Cartoonist, Jewelry Designer and Animator Embody Columbia Spirit

CHICAGO (April 23, 2012) — Continuing an annual tradition, Columbia College Chicago will honor outstanding alumni during the college’s commencement ceremonies on May 5 and 6. These alumni, who have taken the Columbia College spirit and translated it into successful careers in the arts, entertainment and media industries, have utilized their talents and experiences at Columbia, creating names for themselves far beyond the college community.

The alumni honorees whose time at Columbia College helped shape them into outstanding professionals with careers allowing them to live represent the School of Liberal Arts and Science, School of Fine and Performing Arts and the School of Media Arts, respectively:

Art Baltazar – Undeclared (BA ’92), cartoonist

A cartoonist born and based in Chicago, Baltazar defines cartoons and comics not only as an art style but as a way of life. His career began in 1994 with his self-published comic book, “The Cray-Baby Adventures.” Since then, he has created other comics such as “Gyro-Man,” “Captain Camel & the Space Chicken,” “Jimmy Dydo,” “Lunar Lizard,” “Meteor Mite,” and the famous “Patrick the Wolf Boy.” He is the creative force behind The New York Times-bestselling, Eisner Award-winning “Tiny Titans,” and the artist of the “Super Pets” children’s book series, and many more projects.

Lana Bramlette – AEMM: Fashion/Retail Management (BA ’97), jewelry designer

Lana Bramlette is the face and force behind Lana Jewelry and the “Lana Look,” a term that has come to stand for the world’s most delicate and modern jewelry. She launched Lana Jewelry in 2002 with her boyfriend (now husband) Rob Bramlette and today, Lana Jewelry is in more than 150 retailers worldwide. Her collections can be seen in magazines and on numerous A-list celebrities. Lana is also the founder of the Chicago Fashion Foundation (CFF), a nonprofit that gives annual scholarships to deserving Chicago-area design students.

Marlon West – Film & Video: Animation (BA ’85), effects animator/supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios

After graduating from Columbia College in 1985, Marlon West started his career producing educational films for Encyclopedia Britannica. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles, working on special effects for music videos, television commercials, and motion pictures. Marlon joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1993 as an effects animator on “The Lion King.” Since then, he has worked constantly as an animator with Disney, on many of its blockbuster animated classics. As effects lead, West has worked as a digital artist on Disney CG-animated films, as well as helped to usher traditional, 2-D back to the studio, as evidenced by Disney’s recent releases.

Chris Arrant

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