Saturday, September 17, 2011

Glen Keane

I'll never forget going to this inspiring art seminar that featured the renowned Disney animator Glen Keane. (You're probably wondering, "Why write a post about an animator on a music blog?" But this just isn't any post...this was a life changing experience for me. And all artists are welcome to grace my posts anytime.) So I walk into this gallery and it was truly incredible. There were all different kinds of art work on the walls, from all different animators. There were sketches of the first concept of Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Of Jasmine and Aladdin, there was this one haunting sketch of a grizzly bear from The Fox and the Hound and even the newer movie Tangled had a few sketches hanging. Then there was more abstract art from other incredible artists. It was all so breathtaking. Then you walk in this other room where the artists including Glen Keane, had placed their personal sketch books for everyone to look through. Wow. Not only was the art on the walls inspiring, but look through these personal sketch books and envision them sitting on their porch sketching images from their mind of passed memories, or sitting at a park and pulling inspiration from a family having a picnic, or even viewing the animals in these books and knowing they had that sketchbook in hand as they walked through the zoo. I actually got to hold a piece of each of their hearts in my hands. Worn and tarnished. But with such an incredible story to tell. If only you were willing to allow it to enter into you and your imagination. What pure, raw talent. So inspiring. Then I turn to see these artists talking with people, how humble and down to earth they all were. Sharing their journey, and wanting to be there and help others begin their adventure into a world not many have the privilege to visit . How inspiring. So as we made our way through the area with the sketch books, we found people sort of crowding around or sitting on chairs and leaning against the wall waiting for Glen ( I'm on a 1st name basis now) to start speaking. There were plenty of young artists in the crowd with their own sketch books in hand, waiting patiently for him to begin. He walked up and stood next to a drawing board and told us a bit about himself. That his Father had taught him to draw as a child and that he knew that's where his destiny lie, and how much he still enjoys it today. Then it opened up for a Q&A portion. Kids were asking for drawing tips, how to pursue their own dreams and even what schools he would recommend. Then he started drawing Ariel as he was speaking. No big deal, she took oh I donno, a whole 2 minutes or so to become completely alive on that paper, flawless. ( I even tried drawing her when I got home, but it ended up looking more like Ursula and Sebastians love child,..45 minutes later. He just made it look so easy, I couldn't resist.) As I witnessed this great talent I felt a question rise in my chest, and tried to suppress it. I don't ask questions, I'm much to shy and my questions are much to simple for someone of his stature and expertise. But that annoying question kept tormenting my thoughts and I just knew I'd regret walking out of there without knowing the answer. So I finally raised my hand almost hoping not to be called on and anticipating that disappointment that comes with hoping for something your not truly hoping for. When all of a sudden he pointed to me. With sweaty palms and a sweaty brain I asked, " Does a new project ever intimidate you? Do you ever feel you can't accomplish it?" And he looked at me and smiled and said, "Every project intimidates me. The funny thing about artists is, we're always worried that someone, someday will realize we're really just faking it. That we actually don't know what we're doing." His words brought such a comfort, such a new found confidence. Because I was able to relate to such an incredible talent. So although I may fake being a musician. I am a composer. :)

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