Creative Team

Malachi Staples

Owner, Creative Director 

Strategic, multidisciplinary animator, web & graphic designer with 15 years of branding experience. He has an eye for innovation and pixel perfection. Although his skill set is vast, his greatest expertise lies under the umbrella of market design, social media growth & business management.

Cole Cummings

Lead Animator   

Cole has a high level of skill with puppet animation, cutout and rigging using Adobe Flash. When it comes to animating he is the Barry Allan aka the Flash, because he can do what takes 3 animators to completed by himself and still delivery a high-quality animation.
Scott Ciprian is a 2D animator and illustrator currently based in Columbus, Ohio. His work is mainly traditional 2D animation, but he also has experience with cutout animation and motion graphics. With a hope to further diversify into 3D and comics, 2D animation will always be his bread and butter. “The Force has awaken in this Jedi… his stylus is a Light Sabre.”

I have a BA in Digital Animation. I’ve been working since 2003 as a freelance storyboard artist and animator for local advertising campaigns. I’ve also worked in an animation studio, mostly as a puppet animator. Now I’m the head of a creative department on a digital agency, in charge of all stages of animated productions for social media campaigns.

I love to illustrate, to do more I have become a sketch artist, posting on Instagram and Tumblr different art techniques.

Luke Graber

Lead Illustrator

With a BFA in Illustration from the Cleveland Institute of Art, Luke is a highly motivated worker who has experience and strong interest in children’s book illustration, comics, and traditional animation. His affection for the look and feel of 2D animated movies is so deep that it has gone on to heavily influence his main rendering style for illustration. He’s also a perfectionist when it comes to his work.
Meg Mahoney loves stories, and thinks that all of the arts are at their best when they combine to tell stories; Being an animator was inevitable for her. She loves collaborative art and jumps at any chance to draw to tell a great story. Meg primarily uses Toonboom and Photoshop for animation. Meg graduated from Paducah School of Art and Design in 2013 with a degree in illustrative drawing, and graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2015 with her BFA in animation.

Fernando Guevara

Lead Animator & Illustrator

I am Fernando an animator and illustrator who constantly explores using new tools! I am very passionate about animation.
I worked for El Hombre Invisible animation studios based in Ecuador for about 3 years. After that I completed varies frelance work for about 1 year. I also worked on several short films such as Popoc, Cincopata, Tzan-zan and a local animated series for kids called Los Acolite and Nuki Nuki.

Humberto “Hue” Zugasti

Illustrator

Since he was a child, he fell in love with cartoons and animated films; so he got prepared for all kinds of art schools and workshops to reach his dream of becoming a professional cartoonist. Including classes for Stop Motion, Painting, Character Design, Graphic Motion, Creative Writing, Voice acting, among others. Hue is the “Michael Jordan of Graphic Design…”
Loves cartoons, storytelling, and creating characters . . . with character! It’s been her dream to be a cartoon animator since she was 5 years old. She is skilled in Flash, traditional animation, storyboarding, and story development. Since earning her degree in animation in 2013, Jenny has worked on WordGirl, Azadae, and has been developing her own animated series, Abra Cadaveric.

Molly Thomas

Illustrator

When Molly was younger, she would come up with about 85,000 different characters and stories and would stay up way past her bedtime drawing them. Once she found out she can work and do what she loves, she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. She received her BFA in Illustration in 2015 and had been working as a freelance illustrator ever since.

 

Austin Howard

Animator & Illustrator

Austin Howard is a 2D animator and illustrator who love storytelling and sequential art. Having the ability to immerse an audience into a different world has always been a goal, which is what caused him to create believable stories and worlds that an audience could lose themselves in. Austin primarily uses Toonboom, Storyboard Pro and Photoshop to create his artwork. Austin graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2016 with a BFA in animation.

 

Brittney Baker

Animator & Illustrator

Brittney is like the Swiss-army knife of the art world. Whether it be creating storyboard animatics, 3D sculpts, animations, or character designs, she puts forth her very best in whatever work she does! She has a BFA in Animation from Laguna College of Art and Design where she was trained in traditional animation. While in school, Brittney participated in two art shows in Hollywood and was chosen to be part of a Master Class where she worked with a small team of students who created a short traditionally animated film with Famous Disney animator Jamie Lopez. Since graduating, she has been teaching art classes at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton California as well as doing freelance 3D animation for the Disneyland parks around the world. Now Brittney is living in Central California with her cockatiel sidekick named Batman, rocking out art and animations for Essence Cartoon!

Alayna Schwab

Animator & Illustrator

Alayna Schwab is an animator, illustrator, character designer, and storyteller. She works in 2d, 3d, as well as traditional mediums like colored pencil and graphite to make animation. She enjoys exploring different styles and techniques ranging from realistic to abstract and expressionist. She wishes to bring her characters to life and considers every animator to be a character actor. She graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design with a BFA in Animation in 2017.

Script Team

Edward Mays is a serial entrepreneur with a 4-year degree major in English Writing. He is a creative genius when it comes to taking writing content and transforming it into viral-shareable media. He spends his down time watching movies and reading comics. He loves to discuss and analyze content as well as find ways to make it better.

Brandon Chen

Scriptwriter

Brandon Chen is a young author that wrote his first book at the age of 14 and published it when he was 17. He became a best-selling author at 19 with the release of God of War, Ares. As a fan of comics, manga, animations, and movies, Brandon hopes to one day branch out into those industries with his writing.

To find him on social media, go to www.authorbrandonchen.com, Links to Amazon Books: Age of Darkness (Book One) / Age of Darkness (Book Two) / God of War, Ares

 

Samuel Brody-Boyd

Scriptwriter

Born into a family of creatives, Samuel has spent his entire life taking in narratives from across just about possible medium and now looks towards creating his own. After obtaining his degree in English from Grinnell College (with a few detours along the way), he moved to Columbus and instantly fell in love with its imaginative spirit. In the summer of 2015, Samuel published his first story, Dethroned. Now a part of the Essence writing team, Samuel looks forward to working in animation, a medium he has loved since bringing home a video cassette of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego from the library.

 

Rick Schlaack

Scriptwriter

I’m Rick Schlaack from Lansing, MI, and I joined the writing team on Monday. I’m a comic book artist and writer for Blind Alley Comics and a great enthusiast for all things animation. I’m hoping my cinematic writing style and comics-based perspective will be a great asset to EssenceCartoon.

 

 

Marketing Team

Genesis Shine

Lead Brand Ambassador

15 years of Promotional and Branding Model experience. Worked with Power 107.5’s DJ Dommy “Huge Deal” Styles on various projects including album release parties, meet and greets, artist development education, promo for nightclubs, and runway events, planned fundraisers, artist recruiting, interviews, model recruiting, promotions, modeling, and hosting for Anthony Vines XUMM Magazine

Scarlet and Grey Commercial on 106.7 The Beat Scouted, maintained social networks and directed the “Mid West Mix UP” for MOG Events.

Laura Besh has been in the Brand Ambassador business for eight years. She has worked for alcohol companies, wireless companies, radio stations, and even Disney. Laura is also an actress and writer, known for Unicorn and Toast (2015), Meridian (2016) and Lost in Detroit (2013).

Kylea Wiggins

Brand Ambassador

Hello! My name is Kylea Wiggins and I watch cartoons almost every day of my life and have big dreams to become a part of them. I also have a strong passion for animals and adventuring! I love being outside & discovering new places and new people.

Stephanie Jorgensen

Brand Ambassador

Jodie Arrick

Brand Ambassador

20 + years in the event planning and hospitality industry working in hotels, country clubs, restaurants and sports venues with clients to include Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, professional athletes and professional sports leagues including the AFL, NFL, NHL, PGA and MLB.
4 years with Brand Ambassador and Event Marketing work has allowed me to use my creativity, personality, and attention to detail to add to the success of many companies such as Field and Stream, Legos and Irish Spring.
In my free time, I enjoy to workout, garden, attend events and have fun with family and friends.

Voice Team

DaWolf

DaWolf

Voice Actress

Mela Hudson

Mela Hudson

Voice Actress

Mazin Zien

Mazin Zien

Voice Actor

Rena Loveman

Rena Loveman

Voice Actress

Val Kelly

Val Kelly

Voice Actress

Terrance Nicholson

Terrance Nicholson

Voice Actor

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Salim Al-Mumin

Salim Al-Mumin

Voice Actor

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Joe Ponder

Joe Ponder

Voice Actor

Instagram: Kings of Earth – Published Novel Kings of Earth

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