Animation Portfolio Workshop

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What is Animation Portfolio Workshop?

Founded in 1999 by two highly skilled and experienced artists, Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets, Animation Portfolio Workshop (APW) is the first school in Canada to specialize solely in animation portfolio preparation. Since its inception, thousands of students have been accepted into the best animation and art programs in the world and have gone on to successful careers in the animation industry.

Our qualified instructors teach the foundational drawing skills and portfolio preparation methods students require to succeed in top-tier animation and visual art programs worldwide.  Designing characters and learning the basics of hand-drawn animation starts with drawing, and we should know – drawing is all we do. The curriculum is made up of two core components of an animation school portfolio: Life Drawing for Animation and Drawing for Animation.  Perhaps the most unique aspect of APW is that many APW graduates have returned to the workshop to become teachers and tutors—mentors to students who are about to set their goals and meet the challenges of animation school.

Animation Portfolio Preparation - Regular Sessions

Session Two: September 11, 2021–February 6, 2022

  • This eight-month program, offered twice yearly, focuses on animation portfolio preparation using the APW Drawing Method. It is made up of 38 days of intensive classes for a total of 228 hours of instruction. Students will learn life drawing, character design, perspective, storyboarding and much more. By the end of the workshop, students will be ready to submit their completed portfolios to prospective animation schools. The end of the course coincides with the due dates for portfolio submissions to top animation schools.  Classes take place on weekends.

APW Online April 2021 to February 2022

APW Online Evening Class

April 6, 2021 to February 1, 2022

  • APW’s Online Evening Class focuses on animation portfolio preparation and is made up of 38 days of intensive classes. Life drawing, character design, perspective, storyboard and more. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6 - p m . Suitable for anyone 16 years and older.

Boot Camps

Summer Boot Camp 1: July 5 – July 9, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 2: July 12 – July 16, 2021

  • The Boot Camp offers a solid introduction to characters and animation. Students will design and draw characters and get a workout in the basics of hand-drawn animation. The course borrows focused lessons from our regular program and rolls them into an intensive 5-day workout. Classes take place Monday to Friday.

Illustration School Preparation Online

Seventy-six 3 hour classes are taught 2 evenings a week, Tuesday and Thursday. April 6, 2021 to Feb 2022

  • The two courses comprising the APW Art School Portfolio Preparation course (Life Drawing and Basic Anatomy and Illustrative Drawing) have been designed to complement each other and to offer a variety of drawing exercises that develop both illustrative drawing systems as well as observational life drawing skills.

Animation Portfolio Preparation Intensive Courses

2021 Summer Intensive: July 5 – August 27, 2021 Online

Due to the uncertainty of COVID, the Summer Intensive program will be offered online.

  • The summer intensive program is designed for Canadian and international students who are unable to attend our regular 38-week program. 38 days in length over a period of eight weeks, the APW Summer Intensive is a complete version of our highly successful eight month Animation Portfolio Workshop program.  Classes take place from Monday to Friday for 6 hours a day.

2021 Winter Intensive: Oct. 20 – Dec. 10, 2021

  • The winter intensive program is designed for Canadian and international students who are unable to attend our regular 38-week program. It runs for 38 days over eight weeks and is a complete version of our eight-month program. This program is best suited to students who thrive on fast-paced delivery of new material. Classes take place Monday to Friday.  

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Scholarships and Contests

O’Keefe Scholarship Info

APW 2021 Character Design Contest

  • Design your own animation character and enter the APW Character Design contest. Submission deadline is March 26, 2021.  You could win free tuition, Toon Boom software, $300.00 worth of free art supplies or other great stuff!
  • Simply design your own animation character and submit 4 views of a standing pose, 3 active poses and 4 facial expressions. Fill out an entry form and include a PDF of your drawings and submit the package online. It’s that easy!


Patrick O'Keefe - APW was a major catalyst in forming my passion and skills as a young artist. More....



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