where the character driven industries meet


Mark McDonnell

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"Characters are like mirrors. Whether we love them, or hate them, we understand them, because their motivations reflect our own."


Michele Hunt, editor of Characters Engage.

Character design educator Mark McDonnell



Characters Engage introduces the first article of a new category. Characters Academy will bring you news and articles about the educational sector in the character-driven industries and introduce educators, courses and online educational resources such as tutorials and webinars.









He is currently working as a freelance designer and as a development character designer for many of these studios.  


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Characters Academy is proud to present Mark McDonnell as our first featured character educator.


Mark McDonnell is an Animation Professional who, for the last 9 years, has worn many hats in the industry. Originally beginning his career as a layout artist (the background drawing that is later painted) he went onto a number of other responsibilities, before finally settling down with his first love, Character Design.




As a character designer Mark has worked for studios such as: Walt Disney Feature Animation, Disney Toon Studios, The Walt Disney Television Animation Company, Pixar, Miramax, Fox, H.I.T. Entertainment, New Line, Mattel, Sony, Hasbro and Legendary Pictures to name a few.




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His personal passion is finding the character and life of whatever the subject matter might be. It's a simple statement, but a lifelong passion...


In the evenings Mark instructs at Disney, Dreamworks, LAAFA, The American Animation Institute (The Union) and 3Kicks Studios due to his widely successful first book, The Art and Feel of Making It Real: Gesture Drawing for the Animation and Entertainment Industry. He has recently published his second book, Mark McDonnell's Cre8tivemarks Sketchbook - Volume 01.


To buy Mark's books, please click the link below:







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