Friday, January 13, 2017


Alumni Brian Kesinger,
son of Sue Kesinger,
 our retired Whitney High Music teacher,
was an art student of mine back in the day.
I'm trying to remember all the art classes he took with me,
at least 4-5 from 7th thru 12th grade,
as well as taking outside art classes at Rolling Hills High School in Animation studies.
He had such a strong portfolio by the time he graded Whitney
 that he was accepted into Cal Arts to study Animation.
At the same time he was also asked by Disney Animation to join their team in Burbank.
Let's see,
work at Disney right out of High School
(his dream job)
or spend 4 years at Cal Arts getting his degree?

Needless to say he joined the Walt Disney Animation Studios Team in Burbank in August of 1996.
Here is Brian & his wife Jenny,
who also works for Disney Animation with Micky Mouse.

They hired him as a Story Board Artist,
 and his first movie he began work on was Tarzan.
He drew the interior of the ship at the beginning of the movie
 as well as a lot of the foliage in the jungle
(which I still have some of his original sketches he gave me to teach with)
He has since worked on countless movies for them.

Also noteworthy are his own line of art & characters he has developed in a Victorian Steam Puck flavor.
They are based around his Tea Girls.
The process he came up with is brilliant.
He brews up tea and uses it to watercolor and splatter with.
When dry he comes in with pen & ink.
He also brings in a bit of watercolor for a touch of subtle color.
Here is an admirer posing in front of his work at the Downtown Disney Gallery.

 Since those first Steam Punk Girls
he has brought on other characters as well like Otto & Victoria below.
You can clearly see his extraordinary style on this magazine cover.

Brian' work has created such a huge demand
 that he not only sells it thru the Downtown Disney Gallery,
but you can order it thru his online Etsy store  
along with calendars, phone covers, originals & prints,
coloring books, sketchbooks, and so much more.
Check it out!
Walking your Octopus was Brian's first book seen here at Barnes & Noble.
He has also published Traveling With Your Octopus and now Dressing Your Octopus
that has just arrived below.

Going to Disneyland & Disney World is a favorite pastime of the Kesingers.
Here's Brian with his mom Sue & his two children.
When Brian was a student in my class 
his mom or dad would drop him off at Disneyland for the day with his sketchbook,
and Brian would sketch the people & characters all day long.
He filled several sketchbooks before he even graduated from Whitney.

 But it's what's happened recently that has put his career over the top.
This excerpt in Brian's own words from his Facebook page tells it all.

"Omg! I'm speechless right now. Last summer the prime minister of Canada #JustinTrudeau commissioned a drawing from me of his family in their Halloween costumes. His office asked how much I charge and I said all I want is a picture of him holding it if he likes it. I received this photo in the mail today... I guess he liked it!!! They informed me it's now hanging in his office." 
Damn Brian, 
this is soooo cool!!
We are all so very proud of you here at Whitney,
I'm just bursting with joy for you! 

Can't wait to talk to your mom about this
She's got to be over the moon proud of her boy.
Much love to you and your family from all of us here at Whitney.


  1. Talk about living a dream!!

    And the Etsy store ... what a trove! I confess I took more than one look at the librarian and quilting sketchbook images.

  2. Prime Minister Trudeau is a cool guy! He saw one of the keychains I made when he was talking to my friend and he said that I was a good artist. :')