Artist Showcase with Jason Bahret, Sean D’Anconia & Christopher Uminga
WonderGround Gallery, Downtown Disney® District
Join us as we welcome Jason Bahret, Sean D’Anconia and Christopher Uminga to the WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney® District on April 5! The artists will be on hand from 11a.m. to 1p.m. that day displaying some of their latest Disney-inspired pieces.
Fantasy, magic, and all that comes with them have always been the fuel to my creativity. From a very young age, I was fascinated with character development. Not just the way the characters looked, but what their personality was like, where did they come from, and what motivated them. As a young child these were, of course, real characters to me. Whether I was drawing the character or sculpting it, their individual story would evolve and grow inside my mind. With “Tin Town Mickey” it was taking the established character of Mickey Mouse and putting him in a whole new world. A world in which all of the inhabitants of “Tin Town” are made of tin, copper, and silver and are powered by complex, wound spring mechanisms. Even their homes are metal structures riveted together and polished to a high luster. “Tin Town” is a humble little village nestled deep in a forgotten forest, where the giant redwoods stand tall and proud. Even the forest animals are friendly with the “Tin Town” inhabitants because, although they are all made of tin and are powered by springs, they still have big loving hearts.
Artist Inspiration: It’s 1966, and he’s Her Majesty’s top Secret Mouse extraordinaire – unstoppable and yet lovable. This time, we find our Secret Agent Mouse dispatched to futuristic Japantown – set in scenic London, England. Mickey is sent to protect Space Mount Fuji from an all-out attack by the diabolical Dr. Mortimer and GoldCheese, with the trusted aid of D Branch (for Donald), which provides our MOD-est hero with the amazing robotic tools he will need to save the day. Also starring Mickey’s irresistible leading lady, Miss Minnie Mouse is also by his side, and look for many surprise guests! See the incredible “Nezumi Mausu Zero” walk the earth, a Giant Robot that only Mickey could control…Taste the delicious sushi of Super Lucky Mouse!…And fly through the sky as Robo-Mausu! It’s going to be a smash hit extravaganza, true believers – filmed in Anamorphic 3D TOMORROWSCOPE! With all-new songs by Big Bad Wolf… On the earth, in the sky…one Secret Agent Mouse will snatch victory from defeat…MICKEY MOD!
My goal was to create an eye-popping, dynamic homage to those great films, comics, and animation of an era long ago, which I loved but re-imagined through a Japanese/British lens. Growing up and being named after a certain actor who played a certain famous British secret agent, I always had an affinity for that universe of spies, lies, and ties and wondered what if Mickey, Disneyland attractions, and giant Japanese robots all converged together within that universe.
Adventure on Planet X
Artist Inspiration: As a child, I always cheered for Donald Duck. He was my favorite character, especially when he lost his temper. I also loved space and was a big fan of the old black and white serials. I wanted to put Donald in a scene where he could be the hero, as the great explorer. Sure, I could have put him on a boat or at sea, but I wanted to see Donald in a setting I hadn’t seen him in before. With that in mind, when I started working on the initial designs of his space suit, I wanted to go for a more retro, vintage look. I wanted a suit that resembles one from those old serials I used to watch. I tried to throw elements of Donald’s classic costume in the suit, using blue and red tints and similar color patterns. In the end, I simply wanted to make Donald look a hero.
Little Blue Troublemaker
Artist Inspiration: Stitch is one of my favorite Disney characters and I knew immediately I wanted to do a piece with him. The adoption scene is one I kept coming back to, because I love how the other dogs reacted to Stitch. I am a dog lover and even though he is an alien, I’ve always seen Stitch as a dog: a very excited, temperamental, loyal dog. I wanted to put Stitch with his “friends” from the adoption scene, but outside and away from the pound, suggesting that they all found good homes and even meet up at the dog park from time to time. The other dogs aren’t as afraid of him anymore, but they still don’t trust him 100%, and why should they? Stitch is a great character and his design was a blast to draw, as was the rest of the pack.
The Mistress of All Evil
Artist Inspiration: Maleficent is such a fantastic, timeless character with an iconic design. When I think of her, I think of a strong, menacing figure with one goal: revenge. She refers to herself as the Mistress of All Evil, and my goal was to try and capture that attitude. When I sat down to sketch this piece out, all I could think of was this figure standing there, unmovable like a statue, her cape flowing behind her. I wanted to hint at Maleficent’s other form as well, so I played around with the idea that her dragon form is always right behind her, always lurking, watching, and ready to attack.
Jason Bahret graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Performing Arts from Albany State University of New York in 1979. That same year Jason moved to California to pursue his dream of acting and working as an artist for The Walt Disney Company. As destiny would have it, Jason secured a job on his first day in California at Disneyland®. He started out as a server at Coke Terrace in Tomorrowland and within no time found an opening in the Entertainment Art department. This was the perfect opportunity to utilize his creative genius and develop new skills as a show set designer for theatrical shows and parades at Disneyland®. From that time on, Jason grew his career that span over 27 years at The Walt Disney Company. His artistic talents were honed as he worked as a model builder for Imagineering, then interior designer for the Disney Stores Retail Design division, and finally ending up as Creative Manager and Designer of Disney merchandise for the Disney Stores and then Disney Store online. Through the years, Jason also worked as a freelance artist, designing show sets and props for such shows as Home Improvement and Mr. Belvedere. Presently Jason is working as a Senior Designer for Jacks Toys in Culver City, California.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Sean D’Anconia, designer, artist and cine-visualist, was named after another “Sean” –Connery by his mother, an intrepid James Bond fan. This early “Bondian” bullet would fire itself throughout Sean’s life and creative pursuits, flavoring his art and inspiring his worldview. Sean’s style brings together cult-cinema and animation, integrated within a wild pop-art aesthetic.
Sean’s “Pop Fusion” art, design, creative branding, collages, and melanges are all inspired through his life and work experiences in Hong Kong, Florence, Los Angeles and Vancouver, covering the past, present with a daring outlook on the future. Sean was personally inspired by Asian culture at age eight, through watching Japanese & Hong Kong films, and even went so far as traveling up to six hours to purchase collectibles at this favorite anime bookstore in Toronto. Later, he became absorbed by post World War II heroes of Italian films and French New Wave Cinema.
Dreaming of bringing his own films, animation and brands into reality, Sean “put them up,” on a screen of his own choosing, including fine-art, multimedia, apparel and accessories. Disney is just one of the many creative projects he has developed art and product design for.
Christopher Uminga is a Connecticut based artist/illustrator, whose work focuses on everything from superheroes to monsters and creeps. At a young age, Christopher was heavily influenced by the world of Saturday morning cartoons and old black and white horror movies; those influences can still be seen in his work today. Working primarily in watercolor, Christopher has been featured in several gallery shows and many private collections around the world. For the past few years he has worked on projects for Warner Bros./DC Comics, Mezco Toys, Interscope Records, and Marvel Comics. He is currently plotting world domination with his two Boston Terriers, Rosalita and Sandwich.