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Mentor of the Day: Scott Watanabe

ScottWatanabe_HauntedGeshiaWe’re excited to welcome back Scott Watanabe as a mentor for Spring 2015! Scott most recently was the Art Director of Disney’s “Big Hero 6”, a role which allowed him to shape the unique style of the San Fransokyo world. He began his career at Disney in 2009 as a member of the visual development team on “Tangled;” in fact much of his prop and background work was included in the “Art of Tangled” book. Since then, Scott has been an integral part of the vis dev team, making movies like “Wreck-it Ralph” and “Paperman” look absolutely stunning.

Scott is open to mentees in need of some general career and industry advice, as well as mentees with more self-directed goals. He is looking forward to helping with skill improvement, working on portfolio revisions, and directing project-based assignments. A great thing to remember is that Scott is open to international students as well, which means you can live anywhere and still have him as a mentor!

Genevieve Tsai, Scott’s mentee in Fall 2013 (the most recent session his busy schedule allowed), had this to say about the experience: “Working with Scott has been a huge pleasure, I can’t say enough good things about him. He is so generous, kind, understanding and patient. He knows his stuff and is amazing at what he does. I learned more with him than I could ever learn just by looking at art books or favorite artists. I love the one on one feedback and honest critiques and drawovers that are extremely productive and helpful!”

They structured their time around learning the foundations of color and design, effective character design, selling the character, simplifying, and good portfolio layout. Genevieve came away with some amazing new work, including several sheets of character design work and illustrations from thumbnail to final.


If you’re interested in working with Scott, apply while he’s available! You can view more of his work (including plenty of “Big Hero 6” development pieces!) on his tumblr.

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