Sunday, February 15, 2009

NYC Storyboards 1986: Santa-Donato Studios

Scanned this spread from the 1986 Creative Black Book. I wanted to get this in as the next post because...

... here's Hy Rosen! - who Brian Postman told us about on Friday (one post down). Brian studied with Hy Rosen at SVA a few years before this, so I guess Rosen was both teaching and doing 'field work'.

But this is the guy I really want to highlight: I have always admired the two examples on this spread by a fellow named Hector Lopez. You can tell right away this guy had some serious drawing chops. This is really rock-solid work. Every time I look at Lopez's two samples on this spread, I think he must have had a background in comics... do you get that, too?

Also very nice and sort of a unique looking technique; this one sample by Herb Familton. I'm thinking marker and Prismacolour pencils? Looks like he may have done this specifically because of the romance subject matter... but who knows? Wish I had some more examples of Familton's stuff to compare to.

Kind of unusual for a storyboard studio ad: full names of the artists. More often in these old storyboard studio ads these guys were treated as anonymous, interchangeable 'wrists'.

I wonder where they all are today... ?


  1. i worked for santo-donato in the 80's....he's still around....i knew HECTOR LOPEZ,he was a great talent (he would be at least 55-57 years old today) hector QUIT the business because of the stress on him mentally and to his physical health (blood pressure,nerves,etc...)the difficult art directors would drive him crazy,as well as working all-nighters then having NO work for 2 months...he was even a better artist than that sample indicates....he was also a perfectionist about his work....he just threw in the towel about 6-10 years ago,and i heard is selling pharmecuticals now....herb familton i last saw in 1992,he was an ex art director who became a storyboard artist,and was like a machine...SUPER FAST!...i saw him do like 20 color frames in like 2 hours....although, his work looked nothing like the sample you showed (it is ad marker with prismacolor pencils)....most of
    the work i saw was VERY sketchy and all marker....herb would be at least 70 now,and probably retired...i knew many of these ask me,,brian....

  2. oh...and of course as i said HY ROSEN was my teacher...he was a great guy....he actually shared studio space (in the 50's) with alex toth and joe kubert!!!....

  3. oh..also regarding hy rosen....when i was studying with him in sva,he was "on staff" at y+r advertising,working with jerry grandenetti...remember him?....he did comics also...eventually hy left y+r,and went freelance...the last time i saw him,i was working late one night at bozell,1989?....and he was there and another great artist sam queskin was there...sam worked for atlas and marvel in his younger days....brian...

  4. also....a couple of other names in the santa-donato roster...john moodie was a well known sketch guy in nyc,in fact ,he helped start GEM studios then left it...he is deceased......and alex morris is still working,i think for famous frames in LA...

  5. *Whew* Brian; That's amazing! Thanks for filling in all those background details on PS-D Studios!

    As I said in my email to you, what a shame about Hector Lopez. We all understand how tough this business can be. Burn-out is almost inevitable.

    One reason I started this blog is because really great illustrators like Lopez would otherwise never get the recognition they deserve. Thanks for telling us a bit about him. I wish we could see more of his work -- but even more so, I wish he was still drawing in some capacity... let's hope he still is. :^)

  6. might find more hector lopez samples in later editions of the black book,like 1987-1992...etc...i did see a few jobs he did up at santa-donato,and they were great...also,i think he did samples for famous frames in the late 90's...he style had started to change at that point....