A few years ago, during my time as Senior Designer at Disney Editions, I was tapped work on a very special project with Ken Shue (VP, Disney Publishing Global Art Development). The concept of the Disney Sketchbook is simple. Imagine a sketchbook handed down through the decades from one Disney animator to the next, each one making a contribution before leaving it in the talented hands of another artist.
Yes, the concept is simple…and amazing. Creating the book was another matter. While it was a chance of a lifetime to take a few trips to California to research art in the Disney Archives, it proved to be quite a challenge to assemble the art. We weren’t going completely chronologically. And we didn’t necessarily want to keep the art organized by movie or property. It had to feel more organically compiled. Since I grew up drawing, I know exactly how quickly a sketchbook becomes a non-linear experiment. Sometimes you draw new art on an old page…inspired by something you did months before. We imagined that Little Mermaid art may have been inspired by Monstro from Pinocchio. These drawings, while separated by decades, could live together on a page…beautifully.
To be a part of this endeavor meant the world to me. I mean, how many people get the chance to reassemble such a rich history going on pure imagination and inspiration? I was a very lucky designer.
This book was put on hold as soon as we completed it. When Editions picked this project up again, I was no longer with Disney. Luckily, it was placed in the very capable hands of Al Giuliani to update and finish this book.
Years later, last night, Al handed me with a copy of A Disney Sketchbook. I was blown away. Thanks so much, Al!