Class of 2009

2012 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at Walt Disney Animation Studios

At a very young age, I was a huge fan of all Walt Disney movies, songs, and parks. When I knew that I wanted to be an artist my dream was to become an animator at Disney Animation Studios. The Beginning of my dream came truewhen I received a call from Matt Roberts, notifying me that I got the 2012 Disney internship. I was so surprised and shocked that I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. I immediately told my mother and we both started jumping and screaming because of the excitement. On my first day at Disney I was asked an important question from an intern, “So Ashley what is your position here at Disney?” And I said, “I don’t know?” It was embarrassing being the only intern who didn’t know what they will be doing in the next eight weeks. I met my mentor the first week Dale Bear, an animator who has worked on numerous of Disney films that I grew up watching such as The Lion King and Tarzan. I was very honored to be his intern for the next eight weeks. Within the first week being mentored by Dale, I learned so much and felt as though my knowledge in animation enhanced immensely. Dale was like my “Jedi master Yoda” he gave me books and articles to read so I can understand more about animation. My first assignment was to do short walk cycle of goofy shrugging and a simple animation ball bouncing. It was fun watching my drawings come to life from paper to a computer. When I started, everyday was a challenge since I had no knowledge and experience in rigging, modeling, CG, visual development, look and lighting, etc.. More so, because I knew very little of 2D animation occasionally, I would walk by each intern and ask them questions about their field and what their working on. I knew that communication was a start for me to understand what is expected from me. I truly believe without the support of my fellow interns it would not have been an amazing experience at Disney Animation Studios. In four weeks, the interns and I worked very hard in an amazing one minute short film. The film was based on a Japanese story of Momotaro the Peach Boy. Although we worked many hours and days we also played Ninja to keeps us warmed up and awake. This was a very addicting and fun game. Because we worked hard and was determined to complete the film by the deadline. It was definitely a team effort! The film turned out to be good and very rewarding. Seeing my name on the big screen in front of the animators and Disney employees brought a big smile to my face and hope in a new beginning in animation. Om my last day, I left Disney Animation with so much knowledge in digital art and being responsible and committed to a team . I am so grateful to Ryman Arts and Disney Animation for allowing me to experience a lifetime dream.