James Sturm is a cartoonist and educator. He is currently the Director of The Center for Cartoon Studies, a two-year cartooning school located in White River Junction, Vermont.

In 1991 James received a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, moved to Seattle and co-founded the alternative weekly, The Stranger. That same year Fantagraphics began publishing his Eisner-nominated comic book series The Cereal Killings.

During the next five years James was the art director of The Stranger, collaborated with syndicated columnist (and talking head) Dan Savage producing two issues of the comic book Savage Love. In 1996 James received a Xeric grant for his comic The Revival. From 1997-2001 James lived in Savannah, Georgia and taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the sequential art department.

In 1998 Drawn and Quarterly published the story Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight, the second in a trilogy of American historical fiction pieces. Three years later came the last installment of the trilogy, the best-selling and award-winning graphic novel The Golem’s Mighty Swing. The book has been translated into several languages and was named “Best Comic 2001″ by Time Magazine.

An avid collector of Marvel Comics in his youth James wrote and designed the 2004 Eisner award winning Unstable Molecules, a four issue series and trade paperback featuring the characters based on the Fantastic Four, and published by Marvel Comics.

James’ most recent books include Satchel Paige, Striking Out Jim Crow, Adventures in Cartooning (with CCS alumni Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost), and Market Day. With CCS alumni Brandon Elston, James editedDenys Wortman’s New York.

James’ writings and illustrations have appeared in scores of national and regional publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Onion, The New York Times, Slate, and on the cover of The New Yorker.

James Sturm was a visiting artist in the Dept. of Communication Arts in 2013.

Ron Lemen has worked in several different arenas of art, from representational and fine art to illustration and entertainment art. Not only does he work as a freelance artist and commissioned painter, he has a strong and extensive background in art instruction as well. Ron has developed a solid place in the community of Encinitas participating in a variety of local art events, as well as establishing a worldwide presence on the web with online instruction and tutorials.

Ron first went in to the Action Sports Industry working as a layout artist, logo designer, and board graphic illustrator. Moving in to more involved illustrations and conceptual design, he went back to school and is a graduate of the Atelier System, classically trained, and a former pupil of Sebastian Capella, Spanish portrait virtuoso. He has been a concept designer and art director in the video game industry for 10 years with dozens of clients including Sony, Activision, Ubi Soft, Mattel and more. Now freelancing full-time, his clients include Upper Deck, Dragon lance, White Wolf, Time Warner, Wizards of the Coast, Image Comics, Birdhouse Projects, Ride Snowboards, Disney, and more. In addition to illustrating and Portrait Painting, Ron has been an art instructor for the last 16 years. Together with his wife Vanessa, the two have recently opened a school in Encinitas Ca., Studio 2nd Street, where they instruct classical foundation, fine art painting, illustration and conceptual design.


Vanessa Lemen is a fine art painter and illustrator, who has worked as a freelance artist, commissioned painter, and fine art instructor. Vanessa graduated from San Diego State University in 1995, and has since developed a solid place in the community of Encinitas participating in a variety of local art events, as well as establishing a worldwide presence on the web with online instruction and tutorials. She is co-founder of Studio 2nd Street in Encinitas, CA, with her husband Ron, where she teaches classical foundation drawing and painting, as well as mixed media and illustration classes.


Venessa and Ron Lemen were Visiting Artists in the Dept. of Communication Arts in 2013.

Jeremy Collins came to speak in an open lecture to discuss his experiences combining an interest in mountain climbing with his art and professional life.

“I make art. I always have and know no other way. Sometimes with pen and paper. Sometimes with film and story. Sometimes while climbing rocks. And then I share it. Otherwise what’s the point? I live in a green barn-shaped house with my wife Tricia, and our amazing kids, Zion and Sela.”

National Geographic Magazine, Nat Geo TV, Wall Street Journal, TedEd, Outside, Patagonia, The North Face, prAna, Outdoor Research, Evolv, Rock & Ice, Trail Runner, Alpinist, Mammut, Mountaineers Books, Sharp End Books, Houghton Mifflin, Sender Films, Educational Communications Board, The Kansas City Zoo, MMGY worldwide, Bernstein Rein and others.

Jeremy Collins was a Visiting Artist in the Dept. of Communication Arts in 2013.


The son of a Minnesota art professor, TyRuben spent his childhood in his father’s studio, engaged in drawing, painting and constructing cardboard “machines”. While completing his Master’s degree at St. Cloud State University, Ellingson taught drawing and design courses at the university and exhibited his paintings in regional and national shows, receiving recognition and awards. His Master of Fine Arts degree was completed in 1987 at Southern Methodist University.

Combining his fine art successes with a life long interest in film, Ellingson landed a position at George Lucas’ Industrial, Light and Magic in 1989 as a Visual Effects Art Director. While at ILM, Ellingson contributed to the creation of ground-breaking special effects in films such as Jurassic Park, Star Wars: A New Hope, and Disclosure.

In 1995, Ellingson accepted an invitation by Director Guillermo Del Toro to act as principal designer of the signature creature for Mimic. He also designed for Del Toro on Blade 2 and the Hellboy films.

In 2006, Ellingson joined the team at Lightstorm to work as lead vehicle designer for Director James Cameron’s science-fiction epic, Avatar.

Other films to which he has lent his creative talents include Blade Trinity, Signs, Eagle Eye, Surrogates, Priest (2011) and Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

TyRuben Ellingson was a Visiting Artist in the Dept. of Communication Arts in 2013.


Reilly Brown, currently spends most of his time working for Marvel. He has worked on several books, including: Cable & Deadpool, Incredible Hercules, Prince of Power, New Warriors, and Amazing Spider-Man, as well as a bunch of other things. Brown has an art studio in Brooklyn and is a founding member of TenTonStudios.com. One of his current independent projects is PowerPlay, a comic about superheros playing street games across the five boroughs of New York City.

Reilly Brown was a Visiting Artist in the Department of Communication Arts in 2013.


Yuko Shimizu is an illustrator, fine artist, and educator at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her clients include Rolling Stone Magazine, VISA, TIME, Target, Microsoft, Pepsi, and the New York Times. She has received numerous awards in her field including Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators, Magazine of the Year Award from the Society of Publication Designers, as well as Gold and Silver Awards from 3×3 Magazine Annual. Ms. Shimizu continues to lecture at universities and museums across the globe.

Ms. Shimizu was a Visiting Artist in the Department of Communication Arts in 2008.

Syd Mead is one of the most celebrated concept designers, artists, futurists and illustrators of our time, having been responsible for many memorable designs from feature films to interiors and even toys. Over the last 50 years, Syd Mead has created startling pictures for clients all over the world. His technique infuses finished scenarios with a vivid reality, allowing the viewer to gain a look into many visions of future worlds. He has designed and illustrated for corporations, motion pictures, themed entertainment, and a wide range of transportation projects. His most well-known works include production designs for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, TRON, Aliens and 2010, the pivotal science fiction movies that got many budding visual effects artists inspired to enter professional careers in this field. Off screen, Syd has designed a 747 interior, a yacht and the Spaceship 2056 pavilion in Japan. Numerous magazines have featured his art and he has published several books of his work including Sentinel, Sentury, Kronolog, Kronoteko, KronovectaandOblagon.

Mr. Mead was a Visiting Artist in the Department of Communication Arts in 2007.

Dennis Allain, AIA is an award winning architect, artist, and designer. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1967, and from an early age demonstrated an unshakeable desire to create. He attended Wentworth Institute, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Dennis Allain was the winner of the prestigious Hugh Ferris Memorial Prize for “Architecture in Perspective 21.” “Architecture in Perspective” is the preeminent exhibition of architectural illustration in the world. Each year the best works of architectural illustration from around the globe are assessed in the competition organized by the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. This year’s competition drew nearly 500 entries from five continents. Sixty pieces were selected by an esteemed jury including the special category awards. The exceptional works in this 21st annual exhibition–60 pieces selected by a jury of respected professionals in architecture, illustration, fine art, or design–were culled from hundreds of entries. Mr. Allain presented and discussed his work, demonstrated his digital drawing process and reviewed portfolios of Communication Arts students.

Mr. Allain was a Visiting Artist in the Department of Communication Arts in 2007.



Anita Kunz was born in Toronto, Canada in 1956. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1978. She has worked for international magazines, book publishers and advertising agencies, including The New York Times, GQ, Sony Music, Random House Publishing and many others. Using a combination of watercolors and gouache, she has produced critically acclaimed paintings which have been featured in Graphis (Switzerland), Communication Arts Magazine (USA), Idea and Creation magazines (Japan), and Applied Arts (Canada). She has been honored with many prestigious awards and her paintings and sculptures have appeared in galleries worldwide. Her works are in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the Canadian Archives in Ottawa, the MusEe Militaire de France in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and a number of her Time Magazine cover paintings are in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. In 1997 she received the Les Usherwood Lifetime Achievement Award from the Advertising and Design Club of Canada. Anita was recently named one of the fifty most influential women in Canada by the National Post Newspaper.

Ms. Kunz was a Visiting Artist in the Department of Communication Arts in 2006


“For decades, my paintings have examined familiar, yet somewhat obsolete, objects from our recent past. Whether these canvases have depicted houses, movie marquees and other commercial signs, railroad cars, cameras, typewriters, or machine parts, the reference, for me, has always been to our mid-twentieth century consciousness, and the ingenuity and imagination prevailing in our culture at that time. I want to continue exploring the iconic power of these artifacts and the impact they have had on my life. In so doing, I hope to also convey to the viewer some sense of the American experience.”

– Robert Cottingham

Mr. Cottingham is an internationally known painter whose work is represented in the following collections:
The Tate Gallery in London, The Art Council of Great Britain in London, The Ludwig Collection in Cologne, Germany, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Mr. Cottingham was a Visiting Artist in the Department of Communication Arts in 2006.