Live. Dare. Create.


Live. Dare. Create.

Contest Dates: February 9 to April 15, 2023

Wacom's 2023 Character Design Contest

Calling all high school art and CTE teachers

Here's an opportunity for your students to showcase their creativity and skills and win exciting prizes

If you’re a high school teacher who wants to provide an opportunity for your students to showcase their creativity and skills, as well as possibly win exciting prizes, here’s a great opportunity to do just that. Consider submitting your student’s original character designs to this brand new art challenge!

Character design is an integral part of the creative process and plays a crucial role across various fields including animation, video games, comic books, and more. Not only does it allow artists to bring their ideas to life, but it also helps to tell a story and convey emotions and personalities.

This is a great opportunity for young artists to showcase their talent and have their work recognized by a leading technology company in the digital art industry. So share this opportunity with your students, grab your Wacom pen, and start designing today!

Contest Requirements

  1. Submissions must be made by a teacher - an authorized representative of the school
  2. Students must be over the age of 13 taking part in a high school art or CTE program
  3. Art work submissions should be of a full body character, submitted in a jpeg or png file type less than 10MB with greater than 300 DPI
  4. Only valid for school located in the United States of America
  5. Students must utilize a Wacom device when creating their entry
  6. View full contest terms and conditions

Meet the Judges

Joshua Leonard

Joshua Leonard
Character Designer - Creator

Born in Miami, Florida to a Military family, his passion for drawing was first noticed and evident at a very young age. His artistic abilities and skills were head turning as early as grade school. Now currently at Disney Television Animation, & an Executive Producer on an Untitled Series at Hillman Grad, he always had a love and appreciation for animation. It inspired him to pursue his passion, graduating with a college degree in Animation. The accomplishment was not an easy undertaking, he went from being a homeless, hurricane Katrina victim, to graduating at the top of his class, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA, and plans to create compelling characters that are diverse, inclusive, and that drive the story.

He’s the creator of the highly anticipated cartoon/comic book, Team Supreme. Team Supreme puts kids who have a disability, in the forefront, as their so-called disability doubles as their super power. “My goal is to normalize what society calls a disability, while also being as inclusive and diverse as possible. He continues to expand his knowledge, skills, and abilities; and has created and developed character designs for: Disney TVA, Axis Studios, Hillman Grad, 9 Story, NBPA, The Jim Henson Company, Illumination, Sony Immersive Studios, Netflix Animation, Nickelodeon, Baobab Studios, University of Miami, Drake, BearBack, Dymelyfe, Black Skullz, and more. Whenever he has time, he works out at his local gym. A former four sport athlete who had scholarships to play at D-1 schools, staying healthy, and spending time with his daughter is very important to him. 

Joshua Leonard

Mike Morris
Episodic Director, Story Artist and Animation Supervisor

Mike Morris is a Director and Story Artist for animation with a career spanning over 15 years. Having lent his talents to television animation for the majority of his career, Mike has worked on shows such as The Simpsons, Disney's Ducktales (2017), Fox's Housebroken, and Netflix's Mulligan, among others. Mike has worked for various studios in his career, including Disney, Film Roman, Bento Box, Titmouse Inc., Warner Bros. has created artistic events such as Cartoon Crunch and Animation Dance Party, and currently is featured on the Toon Boom Animation streaming show, "The Collaboratory" on Twitch.tv.   

Joshua Leonard

Meredith Giltner
Director of Visual and Applied Arts at Skyline High School

Meredith Giltner, Director of Visual and Applied Arts at Skyline High School, has taught Art for 13 years in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Currently the AP Art History, Graphic Design and Digital Photography Teacher using the Adobe Suite and the Wacom tablet. Giltner received her BFA in Photography and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and her Post Bach in Art Education from Eastern Michigan University. Received the DTE School of the Year award in 2014 for Arts Integration from UMS. She is currently the Vice President of the Michigan Art Education Association, a member of the National Art Education Association and a member of the NAEA's School for Art Leaders Cohort 2021. She is currently working on a Master’s in Art Education from Boston University. She loves painting and spending time with her husband, son and 3 cats.

Joshua Leonard

Iris Ichishita
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Toekenz

Iris Ichishita is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Toekenz, the first family-focused and child-safe NFT platform and marketplace. Prior to Toekenz, Iris oversaw creative production and digital engagement at Mattel, producing video content for its world-class toy brands, including two Netflix Original animated series for the Ever After High toy brand. Before Mattel, she headed up production at Hallmark Movies Now, producing original live-action, documentary, and animated films for SVOD, including the animated reboot of Rainbow Brite. Iris is the VP of New Media and Chair of the New Media Council Board of Delegates for the Producers Guild of America. She has an MFA in Motion Picture Producing from the USC Peter Stark Producing Program.

Enter the Contest!

Contest entry is now closed. Winners will be announced shortly. To see the latest contest information, follow us on social media @wacomedu or visit our Community Blog.


Questions? Reach out to one of specialists at education@wacom.com