In 2012, I was beginning my third year at animation art school in Vancouver, BC. That past year, I had saved up enough money to go to San Diego Comic-Con for the first time, with the main goal of meeting Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh to give them a drawing of Phineas and Ferb as teenagers. Their reaction to the drawing I gave was more positive than I expected, and something that I needed to hear to boost my confidence in my art. My 23rd birthday had been the day before I got to meet them,
which was a bonus.
That September, someone contacted me on DeviantArt, and considering I had been trolled before (sort of like bullying online), I was super cautious when he asked if I had been the one to give him the drawing of teenage Phineas and Ferb. I even brought something up about a story I had written when he asked of it, mostly to test him, and did not give away my art school when asked. He responded with an invitation to visit the Disney Television Animation Studio and offered to look at my portfolio when I graduated. Shocked, I did not reply and instead asked a friend on Facebook (who knew Swampy) if this account was legitimate. There was no reply since everyone was busy, so I shrugged it off.
Two months later in November, the day before US Thanksgiving, I got a private message asking if I would want to do some character designs for Phineas and Ferb. My Animation Tech looked at the note and deemed it SPAM. But six hours later, a friend messaged me on Facebook, since I didn’t have Twitter back then, stating that Dan had taken a photo of my drawing to prove that he had actually sent the message. To say that I was thrilled that I had just gotten a freelance job with the biggest Animation Studio on my favorite cartoon show was an understatement.
I traveled to California that December and got to visit Disneyland for the first time. Then, I spent an entire day at the studios, meeting the team that brought Phineas and Ferb to life. The woman I had spoken to on the phone happened to walk out as I arrived, and it still makes me smile to know that my first greeting at Disney was not a handshake, but a hug instead!
My confidence in my art shot up that year. If it wasn’t for Dan and Swampy, I never would’ve thought that something this exciting could happen to a girl who came from a small town in the middle of Canada. I finally got my foot in the door of the animation industry from this opportunity, and I am still beside myself knowing that it was the Walt Disney Studios that was behind that door, and that two of my inspirations were the ones who opened it for me.
– Ashley, 25, Manitoba, Canada
Has your love of Disney had a big impact on your life? Tell us about it by submitting a Fan Story of your own!