Drawing by Marc Ratner, Experimental Animation ‘92 Drawing by Marc Ratner, Experimental Animation ‘92

Re: Man of Character

Most “independent” films made by CalArts animators are collaborative efforts. There’s just too much potential for creative interaction here to sit alone in your cubicle and make solitary art. It’s something I miss about working in A115, but happily recalled while reading Maureen Selwood’s thoughtful piece on Stephen Hillenburg (The Pool 5). It reawakened the kinds of memories that are hard to share at a memorial service.

I loved seeing Steve’s loose and playful drawings again. I was touched to hear the reminiscences of some of his closest companions: Steve Belfer, Mark Osborne, and Isabel Herguera. As his mentor, Jules Engel, recognized immediately Steve was a “giant”—and it’s no accident that his talents were nurtured at CalArts.

The whole world knows SpongeBob, but we were so fortunate to have known Steve! Thanks to all who made this collaborative tribute possible.