Monday, June 27, 2005
Disney Sample Portfolio : Gestures
click image to enlarge
I went to Disney World in 8th grade with my family and it was the first year they had opened the Disney-MGM Studio area of the park. There was no Tower Of Terror, or Aerosmith rollercoater, but they did have the Animation Tour. Disney had opened an animation studio in Florida, right in the park and for the first time they allowed the general public to view the entire process from beginning to end, and to see the talent working on the current Disney films. It was all done in a "zoo like" atmosphere where you looked through 2 way glass down into the animation pit, where you saw animator's flipping their drawings as a short film voiced by Robin Williams with extra details pointed out by a tour guide, explained everything that was happening.
It was at that moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life, I wanted to animate. I mean I loved drawing to begin with, and loved cartoons and here were artists making a living, MAKING cartoons. F*ck being a doctor or lawyer, I wanna draw animals whacking each others with sledgehammers or bringing fairy-tales to life!...So I dedicated myself through high school to draw, draw and draw. Whenever I had free time I would just draw away in school. I would draw pictures I saw in the paper of Sports Illustrated. I would draw wacky cartoony characters and superheroes, I was extremely focused.
When I first completed art school one of the places where I wanted to work was Disney. I mean it was the grandaddy, "The House Of Mouse" and in the years I was in art school Disney was producing solid hits like "Aladdin" and " The Lion King". So I prepared my portfolio and sent it off to be reviewed by their staff, I was extremely nervous that I would get back my samples with red pen all over it that would say "Send us back more drawings when you grow up" or just plain " Sucks" with an arrow pointing towards various sample drawings.
One of my teachers and even others who had submitted were always told the NO ONE ever got into Disney on the first portfolio submission, so that eased me a bit as I waited in the mail for my critique. About a month later I had recieved a packet in the mail from Walt Disney Studios, and I read the critiques along with a kindly rejection, which also asked me to resubmit in the future after improving my work. The critiques where excellent and helpful, they wanted me to work on my " life drawing poses" more and to add " more animal studies" as well as other helpful hints.
But also included in the packet was "The Disney Sample Portfolio" which consisted of photocopies of artwork and submissions from various Disney artists. They sent this to give examples of what they wanted, I studied it and was amazed by the work that they had done, and tried to work some of it into my own work.
I never sent back to Disney, because soon after I had accepted an offer to animate for a game studio that had brought me out west. But I still have that portfolio and I wanted to post some of the work as inspiration for some, and referance to others.