Based in Atlanta, GA, Characters Inspired, LLC was founded by skilled fabricator and performer Cedwan Hooks. Our team consists of freelance artisans working under Cedwan's direction. Our facilities are located inside of Zombie Cat Studios, an artist co-op workshop in The MET ATL complex.
Our mission is to create memorable, expressive three-dimensional characters to represent your brand.
Have an existing design? Because of our experience working with existing properties, we can create an incarnation of your character that is accurate and aesthetically exceptional while keeping utility in mind. Need help developing a character's look? We have the capability to create a beautiful design for you.
We've built mascot costumes, hand puppets, mechanical puppets, and animated costumes. No matter how your character is best represented, we can guide you through the design and fabrication of an extraordinary custom-built premium quality product.
"Characters Inspired has been easy to work with and built high quality, beautiful puppets for our show. They certainly have improved our over-all production value."
- Josh Ford: Director of Entertainment, Georgia Aquarium
"Characters Inspired was incredibly easy to work with and communication was fast and complete. All the puppets looked fantastic and have held up to daily use very well for almost two years. I will bring future repairs and new builds to Characters Inspired in the future!"
- Angie Marcus: Environmental Program Supervisor, Cobb County Water Dept.
Cedwan Hooks (Founder)
Cedwan Hooks is a performer and fabricator from Kansas City, KS whose world-class work has appeared internationally. He went on to spend two years as a puppet designer and costume character trainer for the DreamWorks Experience in Macau. He also headed up the puppet workshop for Warner Brothers/DC Universe’s Doom Patrol and worked as a puppeteer on the show. His work as a puppet builder and wrangler appears on Helpsters, a show created for Apple TV + by Sesame Workshop. He was an assistant puppeteer and puppet wrangler on BBC’s Moon and Me (created by Teletubbies creator Andrew Davenport). Additionally, Cedwan has created walkaround and puppet works for Comedy Central, the Georgia Aquarium and The Public Goods Projects.
Cedwan’s background as a performer informs the decisions he makes as a designer to the benefit of the client. He trained as an intern at Mesner Puppet Theater, and as a student at the O’Neill Puppetry Conference. At home, he won the Blue Star Award for Outstanding Puppet Design and Creation from Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Spencer Murrill (Lead Fabricator, Machinist)
Spencer is an artist and puppeteer with a BFA in Sculpture from Georgia State University. He worked as a fabricator of illusions and trick props on the Carbanaro Effect on truTV, a carpenter and scenic artist at Scenario Custom Scenery, and a puppet builder at the Center for Puppetry Arts. He has also worked as an artist in residence with The Creatives Project, and a puppet wrangler on BBC's Moon and Me. An incredible illustrator and painter, Spencer has used his experience to better our process creating precision mechanisms through 3D printing and machining.
Mary Kate Broadway (3D Modeler, Molding & Casting)
Mary Kate studied at FSU College of Motion Picture Arts. She worked as a Junior Fabricator at Bento Box Entertainment 3D modeling, molding, and casting. She has also been a Fabrication Generalist at Blue Whale Studios Inc. More recently, she was an Armaturist and Head Mechanics Specialist for stop motion puppets at HouseSpecial, and a Puppet Generalist at Wendell and Wild, in production at Netflix.
Vii Kelly (Fabricator, Painter)
Vii studied Sculpture, Printmaking and Fibers at Savannah College of Art and Design. Vii's credits include working as a Special Makeup Effects Artist for Adult Swim's Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and Tropical Cop Tales. She has also worked with Stuff Media's Stuff You Should Know, Undercover Brother 2, and Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Ginger Holley (Soft Goods Fabricator)
Ginger is a costumer and fabricator for TV and film. She is best known for her work as costume designer and series wardrobe supervisor on the award-winning web series Star Trek Continues, and such projects as the BBC's Moon and Me and Netflix's Ozark. When she isn't filming, her other projects often include cosplay, apparel, textile, and accessory design.
Rachel De Urioste (Multimedia Artist/ Designer/ Fabricator)
Rachel De Urioste received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she studied drawing, printmaking, and photography. Originally from Atlanta, she moved back in 2012, and discovered a unique home within the local puppetry, horror and toy art scenes. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to collaborate with individual artists and fabrication studios on a wide range of projects, including an interactive display and large scale puppets for the Georgia Aquarium, props for FX’s Atlanta, mold making for Tiny Doors ATL, and fabrication for The Center for Puppetry Arts.
In her gallery work, Rachel specializes in creature art and miniatures, creating otherworldly sculptures that evoke a sense of strangeness and storytelling. She uses a variety of materials, including soft foam, neoprene, epoxy clay, and cast resin. By making molds and casting multiples, she’s able to paint the same sculpture more than once and explore different iterations of the same forms.
Visit www.goldfishunderwater.com or follow on instagram @goldfishunderwater to learn more about Rachel’s process and see works in progress.