When Imaginism Studios co-owner and art director Kei Acedera tells Yves Meza that he's a hard worker, the Venezuelan illustrator — who also works at a grassroots clothing company called “Yare Devil's Design" that created the same army cap Manu Chao wore playing concerts around the world after debuting it on the cover of his top U.S. Billboard album La Radiolina — agrees with a laugh that he's usually working all the time. But the illustrator describes his 30 days at Imaginism’s in-house workshop as “time I’ve set aside for myself,” where he’s gone from reviewing traditional art fundamentals to fine-tuning digital tricks during master painting lectures with Thierry Lafontaine and Bobby Chiu, alongside three more workshop artists: Dreamworks lighting artist Oth Khotsimeuang from San Francisco, California, and illustrators Sarita Kolhatkar from Dubai, UAE, and Sandree Luo from Toronto, Canada.
"If you have problems with something, don't spend loads of time trying to figure it out,” Lafontaine reminds the quartet daily, who live and draw together in the Imaginism House. “Just ask me,” he says. “If you have any questions, I’m not far.”
Clockwise from top left: Sandree Luo, Yves Meza, Sarita Kolhatkar, and Oth Khotsimeuang paint concept characters into the late hours at the Imaginism House.
Yves Meza tackles traditional and digital projects at his workstation.
Bobby Chiu gives the artists a lesson in the in-house studio.
Instructor Thierry Lafontaine gathers the artists for a painting demonstration.
The artists enjoying their day off with a field trip to Niagra Falls.