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Many designers turn up their noses at the mention of licensed work but I found that the Disney animation which shaped my childhood gave me the opportunity to live out a second one once gems like Little Mermaid, Aladdin etc. launched a second Golden Age. It created an unprecedented demand for merchandise and lots of work hours for we designers/illustrators. Although the gloss has somewhat tarnished, working with Licensees taught me how to meet tight deadlines, fit within extremely strict (some will say stifling) guidelines and not become too precious when asked
to illustrate in someone else’s style. Batman Animated gave me a legitimate use for all those comics I’d collected. Star Wars the boxes of toys. Looney Tunes justified the indulgence in cel animation and acquisition of work done by one of my heroes, Chuck Jones. And all those cartoony, comicky licenses provided me with a bona fide excuse for amassing all that reference material needed to craft characters with a pencil, airbrush and W&N series 7 (all you fellow oldies know what that means) before we went digital.