I Want to Be a Disney Artist

I get one question more than any other from young followers who dream of working as an animator. The question is a version of, “I wanna be a Disney animator! Do you have any tips or tricks that will get me hired?” The question usually points to someone that is more fan than artist. I only have one answer and it’s not easy to hear and even harder to do:

Don’t just be a fan of animation — prepare for it! Draw everyday, follow great artists, sketch always, learn great design, observe life around you, know color theory and storytelling. Then start animating.

I get asked a lot: "What do I need to do to be an artist for Disney?" So much so, that I normally can’t answer. I did answer recently in a message and I share it here: “You must be able to draw nearly anything that is requested — kids, teens, old people, male, female, animals, cars, space ships, etc. And in a certain style that is requested, which is probably not your own. They do not want to see drawings of existing characters (like Mickey), they want original characters.” This is what it takes to be a professional (commercial) artist, not just a Disney artist.

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