For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected].This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
CHOGRIN is a bilingual artist and storyteller from Guayaquil, Ecuador, currently residing in Los Angeles. His work is inspired by American and Japanese pop-culture and for the last decade he has worked in the animation industry for companies like Cartoon Network, Disney, and Netflix. His artwork has been featured in multiple galleries and publications around the world. He’s currently writing and directing his own animated projects, as well as making limited-edition art toys, and writing new bilingual stories for the publisher lil’ libros.
JOBLO: What got you started as an artist?
CHOGRIN: I grew up with a healthy dose of tv shows, movies, comics, and video games that made me want to get a piece of paper, colored pencils, and draw my favorite moments and characters from them.
I think I was 5 years old when I watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time on my Grandma’s TV. All the vivid colors, characters, moments, and emotions compelled me to draw and color what I like to call my first “masterpiece.” I remember my drawing featured Dorothy, The Tinman, The Scarecrow, and The Lion all walking on the yellow brick road, with The Wicked Witch hovering behind them. It was one of those moments I can still remember like it was yesterday. It was almost like tunnel vision… I couldn’t stop what I was drawing until it was done. I remember being very proud of it. I also remember my Grandmother being impressed by it and rewarded me with these Tak-A-Toy 50th anniversary figures:
Sadly, I don’t have the drawing, but I’m hoping it is in my Grandma’s house somewhere…
The big “AHA!” moment for me was when I watched the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in the theater. After the turtles are defeated by The Foot and retreat to April’s farmhouse, there’s a scene where April is drawing each Turtle. That scene blew my mind and was part of sending me down the path of wanting to get better at art. I wanted to be able to draw the turtles as good as her drawings. One of my dreams is to maybe someday own one of those original drawings. I think they were done for the production by art director Karen Steward. For lack of better words, the turtles were key into mutating me into the artist I am today.
Other big artistic moments and revelations to me were experimenting with Mario Paint…
And Jurassic Park really got my gears going about film, stop-motion animation, computer graphics, sound design, and dinosaurs of course!
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
Growing up I pretty much drew anything I liked on TV and that I saw in comics. A good mix of Anime, Disney, and Spawn. As I got older, I loved the works of Oswaldo Guayasamin, Diego Rivera, Akira Toriyama, Jack Kirby, Mike Mignola, Guillermo del Toro, Kevin Smith, Gutierrez, John Romita Jr., Charles Burns, Frida Kahlo, Dali, Moebius, and Picasso.
Between college and working in the animation industry I was able to develop my drawing style even more with the guidance of many amazing artists/mentors and friends like Brian Biggs, Christian Patchell, Joe DidoMenico, Bob McKnight, Ken Boyer, Phil Rynda, Eric Gonzalez , Nick Jennings, and Jorge R Gutierrez. I started looking at artists that would influence my drawing style like Al Hirschfeld, Osamu Tezuka, Ub Iwerks, Shotaro Ishinomori, EC Segar, , Maurice de Bevere (Morris), Dante Quinterno, Al Columbia, and The Fleischer Brothers.
People often say that my work reminds them of a hybrid of Astro Boy and Popeye. That is the best compliment I could ever get, because that’s the stuff I love and get my main inspiration from.
In 2014, I had the opportunity to put together an Official Popeye Art Show in collaboration with King Features Syndicate. It was a dream come true for me, as it was also a tribute to my abuelito, Manuel Game Peña, who was part of the Ecuadorian navy, and very much my real-life Popeye.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram?
Alban Ficat, Bridget Bilbo, Erick Martinez, Ehimo, Jared Circusbear, Dibbs, Nicolas Brosseau, Awesombrosos (Sebastián & Diego Ramirez), Cinema Fantasma, Flavia Z Drago, DuzMachines84, Burn353, SGorbio
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to learn and grow along with each project. Always keep sight of your dreams and aspirations, but also stay humble, and leave space for unexpected projects that may come your way.
Also, apply and take on as many internships and work opportunities as possible while you’re in school and in your 20s.
What should we be looking out for from you in the future?
My current toy and merch collaborations with Stranger Things, Kevin Smith, and Onyx The Fortuitous.
Also here’s the poster and teaser trailer for my animated short film, “Lucky Brave’s Sunshine” which was recently selected to participate in the academy award qualifying festival, Chilemonos.
My bilingual children’s book, Kid del Toro. Written by me and illustrated by Pakoto Martinez. Available HERE.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time?
Ah!!! So many! I’m a big fan of the animated medium, Amblin-esque movies or what I like to affectionately call “kids in peril” movies, movies based on cartoons, toys, or games, monster movies, and the Tokusatsu genre in general.
Here’ a list in no particular order: The Wizard of Oz, Popeye (the Fleischer years), Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atomu (The 2003 series), Welcome to Pooh Corner (1983), Teddy Ruxpin TV movie and cartoon, Mickey Mouse Shorts , Ub Iwerk’s Flip the Frog shorts, He-man and the Masters of the Universe, Ni En Vivo Ni En Directo (1997), Dr Expertus, Beakman’s World, Beetlejuice movie and cartoon, Invader Zim, Flash Gordon (1980), Maya The Bee (1979), Lucky Luke, Bravestarr, Choujyu Sentai Liveman, Kidou Keiji Jiban, Saint Seiya (Los Caballeros del Zodiaco), Captain Tsubasa (Super Campeones), El Chavo del Ocho, JAWS, Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Princess Monoke, Moby Dick (The Gregory Peck version), The Super Mario Super Show, The Wizard, The Goonies, The Monsters Squad, Gremlins 1 and 2, HOOK, Carrusel (1989), Maria la del Barrio, Roger Rabbit, Aladdin (1993), Ghostbusters 1-3, The Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, Everything TMNT related, Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 3, Super Mario Bros Movie (1993), The Flinstones Movie (1994), Popeye the Movie (1980) ) The Masters of the Universe Movie (1987), Might Morphin Power Rangers the Movie (1995), and Power Rangers (aka Saban’s americanized version of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger/Super Sentai), Amelie, April and the Extraordinary World, The City of Lost Children, Cronos, Hellboy the Golden Army, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Frankenweenie, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Superman (1978), Fright Night 1 and 2 (the originals), Memories (1995) ), Jumanji (1995), Basket Case (1982), Brain Damage (1988), The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Adventures in Dinosaur City, Prehysteria!, Blank Check, Encino Man, Once Upon A Forest, Ferngully, Dragonball, Lupin the Third, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, Pleasantville, Ghost World, Art School Confidential, Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis, Tetsujin 28 (the Imagawa version), Giant Robo (The Imagawa version), Cyborg 009 (2001 version), Pinocchio in Outer Space, Pinocchio (1940), Del Toro’s Pinocchio, Caveman (1981), Chucky (1988), It (1990 Mini-series), Breaking Bad, Barry, Frankenstein (2004 mini series), The Karloff Frankenstein trilogy (1931-1939), Samurai Jack, Primal, Clerks 1 & 2, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Tusk, Interstellar, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Close Enough, LOVE (Paul Rust series), The Matrix, StepMonster (1993) , The Spookies, The Willies, Star Wars (Episodes 4-9), LOTR (og Trilogy), Surf Ninjas, 3 Ninjas, Brigsby Bear, Sea Prince and the Fire Child, Problem Child 1 & 2, Stay Tuned, Condorman (1981 ), Maya and the three, El Tigre, The Book of Life, the Captain America movies, The Rocketeer, CHE films (by Steven Sonderbergh) Everything Everywhere all at once, Lady in White (1988), Radio Flyer (1992), The Powerpuff Girls series & Movie, Kid Cosmic, Blankman, Where the Wild Things are (2009), La Bamba, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, Rashomon, Night of Creeps, Godzilla: Final Wars, Lovecraft Country, Back to the Future Trilogy, Futurama, The Muppets Christmas Carol, The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Dead Man’s Chest, The Pirates of Dark Water, Swat Kats, Nacho Libre, Hot Rod, Cinema Paradiso, The Dennis the Menace Movie (1993), The Addams Family, Wednesday, La tropa Rex, The Odd Couple (1968), Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Akira, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Persepolis, Event Horizon, Starship Troopers, Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus, Vertigo, Fox’s Peter Pan & the Pirates, Captain Planet, Garden State, Juno, Fievel goes West, Galaxy Quest, Mystery Men, Space Jam, The Mask (1995), Cuphead, Thundercats, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp , A Goofy Movie, The Real Adventure of Jonny Quest, Deep Rising, The Mummy (1999), Indiana Jones films (yes, all of them), Matinee (1993), Explorers (1985), Innerspace, Gladiator, ALIEN, Prometheus, The Burbs, Rover Dangerfield, The Venture Bros, Dexter’s Laboratory: Ego Trip, Amor Estranho Amor, No mires para abajo (2008), Tortilla Soup (2001), SideWalls (Medianeras), Sin City, Rango, Sing Street, Little Shop of Horrors (Director’s Cut), Stir of Echoes, Sleepy Hollow (1999), Contact (1997) Re-Animator, From Beyond, Batman the Animated Series, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek: First Contact, Out of the past, Double Indemnity, LA Confidential, Night Moves, Under the Silver Lake, The Long Goodbye (1973), Casablanca, Willow, Ernest Scared Stupid, Fantastic Fungi, The Life Aquatic, With my Heart in Yambo, The Death of Jaime Roldos, The Mars Underground, Fire of Love, Stranger Things, Dinosaurs (1991), Dinosaucers, Dino-Riders, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Los Espookys (Season 1), The Changeling (1980), The Exorcist III, Y tu mama también, The Frighteners, Most of all King Kong movies, Documentary Now, Frankelda, Virus Tropical, Desperado, Once upon a time in Mexico, Once upon a time in Hollywood, Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, the thing, the fog, Kika ( 1994), Spawn the animated series, and Unicorn Wars.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from CHOGRIN as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / IMDB / YouTube / Store / Kid Del Toro / Linktree / Sideshow / UVD Toys / I Am 8 Bit / Fortuitous Films / Big Cartel
Guillermo Del Toro
Guru Del Toro Anatomy
The Headless Horseman
He-Man vs. skeleton
The Monster Squad
Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens
Trick ‘R Treat