Douglas Brassil Horak, 25 years old, of West Hartford and beloved eldest son of Ellen Brassil and Jack Horak died an untimely death on Friday, September 7th, 2012. Doug also leaves his three younger brothers, John, Tom and Martin, who all adored him and looked up to him since childhood, remembering his help with projects, imaginative games and traditions like building the “Christmas fort.” A graduate of the University of Hartford, Doug was a gifted artist and illustrator and would have completed his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design next spring. Doug’s art had drawn the attention of many, and in addition to his talent as an illustrator and portrait artist, he had mastered many techniques using complex 3-D modeling software such as Maya and Z-Brush and had ventured into the challenging world of skilled animation. Doug had won many art awards and his work earned international acclaim, including Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 Lucasfilm “Man versus Nature” Concept Art Award, leading to an internship at Lucasfilm studios in California. Doug recently won a competition sponsored by Animation Magazine for his rendition titled “Box,” about a young protagonist and his robot creation – drawn from his own sketch book. “I try to draw inspirations from everywhere and everything,” said Doug of his source material, evidenced in everything from his watercolor landscapes done while studying in Sicily, sketches of friends or his animation production entitled “ Viridian,” with music and sound design by Douglas Perry. Even as a boy, Doug knew the height, speed, G-forces and other vital statistics of the world’s great roller coasters. He was a talented carpenter, from building half-pipes, forts and ramps as a boy to recently working with his mom to re-design the living room mantle. Doug loved all animals and over the years had helped care for family pets as varied as dogs, ferrets, gerbils, rabbits, and even his aunt’s horses. Doug became an avid reader sailing through many of the classics for a second time just for the fun of it after finishing college. Doug enjoyed playing his great-grandmother’s piano, and was a natural athlete who excelled in skating and diving. Doug had a charitable heart and bristled at meanness, always ready to befriend peers in need or defend a quiet kid being pushed around. In addition to his parents and brothers, Doug leaves many aunts, uncles and cousins. Douglas’ legacy will continue on in others through the gift of tissue donation. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Farmington Ave in West Hartford at 11 am on Friday, September 14th. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. Donations in Doug’s memory may be made to Connecticut Institute for the Blind Oak Hill, 120 Holcomb St., Hartford, CT 06112 or The Little Sisters of the Poor, 1365 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT 06082.
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