Playgrounds is a creative platform with over 15 years’ experience in providing inspiration and community for a broad spectrum of cutting-edge artists. Encompassing animation, VFX, game development, sound and graphic design along with the visual arts, Playgrounds connects contemporary artists, creative industry professionals and the next generation of up-and-coming talent with live audiences and online communities from across the globe.
Creative festivals have faced their fair share of challenges over the past few years, but Playgrounds took these circumstance in their stride as they re-invented themselves and headed online. Leaning into the advantages of being digitally connected, Playgrounds curated a world tour of international talent in June covering 116 countries, including artists from Nigeria, Afghanistan and India.
Procreate has teamed up with Playgrounds since 2019 as a principal sponsor and are again supporting their latest event, Blend which kicked off on October 7th-8th as a live festival in Breda, Netherlands. Playgrounds is following this up with an online version of Blend on November 24th-25th. This live and online ‘blend’ allows for artists to connect face-to-face locally, while still allowing the extended creative community to participate and be inspired no matter where they are in the world.
Playgrounds Blend describes itself as ‘a catwalk of inspiring, progressive and innovative makers’ brought together to expose artists to new genres, trends and developments in the visual arts. Blend’s eclectic program of artists come from various different walks of life, but all share a reputation for pushing the creative envelope and stretching outside of their chosen genres. Creative talent such as unconventional makeup and wearable artist Isamaya Ffrench, CG artist and director Erik Ferguson, and digital fashion house The Fabricant are just some of the confirmed headliners for the online version of Blend’s festival.
Included in Blend will be speakers and artists who use Procreate in their professional life such as the Oscar nominated and world renowned animation director and artist Aaron Blaise. Aaron’s artistic journey is a fascinating one of completing the circle and returning to his fine art roots after an incredibly successful professional career in animation. Aaron’s interview with Leon van Rooij is bound to be one not to miss.
Mijke Coebergh will be taking us on a deep dive into the approach and process behind her wonderfully bright and bold modern-yet-retro illustrations. You are invited to draw along, so make sure you have your iPad charged and ready. BUCK senior art director, Simon Buijs AKA Bobby Pola's discussion about inspiration and its influence on his unique style at Blend in Breda was such a hit that Playgrounds decided to ask him back to share it online with an international audience. Dutch illustrator, animator and artist Levi Jacobs seems to be able to turn his unique style to just about anything, and to any client including Nike, Vice, Apple and Netflix. Re-watch his chat from Blend live where he discussed his eye-catching work, where his ideas come from, and how he developed such a unique and refreshing escapist style.
Playgrounds Blend is on from November 24th-25th and completely free to attend. You can register over at the Playgrounds online hub and hang out with a vibrant community of like-minded artists during the event and at their online afterparty at the Playgrounds Discord and follow Playgrounds on Instagram.