Artist, Manuel “Manny” Cuchilla was born and raised in Whittier California. Manuel always knew that art would play a integral part of his life. One of his first big projects was a mural for the class of 2001 in Whittier High School. After graduating from high school, Manny attended the prestigious California Institute of the Arts an received a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. His academic training focused on film, but he is interested and passionate about design as well.
Created 3 shorts, “One SHOT” a short film that was shot in 16mm film, this short was showed at the Cal Arts film department. He has also created two other student films that made it to the producers show “ El GRITO” rough 2D animation short taking place during El Salvador civil war, “osito” 2d first film, “PEPE The Grumpy Street Performer” mixed 2D, 3D and after effects short film.
During his college years, Manuel served in the ARMY and completed one tour in Iraq as Sergeant. This experience made his drawings bold, His charcoal drawings have strong lines that has made him stand out from the class . Early in his career, Manny worked with low income at-risk youth in order to create an outlet for various forms of abuse and trauma.(common Grounds homeless youth program in Santa Monica, partner with ucla nursing program). HYC Helpline youth program in the city of Whittier/ Santa Fe Springs. Manuel was an Animation Instructor and Art and Animation Director in the Community Arts Partner (CAP) Program of CalArts.
In 2008 Manuel founded Smart Digital Print and he is still currently the creative director and manager. Beyond running a successful design business, Manny has continued to engage in making art accessible to the community by training and mentoring local high school and college students, teaching professional courses and engaging in community-based art projects. Manuel has travelled the world to teach animation and film in Uruguay and Brazil. In 2009 he was invited by the Embassy of the United States and by Animation Campus in Uruguay to lead several Animation workshops contributing to the professional training of Professional Animators and Animation Teachers. In 2015, Manny started a creative children’s clothing line, Little Monster Apparel.
Other projects that Manuel has include children’s book illustrator (My Pink Shoes, a ballerina story) and founding a non-profit named the Little Monster Fund with the goal of inspiring and motivating youth to accomplish their goals. Currently, Manuel is working on a community virtual reality project with two student interns and on his upcoming show titled “Woman Strong.”
SFS ArtFest 2018 Teaser Video leading up to the festival: