I was living in Berkeley when I first interviewed with Disney. I realized that I needed to show them my work, so I did some samples of Disney characters. I didn’t have any Disney samples before, because I had wanted to do movie posters.
I called Disneyland and asked the operator if I can get the name of an art director that I could send my samples to. I called the art director and told him what I do, and asked if I could send him some samples. He said yes, so I got his address and mailed the samples, I sent them by certified mail with his signature required, so I would be sure that he got them.
After about a week, I called again and asked if he liked my samples, and whether there would be any potential to get a job. He said yes to both, but told me he didn’t have anything to give me right then.
So I asked if I can keep calling back, he again said yes, so I called back in maybe two weeks. I kept calling back, I don’t remember how long it took, but finally he said that they had a job, that if I wanted to come down and work in their office for a month, I could. This was in 1992. I came down to Disneyland and worked on a Euro Disney Opening poster.
I also did some renderings of Toontown buildings for the opening of Mickey’s Toontown, they were used for the Burger King Kid’s Meals. After the month was up, they said that if I moved down to Southern California, they would probably have more work for me. So I packed up my belongings from my apartment in Berkeley, and moved to an apartment in Tustin, California. I think they gave me enough work to keep me going, although after a while, I realized that I need to get more clients. When you freelance, you always have to get new clients.
Thanks for sharing Kenny! Persistence and diligence and sound key here.
I was always curious about how you started working for Disney… here it is! 🙂