Our People

Meet Austin

2D Animation Apprentice
Describe something that you learned from your mentor!

What I learned from my mentors is that in order to find growth as an artist or animator, it is important to challenge yourself and break out of your comfort zones. You may surprise yourself on what to can achieve when you do!

Looking back to when you were applying, and knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself?

I would advise myself to always remain forward thinking about my goals and dreams. Taking that next step can sometimes come with feelings of uncertainty of whether or not you are ready to make that transition in advancing your career. If an opportunity presents itself, go for it! It may bring you to a place that is far more fulfilling than you would’ve imagined, and a greater sense of appreciation when looking back at how far you’ve come.

What will you take away from your experience and how will you apply it?

The level of confidence I have gained in my work as well as the trust and knowledge instilled to me by my mentors. As part of the next generation of artist and animators, it is my responsibility to keep the art of Traditional Animation alive through my own style and voice.

What are 3 words you would use to describe your internship/trainee experience?

Inclusive, Innovative, and Magical.

What are you most proud of from your internship/trainee program?

I am so very proud to be representing the next generation of 2D animators here at the Studio, specifically as an African American. My hopes are for up incoming young black animators who dream of working for Disney to see someone who looks just like them helping to bring timeless characters and stories to life, the same way I was inspired by artist and animator Floyd Norman. 

What do you like about working at Disney Animation?

I love that there is always great sense of comradery here. Everyone wants to bring their absolute best to every project and are excited to see what you can contribute as well. Even when working with the legendary 2D animators, they are always so gracious and willing to share all that they know.

What was your favorite Disney movie growing up?

The Lion King

What's the most surprising part of working at Disney Animation?

The amount of quality and care put into archiving past art and animation. I was blown away at how every frame and painting is preserved and kept in mint condition. Having the opportunity to look at animation dating back to Steamboat Willie was incredible! From Cinderella's iconic dress transformation, to beautifully animated fire effects, all artwork can be looked at and studied for inspiration by the artists working at the studio.

What Disney character do you connect with most?

Mickey Mouse. He is kindhearted, imaginative and resilient. Qualities I try to reflect in own life. When faced with adversity, Mickey always finds a way to rise above any obstacle placed before him, all the while staying true to himself, spreading positivity to everyone he meets. For me, Mickey is a constant reminder to believe in myself and to always be kind because both can take you a long way.

What is your favorite memory while working at Disney Animation?

My favorite memory was spending a day at Disneyland with my fellow 2D animation apprentices! Going to the parks with people who are as crazy about Disney as I am was one of the best experiences ever! We went on all of the attractions, enjoyed a lot of the great food, and sang along to some of our favorites songs! They have been a huge part of my growth here at the studio as well and I always look forward to spending time with them.

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