Photo by    Marty Umans

Photo by Marty Umans

Brian Ajhar is a character designer and illustrator who specializes within the animation and publishing industry. During his four decade career, his whimsical ideas and appealing characters have found their way into every genre of the publishing world. He has established himself, creating art for hundreds of clients in the magazine, newspaper, advertising and corporate world. When it comes to children’s books, Brian is a New York Times Bestselling artist, published by seven different book publishers worldwide in a multitude of languages. Brian's character design work for animation includes feature films, television commercials, independent films, and educational projects.

Brian’s work is widely recognized for its distinctive and humorous point of view. His many influences include the works of 19th century European political satirists, book illustrators, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, animators, and life itself. The varied range of his ideas have adapted to a myriad of social, economic, and political issues. His whimsical paintings incorporate traditional mediums - such as watercolors, acrylics, pencils and inks - as well as digital - using Photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq.

Many articles and books written about the field of illustration have featured and profiled Brian and his artwork. “The Illustrator in America” written by illustration historian Walt Reed quoted Brian as a major influence beginning in the the 1990s. In the book, Walt describes Brian’s work as “[A] free and fluid style of drawing coupled with humor that looks uninhibited and easy. It is based on the strong knowledge of the figure, however, and the ability to draw without slavish reliance on photographs”.

Brian’s artwork has been recognized in Society of Illustrators Annuals, SOI Humor Annuals, Communication Arts Annuals, Print Design Annuals. He was featured in an article in HOW Magazine, as well as recent interviews with Character Design References and The Art Side of Life. Brian has been a guest lecturer at many schools and Universities, teaching illustration concept classes and character development at Syracuse University, FIT, University of the Arts, and University of Hartford, as well as an online classes for Motivart and SVS, the Society of Visual storytelling. In 2006, his artwork was displayed at The University of Hartford, CT, where he received the distinguished “Koopman Chair Award for the Visual Arts”.

Recently, Brian has completed a project for the Disney Book Group, along with several character development projects for animation and magazine illustration. As of late, he has worked with clients such as House Special, Disney, and Animal Logic. Brian makes an appearance at Creative Talent Network’s Expo in Burbank, California every year and will be there again this year.