Timothy Decker - Columbia College Chicago

Timothy Decker

Adjunct Professor of Instruction



Tim Decker is a cartoon artist, painter and animator working and living in Milwaukee. Wisconsin. He is currently a tenured Professor at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia College Chicago, teaching and inspiring students in classes including Animation, Character Development and Digital Life Drawing. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Tim was a Senior Lecturer for 16 years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts (UWM). 

Tim is the Co-founder of the Animation program at MATC and also helped to develop the Animation program at UWM. Through his efforts he has created an articulation between the two institutions to create furthering education opportunities for students in the Animation/cartoon Art program at MATC. 

Having an active life immersed in the arts, he founded the Black Cat Alley in Milwaukee and inspired the trail ends park in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Tim’s motto of “Art=Change!” is something he tries to apply to everyday life, including these murals that are there for anyone to view and enjoy.

While attending California School of the Arts (CalArts),CalArts Tim had the fortune to be mentored by Jules Engle, Cornelius Cole III, Glen Vilippu, and Robert Winquist. Many hours were spent drawing and painting with these talented mentors. During his Senior year at CalArts Tim was part of Walt Disney Studios’ “Studio System class” which was hosted at Walt Disney Studios. During these classes he was introduced to the Walt Disney studios’ approaches to success and had the good fortune to meet with Michael Eisner, Jeffery Katzenburg, Frank Wells, Robert Iger, Roy Disney jr, Robert “Bo” Cannon, Peter Schumacher and David Hobermann. This class alone was an education of a lifetime! Tim Graduated with BFA in Character Animation from Calarts.

Tim also has a degree in painting/illustration from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD). While studying at RMCAD, Tim was lucky to be mentored by Philip J Steele, performing a year-long independent study with Phil, painting in his studio. 

Prior to his career in academia, Tim worked in the Animation industry in Los Angeles where he was fortunate to work for Disney Interactive as the Animation Director, overseeing animation production of games. During this time, Tim worked with studios around the world and was lucky to be able to travel around the globe, working with other contract studios. He was also a lead Artist/Animator at Knowledge Adventure, creating animation for the “Jump Start” learning software.

In the television world, Tim worked as a character layout/animator on The Simpsons, the Critic, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Tim has also been a part of the Mark Kistler Imagination Station television series as a guest artist on eight episodes.  Currently Tim is involved in the filming of a Netflix documentary about this experience. 

During his animation career, Tim has had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing artists in the industry. Things he learned through his experience has made him believe that “Art creates positive changes in people’s lives.”  Because his approach to painting is very consistent with his cartoon style, Tim’s art is creative, playful and fun to immerse in. He strives to bring smiles to all that enjoy and enter his cartoon world. 

Tim’s work has been shown across the nation and is part of both private and corporate collections.



A.O.S., Illustration Rocky Mountain College of Art 1989
B.F.A., Chracter Animation California Institute of the Arts 1993