Shanghai Mickey

I was honored to have been invited to be one of four judges, me, from Disney, and three famous Chinese Artists, to judge a My Dream Mickey art contest in Shanghai, China this week. It was held by Disney to further encourage Chinese students of all ages up to university age, to engage their imaginations more fully with art. It was an experience I'll never forget. Our Disney office, led by Nikkey Wang, and Carol Choi, took great care of me for the quick three day trip. 

I had to practice drawing Mickey if I was going to have to draw him on camera. 

I had to practice drawing Mickey if I was going to have to draw him on camera. 

Got into Shanghai after a 14 hour flight and checked into the Andaz Hotel, Shanghai, in time for cocktail hour.

Got into Shanghai after a 14 hour flight and checked into the Andaz Hotel, Shanghai, in time for cocktail hour.

Cocktail of choice, dry gin martini with a twist. Well made. The trip was off to great start.

Cocktail of choice, dry gin martini with a twist. Well made. The trip was off to great start.

Always exciting the first night into a new country you have never been in before. China, I am thrilled to meet you.

Always exciting the first night into a new country you have never been in before. China, I am thrilled to meet you.

Morning comes with a full schedule, but jet lag smacking me hard. Your body knows something is terribly wrong.

Morning comes with a full schedule, but jet lag smacking me hard. Your body knows something is terribly wrong.

The first morning there, before the taping, I had to brush up one more time on drawing Mickey at my breakfast spot in the hotel I was staying at the Andaz, Shanghai.

The first morning there, before the taping, I had to brush up one more time on drawing Mickey at my breakfast spot in the hotel I was staying at the Andaz, Shanghai.

Mr. Gabriel has arrived! We now have all four judges assembled and ready to begin the contest judging. uh oh Horns! Doh! Cartoonist international symbol of friendship I am assuming. .

Mr. Gabriel has arrived! We now have all four judges assembled and ready to begin the contest judging. uh oh Horns! Doh! Cartoonist international symbol of friendship I am assuming. .

Two other highly esteemed judges, Sun, Li Jun and Tsai, Chin Chung. I didn't speak their language and they didn't speak mine, but we all spoke fluent Cartoon-ese.

Two other highly esteemed judges, Sun, Li Jun and Tsai, Chin Chung. I didn't speak their language and they didn't speak mine, but we all spoke fluent Cartoon-ese.

My much needed interpreter on the left, and a really talented, famous, and really nice clothing designer Helen Lee, a contest judge, too.

My much needed interpreter on the left, and a really talented, famous, and really nice clothing designer Helen Lee, a contest judge, too.

2D and 3D submissions all are by Chinese university students.

2D and 3D submissions all are by Chinese university students.

One category was for children submissions.

One category was for children submissions.

The judges have made their decisions and given their scores! Exciting right? It is if you might get a free trip to America, Disneyland, and the Walt Disney Studios.

The judges have made their decisions and given their scores! Exciting right? It is if you might get a free trip to America, Disneyland, and the Walt Disney Studios.

No, not the winner, this is by our judge Tsai, Chin Chung's Mickey, drawn on camera and given as a prize to lucky contest winners.

No, not the winner, this is by our judge Tsai, Chin Chung's Mickey, drawn on camera and given as a prize to lucky contest winners.

My three judge pals (and my interpreter for the day in white pants on left.)

My three judge pals (and my interpreter for the day in white pants on left.)

Judges lunch at the the elegant Langham Hotel with Mr. Tsai here.  Disney Shanghai office executive Nikkey Wang Senior Marketing Manager, Franchise Management Greater China in the blue pattern dress in the back.

Judges lunch at the the elegant Langham Hotel with Mr. Tsai here.  Disney Shanghai office executive Nikkey Wang Senior Marketing Manager, Franchise Management Greater China in the blue pattern dress in the back.

Three awesome judges.

Three awesome judges.

One of many many courses for lunch.

One of many many courses for lunch.

Helen Lee, brilliant costume designer was one of the three Chinese judges. Loved her! So warm and kind and fun on top of being so talented. Love when that happens!

Helen Lee, brilliant costume designer was one of the three Chinese judges. Loved her! So warm and kind and fun on top of being so talented. Love when that happens!

Chinese cartoonist Tsai, Chin Chung gave me two of his legendary comic collection books, over 40 million copies sold worldwide!

Chinese cartoonist Tsai, Chin Chung gave me two of his legendary comic collection books, over 40 million copies sold worldwide!

Second book Madam White Snake.

Second book Madam White Snake.

Mr. Tsai's comics depict ancient Chinese wisdom and writings in a fun cartoon style all his own.

Mr. Tsai's comics depict ancient Chinese wisdom and writings in a fun cartoon style all his own.

Now you know how to write BANG in Chinese symbols.

Now you know how to write BANG in Chinese symbols.

Mr. Tsai incredibly honored me with this extraordinary gorgeous original artwork. I am in awe of it's sublime beauty.

Mr. Tsai incredibly honored me with this extraordinary gorgeous original artwork. I am in awe of it's sublime beauty.

Jackie Show host and awesome producer! I am speaking in Chinese something like GO FOR IT, KIDS! Be BOLD! At least that is what they told me I was saying.

Jackie Show host and awesome producer! I am speaking in Chinese something like GO FOR IT, KIDS! Be BOLD! At least that is what they told me I was saying.

The third judge, Sun, Li Jun's Mickey they gave away to some lucky prize winner. I love this Mickey. 

The third judge, Sun, Li Jun's Mickey they gave away to some lucky prize winner. I love this Mickey. 

My Mickey drawn on camera they gave away as a prize.

My Mickey drawn on camera they gave away as a prize.

Nikkey Wang tallying the final judge scores to announce the winners!!

Nikkey Wang tallying the final judge scores to announce the winners!!

My second day started with a fun tour of Yuan Gardens and the famous Tea House where we enjoyed a lovely cuppa with my fun Disney rep Vanessa Chun and my awesome tour guide for the day, Jessica Luo.

My second day started with a fun tour of Yuan Gardens and the famous Tea House where we enjoyed a lovely cuppa with my fun Disney rep Vanessa Chun and my awesome tour guide for the day, Jessica Luo.

Me with my pro, very informative, and very petite tour guide, Jessica Luo. I think my watch weighed more than her, but she knew more than the watch. 

Me with my pro, very informative, and very petite tour guide, Jessica Luo. I think my watch weighed more than her, but she knew more than the watch. 

The famous Yu Yuan Garden Tea House in the center of Shanghai.

The famous Yu Yuan Garden Tea House in the center of Shanghai.

Yu Garden.

Yu Garden.

Yu Garden.

Yu Garden.

Yu Garden

Yu Garden

Yu Garden area.

Yu Garden area.

Yu Yuan tourist mart.

Yu Yuan tourist mart.

The Old Tea House.

The Old Tea House.

Vanessa in the Tea House for tea time while it gently rained outside.

Vanessa in the Tea House for tea time while it gently rained outside.

Jessica.

Jessica.

A light rain was falling and it looked so pretty outside while we sipped warm tea inside.

A light rain was falling and it looked so pretty outside while we sipped warm tea inside.

I had green tea.

I had green tea.

Tofu and duck eggs marinated in tea.

Tofu and duck eggs marinated in tea.

Mysterious tea snacks.

Mysterious tea snacks.

Vanessa, tea and me.

Vanessa, tea and me.

At noon I gave a presentation on my 35 year disney career to my fellow disney employees at their disney offices. 

At noon I gave a presentation on my 35 year disney career to my fellow disney employees at their disney offices. 

I get all excited talking about myself. 

I get all excited talking about myself. 

Makes you feel good to have people interested in hearing your tales of Disney lore.

Makes you feel good to have people interested in hearing your tales of Disney lore.

 Although, I drew gasps a few times from my stories (or scary expressions.) The real Disney sometimes is shocking! Got to keep it real, people.

 Although, I drew gasps a few times from my stories (or scary expressions.) The real Disney sometimes is shocking! Got to keep it real, people.

Sweet group of fellow mice. 

Sweet group of fellow mice. 

Autographs come with a free drawing. 

Autographs come with a free drawing. 

Jessica and Vanessa took me to the river walk called The Bund after my noon presentation.

Jessica and Vanessa took me to the river walk called The Bund after my noon presentation.

Jessica describing something----fill in your own joke here.

Jessica describing something----fill in your own joke here.

The Bund riverwalk.

The Bund riverwalk.

After the Bund back to work, Disney China had me give my 35 year disney career presentation to invited fans that evening at The Langham Hotel.

After the Bund back to work, Disney China had me give my 35 year disney career presentation to invited fans that evening at The Langham Hotel.

Okay I have different clothes on, because I got too hot with the humidity and went back to my hotel to change into a cooler shirt. And then the pants needed to switch out too or I would look like Johnny Cash or Zorro all in black. 

Okay I have different clothes on, because I got too hot with the humidity and went back to my hotel to change into a cooler shirt. And then the pants needed to switch out too or I would look like Johnny Cash or Zorro all in black. 

Very appreciative group. I enjoyed their kind "oohs!" and "ahhs!" on seeing the artwork I have done over the years that helped to inspire some well known characters and scenes from our films. 

Very appreciative group. I enjoyed their kind "oohs!" and "ahhs!" on seeing the artwork I have done over the years that helped to inspire some well known characters and scenes from our films. 

The fans were incredibly fun to meet and do drawings for. The cute little girl in the purple princess outfit wanted me to hold her. So sweet! They really made me feel welcome and appreciated for all the films I worked on that they loved over the 35 years. It is a very rewarding and fulfilling way to make a living, I have to say.

The fans were incredibly fun to meet and do drawings for. The cute little girl in the purple princess outfit wanted me to hold her. So sweet! They really made me feel welcome and appreciated for all the films I worked on that they loved over the 35 years. It is a very rewarding and fulfilling way to make a living, I have to say.

 BTW this nice guy in the middle of the frame front row came all the way from Mongolia to meet me. Really nice guy.

 BTW this nice guy in the middle of the frame front row came all the way from Mongolia to meet me. Really nice guy.

Great guy but nobody spoke English so it was all sign language and a few words here or there. 

Great guy but nobody spoke English so it was all sign language and a few words here or there. 

Yea Shanghai had many beautiful sights. 

Yea Shanghai had many beautiful sights. 

Many. Lucky me. 

Many. Lucky me. 

Bu those rascals worked me, each person asked for a different Disney character, Dumbo, Pocahontas, Winnie The Pooh, King Candy. I only screwed up once on a Piglet drawing. Unfortunately, it was on a beautiful pink (piglet pink) leather iPad case too. Ouch. Sorry, miss. She said "Yea he too fat." She was right. 

Bu those rascals worked me, each person asked for a different Disney character, Dumbo, Pocahontas, Winnie The Pooh, King Candy. I only screwed up once on a Piglet drawing. Unfortunately, it was on a beautiful pink (piglet pink) leather iPad case too. Ouch. Sorry, miss. She said "Yea he too fat." She was right. 

Check this cool art this guy did. Looks like a disney promotional piece.

Check this cool art this guy did. Looks like a disney promotional piece.

The awesome Disney exec who set the events up for the day, Bonny Zhu, loved her. 

The awesome Disney exec who set the events up for the day, Bonny Zhu, loved her. 

 I felt like Walt Disney at Disneyland. I feel a mustache is in my near future.

 I felt like Walt Disney at Disneyland. I feel a mustache is in my near future.

Who knew I had fans in China? I felt very humbled, and happy to have met them.  Thank you, Shanghai, for making me feel so welcome and special! I will be back! 

Who knew I had fans in China? I felt very humbled, and happy to have met them.  Thank you, Shanghai, for making me feel so welcome and special! I will be back!