I met Stacia Martin at a Tomorrowland event at Disneyland. She has been with Disney for the past 37 years and she spoke passionately about her role with the Walt Disney company and her wonderful gift as an artist and story-teller.
They always say if you find something you love and you’ll never work a day of your life. that is exactly true. I love it. I decided to be a disney artist when I was in 3rd grade. It’s amazing. – Stacia
What is your title?
My official title is Disney Artist and Historian which are two simultaneous yet unrelated jobs which I do all the time. Not only draw and paint and design and illustrate and all that stuff but I also write and research and speak and teach and do all kinds of things about Disney history and heritage and more. I have more fun than I should publicly admit to really because it’s a way of making my hobby my career.
Who is your favorite to draw?
Technically, as a technician, just passionately, it would be the adult ducks because Mickey and Minnie if you think about it, they have kind of human bodies just with big ears. Whereas think of Donald and Daisy, they got rubber legs, big ‘ol webbed feet, big feathered cabooses, they are just built for comedy. As an artist, you want to have unusual things to play with but that being said, aesthetically my favorites are anybody from the film Sleeping Beauty. Which to my mind, is the single most beautiful animated feature that ever came through the
Disney studio, very stylized. Walt didn’t want it to look like Snow White and Cinderella and other princess films so he gave the order that this be this pen ultimate achievement, it was to be in 70 mm Technirama wide screen and she said, I envisioned this as a medieval-french tapestry in motion. So everything is extremely geometric and extremely orderly but the success is that it’s not cold as geometric and as architectural lines can be. it’s just as warm but
in this amazing structured world that looks like nothing else.
Did you go to school for art?
I was an art major yes but I started drawing when I was about 2. So, I always considered it self-taught with refinements. I decided that I needed to be a Disney artist when I was 7 so it worked out real well.
Stacia remembers watching Walt Disney on TV.
I was only five when he passed away. I did see him once but the big thing is that I grew up in a time when he was still hosting the television show and we didn’t have all the wonderful media that we have now so you lived for Sunday night at 7:30 and you had your records (remember records) and your Golden Books. it was all treasured and special so you pay so much attention to it because you are yearning for it. That’s what I got to do and how I got involved.
What do Dopey, Pluto and Dumbo have in common. They don’t speak! You really have to watch them, when you are watching their films. You can’t go to the kitchen, then get your snack, follow their dialogue and see how it’s going. You’ve got to stay there and watch them and the whole reason you may love them their whole personality is all conveyed through the animator’s art, through the personality that is put in by the drawing, by the movements and the thoughts. I think people who have a lot of, not only attentiveness, but have a lot of heart to them respond to those character because you have to really invest yourself more to get what you get out of them. But isn’t it all the better that you have, because you never forget it. Not that I don’t enjoy a snappy lyric but it’s just a different aesthetic. I think it’s one that not everybody can be aware of, it does stop you and you have to take a little time for it.
Every child should be encouraged to participate in the arts. It’s a way to express themselves and be their own story-teller! Oh, and adults, drawing, coloring, etc can be a fabulous stress-reliever! Try it out! Also, after putting this Q&A together, I realized that I heard Staci speak at Club 33 for another event I attended. It was nice to talk to her in person this time around! She’s so sweet and I’m so happy for my friend Melissa who won a signed drawing from Staci!