Kenneth Vernon Hultgren was a gifted draughtsman and notable Disney animator. In his relatively short career, he left behind a substantial body of work that continues to inspire and educate people.
Hultgren was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1915. He studied at a local School of Art, before moving to California to pursue a career in animation. In 1936, one year after moving to California, he joined Disney Studios. He was an animator on the short film Farmyard Symphony (1938). He then worked on the feature film Bambi (1942), which he also created model sheets and layouts. Hultgren showed he was very comfortable drawing animals from any angle.
Alvaro Castagnet is a renowned watercolour painter. Currently living in Uruguay, he travels the world to exhibit, demonstrate, judge, and teach. He has written articles for multiple international art publications, as well as authored three successful books of his own. He is a member of the American Watercolor Society, Australian Watercolour Institute and Uruguayan Cultural Association Watercolourists (ACUA), and an honorary member of The Ohio Watercolor Society. His work is collected by many worldwide and has been recognised by numerous prestigious awards over the last 30 years.
Castagnet was born in 1954 in Montevideo, Uruguay. From an early age, his interest in art was encouraged by his father, who enrolled him into the National School of Art in Montevideo. He continued his formal education under the tutelage of colour theorist and oil painter, Miguel Angel Pareja, at the Fine Arts University. In 1983, Castagnet migrated to Australia. He stayed for 20 years. In 1985, he held his first solo exhibition.
Neill Cameron is a freelance illustrator, writer, and teacher based in Oxford, England. Much of his focus and effort goes into making awesome comics for young readers. His work regularly appears in the weekly children’s comic The Phoenix. Currently, he is writing and drawing Mega Robo Bros for The Phoenix, as well as writing Tamsin and the Deep, illustrated by Kate Brown.
Don Shank is an Annie and Emmy awards winning animator. Pleasantly planted in California, he is currently working at Pixar Animation Studios. Shank studied animation at the renowned CalArts. Whose alumni include fellow Pixar patriots, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, and Pete Docter, to name but a few.
After university, Shank worked at a variety of studios including Nickelodeon Animation Studio, where he worked as a layout artist on the groundbreaking Ren & Stimpy Show, Cartoon Network Studios and later, Hanna-Barbera Productions where he worked as a storyboard artist on Genndy Tartakovsky’s Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack as well as Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls. Shank also wrote for Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls and The Powerpuff Girls Movie.
Noumeda Carbone is an award winning illustrator based in Florence, Italy. Freelancing since 2006 she has worked with a host of clients including Leo Burnett, Vogue, Saatchi & Saatchi and The Guardian. Carbone’s detailed and surreal work has graced the walls of multiple solo and group exhibition and illuminated the pages of many magazines like Rolling Stone, Glamour, Computer Arts, La Perla Magazine, and Juxtapoz.
Carbone’s illustrations balance the fanciful with the forlorn. Finicky detail sit next to fancy-free water colour brush work. All the elements are collated digitally to give a coherent, layered and dazzling finished piece.
Jerzy Drozd, the cartoonist and teaching artist, not the “creative bass guitar company with unique design” is the guiding force behind possibly my favourite podcast, Lean Into Art (LIA). He, along with co-host Rob Stenzinger, have consistently thought-provoking topics and discussion. Drozd is also responsible for Comics Are Great!, which among many things, runs regular workshops and events for children and teenagers. With the aim of encouraging them to read more and, of course, learn how to make comics.
Drozd has also started a webcomic called Boulder and Fleet. A new page is released each week and it centers around a bear and a bird, with a host of other animals, whom go on 80s-cartoon-inspired adventures. There’s lots of lasers. Exactly. I will give you a minute to go and bookmark it.
Since its launch in 2011 Gumroad has fast become one of the most popular platforms for creatives to sell their digital content. However, Gumroad is purposely designed without a centralised area of search and discovery, instead the emphasis is on the creators to direct their audience. Which makes it impossible to just stumble on all that great content. You can find some good stuff in the Gumroad Collections section, but that really does not even scratch the surface of how many gems the site has.
So I took it upon myself to put together a list of 28 Gumroad creators you really should know: