all while getting intense instruction from an award-winning faculty with decades of experience in fantasy gaming, video games, editorial, conceptual art, children’s books, and more.

How it Works

We called this an “Illustration Intensive” for a reason. Over five days, you’ll be guided and inspired to create an amazing illustration for your portfolio in an intense but fun environment filled with camaraderie and creativity. Come prepared to be challenged. Illustration isn’t just about creating a piece of art; it’s about problem-solving to arrive at the best solution for the product, story, or advertisement that your illustration is accompanying.

You’ll be working in the medium of your choice. Digital artists are welcome. A month or so before the workshop, we’ll send a list of suggested illustration assignments to attendees from which they can chose one. Or create your own assignment. In the month leading up to the Illustration Intensive, attendees will work on the preliminary sketch or sketches for their assignment, which they will bring to the first day of the workshop. Attendees will get highly detailed critiques from the instructors about their sketch on that first day. Using that feedback, attendees will make revisions (it could take a few rounds), and then create their final drawing.

By day two or three, work begins on the final illustration. Over the rest of the week, attendees will get ample studio time to work on their illustration while receiving guided instruction and progress critiques from the instructors. Scheduled breaks will be taken for presentations, demos, and lectures on a variety of topics relevant to the field of illustration ranging from technique, building a portfolio, getting work in the industry, the business of being an illustrator, and much more.

Getting one-on-one instruction time with professional, working illustrators is an experience we know you’ll benefit from and enjoy immensely. For an entire work week, you’ll be surrounded by fellow artists from all walks of life, building lasting friendships and learning more about the world of illustration than you could hope to imagine. We hope you’ll join us for this wonderful adventure and life-changing experience.

Group photo from Illustration Intensive 2019.

Take a look at the 2019 Workshop

The When and Where

Photo courtesy of Alverno College.

The Illustration Intensive will take place June 22 – 26, 2020, at the picturesque Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We at Fantasy Art Workshop feel that Alverno is the perfect location for this year’s workshop as this fabulous facility is just a 10-minute drive from Mitchell International Airport (MKE) and features spacious art facilities, catered meals, comfortable dorms, and easy proximity to amenities.

CHECK-IN will be Sunday, June 21st from 9am to 10pm.

CHECK-OUT will be Saturday, June 27th by 11am.

We’ll have a special trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Saturday, June 27th for any attendees who wish to go with us.

Artist Guest of Honor

Canadian by birth, Anita Kunz has lived in London, New York, and Toronto, and has been widely published in countries such as Germany, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Canada, South Africa, Holland, Portugal, France, and England. Her work has been seen in Time magazine, Rolling StoneVanity FairThe New YorkerGQ, The New York Times, Sony Music, Random House Publishing, and many others.

Anita frequently teaches workshops and gives lectures at universities and institutions internationally including the Smithsonian and the Corcoran in Washington, DC. Her summer workshops have been conducted at the Illustration Academy in Sarasota, Florida, and at the Masters of Art degree program at Syracuse University. She has been honored with many prestigious awards and medals and her critically acclaimed paintings. Her sculptures have appeared in galleries worldwide, including the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts and the Teatrio Cultural Association in Rome, Italy. Her works are in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the Canadian Archives in Ottawa, the McCord Museum in Montreal, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. A number of her Time magazine cover paintings are in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

In 2004, she served as chair for the Society of Illustrators’ Museum of American Illustration annual exhibit and she has most recently served as chair of the Museum Committee there. In 1997, she received the Les Usherwood Lifetime Achievement Award from the Advertising and Design Club of Canada. Anita has been named one of the fifty most influential women in Canada by the National Post newspaper. She has received an honorary doctorate from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and a second from MassArt College of Art and Design. She has been appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor, and recently received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal of Honor. She was inducted in the Museum of American Illustration Hall of Fame in New York in 2017. In 2018, Canada Post released a postage stamp honoring her work as a Canadian illustrator and artist.

Learn more about Anita at:

Anita Kunz will be appearing Wednesday, June 24th and Thursday, June 25th during the workshop.

Art Director Guest of Honor

Kate Irwin has worked as an art director at Wizards of the Coast for nearly 19 years. She is currently the Senior Art Director for the fantasy role-playing game (RPG) Dungeons & Dragons.

Learn more about Dungeons & Dragons at:

Kate Irwin will be appearing Wednesday, June 24th and Thursday, June 25th during the workshop.


Director of Fantasy Art Workshop and host of its award winning Painting Techniques Videos, along with nearly a hundred art tutorial videos on YouTube and Muddy Colors, Jeff has been a professional illustrator for more than 23 years. He’s worked on brands such as Magic: the Gathering, World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons, Planescape, Earthdawn, Shadowrun, Vampire, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, Star Wars, Mars Attacks, and more. Jeff has been an Artist Guest of Honor at GenCon, the world’s largest gaming convention, and won numerous awards including a Silver Award in Spectrum: the Best in Fantastic Art.

In addition to his work in the fantasy industry, Jeff earned his stripes doing conceptual toy design, editorial illustrations, video game design, children’s books, and activity books for Scholastic.

Learn more about Jeff at

Aaron Miller is an award-winning, world-renowned fantasy artist and illustrator whose richly painted illustrations have graced such brands as Magic: the Gathering, Star Wars, and Dungeons & Dragons. Companies that feature Aaron’s work include Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard, Fantasy Flight Games, Sony Online Entertainment, Mercury Retrograde Press, Catalyst Games, Posthuman Studios, and Alderac Entertainment Group, among others.

Aaron’s oil and digital work has earned numerous accolades and awards. His art was included multiple times in the fantasy art field’s prestigious publication, Spectrum: The Best in Fantastic Art. Aaron was MileHiCon’s 2013 Artist Guest of Honor and Best Color Award Winner. GenCon, the world’s biggest gaming convention, bestowed him with honors two years running: 2013 Best in Show and 2010 Juror’s Choice Award.

Learn more about Aaron at

A native to Cleveland, Ohio’s eastside and a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design, Steve Prescott has been a freelance artist in the gaming industry since the mid 90’s, working on products from such companies as White Wolf Games, FASA, Paizo, Blizzard, Copenhagen Creators, Hasbro, Animal Planet, Valve, and most notably for Wizards of the Coast where he has contributed heavily to both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering.

Steve won “Best-in-Show” at the 2007 GenCon, published a book of drawings in 2009 called AGGREGATE, and then another called Steve Prescott’s Alphabet Book of Mythological Beings in 2016, has had work in multiple Spectrum: The Best in Fantastic Art annual publications, did all the illustration work for the app game SoulSpark, has done concept design work for D&D, Magic: the Gathering, Hasbro, Bethesda, Valve, and even worked on pre-production creature designs for the My Little Pony movie (yes, you read that right). Somehow in there, he finds time to hastily draw a cartoon to put in his daughter’s lunch every day.

Learn more about Steve at

Howard Lyon began his career studying illustration at Brigham Young University working with artists such as Robert Barrett, Don Seegmiller and James Christensen. Over the past 21 years he has worked in the video game industry as an art director, concept artist, freelance illustrator and gallery artist. For much of his career he painted dragons and trolls or scenes from science fiction. His work can be found in products from Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, and Star Wars. He has studied art in Italy, France, and most recently at the Grand Central Academy in New York. Howard creates work in the fantasy illustration market, for fine art galleries, as well as religious and inspirational art markets. Howard has a passion for learning and studying the artists of the past and their working methods.

Howard Lyon will be a Guest Faculty member all five days of Illustration Intensive 2019.

Learn more about Howard at:

Guest Faculty

Iris Compiet is a traditional artist and Illustrator from the Netherlands. At the age of seven she knew exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up… paint and draw fantastical beings. She enjoys working on projects ranging from picture books to gallery art, concept art, and even sculpting.

Storytelling is an essential part of her artwork, and, as an artist, she strives to lure in the spectator, to make them feel a connection to her work and open a gateway to their imagination to ignite it even further. Iris created a world called Faeries of the Faultlines, a book that was successfully funded through Kickstarter.

Drawing inspiration from European folklore, mythology, fairytales, ghost stories, and anything from tombstones, Victorian photography to popular movies and music, Iris explores the depths of darkness to find the light.

Learn more about Iris at:

Ryan Pancoast is an award-winning illustrator whose work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, the Art Renewal Center International Salon, Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, and Infected by Art. He won Silver in the Oil/Acrylic/Watercolor category in Infected by Art Vol.7 and was nominated for a Chesley Award in 2017. Ryan’s work ranges from traditional illustration to high fantasy, although his primary focus is historical fantasy.

Ryan is the creator of Frontier Fantasy, his imaginary version of the American West. His first Frontier Fantasy book, Common Ground, was successfully funded on Kickstarter in March, 2017.

Ryan lives in New England with his wife and two children.

Learn more about Ryan at:

Guest Artists

Chris Seaman has been a freelance illustrator in hobby games for over a decade.  He is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration.  His work can be seen in such properties as Skylanders, Dungeons & Dragons, Kaijudo: Duel Masters, World of Warcraft, Harry Potter, Hearthstone, Pathfinder, Magic: the Gathering and is a contributor to Imagine FX Magazine and 3D Total magazine.

In 2016 Chris guest curated the show Dream Worlds: The Art of Imaginative Realism at the Canton Museum of Art (Canton, OH).  In 2015 Chris’ personal work appeared in the group show Wild About Harryhausen at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery (Los Angeles, CA).  In 2014 his noncommissioned work, Beaute’ et la Bête had the honor of being included in the Spectrum Fantastic Art III exhibit at the Society of Illustrators (New York, NY). That same year he was also awarded a certificate of merit from both ARC Salon and the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles for his outstanding works.  In 2013 Chris’ work appeared in the group art show, ZOMBIE at Last Rites Gallery (New York, NY).  His personal work has appeared in Spectrum 19, 20, 21 and 22, won the Silver Award in the Editorial category in 23, and 24 the best in contemporary science fiction and fantasy art from around the world.

Chris continues to work on his Cameo Creeps collection, personal and commissioned projects, and exhibit around the U.S.

Learn more about Chris at

Sprite Hansen is a self-taught mixed media fantasy artist and creature creator. She’s found that through the combination of painting, drawing, sculpting, and mixing medias, she is able to express the mysterious world that inhabits her heart… and head. She draws the inspiration for her work from nature.

Learn more about Sprite at

Hilary Clarcq creates mood-driven, figurative oil paintings that combine realism with expressive abstraction. Often surreal and dreamlike, her work favors symbolism over literal narrative. She has exhibited with galleries such as Abend GalleryHelikon Gallery, and Every Day Original, and her work has been recognized by Illustration West and Infected by Art. In 2019, she was one of three artists selected for the Muddy Colors Rising Stars Award. She has a B.A. in Fine Art and English from the University of Colorado, but she is self-taught as an oil painter. Hilary was born in upstate New York and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Learn more about Hilary at

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we do. If you are a student age 18 years or older and currently enrolled full-time in college, you are eligible to receive $200 off the regular workshop price.

Some students have asked if they are still eligible for the event in June if they are graduating earlier in the year, like May. Yes, full-time students graduating in 2020 before the event in June are still eligible for the discount.

After you register, we will contact you for proof of full-time student status.

Absolutely! The Illustration Intensive encourages all aspiring and professional illustrators to join us no matter what medium they choose to work in. Digitally created art is a HUGE part of the current illustration field. In fact, even those illustrators that work with traditional mediums need to have better than beginner knowledge of using digital tools.

Digital artists will need to bring their own laptops or other digital devices they use for producing their art, including all power cables and cables needed to connect the device to a projector if needed. Digital artists must also have those devices loaded with any software they will need.

Fantasy Art Workshop will be providing a printer and regular printer paper on site.

Yes. On the last day of the workshop you will receive a Certificate of Completion. This is a great keepsake and something you can also present to your employer if they require proof that you’ve completed our workshop.

Yes, there will be free wi-fi available all week to attendees of the Illustration Intensive. However, wi-fi on the Alverno college campus is NOT very good. Some attendees get dropped all the time or have trouble connecting. We are working with the college to try and remedy this. But expect that wi-fi will not be too reliable.

Absolutely not. You can be working in any genre of illustration. Fantasy Art Workshop is running this event, but the faculty members have worked in other illustration genres including editorial, book, children’s books, games, video games, and advertising.

No, you will need to bring your own art supplies. However, Fantasy Art Workshop will be supplying some community supplies to spare you the trouble of traveling with dangerous materials. Fantasy Art Workshop will provide solvents (Gamsol), mediums (linseed oil, walnut oil), and drying agents (Liquin) for oil painters, as well as the containers to house those materials. We will also provide Murphy Oil Soap for the cleaning and care of brushes for both oil and acrylic painters. White Acrylic gesso will also be available to anyone that needs to prepare a painting surface.

For additional art supply needs, there is a Michael’s art supply store conveniently located less than one mile from the Alverno College campus.

Digital artists will need to bring their own laptops or other digital devices they use for producing their art, including all power cables and cables needed to connect the device to a projector if needed. Digital artists must also have those devices loaded with any software they will need.

Fantasy Art Workshop will be providing a printer and regular printer paper on site.

Yes, you can. Arrangements can be made for you to ship your supplies directly to Fantasy Art Workshop and we will have it available to you on the first day of the workshop. Your package must be clearly marked with your name and that it is for “Fantasy Art Workshop‘s Illustration Intensive”. All packages must be sent to us earlier than two weeks prior to the start of the workshop. Please contact us to make arrangements for your shipment.

If you decide to work in oil paints or any other slow-drying medium at the Intensive and your painting is not dry by the time you need to return home, Silvia and I will store your wet painting at our home. Once it dries, we will box it up and ship it to you. Of course you will need to pay for shipping and handling fees, but at least you know the option is available for you to not have to transport a wet painting. And we’re happy to do the same with anything else you want to ship back home, like art supplies or a painting this is dry but too big for you to take onto an airplane.

There will be a form for you to fill out at the Intensive if you wish to take advantage of this option.

Attendees may call for a taxi or Uber upon landing. Expect the ride to be about 10 minutes under light traffic conditions.

If you have specific dietary needs, such as the need for gluten-free meals, please let us know. Our food services representative at Alverno has said they can accommodate most dietary needs. Both Silvia and I are vegetarians, so you can bet there will be vegetarian options on the menu, as well as plenty for all the meat eaters 🙂 However, we cannot guarantee that the catered, cafeteria-style meals align with highly specialized and/or very restrictive diets. There is a grocery store nearby and both a fridge and microwave in every dorm room, so please be proactive to take care of your special dietary needs and snacks.

Dorm rooms are single occupancy rooms. The residential hall that houses the dorm rooms does have air-conditioning in the common areas such as hallways, recreation room, and lounges. However, there is no air-conditioning in the actual dorm rooms themselves. Each dorm room is spacious and features a mini-refrigerator, microwave, drawers, closet, desk, chair, and bed. Linens are provided and include bed sheets, pillow and pillow case, a blanket, and bath towels.

There is a shared shower and bathroom facility for women and a shared shower and bathroom facility for men. The shower facilities feature single shower stalls for privacy.

Each dorm room has its own sink and mirror. However, there are two shared bathroom facilities on each floor, one for men, one for women. The shared bathrooms also have private shower stalls.

Yes, here are a few of the amenities:

  • FREE parking all week for attendees driving to the Intensive
  • FREE campus-wide wifi (although it is not reliable and constantly drops out)
  • FREE access to the Alverno Fitness Center, including the use of treadmills, elliptical machine, yoga mats, and free weights
  • Laundry facilities
  • Each dorm room is equipped with its own microwave and mini-refrigerator
  • Each dorm room has its own sink and mirror (Attendees use shared bathrooms and shower facilities with private shower stalls)
  • While your breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included with your registration fee, Collectivo Coffee is available every morning in the school’s coffee shop (but you have to pay for that coffee)
  • Each dorm floor has a spacious common lounge area with full kitchen for those attendees who just HAVE to make a casserole, hehe

Due to insurance requirements, the only individuals allowed to attend the workshop are attendees. That means anyone joining you on your trip to the Illustration Intensive must find other accommodations for the week and is also not able to visit you at the workshop. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have a disability that requires a human helper, please see that question below.

Yes. However, your helper must cover the cost of various services, such as housing, food, and potentially tuition. Please contact us with the particulars of your situation.

While Fantasy Art Workshop strives to be inclusive and accommodating where it can, we cannot accommodate a service animal at our private event, as its presence would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of our business. Our workshop features long days, usually 11 hours from start to finish, tight quarters among participants, and a setting in art rooms which house hazardous chemicals and tools, as is the nature of art supplies.

2018 Workshop Photos

Facility Photos and Video


By attending Fantasy Art Workshop‘s Illustration Intensive, you agree to our Code of Conduct policy and Anti-Harassment Policy. Please view and download these policies and read them carefully. Thank you.

Our policies can be found at


Faculty and Guests listed have confirmed their commitment to attend the Illustration Intensive. However, the guest list and agenda is subject to change. Should advertised faculty and guests not be able to attend, Illustration Intensive will do its best to bring in alternate talent. Such a change would not constitute grounds for registrant reimbursement.

Tuition WITH on-Campus Housing

Tuition includes:

  • Five days of instruction with the faculty members
  • All presentations, lectures, and demos
  • Access to other faculty/special guests throughout the event
  • On-site catered meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • On-site, dormitory-style housing

TUITION IS NON-REFUNDABLE. If you find after you’ve registered that you cannot attend, you may find a replacement at your own expense. Attendee is responsible for their own travel to and from workshop.

Attendees must be 18 years of age or older.


Tuition WITHOUT on-Campus Housing

Tuition includes:

  • Five days of instruction with the faculty members
  • All presentations, lectures, and demos
  • Access to other faculty/special guests throughout the event
  • On-site catered meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner

TUITION IS NON-REFUNDABLE. If you find after you’ve registered that you cannot attend, you may find a replacement at your own expense. Attendee is responsible for their own travel to and from workshop.

Attendees must be 18 years of age or older.


Photos from our 2019 workshop