Welcome to this weeks edition of Spotlight on Disney Fine Artist! This week the spotlight is on Jacob Koeppe.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jacob Koeppe and I am currently an animation intern at El Grupo Animation inside the Animation Guild at Burbank, Ca. On the side, I am a painter as well.

Why do you do what you do?

I have been in a huge fan of Disney ever since I was little and watched Disney films and visited Disneyland. For me, Disney gave me the inspiration to become an animator, especially hand drawn animation. Disney gave us such timeless tales like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and The Lion King and I want to be a part of that experience.

What’s your background?

I am an art major currently attending college. On the side, I am interning in animation at Burbank working on a hand drawn animated short film alongside with my mentor Alex Topete, a former Disney animator who worked on many Disney films like The Black Cauldron, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. During my free time, I like paint and sell them on the side and build toyboxes for Disney Infinity as DizExplorer03.

Favorite Disneyland Memory?

My favorite Disneyland memory happened just recently actually. During the end of summer break, I have been invited to attended the Disney Infinity Toy Box Summit for creating spectacular toyboxes for the game. This year, it was held at Disneyland and we were rewarded with very special treatments like VIP seatings for Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever, free light up Mickey ears and paintbrushes, and a tour of Walt Disney’s apartment inside the firehouse on Main Street USA. It truly was a once of a lifetime experience hanging out with the amazing crew and toybox master artists at the happiest place on Earth and creating wonderful memories.

How has your practice change over time?

While working on my pieces, I’ve seem to notice that I seem to be very playful when it comes with colors. I love to experiment with color and see how it would turn out. Also, over the time, I seem to work bigger after painting on small canvases. Having a lot of ideas but not having enough room to show them can be very troublesome.

What art do you most identify with?

I am inspired by many artists throughout my life, but if I were to pick one, I would choose Paul Rudish. I love his cartoony style and color schemes, especially when it comes with the Mickey Mouse shorts currently on Disney Channel. He’s definitely one of my many inspirations when I design my characters.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

Right now, I really enjoy animating and oil painting. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to hand drawn animation, but it’s all worth it in the end to see your piece come to life in the end like magic. As for oil painting, I love how fluid and flexible the paint can be allowing to blend colors more easily.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood that relates to Disney?

One of my strongest memories I had at Disneyland was watching Fantasmic for the first time. It came out the year I was born and back then I would think that the show was made just for me. Seeing great moments like Peter Pan fighting Captain Hook, the steamboat passing by with memorable Disney characters waving at you, and especially Mickey Mouse triumphing over the Maleficent dragon and all of the forces of darkness truly took my breath away and left me with astonishment. Truly magical. Still my all time favorite show to view at Disneyland.

What’s your favorite art work?

I have two favorite art pieces right now. Once is my Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey painting and the other is my self portrait redo. For the Mickey painting, I’ve always wanted to make a painting of my favorite cartoon character and hang it above my animation desk for inspiration and it clearly does every day. As for my self portrait redo, I’ve been planning to redo one of my works to show how much I’ve grown in a couple of years and that particular painting did not disappoint. Compared to my old one, I’ve clearly shown an improvement over the time, especially with facial features and paint application.

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