I first met Luis in 1994 when he moved to Chicago to begin teaching at Columbia College in the animation department. We were both charged with developing core classes and it was immediately apparent that we shared the same love for story and animation. When Phil Vischer was looking for a story artist for his VeggieTales project I knew exactly the artist for the job.
Luis’ sense of character and his flair for dramatic expression comes through in the image he created for the Guest Artist Gallery. Luis’ Brother Thomas is both older and younger than the Thomas who’s been showing up in my storyboards. A red-haired young man, completely in the moment, breathing in the freshness of the new day.
Click on thumbnail for full-sized image
Luis Contreras has been passionate about stories since his childhood.
“Images have always come to me as song lyrics, as strikes to my heart or a punch to my gut. Sequences of events, light, and shape, fan out and reverberate meaning in my mind. For me there is ineffable joy in the realization of a story.”
Luis studied Literature, and Theater in Mexico and later classical Animation in Toronto Canada. This combination has made Luis a uniquely gifted story artist. His drawings combine theatrical lighting, a strong sense of cinematography, and poetic insight into his characters.
Luis has been a story artist and illustrator for over 20 years. At Big Idea Productions, where he worked more than 7 years storyboarding over 20 shows, and as free-lance artist for commercial spots, and the TV series Maya and Miguel.
Luis presently works for Pearson Education where, among many projects, he has co-authored, storyboarded and illustrated the 60 book Trucktown series for young readers.
Luis continues to teach at Columbia College in Chicago. He is currently developing two personal projects that “fuel his dreams and diminish his sleep”.
You can see more of Luis’ work on his web-site at