In 2016, D’ART Shtajio – a 2-D vivacity rec room based in Tokyo – was co-sponsored by Arthell Isom and Darnell Isom. This was entrenched with a vivacious filmmaker Henry Thurlow.
The trio began a firm, which sought to produce Japanese themes blended with American customs. Before founding his workshop, Arthell operated with Ogura Kobo as a backdrop cartoonist on celebrated programs, such as Bleach, Black Butler, and Naruto.
Arthell said that Hiromasa Ogura provided him with mentorship for 12 years when he was in Japan. Ogura is known for his animation contributions on Ninja Scroll and Ghost in the Shell. Additionally, Arthell majored in artistic appreciation when he studied in Italy.
He also studied art in San Francisco, California and Osaka, Japan. This impacted his desire and affinity for Japanese animation.
“I watched Ghost in the Shell every day for a year. I didn’t even know why I liked it until a teacher asked me to focus on that question. That’s when I discovered that I liked the backgrounds and the way the animation moved through them,” Arthell told the Japan Times exclusively.
Five percent of those who work in Japan’s computer animation industry are not Japanese. According to the Japan Times, official stats on this subject matter is not publisized. However, Arthell still has a positive attitude when it comes to racial diversity among those who create cartoon animations in Japan.
“The great thing is with us being here, Black creators seek us out,” Arthell told SyFy Wire exclusively.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with them. We’ve worked with quite a few like…independent manga creators with projects like Tephlon Funk and XOGENASYS; we get the opportunity to then tell more Black stories. These are storytellers who want to see their story adapted to anime form,” he went on to say.