26 April 2024


a blast of inspiration and good times during The Art Department Eindhoven

Being an artist means always being inspired and never being satisfied!” (Alex Hirsch)

If a design manages to surprise you, it can keep your interest longer” (Rasmus Poulsen)

One of our favourite things happening at The Art Department is that the talks are rarely just about art, design, technology or certain skills. The words, the tips, the insights can often be applied to other areas as well. The Art Department Eindhoven sky-rocketed our own inspiration to the roof top. And even though we have been doing this for quite some time (since 2006 to be exact!) there were still plenty of surprising things happening: more activities added to the plate, new connections build, new ways of interaction explored. While we ARE very happy and proud about how everything went down, we were certainly left wanting more. Luckily, we have The Art Department Berlin to look forward to! So no need to suffer from post event blues, because on 24+25 May we are headed to Alte Münze, for more TAD!

Our minds are still buzzing with the energy experienced last week in Eindhoven. Klokgebouw, Natlab and Ketelhuisplein each hosted a different side of our program. For the first time we welcomed approximately 5000 ticket-holders, not counting the general public that could enjoy this year’s Art Market, Artist Studios, Sketch Area, outdoors expos and jamming sessions. A record number of visitors got a taste of The Art Department and, in turn, experienced inspiration in all shapes and forms.

Starting, of course, with the artist talks.

You never nail it the first time. Or, if you do, it is probably a happy accident. Instead of saying ‘you are so talented’ I wish people would simply say ‘You must have messed up so many times to become good at that’!” Honest and straightforward stop motion animator Tim Allen was just one of our many guests capturing our audience with relatable insights.

Karla  Ortiz took us on a carousel of emotions with her very inspiring presentation in which she also talked about some of the challenges faced by women in the industry. Also generous with sharing personal artistic struggles was production designer Sylvain Marc who focussed part of his talk on projects that ended up not being made.

Form Play’s talk was an ode to animation. Creators of the 2024 TAD titles, they shared with us many behind the scenes insights as well as an extensive look into the company’s other projects. “You don’t need to be able to draw things in a specific way in order to be an animator. I simply enjoyed motion” Animade’s Ed Barrett unveiled in his talk that included also various hands-on tips about using Procreate Dreams. “If you learn the tools, just go for it and use them” encouraged us Armand Serrano in an otherwise extremely energetic talk in which, as he said it himself, he attempted to squeeze as much of his knowledge as possible within the time frame.

Personal experiences, behind the scenes info, professional tips were flying left and right on all of our three stages, ready to be absorbed by our eager audiences.

Whether coming from artists like creative director Ian Mackinnon, who also had some of the most known and much loved Mackinnon and Saunders puppets on display in our expo, or Steye Hallema and Corine Meijers that took us on a tour with their The Imaginary Friend installation, in the Procreate demos or in one of the Convoloot Panels, there was always something to do, learn and observe. Our time schedule had a record number of listed activities, with little to no breaks.

We know, however, it’s not always about the talks and demos. Many of our visitors came to listen to one our two artists and spent the rest of the time networking in our Industry Garden, sketching alongside Drink and Draw Berlin and their once again spectacular live models, shopping in the Art Market (where game aficionados were also rewarded with the spectacular hand embroidered game Katjepult), enjoying the little perks from our sponsors (colouring gigantic balls courtesy of Procreate, designing their own tote bags at the Wacom station or creating stickers at the msi booth) or going for a spin in our gigantic swing. Because We Are Playgrounds after all, right? Members from our Discord community that were at the festival were also treated to two treasure hunts happening in Klokgebouw.

And the more relaxed fun side definitely slipped into the evening. Visitors were welcomed to enjoy screenings from the very first The Art Department Film Fest. Features and shorts, blockbusters and student films, classics and new releases, saucy programs and real stories, we had a bit of everything! All spiced up with introductions and Q&As with guests like Anna Mantzaris, Crash McCreery or Didier Konings.

Then it was time to PAAAARTY! Because we think dancing and drinks are the best ways to unwind after a long and fully packed festival day!

It all went by in a blink and there is still so much we’ve got left to process. We made new friends, new memories and filled up our batteries with inspiration and energy. And then there’s still Berlin to look forward to. Another adventure but also a second chance to get more out of this amazing experience that is The Art Department. And as we know that images are sometimes better than words, we’ll leave you with a taste of some of the joys TADEindhoven brought us this year, put together by our after-movie mastermind Jochem de Vet.