Since its founding in 2016, D’ART Shtajio has made a name for itself as a pioneer in the Japanese animation industry.

As the first American anime studio in Japan, D’ART Shtajio has brought a unique perspective to the world of anime.

Darnel Isom from his social media

Its founders, Henry Thurlow and the twin brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom, have worked in the animation industry for years, bringing a wealth of experience and talent to the studio.

D’ART Shtajio has produced a number of impressive works, including “Indigo Ignited,” “The Doll,” and “Tephlon Funk.” These animations showcase the studio’s dedication to quality and attention to detail. 

They also reflect the founders’ commitment to telling diverse stories and creating representation for people of color in the anime industry.

As Japan’s first Black-owned anime studio, D’ART Shtajio has broken down barriers and opened doors for underrepresented groups in animation. 

The studio has garnered significant attention from fans and industry insiders alike, and its future looks bright as it continues to push the boundaries of what anime can be.

The founders of D’ART Shtajio have brought their unique blend of talents and cultural experiences to the studio. Arthell Isom, in particular, serves as both CEO and Art Director, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team. 

Arthell’s background in both fine art and animation gives him a unique perspective on the creative process, and he has worked to foster a collaborative environment at D’ART Shtajio that encourages experimentation and innovation.

The studio’s name, “Shtajio,” reflects this commitment to excellence and innovation. By combining the Japanese phrase “shtaji ga daiji” with the word “studio,” the founders have created a name that represents their dedication to the foundation of traditional anime art styles while also pushing the boundaries of storytelling and creativity. 

D’ART Shtajio is a studio to watch as it continues to make waves in the anime industry.

The Isom Brothers

Arthell and Darnell Isom, the twin brothers who co-founded D’ART Shtajio with Henry Thurlow, have a rich background in art and animation. Born in Paterson, New Jersey, in the early 80s, the brothers were raised in a creative environment. 

Their father was an entrepreneur and sound designer who instilled in them a love of art and imagination from a young age.

As children, the Isom brothers used drawing to explore new worlds and escape their own. They were introduced to anime through the series Anime Unleashed, which opened up a new world of inspiration for them. 

Arthell, in particular, was deeply inspired by the anime series Ghost in the Shell, and he set his sights on becoming a background artist.

Arthell’s passion for anime led him to pursue his dream of working under Hiromasa Ogura, the art director of Ghost in the Shell. With the encouragement of a college teacher who recognized his talent, Arthell set out to make his mark in the animation industry. 

His dedication and hard work paid off, and he eventually achieved his goal of working with Ogura.

Ogura has praised Arthell as a talented artist with a unique vision and an ability to open up new worlds of creativity. This vision is reflected in the work of D’ART Shtajio, which has quickly become a leader in the anime industry. 

With Arthell and Darnell at the helm, the studio is poised for even greater success in the years to come.

Arthell and Darnell Isom have worked hard to develop their skills and expertise in art and animation. After graduating from college, Arthell pursued further education at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he studied animation. 

Meanwhile, Darnell studied Industrial Design at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, honing his skills in design and innovation.

Arthell’s passion for anime eventually led him to move to Japan, where he attended the Yoyogi Animation School to further his studies and develop his Japanese language skills. 

He was soon able to break into the Japanese anime industry, working in Hiromasa Ogura’s studio, Ogura Kubo. There, he worked on a variety of popular anime series, including Bleach, Gintama, Black Butler, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, and Naruto. 

His time in Japan gave him a unique perspective on the anime industry and inspired him to push the boundaries of traditional anime art styles.

Darnell, on the other hand, made a name for himself in Hollywood. After working as a lead designer at California’s Legacy Effects, he went on to contribute his design skills to major Hollywood films such as Avatar, Pacific Rim, and TMNT. 

His work in Hollywood gave him valuable experience and exposure to new techniques and technologies, which he has since brought to D’ART Shtajio.

Together, Arthell and Darnell have combined their skills and experiences to create something truly innovative and exciting with D’ART Shtajio. 

The studio’s success is a testament to their hard work and dedication, and it’s clear that their passion for art and animation continues to drive them forward.

Henry Thurlow

Henry Thurlow is an accomplished American animator with an impressive career in 2D animation. His career began in New York, where he worked on a variety of notable projects, including the popular series Superjail and the music videos for MGMT’s “Kids” and Ke$ha’s “Your Love is My Drug.”

Thurlow’s passion for animation led him to discover mature animation through the HBO series Spawn. He later became interested in anime and was introduced to the genre through OVAs of popular series such as Akira, Demon City Shinjuku, and Ninja Scroll. This sparked a love for the anime style that would influence his work for years to come.

To further his skills, Thurlow studied drawing and animation at the prestigious Pratt Institute. After graduation, he began his career in the American animation industry, starting at Cartoon Network. 

However, his passion for anime never waned, and he continued to adapt his style to include elements of Japanese animation.

Thurlow’s dedication to his craft eventually led him to meet Hideyuki Kikuchi, a renowned Japanese anime creator known for works such as Wicked City, Darkside Blues, and Vampire Hunter D. Kikuchi encouraged Thurlow to continue to develop his American animation style and bring it to the Japanese anime industry.

Today, Thurlow is a key figure at D’ART Shtajio, where he continues to create innovative and groundbreaking animation that blends elements of both Eastern and Western animation styles. His work is a testament to his talent and passion for the art of animation.

Henry Thurlow’s passion for animation led him to move to Japan to pursue his dream of making high-quality feature films and series. 

Frustrated with the creative limitations he experienced in America, Henry began his journey by teaching English through the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) program while working as a freelance animator. 

His persistence paid off when he landed his first job as an in-between animator at Nakamura Production.

At Nakamura Production, Thurlow worked on several popular anime series, including Gundam Build Fighters and Pokémon Origins. He later joined Pierrot Animation Room, where he worked as an in-between animator and key animator on multiple Tokyo Ghoul series. 

Thurlow’s experience and expertise eventually caught the attention of other studios, and he went on to work on popular anime series such as Naruto, Attack on Titan, and Yona of the Dawn.

Today, Thurlow is one of the co-founders of D’ART Shtajio, Japan’s first American anime studio, and the first Black-owned anime studio. 

With his unique blend of American and Japanese animation styles, Thurlow is helping to revolutionize storytelling in the anime industry and bring diverse perspectives to the forefront of the medium.

D’ART Shtajio has established an impressive list of credits in both Eastern and Western animation. 


The studio’s Eastern credits include popular anime series such as Overlord, Tokyo Ghoul:re, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, Seven Deadly Sins, Gintama, Fire Force, One Piece, and Attack on Titan, among others.

Additionally, the studio has directed episodes of Merc Storia: The Apathetic Boy and the Girl in a Bottle, and recently worked on the final season of Castlevania on Netflix.

In the Western animation world, D’ART Shtajio has worked on a range of projects including Sound and Fury, ASOS Commercial Spot, and the Tephlon Funk Trailer. Their most famous work is perhaps The Weeknd’s “Snowchild” music video from the “After Hours” album. 

The studio has also adapted independent comics such as Noir Caesar’s XOGENASYS, a sports anime that blends MMA fights with tech exosuits, and Indigo Ignited, a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy animated short.

Despite their impressive list of credits, D’ART Shtajio has also developed original works, including The Doll ‘Shojo no Piero’. This short story follows a black doll engineer in Japan who creates what could be his greatest invention yet in his search for meaning. 

With their diverse and talented team, it is only a matter of time before D’ART Shtajio releases their own animated series. The sky truly is the limit for this incredible studio.