Hello Atelier 017
Like most people in this world, I grew up on Disney movies. Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins – I loved them all. And the parks! I mean, how magical can you get? So, like most kids, I was a Disney fan. It wasn’t until I was a fully fledged adult that I became a Disney super-fan.
That may seem backwards, I know. But it was only as an adult that I realized how much design detail goes into everything Disney does, all in order to create an experience. From the table umbrellas to the color of the castle, everything has been designed to the highest level. It was also as an adult that I realized that there were actual artists behind those decisions. Those amazing colors in Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan? The work of Mary Blair. The amazing gold and white clock tower outside the It’s A Small World ride in Disneyland? Rolly Crump. There are an endless list of great artists hiding behind each Disney detail.
And that is how I learned about our guest on the show today, Kevin Kidney. I was checking out the merchandise released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland and found that the pieces I really liked were designed by Kevin and his partner Jody Daily. Since then I’ve followed their continued work for Disney as well as their other work, which includes a foray into my new obsession – the world of tiki. Note! If you live in the Kansas City area, get thee down to TikiCat, which is the greatest bar in town.
Anyway, when I realized that a two-day layover in Los Angeles put me right in Kevin’s neighborhood, I knew I had to invite him to be on the podcast. He kindly invited us into his and Jody’s home and studio and let me ask him all the geeky questions I could muster. And, knowing the next day was my birthday, he even sent me home with a little tiki trinket – because he is a total doll. Sadly, Jody was out working on the Anaheim Halloween parade, so we didn’t get to chat with him.
This whole interview was a perfect precursor to the next day – my birthday – which we spent in Disneyland. And while there was a heat wave going on and it was insanely hot, it was still totally magical.
What’s happening in Kevin’s World:
- Miehana – Check out Kevin’s blog where he gives the backstory behind he and Jody’s design work, as well as some of their favorite Disney history
- Disneyland: You know you want to go…
- Muzeo: If you are in the area, check out the Anaheim museum where Kevin and Jody once curated their tiki exhibit.
- A quick list of the illustrators that Kevin admires: John Hench, Eyvind Earle, Jim Flora, Bob Gurr, Mary Blair, David Weidman and Claude Coats
- Rankin and Bass: Stop-motion animators of classic movies like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- Laika: Producers of modern stop-motion movies like Coraline.
- Jeff Beachbum Berry: Tiki drink historian and inventor of the Meihana cocktail.
- Sven Kirsten’s Book of Tiki: A look at the history of the Tiki phenomenon.
- Anaheim Halloween Parade: If you are in the area, don’t miss it!