Louis Henry Mitchell

Creative director of character design of Sesame Workshop

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As Creative Director of Character Design, Louis Henry Mitchell directs and oversees most aspects of character art for Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street. From designing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and floats to directing Sesame Street Muppet photo shoots, Mitchell has been at Sesame Workshop, full-time, since 2020. Prior to that, Mitchell freelanced for the organization beginning in 1992. Mitchell designed the character Julia, the first Sesame Street character on the autism spectrum. Julia was first designed exclusively as an illustrated character for an autism outreach book and then Mitchell expanded his design and art directed the Jim Henson Company in building the actual Muppet, and her family, for the show. He continues to be the exclusive Sesame Street Muppet designer along with his other duties as creative director of character design. Most recently, Mitchell designed the two new African-American Muppets, Wesley and his Muppet father, Elijah, for Sesame Workshop’s Racial Justice initiative and Ji-Young for the “Coming Together” initiative against anti-Asian violence.

Before his successful ongoing work for Sesame Workshop, Mitchell began his artistic career at 17 years old working for Neal Adams, one of the top comic book and sequential artists in the world at that time. Mitchell continued his career through illustrating children’s books, designing characters and toys as well as teaching and lecturing internationally. Mitchell is also an active member of the Board of Trustees at The Norman Rockwell Museum. Among the skills he uses to accomplish his work are drawing, painting, and sculpting. In addition, he creates and art directs in traditional and digital media.

Mitchell attended The School of Visual Arts, and The Art Students League and resides in Rego Park, Queens.