Today’s Cartoon Brew Artist of the Day post is sponsored by the CG Master Academy. Sign up TODAY for Nate Wragg’s class Character Design for Animation.
Nate Wragg works as an art director and illustrator for animation and book projects, and teaches courses about character design.
For the production of Toy Story 3, one of Nate’s assignments was to design the new toy characters in Bonnie’s room, including Mr. Pricklepants. See more toy character designs and read Nate’s thoughts about his process in this blog post.
Nate posts much more personal and professional work on his blog N8Wragg.blogspot.com, where you can also find links to the books that he has illustrated including two that are related to Pixar’s Ratatouille.
Justin K. Thompson works in animation as a production designer and visual development artist with credits on both Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs features, The Powerpuff Girls movie and Cartoon Network’s Korgoth of Barbaria pilot, among others.
Justin does plein air painting as a personal activity and feeds that artistic experience and insight back into his professional work. The two below are painted in gouache. He admits to all the plein air purists that on the first painting, he touched it up in his home studio. The second painting is a detail of a slightly larger piece:
See more of Justin’s drawings and paintings on his Tumblr and blog.
Stephen Vuillemin is an artist who graduated from Gobelins in 2008 and lives in London.
You can see Stephen’s portfolio and blog here which includes his GIF animated comics.
Stephen has elevated the art of the animated GIF by producing work specifically for that format, and subsequently, has been commissioned by art directors to create animated GIFs to run in online publications. When the same publications run static print versions of the GIF illustrations, Stephen’s work flops the paradigm: the print version is the modified, adapted, and even inferior version when compared to the animated online version–but only because it lacks the motion. Stephen’s static illustrations are equally strange, humorous and appealing to view.
Charmaine Verhagen is into cartoons deep. For evidence, check her cartoon arm (in progress).
Recently, Charmaine successfully took a design test to be able to contribute work to her favorite Cartoon Network show. Below is one of her drawings from the test, and here is the post with more of her studies and preparation for it. After seeing those drawings, you’ll be able to guess which show if you haven’t already figured it out.
Below is Charmaine’s interpretation of the mutant Robin McConnell character that has become the mascot of the Inkstuds radio show/podcast, hosted by Robin McConnell. Click over there for an immense backlog of interviews with comics creators to keep you busy listening for weeks.
For more of Charmaine’s sketches and drawing work, visit her blog.
Brooklyn-based French filmmaker Michel Gondry directs feature films, shorts, commercials, and what he may be best known for, music videos. Much of his work is full of practical and digital effects, often of the hand-made do-it-yourself variety, always clever, and typically animated.
While many people stiffen and become more conservative as they age, Michel has retained the natural enthusiasm of youth to experiment creatively and to release and publish all sorts of work fearlessly. This DVD menu screen from one of Michel’s music video collections illustrates his playful approach to art:
Michel’s longest music video directing relationship is with Bjork. He directed the video for “Human Behavior” from her Debut record, and most recently directed the video for “Crystalline” from her Biophilia record, with animation direction by Peter Sluszka:
Michel draws and creates books. Picturebox has published three of his books. One is a comic book and another is a book/film collaboration with artist Julie Doucet.
He recently released Haircut Mouse, a short multimedia animated film:
Here is a trio of Rubik’s Cube solving videos. The first utilizes a simple filmmaking trick before escalating into the use of digital effects in videos two and three:
Here is a teaser for Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?, the “animated conversation” with Noam Chomsky, directed by Michel:
You can see more work at Michel’s website and watch “TV Gondry” for a brief commercial of Michel pushing his products:
Genevieve Tsai is a character designer and concept artist who has primarily worked on video game productions.
Genevieve’s blog and Tumblr show off recent development work that she created for the latest Sly Cooper game, Thieves in Time, which include these detailed layout drawings of a chunk of 3D game space and ideas for character movement (see them larger on her own site):
You can see more of Genevieve’s character concepts and illustrations on her website, Charicreatures.com.
Richie Pope is an artist living in Virginia and working as an illustrator.
In his work Richie emphasizes the textures of his materials and uses a lively line to draw scenes and characters, often with an animated influence. Comics appreciation is also an influence on Richie’s work. Richie is contributing to the Bartkira project being orchestrated by artist James Harvey in which volunteers each re-draw five pages of the original AKIRA manga in their own styles while replacing all characters with characters from The Simpsons.
Patrick Smith (not to be confused with indie animator Pat Smith) is an artist whose work tends to be constructed of colorful objects as if toy construction and geometric block sets have assembled into new beings and landscapes.
Patrick is the rare artist who is equally accomplished in the technical aspects of digital design and programming as he is working on paper. He built the interactive Vectorpark website early in the history of online Flash animation using self-taught ActionScript programming techniques to produce curious worlds for users to manipulate with mouse clicks (and now with fingers on updated mobile versions).
Above is a screenshot from one of the Vectorpark pieces, Feed the Head.
You can see a portfolio of drawings and paintings here and more drawings on his blog.
The artist known as Magic Sweater lives in Melbourne, Australia. His illustration revels in its pop culture roots and his stylistic influences are worn on his cartoon sleeves with pride.
Influences listed in correspondence with him include:
“Classic Looney Tunes and Disney animation, Harvey comics, Archie comics, John Kricfalusi, Mad Magazine, Akira Toriyama (Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball), Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Rankin-Bass movies, Will Eisner, vintage Golden Books, early Peanuts, etc.”
Magic Sweater’s portfolio is notably not a gallery of fan-art, but instead full of original creations in the vein of things that are familiar. He further writes, “I like creating my own characters and cartoon concepts. On my website you may come across images related to a group of characters called ‘The Poo-lution Pals’ who are a parody of early ’90s environmental/save-the-planet themed shows like Captain Planet, Toxic Crusaders and Widget the World Watcher.”