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  • Writer's pictureChris Deboda

Early Inspiration: Marc Davis

Updated: May 7, 2023

Hello again. Thought I would use this blog to periodically create a series of posts highlighting some of my artistic influences. Not only to give insights on what lead me to pursue a career in the creative field, but to also shed light on artists (or maybe even non art specific topics) that may also become a spark for others as well.

For this first entry, I could have have gone in several different directions, but I'll go ahead and start with an obvious one (at least to those that know me). Originally interested in becoming a Disney animator during my teen years, I will go with one of Disney's Nine Old Men and Imagineer: Marc Davis.

Pirates of the Caribbean concept art.

One of the reasons I find his work appealing isn't so much just his drawing abilities (which of course is still fantastic), but more-so his entertaining approach to storytelling. His drawings contains so much charm and fun! It's one of the main key things I try to think about when it comes to approaching my own design work. While obviously it is important to continue to improve those fundamental drawing skills, one thing I think separates someone's work over the other is the ideas -- or at least that's the thing that makes it more memorable to me. Especially for anyone trying to pursue a career in entertainment -- one of the big questions should be "where is the 'entertainment' factor?" Whether it's his character work in animation like for Cruella de Vil or his numerous gag ideas for the theme parks, Marc's drawings are just flat out entertaining to look at.

There already has been plenty written and said about Marc's background online and I'll provide a couple links below with more info to learn more. But for now, just sharing a snippet of Marc Davis' artwork and it should be quite clear on why he would be a personal creative favorite and artistic inspiration as I try to make my own 'mark' in the entertainment industry.

Pirate Wax Museum interior layout.

Jungle Cruise concept

Dinosaur gag concept

From Andreas Deja's "Deja View" blog.

From Andreas Deja's "Deja View" blog.


Animated Spirit: The Art of Marc Davis

And a highly recommended book. "Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks" by Pete Docter and Christopher Merritt:

...More to come!

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