CartoonMonkey Studio is a small animation business located in sunny Portland Oregon. We specialize in 2d character animation for education and entertainment. We also develop finished animation from conception to completion for games, interactive, short films and commercials.


Chad Essley is an an independent animation director and cartoonist, and the author of the upcoming graphic novel “The Hinterland”. A true story about an unusual friendship with John McAfee, founder of McAfee Antivirus.

Bio: Chad Essley is an independent animation director located in Portland Oregon with close to 20 years of experience working as a professional animator in the field of commercials, multimedia, and television. Chad runs a boutique animation business in northwest Portland Oregon called CartoonMonkey Studio. The studio’s emphasis is on original & quirky hand drawn cel as well as simulated cut-out and natural media animation, with a variety of interesting styles. “I’m a strong advocate for tablet computing, and technology that enables multimedia creation. In January of 2008, my involvement in the Tablet PC community lead to being asked to work directly with Microsoft’s research & development department to design elements & animation concepts for a new tablet device aimed at children k-12. I started out in video post production, doing Quantel Paintbox graphics & station id’s for news & various post production facilities. Later moving into animation for commercials & short films. I’ve spent some time (which I really enjoyed) in the past teaching stop motion animation for Will Vinton Studios, (of the California Raisins ) as well as 2d animation in Flash for the Pacific NW College of Art , as well as The Northwest Academy in Portland.”


This list is far from complete, but gives a good description of what it is I’ve been doing for the last 20 years..

2012: Working on a graphic novel titled “The Hinterland” about my experience meeting the founder of McAfee Antivirus, John McAfee, as well as an upcoming animated documentary based on the graphic novel.

June – 2011: Update! Two of the animated music videos I made for Committee for Children won the CINE Golden Eagle award for 2011 in children’s entertainment!

(So I suppose I can call myself an award winning animator now.)
I shared the award with none other than Sesame Workshop, who also won the same award. I’m more than a little astonished by that, and humbled.

Completed eight minutes of animation against live action for the CFC Children’s charity.

I’ve recently completed two three minute long animated short films about empathy for the CFC Children’s charity in Seattle, that will be Shown in elementary & middle schools all our the USA this summer.

Here is a list of interesting projects & other things I’ve done in the past:

July 2009: Fray Magazine: Illustration published in Fray Magazine #3 “Sex and Death” for Daniel McDermott’s story “Braces”.

Nov 2009: Slave Labor Publications: Two page comic strip titled “Meat the Future!” in the graphic novel “Lulu & Mitzy” by S. Eddy Bell.

July 2008: EUSR European Union: Three minutes of animation about Bosnia joining the EU, and it’s various implications for the standard Bosnian citizen.

April 2008: US Veteran’s Administration: Contracted by the US Govt. to complete eight minutes (!) of animation for a short series of training videos, used within the Veteran’s Administration itself.

January 2008: Microsoft: Microsoft flew we to Seattle & asked me to do a series of short animations and illustration for some new children’s software, for a new educational device for children.

Renegade Animation: Lead animation supervisor for Leapfrog interactive. Titles include Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Tank Engine, Backyardigans, Spiderman..

TV Paint Inc.: – Current beta tester for this amazing animation software. Interface / usability consultant.

Wacom Inc.: Videos for the Cintiq for Siggraph 2004

Alias Software: Featured artist / video for Alias Sketchbook Pro / Beta tester

ASIFA Northwest: – President from 2003-2004

Pace Video: – Art director / Broadcast Designer

KATU Channel 2: – Broadcast designer

KOIN Channel 6: – Broadcast designer

Northwest Academy: – Animation Instructor / Classes in cartooning & Illustration

Pacific Northwest College of Art: – Animation Instructor

Saturday Academy: – Animation Instructor
Will Vinton Studios: – Created a stop motion animation curriculum and taught / trained animators for “The PJ’s” television series.

Flying Rhino: – Animator – Children’s edutainment cartoons.

StudyDog: – Animator – Children’s edutainment cartoons.

1994: Sesame Street: I’m very proud to have done six educational short films for Children’s Television Workshop, animated on the mighty Amiga 1200 computer..