A 17 year old consummate, prolific and award-winning artist-animator-musician, ISAIAH FERGUSON is in his 4th year of the Cinema Arts Focus Program at Providence High School, Burbank. He is currently in his 5th consecutive year as a student in CalArts CAP Youth Animation Program. Below are his video portfolio, awards list, artist statement, samples of entire videos, photos and some of his drawings.
VIDEO PORTFOLIO: Samples & Snippets of Animations by Isaiah Ferguson (created 2013-2016).
Scroll down for Isaiah’s Awards, Artist Statement, and for more Videos and Photos.
VIDEO PORTFOLIO MENU & AWARDS – all animation and filmwork created by Isaiah Ferguson
00:00: Daytime Drama, 2016 (snippet) – Official Selection 2016 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater.
2:28: The Box, 2015 (snippet) – Outstanding Animation 2016 Notre Dame High School Student Film Festival; Official Selection 2016 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater.
3:47: The Insta-Tree, 2015 (entire) – Outstanding Short Film 2016 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater; Official Selection 2015 Comic-Con San Diego Children’s International Film Festival.
6:07: Church: A Survival Guide, 2015 (entire) – Outstanding Animation 2015 Providence Cinema Arts Showcase, Disney Studios Theater. Official Selection, 2015 Los Angeles Student Film Festival
7:58: May Contain Nuts, 2016 (WIP snippet) – Official Selection 2016 CalArts CAP Animation Showcase.
9:04: Writer’s Block, 2016 (snippet) – Official Selection 2016 Providence Cinema Arts Showcase, Disney Studios Theater.
9:46: Lost Girl, 2013 (entire) – Official Selection 2015 Comic-Con San Diego International Children’s Film Festival; Official Selection 2013 CalArts CAP Film Showcase.
11:52: Daniel & the Kings Dream, 2014 (snippet).
12:29: Tech & Me, 2014 (snippets) – Honorable Mention 2014 White House Student Film Festival.
13:20: Go Make a Difference, 2015 (snippets) – Honorable Mention 2015 White House Student Film Festival; Official Selection 2015 Los Angeles Student Film Festival; Official Selection 2015 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater.
14:19: A Vision, 2016 (entire) – Finalist 2016 White House Student Film Festival.
17:17: Awards List.
2017 Short Self-Introduction Video (90 seconds):
Isaiah Ferguson Personal Artist Statement 2016
Nature, music and current events all inspire my creativity and are reflected in my drawings and animations. The earthly inspiration which influences my art and animation the most, however, is the work of great artists. High on the list of artists who inspire me are Charles Schulz, as well as my mother, Lili Bernard, and her visual artist peers. I am also deeply inspired by personal relationships that I’ve formed on my own with other great creative minds such as Britt Allcroft, creator of the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends animated TV series and films. My art and animation instructors, during the five years that I’ve been a student in CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Animation Program and the four years in Providence High School’s Cinematic Arts Focus Program, also greatly inspire my creativity and nurture my artistic growth. It is my hope to study character animation at CalArts’ School of Film and Video, because I believe that a formal college education in a topnotch animation program can best help me to further develop and refine my creativity, and prepare me to navigate a lifelong career as a producer of cutting-edge animation.
Charles Schulz’ autobiographical “Peanuts” motivated me, at an early age, to create my own cartoons about contemporary life. Schulz’ ability to convey his feelings and complex human emotion through gestures drawn with the simplest of lines, and through dialogue written with minimal words, deeply inspires me. The distinct personality traits of his well-rounded subjects and his comical storytelling provide excellent examples for me in terms of character and script development. I aspire to do what Charles Schulz mastered: to make cartoons that are relevant and relatable to children as well as adults. Charles Schulz said, “Good cartoon drawing is good design.” As a current 17 year-old whose mother is an exhibiting artist, I’ve grown an appreciation for how “good design” can impact an artwork. Since we were toddlers, my mother has taken me and my five siblings to literally hundreds of art exhibitions and has provided us with access to the studios of dozens of famous artists, including Mark Bradford, Henry Taylor and Charles Gaines.
I feel that I was born to be a cinematic cartoonist. I have always also appreciated the craftsmanship of such masterful works of art, like classic Walt Disney movies and shorts, as well as the original Nickelodeon cartoons. My all-time favorite animated series, however, is Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. At the age of ten, I reached out to the creator of the series and films: Britt Allcroft. I have since enjoyed the privilege of speaking with her in person, and remain in contact with her and her daughter/manager, graphic artist, Holly Wright. Britt Allcroft’s genius, in ascribing human qualities to animated trains, parallels her compassion which is reflected in her work. It is an honor to personally know Britt Allcroft and to be able to benefit from speaking with her and her daughter about their animation work and my own animations.
MY ANIMATION WORK and HONORS
When I was six, I began making live-action videos with toy trains and action figures as subjects. My siblings assisted as production crew. At the age of ten, I started to teach myself digital video editing. I used Microsoft Paint and Windows Movie Maker to make my first digitally animated videos. By the age of twelve, I made over 50 of these simple animated short videos. Upon turning thirteen in 2012, I was interviewed on Good Day LA Fox News for my animation in the BAILA Con Duende art exhibit at the Watts Towers Art Center. That was the year I enrolled in animation classes at CalArts CAP, in which I have been a student for five years – complimented by my four years as a student in Providence High School’s Cinematic Arts Focus Program. Since October 2015, Driver Digital Inc., in New York City, has contracted (paid) me to create original animation and musical content as part of their production team for Mattel Inc.’s Thomas & Friends Official YouTube Weekly Web Series. I normally use Adobe Flash for most of my animation work, however, I have some rudimentary experience producing stop motion. I desire to learn CGI and am confident that CalArts’ Character Animation Program can best teach it to me.
Three of my short animations won awards in all three consecutive White House Student Film Festivals: Honorable Mentions in 2014 and 2015, and Finalist in 2016. The Los Angeles Times featured a story about me for this accomplishment. As a Finalist in the 2016 White House Student Film Festival, I spent two days in the White House during the first week of October 2016 with my parents and brother, who is a Johns Hopkins sophomore. My film was one of 27 films selected out of hundreds of submissions for this year’s festival. More exciting than seeing my film displayed in the White House Theater and on a giant screen on the White House Lawn was meeting President Barack Obama up close, in person, inside the White House, and being photographed with him and the other student filmmaker awardees. I met many other famous people at the White House, including legendary artist Chuck Close, who made a larger-than-life-size Polaroid portrait of me, which he bestowed to me, and which the White House featured on their social media posts. The White House also featured close-ups of me as a finalist in the festival in their West Wing Week episodic and in the festival recap video.
Other awards that I’ve won include Best Animation in the 2016 Notre Dame High School Student Film Festival; Outstanding Animation and Outstanding Short Film in the 2015 and 2016 Providence Media Showcases screened at Disney Studios Theater; three Official Selections at the 2015 Comic-Con San Diego International Children’s Film Festival; Official Selection at the 2015 Los Angeles Student Film Festival; and screenings in several CalArts CAP film showcases. I also won the Providence 2016 Visual Arts Spirit Award. I am hopeful that these accolades I’ve earned in my youth, which reflect my passion, are indications of the success that I will reap as an adult producer of original animations. My dream is to become part of the creative team at either Disney Studios or Nickelodeon, as well as produce my own independent work. A college education in a top-tier animation program would help me to form that future.
Moment Immediately After Isaiah Met President Obama at the White House, October 3, 2016
Scroll down for Isaiah’s drawings and more of his animations and musical compositions.
DRAWINGS by ISAIAH FERGUSON (click on images to enlarge)
SOME SAMPLES OF ENTIRE CARTOON ANIMATIONS by ISAIAH FERGUSON 2012-2016
A Vision by Isaiah Ferguson, Created July 2016, Finalist in the 2016 White Student Film Festival.
DayTime Drama by Isaiah Ferguson, created May 2016. Official Selection 2016 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater.
Insta Tree by Isaiah Ferguson 2015. Outstanding Short Film 2016 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater; Official Selection 2015 Comic-Con San Diego Children’s International Film Festival, 2015 CalArts CAP Animation Showcase where it was screened at the RedCat Walt Disney Theater in Downtown, Los Angeles, CA in June 2015.
Church Survival Guide by Isaiah Ferguson 2015, Best Animation, Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater, Burbank, CA, June 2015. Official Selection, 2015 LA Student Film Festival, El Portal Cinema,n North Hollywood, CA.
The Box by Isaiah Ferguson, created November 2015. Outstanding Animation 2016 Notre Dame High School Student Film Festival; Official Selection 2016 Providence Media Showcase, Disney Studios Theater.
Go Make a Difference by Isaiah Ferguson 2015 won and Honorable Mention Award in the 2015 White Student Film Festival. This is the second year in a row in which he won an Honorable Mention in the White House Student Film Festival. Go Make Difference was also an official selection of the 2015 Comicon Student Film Festival San Diego, the 2015 L.A. Student Film Festival and the 2015 Providence Media Showcase at Walt Disney Studios.
Tech and Me by Isaiah Ferguson, 2014, Honorable Mention, 2014 White House Student Film Festival. The theme of the festival was for students grade K-12 to address, in a 1-3 minute video, how they use technology in the class room and or how it impacts their future.
Thomas & Friends: Secrets of the Stolen Crown: Since October 2015, Isaiah has been contracted (paid) by Driver Digital Productions in New York City to create musical compositions and animations for Mattel Inc.’s official Thomas and Friends YouTube series. Here is a compilation of four of the episodes. Isaiah is named in the end credits.
Isaiah’s SoundCloud Page: Click here to listen to Isaiah’s orginal musical compositions.
Lost Girl by Isaiah Ferguson, 2013. Isaiah started creating this paper-cut stop-motion animation when he was 12 years old. He completed it, on June 1, 2013, after just turning 13. Official Selection 2015 Comic-Con San Diego International Children’s Film Festival; Official Selection 2013 CalArts CAP Film Showcase.
Isaiah Interviewed on Fox News Good Day LA for his Animation in the BAILA con Duende Exhibition, at the Watts Towers Arts Center, Aired Live on September 26, 2012
Scared Your Pants Off by Isaiah Ferguson, Created Dec 2010 at the age of 11.
TUGS Animation Test by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson – Published 7-28-2012 – Isaiah’s age when created: 13 Years Old
3 Wishes by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson – Published 8-2-2012 – Isaiah’s age when created: 12 Years Old
Seed-D Delivery by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson – Published 2-20-2012 – Isaiah’s age when created: 12 Years Old
Dramatic Guy by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson – Published 2-25-2012 – Isaiah’s age when created: 12 Years Old
Brick Wall by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson – Published 2-7-2012 – Isaiah’s age when created: 12 Years Old
Differences by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson – Published 7-13-2011 – Isaiah’s age when created: 12 Years Old
Smiling Car by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson, Published 2-26-2012, Isaiah’s age when created: 12 Years Old
LINKS to ISAIAH’S ONLINE PRESENCE:
Los Angeles Times Story on Isaiah’s White House Student Film Festival Wins (published Sept. 24, 2016): http://www.latimes.com/socal/burbank-leader/news/tn-blr-me-white-house-film-20160913-story.html
Isaiah’s Artist Web Page: http://lilibernard.com/site/about/my-childrens-talent/isaiah-bernard-ferguson/
Thomas & Friends Official YouTube Channel (Isaiah is a hired web series production team member): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVKXDhi02s8oVctLvdXaf4zw9pa68POLh
Isaiah’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/bernuson
Isaiah’s SoundCloud Profile: https://soundcloud.com/hkporterbedt
Isaiah’s FaceBook Public Artist Page: https://www.facebook.com/thetuggsterintensifies – FaceBook
White House West Wing Week Episodic (Isaiah’s featured in this offical White House video as a film festival finalist, and spent 2 days in the White House), October 9, 2016: https://youtu.be/zgkWW6wy8aY?t=1m16s
Group Photo With President Barack Obama, 2016 White House Student Film Festival, October 2016: https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14572379_10210523208417148_3350490101803477450_n.jpg?oh=cf2ef9963ef006f027328c16c33915d8&oe=58BE0920
Chuck Close Creates Polaroid of Isaiah at White House, October 3, 2016: https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14485019_10154790890959238_7493496444086155012_n.jpg?oh=84d96ed62568392415b5963b17963a3b&oe=58F8DCC8
2016 White House Student Festival Official Recap Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edQnguudWSk
2016 White House Student Festival Winners: https://www.whitehouse.gov/filmfest
2016 Notre Dame High School Film Festival (Isaiah won Best Animation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hltLvH_Ydw4&list=PLQcXthTxdz5GR9jyoa4tsjjV35yEH5UrS
2015 White House Student Film Festival Official Youtube Channel (Isaiah won Honorable Mention): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r56ikj__9aU&list=PLRJNAhZxtqH-LWvhsyQDbE-F0RRETGDlz&index=196
2015 Comic-Con San Diego International Children’s Film Festival: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/2015/childrens-film-festival
CalArts Cap Students Screen at Comic-con San Diego 2016 Children’s International Film Festival: http://blog.calarts.edu/2015/07/09/calarts-cap-students-screen-films-at-san-diego-comic-con/
2015 Los Angeles Student Film Festival: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/05/l-a-student-film-festivals-finalist-announced-event-happening-this-saturday-171193/
2014 White House Student Film Festival Official Youtube Channel (Isaiah won Honorable Mention): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5DQkqH0hBg&index=7&list=PLRJNAhZxtqH8GgDYtGJWfDidcAnaeX2fs
Fox News Good Day LA Interview, September 2012: https://youtu.be/a75y2mNWT3Q?t=1m16s