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The Cestar Collège - Syn Studio

Art: Xin Ran Liu

the city

the community

the school

the people

the career

  • "Cestar Collège - Syn Studio offered me the opportunity to meet professional artists and connect in a city with a booming entertainment industry. [..] I have majorly improved in art, gained plenty of professional knowledge, and grew a lot as a person. It was an uplifting experience to learn together, seeing the creations of others, and being able to chat with newly found friends and colleagues about concept art, games, movies, and other subjects. [..] Now I had the opportunity to my first internship at Behaviour Interactive and work on exciting upcoming video game titles."

    Jenny Wang

    Concept Artist, Behaviour Interactive

  • "My experience at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was a turning point for my concept art career. I chose the school because I knew that Montreal was not only affordable but also a hub for the entertainment industry [...] The teachers were professionals with real world experience, most from working in the industry at major entertainment studios. [...] the friendly competition from seeing passionate people around me improving really pushed me through the frustrations of learning and producing art [...] I was lucky enough to leave with a concept art job at a AAA game studio and fantastic lifetime friendships. "

    Allan Martin Dos Santos

    Concept Artist, Virtuos

  • "I was an animation student and Cestar Collège - Syn Studio seems like an ideal place for me to transition into concept art. The curriculum was well thought-out and the teachers are real industry professionals [...] The feedback from the teachers was very personalized and targeted to each student’s weaknesses which was crucial to my growth. I went from having zero industry connections to knowing and having friends who are working in different companies as concept artists [...] I would recommend Cestar Collège - Syn Studio to anyone who wants to work in this industry. [...] The difference between my entrance portfolio and graduating portfolio was very satisfying to see :)."

    Issree Pittayayon

    Concept Artist, Virtuos

  • "I decided to attend Cestar Collège - Syn Studio mainly due to its location and how affordable the concept art AEC was in comparison to other places. [...] I finally had the chance to be mentored by teachers, all of them exceptional artists already working in the industry and providing me guidance to develop my skills. [...] Your classmates grow with you while sharing knowledge and keeping you motivated to push yourself. [...]At the end of the program Cestar Collège - Syn Studio shares your portfolio with different companies, thanks to that I managed to get noticed by different studios and finally landed a Job at Volta."

    Jair Andres Medina Paez

    Concept Artist, Volta

  • "Choosing Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was a no-brainer for me.[...] One of the best things about going to Syn is the accumulative and passive knowledge I would get day to day from conversation with my classmates and teachers. In particular, I am grateful for instructors such as Pierre Raveneau and Sean Bigham who went out of their way and beyond to guide me in my work and pushed me to try something different.[...] The end result of your final portfolio is a testament to the improvement you gain in a short time. In addition to the artistic payoff, the connections I’ve made played a big role in my employment after graduation."

    Julian C. Rush

    Concept Artist, Virtuos

  • "I chose Cestar Collège - Syn Studio because its tuition price, optimal location in the heart of Montreal, and the fact that all instructors are working industry professionals made it too good to ignore. The 24 months of the Concept Art AEC were challenging, they really put you through your paces, but the results are incredibly rewarding. Instructors like Sean Bigham or Pierre Raveneau were insightful, encouraging, and able to prepare us for a professional environment [...] The connections I was able to make, along with a recommendation from Syn, helped me get my opportunity at Virtuos Games and I could not be more thankful for their efforts!"

    Carson Jones

    Concept Artist, Virtuos

  • "I found Cestar Collège - Syn Studio to be the ideal school for me and my dream to become a concept artist in the video game industry. Because of how specialized their program is, I was able to dedicate all of my time and efforts into concept art and thanks to that, I was able to achieve what I set out for. In my 24 months there, I found some of my closest friends I have today. We helped each other with assignments [...] [and] were able to join a community of fellow artists in Montreal filled with diversity and knowledge from all around the world. Today, I work at Kabam and I am grateful for my experience at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio and all the great opportunities they offered."

    Jenny Brown

    Concept Artist, Kabam

  • "[...] I signed up to join Cestar Collège - Syn Studio [...] because of its strategic location [...] and their amazing roster of teachers [...]. But I got so much more than just that out of this experience. Classmates turned colleagues and best friends, the aforementioned incredible teachers that would guide us through our journey, an intimate zero-bureaucracy relationship with the amazing staff that was always extremely involved to make our experience the best it could be, and last but not least a portfolio that was able to land me my first job in the industry. I would not be where I am right now without all of the people involved and the effort they put into seeing me succeed."

    Daniel Fernandez

    Concept Artist, Kabam

  • "Cestar Collège - Syn Studio offered a great opportunity for me to enter the entertainment industry. As an international student, and after doing a lot of research, I came to the conclusion that it was by far the most affordable concept art school located in the heart of a big gaming industry. Through Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, I was able to grow as an artist, as well as a person, by meeting like-minded individuals and constantly pushing each other to improve. Being taught exclusively by teachers who work in the industry was a big advantage since every class, homework and deadline was structured in such a way so as to prepare us for the daily life in a work environment. All the connections and friendships I have made through Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, helped me land a job at Warner Bros. Games Montreal that I'm extremely grateful for. While it's still possible to land a job in the industry with all the online education nowadays, there is something irreplaceable about studying in an environment with like-minded, skilled individuals under the guidance of industry professionals that I would totally recommend to anyone who aspires to enter the entertainment industry."

    Krist Miha

    Concept Artist, WB Games, Montreal

  • "I picked Cestar Collège - Syn Studio since I saw that the teachers there were industry professionals who worked in many companies and projects that I liked. It has a great location, being in Montreal where the gaming industry in Canada is very prominent. Also the price was relatively affordable compared to other options with the same quality of education.

    I really enjoyed my time at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio. It was like a second home since me and my classmates spent most of our time there working on our skills and developing our portfolio. It was a place where I met amazing teachers who were very generous with their knowledge and feedback and made friends who were helping me out every step of the way as we worked together towards improving.

    I can honestly say that it's all thanks to Cestar Collège - Syn Studio that I have a job as a concept artist at Ubisoft and I work with both my friends from school as well as many of my teachers."

    Seif Ragab

    Concept Artist, Ubisoft, Montreal

  • "Out of all the art schools I applied to, Syn seemed like the ideal gateway to enter the industry. Being located in Montreal, it opens up abundant opportunities for students (especially for international students who come from countries which have a lack of concept-art resources, both academic and professional). I have lots of fond memories from Cestar Collège - Syn Studio. I made some great friends (classmate and teachers alike) there, some of whom are my colleagues right now. It provided us with a great learning environment, where everyone was pushing each other to work better. I am still very much in touch with most of my classmates and teachers, all of whom are working in the entertainment industry in Montreal. I never expected to get hired so soon after our graduation, and I cannot thank Cestar Collège - Syn Studio enough for that."

    Rajdeep Choudhury

    Concept Artist, Ubisoft, Montreal

  • "When I was beginning my art journey, I chose to join Cestar Collège - Syn Studio's Concept Art AEC program because it is one of the few schools in the world that offered something very important: the chance to study under the direct tutelage of industry professionals. This opportunity, coupled with the fact that you're surrounded by like-minded driven students, yields for an amazing environment to learn and grow as an artist.

    During my time at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, I feel that I have grown tremendously as an artist with the help of both the talented teachers and fellow classmates. I have made many friendships with incredibly skilled artists and had the chance to meet many of wonderful people across the industry. And thanks to the powerful networking opportunities fostered by Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, I ultimately was able to land my first industry job as a concept artist at Warner Brothers Games."

    Elkhan Kildibekov

    Concept Artist, WB Games, Montreal

  • "The main reason I chose Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was because of its location and price. Montreal, having so many game studios around, offers great opportunities for an aspiring concept artist. Not only that but the artistic community in Montreal is huge. I can say my experience at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was exactly what I needed for my artistic career, it provided me with the direction that I was lacking and like minded friends to keep pushing each other for the better. Of course our teachers had a big part in my positive experience in Cestar Collège - Syn Studio. Most of the teachers at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio are top level artists working in the industry, so they know what is expected from a concept artist today, and what their students need to reach that level. I am currently working as a concept artist at WB Games Montreal with my teacher from Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, Daniel Kvasznicza as my art director. I can say I wouldn't be here today without all the help I got through my experience at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio."

    Efe Vardar

    Concept Artist, WB Games, Montreal

  • "Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was a big journey for me. I moved to Montreal all the way from Israel for this program. I had a great learning experience. My fellow students were very talented and passionate about the Job. It was a very healthy competition, but more than that, very inspiring. I had the chance to learn from some very skillful artists in the industry I have followed for years. I am currently working at Ubisoft together with Eric Gagnon, the teacher that has inspired me most! This school is very unique and has many advantages on other programs: The quality of the teachers, the good networking and involvement of the school with the local industry and the warm atmosphere and good communication with the staff are just a few points to mention. It's great to see how well we all did eventually!"

    Zach Cohen

    Concept Artist, Ubisoft, Montreal

  • "I saw Cestar Collège - Syn Studio as a great opportunity to develop my skills as a concept artist. Compared to other schools the tuition was affordable and the quality of education was extremely good. we started with fundamentals and later we jumped into digital art. We develop a personal project for the last two terms and it was extremely fun and challenging to work on. I made a lot of friends and we still keep in contact with each other (some of them now work with me). We had the opportunity to learn from great concept artists from the entertainment industry in Montreal. Thierry Doizon, Fred Rambaud, Remko Troost and Jason Tonks were amazing teachers that I learned a lot from. Currently I am a concept artist at Ubisoft Montreal working for an unannounced game."

    Miguel Mendez

    Concept Artist, Ubisoft, Montreal

  • "My experience with Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was very good. I had the chance of having amazing artists as my teachers, and I was surrounded by excellent concept artist in my class, which allowed me to make a lot of progress. Cestar Collège - Syn Studio taught me that what matters most in this job is to work hard and to always be creative. Thierry Doizon taught us about originality in design, Remko Troost was always a fan of our crazy ideas, and Fred Rambaud always asked us to think outside the box.I also had an excellent experience with Samantha Youssef, and I feel that I’ve learned a lot about drawing people in a very short time. Cestar Collège - Syn Studio always tries to highlight their students, and the Gala at the end of the year is a very good memory of mine! My current job at Thunder Lotus games was found because my school sent my portfolio there. So thanks a lot for everything!"

    Lena Labonte

    Concept Artist, Thunder Lotus Games, Montreal

  • "The reason I chose Cestar Collège - Syn Studio is due to the fact that it had a very affordable price compared to other concept art schools around the world. I have met tons of great and exceptional concept artists at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, some which are really close friends of mine. I’m currently working for a company called Beenox (first job) and honestly this would not be possible if it were not for Cestar Collège - Syn Studio who saw the hardwork I put into the program and recommended me to these companies. Some of the teachers who have helped me and inspired me the most would have to be Thierry Doizon, Jeong Shin, Jason Tonks and Fred Rambaud. I still talk with all these teachers and they have always helped and pushed me in the work I do."

    Nic Gosselin

    Concept Artist, Beenox, Quebec City

  • "When I made the decision to pursue concept art as a career I was on the lookout for an intensive and focused pathway into the games industry and for me Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was the perfect stepping stone. The school was affordable, located in a city filled with opportunities for artist and the small class size meant that I would get plenty of time for one on one feedback. It was a lot of hard work but my fellow classmates and their shared passion for art kept me motivated. Over the course I had the pleasure of learning from amazing mentors and made many great connections through the school that ultimately helped me to become a professional concept artist."

    Jarrard Lee

    Concept Artist, Ubisoft Montreal

  • "Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was one of the few schools in the world that have a full time program for concept art, apart from that the tuition is pretty affordable in comparison to the other similar schools so, it didn't take me a lot of time to decide which school to choose to study concept art. I had a brilliant 24 months at Syn, I don't think I have ever accumulated so much knowledge in such a small amount of time. I could go on about how great the tools and techniques that I was taught at school are helping me right now, but the biggest thing to take from the teachers is how they inspire you to achieve your art goals. I was surrounded by hard working people during my time at Syn and that certainly motivates you to go the extra mile. Cestar Collège - Syn Studio organised an amazing gala at the end of the 24 month course and invites top industry recruited, concept artist and art directors to showcase your art to, and they also send all our portfolios to the biggest companies in Montreal. My artwork was noticed by the team at Eidos Montreal all due to the efforts of Cestar Collège - Syn Studio, where I currently work as a Concept Artist. I couldn't be more grateful for the experience and support that Cestar Collège - Syn Studio has provided me with."

    Mohit Panjikar

    Concept Artist, Eidos Montreal

  • Cestar Collège - Syn Studio was a great experience. I found the school when I decided to dedicate all my energy towards this art path and it looked like the best value experience that I could obtain, I wasn't wrong. I made good friends, being able to absorb source material from such amazing professionals was something that I cherished so much. The vision of where I wanted to be was always pretty solid, but living the school and experiencing amazing art being created all around me by everyone for a year and a half definitely gave me the tools to actually make it into a reality.

    I'm currently at Ludia, working as a concept artist on Dragons - Titan Uprising and previously D&D (the fact that I can say this blows my mind). I'd say I use workflows that I learned at school and from my friends on a daily basis.

    Luis Felipe Ramos Cardoso

    Concept Artist, Ludia

  • "I chose Cestar Collège - Syn Studio mostly because of the location. I knew Montreal is a hub for the concept art industry, and I wanted to be close to all the action. I think I couldn't have chosen better.
    During my year and a half at Syn, my art has improved tremendously and the connections I made got me my first job as a concept artist.
    The teachers are all industry professionals and the relatively small size of the class means you always get plenty of feedback. What made the difference for me, though, were the friendships I made, and how being surrounded by focused and passionate people pushes you to do better all the time.
    The Gala at the end of the program is where you get to show your artwork to recruiters and it's what ultimately led to my job at Square Enix."

    Giuseppe Di Stasio

    Junior Concept Artist, Square Enix

  • "I was looking for programs in Canada for concept art (which doesn't include animation or 3D, VFX like schools in other cities), and after a lot of research, I found that Cestar Collège - Syn Studio has a program which is a good deal for international students like me. Its location was one of the main reasons I chose to study at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio. Montreal is where most of the game studios in Canada are located. During my studies, I have met talented people who are dedicated to concept art such as my classmates, and also teachers who work hard as concept artists in the industry. I loved studying and talking with them about art and ideas in class and during events like SSGM which the school offered for free to AEC students. I am currently working as a concept artist at Eidos Montreal. "

    Jayde Kim

    Concept Artist, Eidos

  • "I chose to apply to Cestar Collège - Syn Studio because of the professional teachers and the fact that it's located in Montreal - one of the biggest centers of the game, film and animation industries. It seemed like the ideal place to improve my skills over a short, intensive period of time.

    Over the course of the program we learned from some of the best artists in the industry, and many of them became friends and to some of us even colleagues. These connections couldn't have been made otherwise and I'm truly grateful for that.

    During our studies we were exposed to different techniques and approaches, while being allowed the freedom to specialise and explore the things that interested us the most. This balance helped me understand what I would really like to focus on as a concept artist and completely changed the vision I have for my career path.

    I am currently working as a concept artist in a Montréal based animation studio (Digital Dimension). This has been made possible thanks to the AEC and I'm grateful for all the feedback, support and hard work of the amazing team at Cestar Collège - Syn Studio."

    Pavel Pustovoit

    Concept Artist, Digital Dimension

  • "Cestar Collège - Syn Studio seemed like a great place to learn and sharpen my concept art skills primarily because of the people who teach there. Most of the teachers work full-time in the entertainment industry, this is great as you get to learn the latest techniques used in the industry and also get a lot of insight into what it is like to work in a studio. Apart from that, being in a class with so much talent makes for lots of healthy competition and really brings out the best in you. My experience at Syn has been great, the program pushes your skills to the next level and I would recommend it to anyone who plans to pursue a career professionally in concept art."

    Praveen Kumar

    Designer, WildBrain Studios

  • "I had been on the lookout for a school that would serve as my final educational checkpoint before heading out into the world to find a job in concept art. I was instantly fixated on Cestar Collège - Syn Studio as it seemed to have the perfect program for me.

    At Syn, there was a lot of new information for me to process which was crucial in my maturing as an artist. I reflect fondly on the conversations I've had with the tutors and studio visits during the course which provided me with industry insight I would not have had access to otherwise. I am also grateful for the relatively small class sizes and intakes which ensured the tutors always had time to speak 1 on 1 with the students, and thus my time spent learning at school never felt impersonal.

    Attending school in person with so many amazing fellow concept artists was a great experience and is something I miss dearly now that I'm back in New Zealand doing freelance."

    Tristan Kang

    Freelance Concept Artist

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