Ringling College of Art and Design alumnus returns to Sarasota to share stories, experiences and, of course, Disney art
| 10:40 a.m. March 24, 2015
Arts + Culture
Tim Rogerson is in the middle of a magical moment. Born in Orlando and growing up in Elizabeth City, NC, Rogerson loved two thing: drawing and watching Disney movies. Even as the young artist dreamed, sketched and created his favorite Disney characters, he had the determination at a young age to make those daydream doodles a reality. The young Disney fan had a plan. First was to get back to Florida and attend the Rignling College of Art and Design, which Rogerson graduated from with a BFA in illustration in 2004. His first job was creating and designing t-shirt designs for Walt Disney World in his hometown of Orlando. After proving himself in the merchandizing department, Disney gave him the opportunity at his dream: becoming a Disney fine artist. Today he's one of a few dozen aritists in the world trusted by Disney and licensed to use any and all of their characters in his artwork. A collection of his Disney and original art is currently on sale at the madeby Gallery at his alma mater until April 18, and Rogerson will also be attending the campus's Friday night art walk on March 27 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. He took time to talk about his art, his life and his limitless love of Disney.
On his father: "My father is a big influence on my career. When I was growing up, he worked as an art director at Walt Disney World. He was in charge of producing and managing all the live shows in the park."
On being a "Disney Artist:" "My goal for my career was being a Disney artist, period. When I first worked for Disney it was a summer job creating t-shirt designs for the park. I did that for five years. I must have created 1,000 t-shirts ranging from different character designs to the year people visited the park shirts. I feel like I got the job to be a Disney fine artist because I had a niche that's different from everyone else."
On his Disney fine artist peers: "Most of the fine artists I know and work with at Disney are legends in their own right. They are guys who have worked for decades in the animation department and transitioned to art. There are around 24 of us and we get together and play poker every now and then."
On his favorite animated movies: "Growing up 'Peter Pan' was my favorite Disney movie to watch. I just loved the idea of flying and never growing up. But the animation film that changed my perspective on art was 'The Lion King.' It was such a powerful experience seeing those colorful depictions of the African wilderness and animals."
On artistic influences: "Pablo Picasso was a big influence on me and my current work. The idea I'm playing with now is making classic Disney characters modern. I first create an abstract work of art with cubism influences and various shapes and then incorporate and add a Disney character on top of it. Cubism is about taking one object and showing it in different angles and perspectives. Adding a Disney character to that let's you see that character in a different perspective. It's a really fun way to work because every piece is an experiment."
On new hit movies: "We've had to paint and produce a lot of 'Frozen' art since that film exploded, but now we're working on making art on characters from 'Big Hero 6.' Disney has a screening for all the fine artists before a movie comes out so we can get inspired and make art to sell when the movie gets released."
On upcoming projects: "I'm really excited because I'm the official artist for Disneyland's 60th anniversary this summer. I'm also the official artist this year for the D-23 Expo, which is Disney's giant industry trade show. Both of these are huge honors for me having my work used at such giant events. What's exciting for me now that Marvel Comics is a part of Disney, I get to go back to my childhood and paint some of my favorite heroes. My all-time favorite was Spider-Man growing up."