Artist highlight

Dharmali Patel

Dharmali Patel

Dharmali is  a Toronto based Concept Artist and an aspiring Visual Development Artist. In a career spanning 13 years she has held the role of Character Designer, Animation Supervisor, Art Director and recently a published children's book illustrator. Dharmali has worked for clients such as Warner Brother Animation, Disney Television Animation, and Nicktoons.

CGMA Classes

What is your background as an artist? What educational experience/background did you have coming into CGMA? Do you have professional experience?

I studied Graphic design with majoring in illustration in Mumbai, India. I was always interested and fascinated with the animation industry. I stared working for an animation production house after graduation and started my animation carrier as a traditional classical animator. After 2 and a half years of production experience, I wanted to hone my skills further. I enrolled in Vancouver Film School for their Classical Animation Program. After graduating from Vancouver Film School I stared working in the North American animation Industry. I have worked for various studios in Canada and United States. 
Why did you decide to take CGMA classes?
I am always looking to expand my skill-set and was researching for some online course when I came across CGMA. CGMA courses cater to specific aspects of design and production. The course were offering what I needed to grow further as a visual development artist. 
What classes did you take and why did you choose them?
I took Environment Sketching for Production with Patrick Raines. This course was offering me exactly what i was looking for to push my Visual Development skills.
How did taking classes help you refine your craft and help you along your artistic journey?
The course has helped me focus and push more on the story telling aspect of design. Assignments talk about the strength of line art, shape language and value. The assignment taught me how to use all these aspects to direct attention to the story telling aspect of the visual piece that is been created. It helped me broaden by perspective as a visual artist.
What was your first big gig and how did you get it?

I have been fortunate to work on a number of fun and exciting projects. A few that stand out are;-

Working on the demo for Gravity Falls with a Toronto based studio called House of Cool. Also working on some music videos for BBC and Warner Brother Animation. Working with the talented John Kricfalusi for an animated music video. 

Why would you recommend CGMA to another artist?
CGMA has a variety of courses dedicated to different aspects of production. It’s a great platform for professionals to push themselves and keep learn while working in the industry.  Also it helps us connect with a pool of talented professorial and students and learn from their experiences.
Why is having professional feedback important to you?
All the feedback is given by professionals who are currently in the industry. The critiques are based on what will be expected out of you in a production environment. When I joined CGMA I had hit a plateau in my skill development that I did not how to overcome. All the feedback on my assignment helped me understand what aspects and principles of design I was not paying attention to and how I can enhance my existing skills.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank CGMA for interviewing me as a featured artist. CGMA offers a great environment to learn and meet inspiring artists who are current professionals and students. We are in a challenging and ever evolving industry. We should always strive to continuously develop our skills. As an artist the process of learning should never stop.
CMGA work from Environment Sketching for Production
We would like to thank Dharmali Patel for sitting down with us and sharing her CGMA experience. To see more of Dharmalis artwork you can visit her website at