Celeste Pille received a message one day about her Tumblr, where she was posting her own artistic reimaginings of cast members from "Star Trek," "Recess," "The Magic School Bus" and such 90's Nickelodeon cartoons as "Hey Arnold!" and "Rugrats."
The message read:
Hi Celeste, I'm Craig Bartlett, creator of "Hey Arnold!" and really like your grown up Arnold characters. Just wanted to let you know! Also thought you'd like to know that Matt Groening sent me the link to them.
"I thought, 'OK, someone is just messing with me. Dare to dream, right?'" Pille, a 25-year-old from Omaha, Neb., told The Huffington Post.
That was until she saw a Facebook post from Bartlett sharing her drawing of Stinky from "Hey Arnold!"
"I was pretty gobsmacked to find out it was real," Pille said.
Her Tumblr started as a "fun, little side project" to her day job in marketing, where she handles social media management and some graphic design. She started doing commission work and drew cartoon versions of "Glee" and "Saved by the Bell" cast members, but her grown-up cartoon characters have proved to be the most popular.
"It was a homework assignment I gave myself to pretend for a moment these characters are real and grew up along with me," Pille said.
In addition to showing what people like Tommy Pickles and Helga Pataki would look like in their 20's, she offers brief synopses of what the characters are doing today.
Check out some of Celeste Pille's artwork, with her predictions about the characters' future.
"Charles 'Chuckie' Finster channeled his anxiety into writing and performing and now finds himself a burgeoning slam-poetry superstar. During the day, you’ll find him coaching Forensics and local high school LTAB teams."
"Philosophy major, currently working on his certification in Professional Building Design. Builds/designs furniture in his spare time."
"Currently pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science."
Rhonda Wellington Lloyd
"Attended Princeton for one year, experienced a breakdown and dropped out. She modeled, traveled, and is now enrolled at FIT."
"Bartender, apprentice at a tattoo shop, and plays in a rockabilly band he formed with Stinky Peterson."
"Susie Carmichael attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She’s achieved critical acclaim for her experimental art rock, dance-punk music and looks forward to writing concept albums in each of the 10 languages in which she’s fluent."
"Angelica Pickles went on to Internet fame for her terrible song called 'Weekend,' and its even more terrible music video (produced by Ark Music Factory and paid for by her parents), and just when everyone thought her 15 minutes were up, she leveraged her awesomely bad song’s popularity into a reality show on Bravo called 'Fallen Angelica.' She may not be a good singer, but she’s shrewd, ambitious and makes for incredibly quotable television."
"Journalism major recently accepted into Stanford’s Documentary and Film MFA program. Her video project on blended families and cultures made for a standout portfolio. She eagerly anticipates the amount of travel her career will demand and looks forward to many collaborative projects with Tommy Pickles."
"Stoop Kid left the stoop and majored in Psychology. He’s now working on a Master's of Social Work."
"English Major, recently hired as a Social Media Manager after one year living at home and another year spent in a thankless, penniless internship."
Phil & Lil
"Phil and Lil became YouTube sensations with their series of videos in which they conduct gross/messy/entertaining science experiments. Their strong online following has earned them the attention of several television producers who are interested in creating a children’s educational show. Phil and Lil would love to be on PBS in the near future."
Tommy (with Spike)
"Tommy Pickles is honing his skills in mountain climbing, scuba diving, and paragliding to become a master at wildlife photography. He aspires to be a regular contributor to National Geographic and plans to rappel into an active volcano in the near future to capture the terrifying beauty of lava lakes."