Visual Art

Chuck's Good Luck

Chippewa Falls animator “draws” attention

Caitlin Heidbrink, photos by Sarah Word |

Lucky Radish Studios has been very lucky indeed. Perhaps the sheer creative talent behind its creator and ultimate force had an impact, too.

Chuck Gamble, animator, web designer, and all-around artist, started Lucky Radish in Chippewa Falls. His studio has worked for popular clients, ranging from Kellogg’s to Kodak, and Nabisco to Netscape. The list goes on. As clearly points out, referring to his work as animation is simply too simple. Artistic products include album covers, children’s books, original characters, and web design.

With his Wisconsin roots, Gamble received an art degree at UW-La Crosse before continuing his education at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. Gamble says he chose the Institute because it was the only school at the time that offered a graduate degree in computer animation.

From East Coast to West, Gamble moved to Seattle, Wash., in 1994 to pursue a job with a computer game company, Headbone Interactive. He worked as the creative director and executive producer, across the board of production, from CD-ROM, to animation, to voice work and character design. This small but award-winning company quickly gained speed and needed shelf space to sell their software. Because competing with conglomerates like Sony can be a relative challenge, Headbone went to online sales. As many companies have seen, the Internet gaming community can be a hot commodity and great place for success. Working with an online activity site also led Headbone to produce an award-winning broadcast television cartoon for Discovery Kids. Beyond Headbone, Gamble freelances animation and illustrations to various clients, and is now mainly focused on web design.

As his two daughters grew older, Gamble moved his family back to the Midwest. It is here that he launched Lucky Radish, a way for Gamble to continue disseminating his work across the country.

    This ongoing creativity also extends to Gamble’s wife, who is an interior designer. He says her work is more difficult to transfer from city to city, as it requires visiting clients’ homes and cannot simply be done by computer.

As one would imagine, it’s tough to beat the art scene of New York or Seattle. Gamble explains that it takes more effort to find outlets in the Chippewa Valley, but there is definitely a buzzing art network.

Although a diverse, metropolitan scene can do wonders for any artist, Gamble notes that a lot of his work comes from lifelong sources.

“I started as a kid, just drawing and really enjoying it and never really stopped,” said Gamble. In addition, he picks up inspiration from print.

“I was and am a huge fan of cartoons and animated stuff in general. I read a lot and kind of absorb it,” he says.

For all the aspiring artists, Gamble says one of the best ways to break the glass ceiling is YouTube, an entity he wished was available when he started. Although video hosting sites are spilling over with content, he says it’s still a great way for animators to gain attention.

From a humble beginning, scribbling in a notebook during recess, Gamble has wedged his way into one of the most technologically advanced areas of media business. It seems the ingredient for success here, involves not only an intense imagination, not just the skills to prove it, but a relentless force to spread the art.

    Check out Chuck Gamble’s work at