Artist and animator Derrick J. Wyatt passed away earlier this month at the age of 49. Fans of his work were made aware of his passing yesterday on Twitter from a tweet by Wyatt’s colleague Josh Perez. “I was informed by Derrick’s sister that he has unexpectedly passed away earlier this month,” Perez shared.
Wyatt studied art at The Kubert School in New Jersey, where he was taught by the likes of Wonder Woman and The Transformers comics artist José Delbo. He is best known as the art director and character designer for Ben 10: Omniverse and Transformers: Animated. He had previously worked on Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
Wyatt worked on children’s animation throughout the 2000s and 2010s, including shows like Son of the Mask, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and New Teen Titans. His other notable credits include the lead Character designer on the first season of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and artist and character designer on Cartoon Network’s original Teen Titans animated series. Wyatt was the art director on the 2015 TMNT animated film Half-Shell Heroes: Blast to the Past.
Wyatt was known for his community interaction and being himself a fan of many of the series he worked on, attending cons and drawing fan art. Last year, a GoFundMe raised over $5,000 as Wyatt drew Omniverse versions of popular Ben 10 aliens Fasttrack, Ghostfreak, and more.
As Jorge R. Gutierrez, a co creator of El Tigre and creator of Maya And The Three put it, Wyatt was “one of the greatest animation designers our medium has been lucky to have. The ultimate fan working in a medium he truly adored. His influence will be felt forever.”
Friends and colleagues have shared their remembrances online. Character designer Chris Battle shared that, while they never worked together, “I always took time to swing by & hang so we could talk nerd shit & I could see his latest masterpiece.”
Animators Brianne Drouhard and Matt Danner each remember working with Wyatt at the start of their careers. “Words can’t describe what a wonderful, talented, and hilarious person Derrick J. Wyatt was,” Danner said.
Perez shared in their tweet that Wyatt’s family would provide more information on a funeral in the future.