When Drawing Mattered

Umpteen years ago I was a young animation artist learning the ropes at the Walt Disney Studio. When break time rolled around we could grab a cup of coffee or maybe stroll the hallways of the Animation Building. Our little group of trainees made 1B-1 our home but real Disney artists actually worked in the rooms all around us. Since the artists often left their doors open, we thought it might be okay to venture in and have a look around.

It's funny. That was over fifty years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. My pals and I moved from desk to desk looking at the cool Disney drawings on the artist's animation drawing desk. The drawings were beautiful and full of zest and energy. Many of the animators like to animate their scenes with an orange pencil before handing off the sketches to an assistant. The inspired sketches were roughly cleaned up by the animator but you could still see the rough orange lines under the pencil. I still remember seeing those sketches and how much they were imbued with energy and vitality.

While browsing through some folders this morning I came across this rough sketch I had done while trying out a Cintiq Tablet I had recently purchased. I noticed the rough lines under the drawings and was immediately reminded of that day at the Walt Disney Studios back in 1956. There's still something about a rough drawing that resonates with me. I love rough sketches and I never seem to get enough of them. Then again, back then animation was all about drawing. Not so much today, I'm afraid. The Disney Company seems to have left drawing behind in favor of other stuff. Perhaps you think I'm speaking out of turn, do you? I can only ask where are Glen Keane and Andreas Deja these days? They're sure the hell not at Disney.