The 13th PICTOPLASMA BERLIN 2017 the International Conference and Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art is about to set the stage for May 10 – 14, 2017 at Babylon am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, ACUD MACHT NEU, Urban Spree and at a series of exhibitions throughout Berlin on these dates.

The annual Pictoplasma Festival showcases the latest trends in character design and art, and in its 13th edition it embraces full immersion. This year’s focus is on artists and designers exploring the role of character design within the aesthetic conventions of gaming, virtual, and augmented reality, testing the ability of their figurative creations to push genre boundaries and challenge our grasp on the real. The theme ’Character Upload’ reflects on an understanding of cultural production in the age of extreme viral circulation and 'Internet Everywhere’—once released, the characters act as autonomous agents, move freely across media and link themselves to other artifacts beyond control.

The central event of the festival is the conference, where creators and producers meet to exchange ideas on new strategies and trends. The participating artists work in illustration, animation, VR, AR, and games, as well as children books, ceramics, textile design, urban arts, painting, sculpture, and installation. The wider festival is open to the public with cutting-edge screenings bringing the stickiest and sweetest animated eye-candy to the big screen, while numerous exhibitions present original works and outstanding character craftsmanship, and performances and parties call for playful interaction.

The Pictoplasma Conference takes place on May 11–13 at Babylon am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, participation requires prior online registration: conference.pictoplasma.com/registration


Here is the:


Saschka Unseld (DE/USA), founding member of German Studio Soi, former Pixar director and current creative director at Oculus Story Studio, where he explores and defines the future of VR storytelling.

Jack Sachs (UK), freelance designer and animator living and working between London and Berlin, famed for his trademark jumbled up faces, bright colors, and awkward shapes influenced by the pioneers of early CGI.

Kirsten Lepore (USA), LA-based director and animator with a client list that includes Google, MTV, Facebook, and Nickelodeon, famed for her Emmy-winning stop-motion episode for Cartoon Network’s hit show, 'Adventure Time,’ who recently took the Internet by storm with her short 'Hello Stranger.'

Sean Charmatz (USA), former writer/director for ‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ and designer/developer for Disney and Dreamworks, currently creating some of the Internet's most viral content by playfully combining his knack for storytelling with found objects observed in everyday life.

Mate Steinforth (DE), designer/director of former Psyop fame and creative director at Sehsucht Berlin, where he recently created an impressively immersive and dystopian 360 VR music video for the electronic act Moderat. 

Samuel Boucher (CA), artist from Montreal creating soft-edged, high-saturation worlds awash with mysterious characters, and head of design at KO_OP, an experimental games and interactive art studio currently developing the ‘GNOG’ game.

Eran Hilleli (ISR), Tel Aviv-based animation director, merging simple shapes with cinematic flair to create faraway lands and mysterious characters.

Louise Rosenkrands (DK), illustrator from Denmark known for her bright and playful depictions of sassy, confident women—including the occasional protruding lady lump.

Chris Haughton (IRL), Irish illustrator and author of best selling children’s books such as 'A Bit Lost,’ 'Oh No George!' and 'Goodnight Everyone,' with a deep commitment to connecting design with fair trade.

Peter Millard (UK), celebrated independent filmmaker and animator from England’s Malvern Hills, whose rough-and-ready, jazz-inspired, hand-drawn animations are a celebration of animation at its most anarchistic.

Sophie Koko Gate (UK), Royal College of Art graduate living and working between London and Berlin, using her illustrative skills to create psychedelic journeys into poetry and neuroscience brimming with whimsical awkwardness.

DXTR (DE), artist and illustrator from Berlin, shifting his bold, vibrant style back and forth between murals, prints, textiles and other media.

Hasbro (USA/UK), the global play and entertainment company committed to creating the world's best play experiences, from My Little Pony to Transformers, represented by Georgina Melone, VP of Hasbro Invention Lab, and James Yuen, head designer.

Nathalie Choux (FR), illustrator renowned for her uplifting children’s books with over 50 publications under her belt, whose delicate sculptures and drawings have an unexpected dark underbelly.

Pikuniku (FR/UK), the absurdist puzzle exploration game about rebuilding a community created by Parisian artist and coder Rémi Forcadell and London-based game designer Arnaud De Boc.

Pooya Abbasian (IRN/FR), Paris-based artist and director from Iran, working in film, visual communication, fine art, and children books. Monsters, fuelled by nature’s energies, in confrontation with the modern world, are a recurring motif in his work. 

Rob Flowers (UK), illustrator from London, whose bold, distinctive style is defined by a bubblegum palette, eccentric characters, and grotesque humor.

Ton Mak (CHN), Shanghai-based illustrator, renown for her Flabjacks series of cheerful, chubby creatures in an imaginary wonderland.

©Pictoplasma 2017, artwork by Mate Steinforth