Artist Spotlight: José Zelaya

Categories: Featured Artist,Featured Artists

tumblr_o3oorbTydQ1qi8pxq_r1_og_1280 Photo of José Zelaya, character designer, in the production offices of Disney’s Show “The Lion Guard.” Photo by Rick Rowell/Disney Junior

We are excited to have Disney Character Designer, José Zelaya as one of our Q & A Speakers at our 22nd Black Book Sessions event in Riverside, CA on April 2nd. José has worked on such shows as Futurama, Lloyd in Space, Recess: School’s Out, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, An Extremely Goofy Movie, The Emperor’s New School, The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and currently working on The Lion Guard, TV Series. As part of our mentorship program we like to bring art industry leaders to speak to young inspiring artists at our events. This gives the opportunity to learn about the industry and ask questions. Bring your sketch book, take notes, you won’t want to miss this!



Bio: José Zelaya was born in San Miguel, El Salvador. Since he was little he had a passion for art and drawing. Living in a country with an ongoing war was part of the inspiration he had to his drawings; it was normal to see gunfights in the streets, burning buildings or helicopters being shot down. He would also draw animal figures while exploring through forests and streams discovering colorful fish and lizards. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1989 in search of better opportunities, which was a benefit to him in his dream in becoming an illustrator. While in school he survived bullies that targeted him to draw. Until at the young age of only 20 years old, he got his first major role as an animator for Disney’s cartoon TV Show, “Recess”. He was able to design one of the character’s named Spinelli after a friend he met in middle school named Mara. Since then he has helped create numerous of TV shows and movies accomplishing his dream goal in becoming an animator. Now as a cartoon animator, he has the opportunity to make a difference in educating children about team work, keeping positive and having better influences.

Photo by Disney Junior:Disney Junior - © © 2015 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved© 1999 FOX BROADCASTING COMPANYRecess School's Out © 2015 Disney Enterprises, Inc.An Extremely Goofy Movie © 2015 Disney Enterprises, Inc.Sketch 1 sketch 2