Artists honour SpongeBob creator with illustrations of his beloved characters
SpongeBob SquarePants creator Hillenburg has died aged 57.
Artists are paying their respects to Stephen Hillenburg with illustrations of the SpongeBob SquarePants creator and his beloved characters.
Hillenburg died aged 57 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year, and his loss has been felt by fans across the world.
Brazilian political cartoonist Carlos Latuff’s drawing sees three characters from the Nickelodeon cartoon’s underwater town, Bikini Bottom, at Hillenburg’s graveside.
“SpongeBob is one of my favourite cartoons,” Latuff told the Press Association. “He’s so nice and cool, if he was real I would make my best to meet him and give a big hug!
“Now SpongeBob’s duty is to bring awareness to ALS.”
Hillenburg was diagnosed in March 2017 with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for which there is no known cure.
Animator Andy Scherman, formerly a character designer for Cartoon Network, drew a tribute including Hillenburg, SpongeBob and the Krusty Krab, the fast food restaurant where SpongeBob works.
Thank you for all the legit belly laughs you magnificent being, you will be beyond missed.— SharpDressedReptile (@SharpySketch) November 28, 2018
RIP Stephen Hillenburg pic.twitter.com/QKW1LJGxfn
“Thank you for all the legit belly laughs you magnificent being, you will be beyond missed,” Scherman wrote on Twitter.
Many creatives focused their tributes on Hillenburg’s most famous character.
Goal and Bundesliga cartoonist Omar Momani depicted SpongeBob as an angel with a harp, adding that the show “was always a reference to my cartoon knowledge”.
Twitter user @FiinelRush drew the square-panted character blowing bubble hearts, commenting “you shall always be in our hearts and never forgotten.”
Thank you Stephen Hillenburg, you shall always be in our hearts and never forgotten. pic.twitter.com/7KTatzK65s— Fiinel (@FiinelRush) November 28, 2018
Other illustrations include SpongeBob’s fellows such as Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr Krabs and Sandy Cheeks, who are all included in Spanish-language media site Pictoline’s tribute.
Gracias por Bob Esponja, Stephen Hillenburg.— pictoline (@pictoline) November 27, 2018
Hasta siempre 💛 pic.twitter.com/4HHPRsAQSe
Various artists re-imagined the characters in their own unique styles, such as the minimalist depictions of SpongeBob and Patrick by @komomorebi.
Spongebob was the only reason I could get up in the morning and go to school... Thank you, Stephen Hillenburg 🖤 pic.twitter.com/mMbZlKb36w— sol ( ･θ･)🔪 (@komomorebi) November 28, 2018
Another Twitter user, @noodledead, made an image featuring Patrick in fishnet tights and high heels, with the tagline “we’re all goofy goobers” in reference to the show.
once a goofy goober, always a goofy goober. thanks for the fish cartoons, this show shaped me as a person. rest easy Stephen Hillenburg. pic.twitter.com/UkFd5yKu3y— elyse👹🔪 (@noodledead) November 28, 2018
Alex Pardee’s abstract piece focuses on SpongeBob’s vibrant colouration.
R.I.P. Stephen Hillenburg, creator of one of the most imaginative, fun, innocent and brilliant worlds that no one with a sliver of an imagination could ever grow out of. 🙏😔 pic.twitter.com/c5e2i5NwdT— Alex Pardee (@alexpardee) November 27, 2018
“R.I.P. Stephen Hillenburg, creator of one of the most imaginative, fun, innocent and brilliant worlds that no one with a sliver of an imagination could ever grow out of,” wrote Pardee on Twitter.
Twitter user @BarraDiza specialises in anime and manga, Japanese cartoons, and the image she made of Hillenburg, SpongeBob and Patrick is somewhat reflective of the style.
Spongebob plays a huge part of my life, childhood and It will always be.— Baradiza / Diza (@BarraDiza) November 28, 2018
Thank you Stephen Hillenburg for all the fun, laugh and joy.
We will miss you so much! pic.twitter.com/2Ixu2tP8CL
“Thank you Stephen Hillenburg for all the fun, laugh and joy,” they tweeted. “We will miss you so much!”
Story artist Jonna Li accompanied their image of SpongeBob by saying the show shaped their “entire childhood and present” and helped them make friends.
theres no words to describe how much spongebob has shaped my entire childhood and present, its still the base of my entire sense of humour today. ive made multiple friends through it and it made my life better in so many ways. rest in peace stephen hillenburg, thank u pic.twitter.com/ScoP9YD2gm— Jo (@potajos) November 28, 2018
New generations of artists have also been inspired to pay tribute to Hillenburg’s show, such as 15-year-old Ty, username @tysartbook.
I have never drawn Spongebob before, but after the news about Stephen Hillenburgs passing, i had to do it.— 🎄bow-ty🎄 (@tysartbook) November 27, 2018
Rest in piece Stephen Hillenburg, we can't thank you enough for all the wonderful memories, and laughs. 💖 pic.twitter.com/YVPb6jXLOQ
Fellow teenager Steven Vargas, also 15, made an illustration of SpongeBob as well.
SpongeBob was one of the very first cartoons I was introduced to and is one of the reasons why I'm into animation. It was very sad to hear about Stephen Hillenburg's passing and I just wanted to say, thank you for creating such a great cartoon. Rest in peace, Mr. Hillenburg. pic.twitter.com/dchuZCHlD6— Steven V. 🎄Merry Crisis🎄(Commissions are open) (@StevenVargasArt) November 27, 2018
Hillenburg’s death was announced on Tuesday by children’s TV network Nickelodeon.
Hillenburg was a former marine biology teacher who launched the series featuring an animated sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea in 1999.
As a teacher Hillenburg used illustrations of the sea and its creatures as teaching tools before pursuing an animation degree in 1987.
He went on to receive two Emmy Awards and six Annie Awards, from the International Animated Film Association, for SpongeBob SquarePants.