Charles Swenson was born and raised in Los Angeles, attending both the Art Center and the Chouinard Art Institute where he graduated with honors. He has been making art and animation all his life.
Mr. Swenson’s first work experience was with the Charles Eames’ design office where he worked as a junior designer and all around apprentice, doing everything from puppet design to the construction of a multi-plane camera for the 17-screen computer controlled film made for the IBM Exhibition for the 1965-66 New York World’s Fair.
He next went to work for Filmfair, a Los Angeles commercial production company, taking a position as principal animation designer in the place of Jimmy Murakami.
When Murakami started a production company of his own with partner Fred Wolf, Swenson joined them, in time becoming a partner in what would become Murakami/Wolf/Swenson. Here, Swenson worked on a large variety of projects from commercials to theatrical releases. His work for television includes: Harry Nillson’s The Point, (ABC’s first Movie of the Week) Peter Yarrow’s Puff the Magic Dragon and Strawberry Shortcake, The Blinkins and Carlton Your Doorman.
Theatrically during this period, Swenson’s feature work included: The Magic Pear Tree, his first short film and an Academy Award nominee in 1968, as well as The Naked Ape for Universal, Dirty Duck for New World Pictures, and The Mouse and His Child for Sanrio.
Mr. Swenson left Los Angeles for San Francisco to join John Korty on his LucasFilm project Twice Upon A Time, using a computer controlled, cut-out technique that was highly acclaimed.
Following a brief stint at Atari Games working on a variety of computer games, Swenson came back to Los Angeles to join Klasky Csupo, working on Rugrats, Santo Bugito and Aahhh!! Real Monsters as Creative Director, winning various awards including an Emmy for Best Children’s Program, a Humanitas Award and a Cable Ace Award.
Swenson then struck out on his own as Executive Producer, Writer and Creator of Mike, Lu and Og for Cartoon Network, and then performed the same functions on Bookashkis, a short film that has won over 20 awards from festivals world-wide.
Mr. Swenson currently divides his time between painting, a life-long passion, and his various projects in development, both here and abroad. Swenson also sits on the Board of Directors of the Chouinard Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to bringing low-cost, high-quality art education to the inner-city youth of Los Angeles.