Last weekend, my wife and I were searching for coffee while walking along the Toronto waterfront. We were attracted to a building bustling with life, but instead of coffee, we found something much sweeter. We found TAAFI. What the heck is TAAFI? Great question. We asked ourselves the same question after stumbling into an amazing animation art festival.
TAAFI (Toronto Animation Arts Festival International) is in its third year. The four day festival includes screenings, lectures, exhibits, life drawing, workshops, and who knows what else. It’s a visual playground for anyone who loves animation, drawing, comics, or art.
TAAFI’s lectures, or talks, were tempting to attend: “Compelling Character Design,” “Indie Gaming,” “Comedians in Animation,” “State of the Industry,” and lots more. But we showed up on the last day and spent most of our time walking the exhibits and meeting the artists.
Here’s a list of my favorite artists from TAAFI. All of whom I met, and all of whom were incredibly kind and gracious. All of whom, also, are from or are living in Toronto.
SIDE NOTE: I’m using these pictures without permission. If you’d like me to take it down, just ask! Also, all artist’s websites are linked in their names.
10 Amazing Animation Artists from TAAFI
Bobby Chiu might have been the most famous artist I met that day. He’s worked for Disney, Sony, and Dreamworks on a handful of films. He’s also designed toys and currently teaches at Schoolism.com. His website has a plethora of strange, amazing art (like the one below). It was hard to pick my favorite.
Ally Rom Colthoff is an artist that seems to do a bit of everything. She’s working on an online comic that posts every Monday and Friday. In addition, she also has great landscape paintings, as well as these wonderful, glorious things. She also leads a fun art blog.
Meaghan Carter is an online comic artist. As with most of these, I’ve only just started to read the comics. But I really do enjoy her comic, Take Off!
Dara Gold’s art really left an impression. Maybe because I was still jonzing for caffeine. Maybe because it’s just really good. What I’m getting at is that she has Tea Art. And I loved it. What is Tea Art? As she explained it me, she stains paper with tea and waits for inspiration. Pretty cool.
Rachel Khan also does a little bit of everything. I really love her comic, By Crom!, (which is Conan the Barbarian giving life advice), but her other illustrations are most memorable to me.
Soroush Barazesh was one of the first artists I met. He was exceptionally kind, and explained to us where Megan and I were. He also had some incredible art. This is one of my favorites, “Steampunk Batman.”
Coco Cheung is an illustrator, animator, and a modelling and character artist. Right now, on her blog, she’s got a great series of dog illustrations, or as she calls them, “Doggie Postcards.” Check out the Siberian Huskie, below.
Cyrstal Cheung won my award for coolest business card at TAAFI (it’s her as a ninja with a pen in her hand). Not all of her illustrations are as creepy as the one I chose; I just happened to like this one. Check out her website for more.
Seema Virdi is just incredible. I could browse her website for hours. She somehow manages to merge a fringe of fairy tale, darkness, humanness, and futuristic all into one beautiful style. Well done, Seema!
We stumbled into TAAFI by happenstance. Next year, I’m planning ahead. Great work, everyone.
Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Though I’m not an ardent fan of animation, I appreciate the art work represented here. Great stuff!
Thanks for the great review Kevin! Glad you stumbled in and definitely look forward to having you back next year 🙂