Hello Atelier 017

Kevin Kidney

October 12, 2017

Kevin Kidney talks about his work with Disney, how he found a community in the world of Tiki, and how giving back has become a large part of his business plan.

Hello Atelier 017

Kevin Kidney

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:

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