Thursday, November 18, 2021

Scenes from my Work (at Home) Space

Today, November 18, anniversary of my Disney hire date. Technically, it’s a re-hire date, but all the same, I have been working continuously for Disney for eight years now.

Coincidentally, November 18 is also the anniversary of the premiere of the “Steamboat Willie,” and thus the so-called dual birthdays of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

In past years, I have shared on this day via Facebook and/or Instagram photos of bits of my work space. However, I’m actually in the midst of a self-impose “social media” break. I’ve decided to step out of that break today and share here eight video conference call (a.k.a. Zoom) backgrounds that I have composed and used in the last year working at home.

Walt’s office,
The Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA.

New Orleans Square, Disneyland (1966).

Main Street Train Station, Disneyland.

The Animation Building, Northside,
The Walt Disney Studios, Burbank

Monstro, Storybook Land, Disneyland

Royal 21 Balcony (formerly the Disney Dream Suite)
(formally the Disney Gallery), New Orleans Square, Disneyland

Monsanto House of the Future, Disneyland (c. 1957)

The Disney Gallery Courtyard, 
New Orleans Square, Disneyland (c. 2007)

You should be able to click on the images to download.

I claim no rights to any of the images.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What I Drew Oct 1 - Oct 16 (Disney Parks) – Top 10

Over 16 consecutive days to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday, I filled a Disneyland autograph book with 50 Disney Parks themed sketches. Each sketch was the result of what I call an improv style mixing up and random reassembling of folk’s deconstructed suggestions pitched to me on Instagram. By comparison, in 2020 to celebrate Disneyland’s 65th birthday, I drew 50 sketches in an autograph book over the 17 days leading up to July 17, the birthday day. However in 2020, I was on furlough and had more time for 3+ a day sketches.

Here are the top 10 liked pieces of the 50 with additional stories not part of their brief, daily blog postings:

#1, pp. 10-11 - Han and Leia taking little Ben / just strolling the park!

Suggestions by Nicole P. /

This family from the Star Wars stories is totally up for artistic interpretation, since currently there aren’t any filmed canon depiction of them when Ben was a child. 

I feel that Han would continue to wear white shirts and black or dark colored vests and jackets. 

For Leia, I feel she’ll have braided hair and a practical outfit akin to the fatigues she wore in Return of the Jedi.

2x hidden Mickeys.

Thing I drew that no one asked for: Liberty Square outside of the “Hall of Presidents.”

#2, pp. 50-51 - Chip and Dale / pop up pin shop

Suggestions by Jeff S. / @vbehappy

There’s no telling how the comparative sizes of the characters and locales and tell-tale architecture and features will affect the scene composition and story. With the chipmunks being no taller than the pins being sold and the pin trading cart, I thought zooming in on Chip and Dale was more interesting that showing the cart. 

While the duo could have fun with the pins found there, it doesn’t appear as if they have then means to trade pins much less purchase them.

2x hidden Mickeys.

Thing I drew that no one asked for: Daisy Duck.

#3, pp. 100-101 - Mickey and Minnie / the Hitchhiking Ghosts / Magic Kingdom hub / sharing the Kitchen Sink sundae

Suggestions by Jeff S. / @realmarkd / Jeff S / Nicole P.

If I color the sky yellow, it’s usually because I want the scene to be happy. 

As the final sketch of the book, I selected this suggestion combination from the last four combinations to be the last because Mickey and Minnie were the characters. For the final three sketches, I pulled a second character suggestion as an embellishment and for this one, it happened to be the Haunted Mansion’s hitchhiking ghosts. 

The Kitchen Sink sundae suggestion was pulled from the last few remaining props and purposefully matched to Mickey and Minnie because it matched better than the other final four character/attraction combinations.

The birthday salutation came about partly because I couldn’t think of a funny exchange between the mice and the ghosts.

2x hidden Mickeys. 

1 hidden baby oyster.

#4, pp. 2-3 - Goofy / visiting Be Our Guest Restaurant

Suggestions by @the_kira_diaries / @nikkistar5394

As the first sketch of the series, perhaps it’s high ranking has to do with it having the most time to attract eyes and likes on Instagram. Perhaps it benefitted from the excitement of the novelty of this series?

At the left is Gaston in silhouette. At the right is Belle greeting guests in silhouette.

2x hidden Mickeys.

#5, pp. 68-69 - Chip and Dale / dancing at Jellyrolls / watching the Dalmatians play

Suggestions by Jeff S. / @motheroffreels / Nicole P.

A big part of “Jellyrolls” is their dueling pianos. While the suggestion combo has no obligation to depict two baby grand pianos, I thought one piano should be part of the scene and the glossy finish of the piano top would make for a good dance floor for the characters. Joe Gardner as the pianist has everything to do with the recentness of the film Soul. Alternates could be Mickey, Donald or Roger Radcliffe (to match the Dalmatians).

I had thought that I might have Chip and Dale dressed in their Rescue Rangers costumes. That is until I came across images of the animated short Two Chips and a Miss. Having the pair wearing tuxedos and including Clarice as a dance partner just fell into place.

“Playing” Dalmatian pups turned from “playing games” to “playing instruments.” 

3x hidden Mickeys.

Thing I drew that no one asked for: Clarice, bongos and a violin played as a bass fiddle.


#6, pp. 30-31 - Kida and Ariel / in Typhoon Lagoon / carrying a 50th anniversary cupcake

Suggestions by @kmwright222 / @nikkistar5394 / Jeff S.

If you look closely, the cupcake in Kida’s hand has a “50” emblazoned on it. However, by looks alone, I’ll understand if the cupcakes aren’t recognizable.

It’s a remarkable coincidence that these two swimming princesses would find themselves matched with the Typhoon Lagoon water park. I didn’t arrange it to be so.

2x hidden Mickeys.

1x hidden baby oyster.

#7, pp. 6-7 - The Princess and the Frog characters and Br’er Rabbit / (going) "around the world" at Epcot

Suggestions by @caitlinfogartyart / @the_kira_diaries

As it was “artist’s choice” for which part of Epcot to feature, France seemed perfectly suitable for Tiana and friends with New Orleans having such strong French influences. 

Here again, I use yellows and golds to convey happiness.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#8, pp. 94-95 - Flynn and Rapunzel / in Mickey’s PhilharMagic / taking shots/drinking

Suggestions by @alltookayleigh / @yooo_gert / @the_kira_diaries

The story of “PhilharMagic” has Donald attempting to head off chaos as he chases the wayward sorcerer’s hat through several Disney sequences recreated in glorious three-dimensional CGI. One of the segments is Lumiere’s performance of “Be Our Guest” which fits well with the “drinking” prompt.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#9, pp. 60-61 - Ariel and Eric / on Pirates of the Caribbean / getting spooked

Suggestions by @nikkistar5394 / Abigail R / @alltookayleigh

I suppose the spookiest part of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction is in the section with skeletons posed in various vignette, even if most are touched with a dark humor.

The purplish stormy sky is an experiment where normally one might see a black or indigo sky. It at least contrasts with the wreck and skeleton.

2x hidden Mickeys. 

1x hidden baby oyster.

#10, pp. 40-41 - Russel with Carl and Dug / at the Emporium

Suggestions by @vbehappy / @kmwright222

I counted 3x true hidden Mickeys here. Any other Mickey is intentionally a plush doll Mickey. 

I challenged folks to find as much as they could in the pile of plush dolls, but it would be easier to understand my intentions had I colored it. Then you could identify the princesses by their different hair color.

More About What I Had Drawn Those Days

Luck of the Draw

As I had described in the announcement and call for suggestions, the things that I drew were the random recombination of deconstructed suggestions that folks pitched in the week leading up to October 1st. Each suggestion was broken up into three categories of prompts: characters, Disney Parks thing and embellishments which could be props or action. All of that was printed out, cut up as slips of paper and put in assigned buckets to be pulled randomly.

Rather than pull prompts for one suggestion combo at a time. I did so four at a time. I kept the best three. From those three, I choose one to be the “every third” to be finished in full color.

Because it was my intention to draw Disney characters (those characters currently owned by the Disney Company) enjoying Disney Parks experiences drawn in a Disneyland autograph book, when I pulled one of the two non-Disney character prompts submitted, I then pulled a second character prompt to be the featured actor(s), and put the non-Disney character in the background.

The other bit of jiggering I did with the suggestions happened at the end with the last four suggestion combinations. Here, I purposefully picked from all of the remaining slips the four character prompts that I liked, and matched them with the four Disney Parks things that I liked and randomly pulled a few embellishment prompts too. Lastly, I pulled second character prompt for the final three. That’s how I ended with Mickey and Minnie in the final sketch.

Good Even-ings

I drew on the odd numbered pages, the right sided pages when you open a book.

The time, I did preliminary sketches on the left sided pages. It was good practice for characters that I hadn’t drawn before. It was a nice exercise to play with expressions on a larger scale than the final sketch. On some, I worked out some technical issues like tiny character size comparison charts.

Photos of the even-odd page spreads were shared only on this blog, where only the final odd pages were shared on Instagram and Facebook.

What Disney World Book

I purchased several Disneyland autograph books from ShopDisney online store last year with the specific intention to do sketch series like this. When I decided to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday with the marathon task of fifty sketches in an autograph book, I knew that I had books on hand. However, I assumed them to be generic Disney branded books, and didn’t order any Walt Disney World branded books.

A-Hoy, Captions!

If I do have a rule regarding when to have dialogue word balloons in these single panel comics, it’s if it needs it then I’ll add it. I’m certainly happy to not add dialogue if it’s not necessary. Other times, I’ll leave the comic be because I couldn’t think of anything in the way of dialog. 

For example, for the scene of Carl, Russell and Dug in the Emporium, I wondered if Carl should say something. Nothing that I could think of was funny. I’m not very good with “Caption this” challenges.

Thank You

Thank you to the following folks to pitch ideas that ended up in this book:

On Instagram:

_jilliano124_ • akoymdf • alltookayleigh

anek.art001 • ani8tor57 • art3mis8182

bowling_and_bowties91 • caitlinfogartyart • cr8ture

elicid • elijones94 • fletchthis • herreriamon • jayrodesign

jessiemind • kmwright222 • lysette.v.e

madesalvo • mascotdrawings • mannysmyname

motheroffreels • nikkistar5394 • realmarkd

rod_j_sloan • spanky.bear • stevedelacruz.16

swampboyes • the_kira_diaries • vbehappy

yooo_gert • zoe.with.twodots

On Facebook:

Nicole P. • Kinzey F. • Abigail R.

On Blog and D.M.:

Jeff S.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

What I Drew Saturday, Oct 16 - Disney Parks

Day No. 16

Here’s the finale of the series: the final four of the 50 Disney Parks themed sketches done in this Disneyland autograph book. For the last three sketches, I choose to double pull the character prompts, just to squeeze out the last bits of goodness amongst the suggestions.

#47, pp. 94-95 - Flynn and Rapunzel / in Mickey’s PhilharMagic / taking shots/drinking: @alltookayleigh / @yooo_gert / @the_kira_diaries

How fortunate that the “Be Our Guest” sequence is part of the “PhilharMagic” show and thus “drinking” isn’t entirely disconnected. Donald still chases the magic sorcerer’s hat.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#48, pp. 96-97 - SMRT-1 / Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit / helping paint the castle: @jayrodesign / @rod_j_sloan / Nicole P.

I don’t know if it reads well, but they’re standing on scaffolding. 

When selecting a part of Cinderella Castle on which to feature I at least wanted one of the cone shaped turret roofs because I thought that would communicate “castle.”  Beyond that, I thrusted that there would be enough wall area for the characters to paint with the pinkish, iridescent coating.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#49, pp. 98-99 - Orange Bird / Sora from Kingdom Hearts / at Festival of the Lion King: @fletchthis / @yooo_gert / @jessiemind

I chose a wide shot to convey the “staged show” idea. Without something or some one in the close up space, it lack the dynamics of depth, and maybe then lacks visual interest. It does expose my unwillingness to fill the scene with a lot more of the cast in this penultimate sketch of the series.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#50, pp. 100-101 - Mickey and Minnie / the Hitchhiking Ghosts / Magic Kingdom hub / sharing the Kitchen Sink sundae: Jeff S. / @realmarkd / Jeff S / Nicole P.

Oh boy! A party for the final sketch of the series! 

Since there are two different specialty “kitchen sink” designs, I thought to use them both and then there’d be enough sundaes for everybody. 

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are dressed in their 50th anniversary outfits.

The hub (a.k.a. the Plaza) is represented by in being the area in front of Cinderella Castle.

2x hidden Mickeys.

What I Drew Friday, Oct 15 - Disney Parks

Day No. 15

Three of the four sketch done this day, are scenes from attractions already featured in this book’s pages: Haunted Mansion (no surprise), the Sword in the Stone Ceremony and the Mad Tea Party. Which means each offered an additional challenge as to not repeat myself. The “Mansion” is a storytelling attraction with plenty of staged scenes and a lot of characters and details. In that respect, the Mansion was easy.   

#43, pp. 86-87 - Haunted Mansion servants / America Sings / regretful: @caitlinfogartyart / @spanky.bear / Abigail R.

An option offeedr by syntax is that if the suggestion does not have a key verb like “riding,” “watching,” “eating,” etc., then I choose to put the characters right into the story of the attraction.

I think that I find this extinct attraction so beloved that I failed to really make the mansion servants regretful. Rather, they’re just whiny here.

I cast Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel as the displaced Mansion servants.

2x hidden Mickeys.

#44, pp. 88-89 - Sebulba and Young Anakin / in the Haunted Mansion: @eljcid / @alltookayleigh

In this third scene occurring in the famed Haunted Mansion, I forego the “Doom Buggy” ride vehicle and treat the attraction as a walk through the creepy house.

Sebulba’s dialog doesn’t allude to anything in particular. I wanted some response to the voice coming from the coffin and didn’t think he or Anakin would be eager to assist.

4x hidden Mickeys.

#45, pp. 90-91 - Darth Vader taking Luke and/or Leia with Stormtrooper bodyguards / pulling the sword out of the stone / wearing a cast member costume from the Enchanted Tiki Room: @akoymdf / Nicole P / @fletchthis

Finding images of the Cast-Member costume for “The Enchanted Tiki Room” was not easy, and what I did find I can’t say is correct.

There’s really only two stories to tell in a single panel comic setup, isn’t there? 1) Someone can’t pull the wort out of the stone/anvil. 2) Someone who can.

2x hidden Mickeys.

#46, pp. 92-93 - Meg with Hercules / getting on Teacups: Nicole P. / Abigail R.

What’s the story of this scene if “getting in” means that things are happening before the main action? Reluctance? Horror? Unbridled excitement? I ended up with prologue, triggering the reader’s imagination of what could go wrong given Hercules’ well known godlike strength.

2x hidden Mickeys.

Friday, October 15, 2021

What I Drew Thursday, Oct 14 - Disney Parks

Day No. 14

Now officially I’m into the final ten sketches of this marathon project. I’m pretty sure that by now,  I’ve pulled suggestions parts from everyone who had pitched suggestions within the open period of suggestion pitching. The mixed up suggestions aren’t assured to get less wild or easier to draw.

#41, pp. 82-83 - Miles, Peter, and Gwen (“Into the Spiderverse”) / light the fireworks during the finale of Fantasmic!: @motheroffreels / @the_kira_diaries

It takes a super-hero (or two or three) for this dangerous task.

I began to lay in some yellow, but stopped when I remembered that this wasn’t supposed to be a full-color piece. 

This final version has more black inked on Miles’s costume than what I posted on Instagram ad Facebook.

2x hidden Mickeys.

#42, pp. 84-85 - Centaurs and centaurettes  (“Fantasia”) / riding Splash Mountain: Abigail R. / @anek.arts001

In this third scene set in/on Splash Mountain, the action is the spectacular water flume drop. The camera angle allows me to hide how the centaurs might be able to sit inside a log or how the logs may be retrofitted to allow it.

3x hidden Mickeys.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

What I Drew Wednesday, Oct 13 - Disney Parks

Day No. 13

A second consecutive night, with a mere two sketches produced. This is because I needed the time to concentrate on other things.

#39, pp. 78-79 - Gonzo / the monorail / watching fireworks: @mannysmyname / Jeff S. / @motheroffreels

Is this the most surprising mix up sketch of this series?

Gonzo being a small figure enclosed in a large monorail train provides its own challenge. Fireworks in the mix adds a logistical challenge. If it isn’t clear, the monorail isn’t pink. It’s bathed in the glow of magenta fireworks seen reflected in the train’s window.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#40, pp. 80-81 - The cast of Splash Mountain / on Safari / for Ronto wraps: @spanky.bear / @caitlinfogartyart / Nicole P.

That “sausage taco” that Br’er Rabbit has is a Ronto Wrap that’s exclusively available at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The gang is loaded on a Safari truck that tours the Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I don’t think that Fox and Bear know what they would do if they found a Ronto.

2x hidden Mickeys.

With this set of two sketches, conveniently there remains a final ten. The only thing different about the final ten is that I can count them on my fingers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

What I Drew Tuesday, Oct 12 - Disney Parks

Day No. 12

Continuing evening sketches on a weekday. I took a nap in the middle of the Olaf piece and then couldn’t muster the energy to do a third sketch for the evening.

#37, pp. 74-75 - Gaston / The ghostbusters / in Disney’s Animal Kingdom / eating a Dole Whip: @art3mis8182 / @_jilliano124_ / @mannysmyname / @fletchthis

A case of an initial non-Disney character suggestion put in a supporting roll with a second character suggestion pulled to take primary focus. Research revealed that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tamu Tamu serves a rum Dole Whip which is where I set this scene.

2x hidden Mickeys.

#38, pp. 76-77 - Olaf / the Sword from the Stone / having fun: @alltookayleigh / @art3mis8182 / @alltookayleigh

Olaf having fun with a sword. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

2x hidden Mickeys.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

What I Drew Monday, Oct 11 - Disney Parks

Day No. 11

Coming off a weekend during which I couldn’t devote entire days of drawing, I’m back to the weekday pace of three sketches a night, putting the final sketch to be completing this project to some time on Saturday, October 16.

#34, pp. 68-69 - Chip and Dale / dancing at Jellyrolls / watching the Dalmatians play: Jeff S. / @motheroffreels / Nicole P.

Jellyrolls is a piano bar featuring dueling pianos, located on Disney’s Boardwalk. Naturally, the scene would feature the chipmunk duo dancing on top of one of the pianos. Naturally, Clarice, the girl chipmunk from the short Two Chips and a Miss would be a welcomed third. Naturally number three, Joe Gardner from soul would be a great pianist. 

“Playing” Dalmatians here is interpreted as playing instruments rather than puppy games.

The large mirror that allows the audience to see a top-down view of the piano stage is probably the trickiest part of the scene that couldn’t be left out.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#35, pp. 70-71 - Belle and the Prince / on Space Mountain / with Scat Cat’s band playing: @nikkistar5394 / @jayrodesign / @motheroffreels

A lot of rocket trains zipping around in the dark.

2x hidden Mickeys.

#36, pp. 72-73 - Roger and Jessica Rabbit / enjoying Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: Nicole P. / @motheroffreels

An absolutely straight-forward interpretation of the mixed up suggestion. I just simplified the room by not drawing the wall of batteries backdrop.

3x hidden Mickeys.

Monday, October 11, 2021

What I Drew Sunday, Oct 10 - Disney Parks

Day No. 10

More drawings. More details about those drawings.

#30, pp. 60-61 - Ariel and Eric / on Pirates of the Caribbean / getting spooked: @nikkistar5394 / Abigail R / @alltookayleigh

I’m always looking for ways to crop things like these attractions scenes to focus on the primary characters and minimize any other folks that would fill out ride vehicles and such.

2x hidden Mickeys. 1x Baby Oyster.

#31, pp. 62-63 - Abu / on Kali River Rapids: @Zoe.with.twodots / @nikkistar5394

A single small character in a large circular raft cropped so as not ending to draw extra characters. Plus a lot of water. I think it conveys the right amount of tension, but isn’t a good illustration of what the raft looks like, but it doesn’t need to.

3x hidden Mickeys.

#32, pp. 64-65 - Aristocats’ O’Malley and Duchess / competing fiercely on the Tomorrowland Speedway / with fishing gear: @motheroffreels / @eljcid / @cr8ure

Cats driving cars.

1x hidden Mickey.

#33, pp. 66-67 - Some of the Tomorrowland gang (Carousel of Progress, Buzz, Stitch, etc) / going on Tower of Terror / carrying the 50th birthday cake: @mascotdrawings / @caitlinfogartyart / Jeff S.

From both Disneyland’s (DL) and Magic Kingdom’s (MK) Tomorrowlands. 

(Top/back row, L-R) RX-24 (Star Tours, DL), Mr. Johnson (Mission to Mars, DL), Space Man and Space Woman (DL), Mike and Sulley (Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, MK).

Carousel of Progress family: (Middle row, left four) Cousin Orville, Father, Mother (a.k.a. Sarah), Daughter (a.k.a. Patty). (Bottom/front row, left four) Grand Father, Grand Mother, Son (a.k.a. Jimmy), Daughter (unnamed).

(Middle row, right side L-R) Buddy Boil (Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor), Sonny Eclipse (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, MK).

(Bottom/front row, right side, L-R) Buzz Lightyear and Emperor Zurg (Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, MK and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, DL), Stitch and Skippy (Stitch’s Great Escape!, MK)

1x hidden Mickey.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

What I Drew Saturday, Oct 9 - Disney Parks

Day No. 9

A busy Saturday, means not a lot of drawing gets done. Oh well, there’s tomorrow and however more days I need to complete this book of sketches.

#28, pp. 56-57 - Nani and David / at the Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT / Churro: @nikkistar5394 / @cr8ure / @jayrodesign

Marlin, Nemo, Dory and Squirt have to be necessarily small here, even if not as small as you’d think their proper scale should be compared with the humans, Nani and David. Maybe the aquarium window is creating a magnifying effect make them only appear larger.

Hint: Squirt is up-side-down.

3x hidden Mickeys. 1 Baby Oyster.

#29, pp. 58-59 - Lumiere / at Rafiki’s Planet Watch: @the_kira_diaries / @elijones94

This is what is called the “Affection Section,” which features the only people-guest and animal interaction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom: a.k.a. the petting zoo.

The whole of the Lumiere suggestion called for Lumiere to use his flames if paired with fireworks. So goes the story-telling danger when suggestions are mixup improv-style: which is suggestions are altered by context.

2x hidden Mickeys.