Last month, Joe Yakovetic, a featured artist at Disneyana and sketch artist for Disney Interactive, showcased his collection of still-life paintings inspired by classic scenes from Disney movies such as The Lady and Tramp, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. Yakovetic’s concept of translating cinema to the stagnant medium of paint on canvas was inspired by the still-life paintings of old, Flemish art.
“After praying for inspiration, I started thumbing through an art history book. When I saw an old Flemish still-life painting, the ‘light’ went on and I immediately knew how to translate this to Disney films,” said Yakovetic.
Yakovetic started off as a caricature artist at the Disneyland Hotel and has since worked on producing children’s books, designing custom merchandise, and working on various projects such as designing the costumes for “Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Ice” and carving pumpkins during Halloween season at Disneyland. However, his favorite project thus far was designing and launching the attraction “Say Hello to Honda’s ASIMO!” at Innoventions for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.
Yakovetic’s biggest challenge in creating his still-life art was the right selection of detail to accurately depict the film. He admits to watching the film multiple times in order to choose which details he wanted to incorporate into the painting.
He explains the process of creating the piece above “Clean Cup, Move Down”:
After watching the ‘Tea Party’ scene in Alice in Wonderland, several, let’s face it, many, many times, I get out a sketch pad and draw the items as I pause the film. Sometimes taking photos of the scenes to really study the color and forms I am about to emulate. Then I sketch out the scene adding all the elements and arranging everything, giving preference to the most important elements. When I am satisfied with my sketch, I will often scan it into the computer to fine tune, sometimes moving an item a fraction of an inch so the placement is perfect. Then I transfer my image to the board, creating a sepia image to start, then add blue glazing and then the other colors. When I am satisfied with the completed piece, I spray it with a protective coating.
Yakovetic is honored to be a featured artist at Disneyana and treasures the opportunity to meet and inspire young artists.
“Artists have the ability to change lives, make people aware of the world around them, make them think, escape, and bring peace and beauty into their lives. The world needs artists,” Yakovetic said.
Visit Yakovetic’s website to see more of his artwork.
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