Leo Matsuda is a Brazilian artist who works in the story department at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He has previously worked as a character layout artist on The Simpsons and in the story department at Blue Sky Studios.
Leo’s blog is full of personal drawings and projects. Leo relates funny stories in storyboard form, such as this one about being ridiculed for his squirrel appreciation. More personal boards about embarrassing, relatable moments are on almost every blog page.
His development as an artist is well documented online. You can see Matsuda’s old story portfolio here from his time spent as an intern at Pixar circa 2008. His old portfolio from around the same time is also viewable online. Current work can be seen on his regular blog and Tumblr.
Natasha Allegri works as a storyboard revisionist on the Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time. Natasha is the creator of the initial gender-swapped drawings of Finn and Jake, Fionna and Cake, that got folded into the show and featured in several episodes. She also drew the poses for the baby Finn dance, below:
Natasha created her own cartoon with potential for a series, Bee and PuppyCat, which was produced by Fred Seibert’s Cartoon Hangover initiative. Through her association with Frederator, she successfully crowdfunded nine new episodes of Bee and Puppycat, which will debut in 2014.
See more of Natasha’s work on her Tumblr Natazilla.tumblr.com.
Elena and Olivia Ceballos are 19-year-old twin sisters from Georgia who work as visual development artists at Big Ideas Entertainment on the Veggie Tales franchise. Their development as artists is as intertwined as the name they use online—Elioli—which is the first three letters of each of their names combined. The sisters work individually and together on projects; perhaps they have carried their collaborative habits into their professional work since they both are employed by the same company.
The sisters are notably prolific, even considering their advantage of being two people. Their constant output gives the impression that they are dedicated to self-improvement and studying the techniques of their art form.
You can see more work from Elena and Olivia on their Tumblr and EliOliArt.com, where you can travel back in time and see work such as the drawing below by then-16-year-old Olivia, already showing burgeoning skills beyond her years:
Victor Kerlow is an artist born and raised in New York City who creates comics, animation, and many illustrations for newspapers, magazines and books.
Kerlow has published multiple collections of his comics work such as the recent Everything Takes Forever, published by Koyama Press, which features comics drawn in his distinctive ink-and-wash style. Sometimes, Victor also jams on a collaborative comic with Josh Burggraf. The two artists discuss the project in this interview. Just one example:
See more work from Victor on his Tumblr and portfolio.
Milos “Sholim” Rajkovic is a Serbian artist who has found a unique way to express his anti-war and anti-corrupt corporation/government/religion sentiments: with animated GIFs.
Rajkovic creates animated portraits of anonymous archetypes with deconstructed heads and symbolic components that operate like finely tuned machines. Everything is fair game: a religious figure with alter, candles, and a rotating luxury car; U.S. military figures with weight-lifting Ronald McDonald, skeletons, praying hands, and a flat screen TV playing 24-hour cable news.
The brains of these figures are compromised–sometimes portrayed as dropping into a pool of blood or being picked at by a vulture-like bald eagle–so comprised possibly that they are missing the capacity for human empathy. Are they all portraits of psychopaths perhaps? I’m guessing that Milos’ answer might be affirmative—these are the psychopaths who run your government, military, religious and corporate institutions.
A playlist of Rajkovic’s Minute Portrait series is embedded below, where you can properly experience each of these surreal loops with an accompanying soundtrack of sound effects:
See more work on Milos’ Tumblr and YouTube channel.
Kenard Pak is an artist in San Francisco who has worked as a visual development artist at DreamWorks Animation, PDI/DreamWorks, and Walt Disney Animation Studios. More recently, Pak has been illustrating picture books; his first of two books is due to be published in 2014.
Pak excels at capturing an expansive, airy feeling in his artwork–excellent for creating concept work of wide cityscapes from bird’s-eye views, as well as ancient light-filled buildings.
See more on Ken’s website Pandagun.com, blog and Tumblr.
Carter Goodrich is an artist who creates illustrations for children’s books, editorial illustrations for magazines, and character designs for animated films. He has contributed designs to films such as The Croods, Brave, Open Season, and Finding Nemo, among others.
Carter’s designs for Despicable Me appear to have been especially faithfully referenced in the final 3D models when compared to some of the other films that he has worked on.
Shrek’s final designs didn’t reference Goodrich’s design work as strongly. Goodrich’s Shrek designs (along with William Steig’s originals and Mike Ploog’s development art for that matter) are all more funny and likable than the designs the film ended up with.
View more magazine cover art, editorial illustration and character design on Carter’s website.
Will Kim is a Los Angeles based artist who creates “drawings and paintings in motion,” made primarily with oil pastels, watercolors and pencil on paper. For presentation on his blog, Will digitally processes the work and makes short animated GIF files.
The frenzied lines in Will’s work communicate energy and speed. The artist appears to be searching for the image to reveal itself as he works.
Will’s watercolor animated figures demonstrate a knowledge of classic animation principles: strong line of action, clear silhouettes, anticipation, among those principles.
See more from Will on his Tumblr, Art in Motion, and his website.
Raymond Lemstra is an artist living in Amsterdam. He creates drawings of figures with strange distorted features, some emphasized and others reduced. After prepatory drawings in his sketchbook, he meticulously draws many of his pieces in pencil without any underdrawing. A lot of his work references indigenous cultures’ masks and artwork, which he talks about more here.
Visit Raymond’s portfolio website and blog for more intriguing work.
Delphine Dussoubs is a French artist living in Montreal. She creates drawings and animated video art to play and mix at live events as a VJ, such as The Friendly Tiger-flower:
Together, Delphine and Louise Druelle form BBBLaster, a group that performs audio-visual projects with different music producers.
Dussoubs’ 2011 film, Little Monkey, is animated with a flexible, unfussy no-outline style and tells the story of a young monkey fighting his symbolic fears of becoming an adult by wailing on the sacred djembé. This short is her final project from her time studying at EMCA Angoulême.
See more work on her Vimeo, blog, and portfolio website.
Ayumu Arisaka is a Japanese artist who collaborates with Ren Kohata and Oitama, whom she met while studying at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Together they are known as Saigo No Shudan. You can visit the collective’s website to see the mixed-media animated videos that they have created, such as the recent Relaxin’ with music by Yakenohara:
Ayumu’s drawings bring a lot of the cloudy and soft aesthetic to the collaborative animation that Saigo No Shudan creates. A lot of energy is also communicated in the electric colors that she chooses.
See more drawings and animation by Arisaka on her Tumblr.
Oakland, California-based Samuel Hayes creates wild animated experiments and comic drawings with iconic cartoon shapes and electric colors. His approach to subject matter has an equal sense of expressive freedom and abandon. His stated influences include Max Fleischer, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and the Silver Surfer.
Here is an animated collaboration with Michael Olivo:
See more of Samuel’s work on his Tumblr.
Stef Choi is an artist living in Portland, Oregon. She creates illustrations, videos and other multimedia projects as part of her collaborative enterprise Belly & Bones that she runs with Tony Candelaria. Independently, she has also worked for Laika and Walt Disney Animation Studios creating character concepts and designs for various projects.
These bird designs were part of Stef’s development work at Laika for a film that was never completed, Jack & Ben:
Her personal drawings are charmingly friendly and strange, such as the illustrations she did for a small book about the life cycle of mushrooms. Visit Stef’s blog to see more development, sketchbook and illustration work.
Loïc Locatelli Kournwsky is a comic book artist who works in Lyon, France. Loïc also creates illustrations and storyboards.
A prolific artist, Loïc draws enough art—both original pieces and fan art—to fill multiple blogs with different material. Loïc’s Memory Card Tumblr appears to be a place where he draws inspiration from a film, TV show or book, and then writes and draws his impressions.
The first 50 pages of Loïc’s new comic, Lonely Midnight Drivers, is available to read here (in French).
See more of Loïc’s sketches on Tumblr, his work on his portfolio website, and yet another Tumblr functioning as an art blog.
Cartoon Brew’s Artist of the Day concludes Frozen week with a look at the work of Jin Kim, who was recently written up here for his caricatures of Disney co-workers. Kim drew these expression studies for Frozen:
Jin’s rough pencil drawings reveal his process of discovering the strongest lines to hone in on as he builds up the forms:
See more of Kim’s work on his blog.
Frozen week continues on Cartoon Brew’s Artist of the Day. Lisa Keene could justifiably be called a Disney veteran. Her credits on Disney films date all the way back to 1985′s The Black Cauldron on which she was a background painter. On Frozen, Keene is credited as the film’s assistant art director.
Keene’s challenge in Frozen was to convey a full emotional range of color and light within an icy white setting. As any artist knows though, ice and snow are not uniformly white. Light refracts and reflects allowing for a wide range of possibilities. Add in blizzards and the Northern Lights, and a satisfyingly rich landscape emerges in a frosty environment.
See more of Keene’s work including her personal animal portraits on her portfolio website.
It’s Frozen week on Cartoon Brew’s Artist of the Day, and we’re continuing to feature artists who worked on Disney’s latest feature. Bill Schwab works as a character designer and visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios. On Frozen he is credited as supervising the character design work.
His work contributed to several previous Disney features, including The Princess and the Frog:
He also contributed designs to Disney’s Christmas TV special Prep and Landing:
Bill drew this pin-striped beauty for an in-house art show at the studio:
You can see more of Bill’s personal and work drawings on his blog, including loads of cartoon doodles drawn with a sense of loose, goofy cartoon fun.
This week we continue looking at some of the talented artists whose efforts made possible the new Disney feature Frozen. Brittney Lee is credited on the film as a visual development artist.
A few of her character studies are below:
Brittney specializes in dimensional paper sculpture illustrations. She has created multiple images that relate to scenes in Disney pictures for various projects and group shows:
See more of Brittney’s drawings and paper creations on her blog. Those who browse all the way back to Brittney’s posts archived from 2005 will recognize her student film work that is featured prominently throughout Nancy Beiman’s excellent animation book, Prepare to Board!
Lee also illustrated the Frozen book tie-in A Sister More Like Me:
Our Artist of the Day feature is extra-cool this week because we’re focusing on artists who contributed to Disney’s new film Frozen, which expands nationwide this week. It all begins with story so it’s fitting that our first featured Frozen artist is Paul Briggs, the story supervisor on the film.
Earlier this year a live reindeer visited the studio and shed its horns on the spot, and Paul got a few sketches in:
Paul shares a lot of his free-flowing doodle pages from meetings where the combination of a distracted mind and idle time often produce interesting results. See more on his PBCB Studios blog, and more recently, Tumblr.
If you ever wanted to attend Robert McKee’s story seminar, but couldn’t make it, just use Paul’s notes from it above as your cheat sheet.
Read interviews with Paul here and here where in which he discusses his role in storytelling on recent Disney feature films.
April Liu is a second year animation student at CalArts. Her blog is a mixture of personal and school work with drawings and animated studies from projects in progress, such as a short about a fellow with a sprout growing from the top of his head. According to her blog posts, April may have abandoned this film having concluded that she wants to move on to a new film that will challenge her more.
On her blog, she concludes that at least the efforts on this film were worthwhile color studies:
See more of April’s keenly observed and cartooned work on her Tumblr.
Thomas Gilbert is a comics writer and artist living in Brussels, Belgium.
Thomas’s work includes ink and pencil drawings colored with deep digital hues and watercolor washes that create dark moods to match the subject matter. Thomas has posted his recent experiments with drawing directly into a tablet which produces a similar result under his practiced control (also see the top drawing), but inevitably the digital inking has less of the grungy chaos of traditional drawing.
See more of Thomas’s work on his blog Profondville.blogspot.com.
Amélie Fléchais is a French illustrator of comic books and children’s books. She also works as a visual development artist for animated productions.
Amélie posts sketchbook work such as these selections of her mountain vacation-inspired watercolors. The pages are also posted here accompanied by photos of the mountainous area she was visiting. Her work is full of inventive fantasy creatures that seem to be part of a mythical world of her own invention.
She posts work on her Tumblr, Blogspot, and portfolio website.
Tamia Baudouin draws comics and art in graphite and ink, sometimes overlaying limited colors on the gray tones.
Tamia animates loops and creates films of her drawings. The gloomy and strange figures that she designs are effectively unsettling, especially in motion.
See more of her sketchbook drawings, paintings and animation on her Tumblr, portfolio, and blog.
Bernardo França works in Sao Paulo making drawings, paintings and designs for print and animation projects.
His sketches and drawings appear to be drawn with rapid, loose strokes while remaining solidly under the artist’s control.
Saturated, stylized color palettes are regularly part of Bernardo’s design choices that he makes while creating these vibrant drawings.
Bernardo creates a lot of work which you can view on his blog and website. He also keeps a Tumblr as a repository of inspiring work.
Richard Short is a London-based cartoonist who creates Klaus comics and other illustrations.
Klaus recalls Tove Jansson’s Moomins in the sense that its world feels complete and thoroughly unique. Reading just a few of these comics can leave one contemplating existence with Klaus and his human-headed, less-introspective rat associates.
Read the ongoing comics of Klaus on Tumblr. You’ll also find other art there such as these funny, fake “rebranding” designs of Klaus that Richard drew as a style exercise:
For the Franco-Belgian market:
For the Polish market:
For the manga market:
From the 1950s:
From the totally extreme 1990s:
The publisher Nobrow released a handsome Klaus collection in book form. You can see more of Richard’s work including posters and illustrations on his blog and Flickr.
Jeff Liu studied at CalArts and now works at Cartoon Network on Steven Universe. He composed the instrumental track for the “Cookie Cat Rap” that appeared in the show’s premiere.
Animation students these days are practically always in front of computers, always online, and often distracted from the work at hand. To his credit, Jeff was distracted from animation classes by actually animating–with his finger and trackpad. He later compiled his pieces into The Trackpad Jam:
On Jeff’s Vimeo, you can also view his 3rd year film, Eat!, the project which he is “most proud of”:
See more digital doodles and sketches from Jeff on his abandoned blog and new Tumblr.