435 - Eric Tan

Eric Tan has spent over fifteen years working at Disney on everything from Buzz and Woody to Kilo Ren and Finn. This interview gives an inside look at one of the coolest day jobs in design on the planet at Disney Consumer Products where Eric has built his career and grown as a designer, illustrator, and anything else they throw at him. Working with Disney has not only provided him with some serious perks, but also pushed him as an artists by being surrounded by so many other talents whose art he works with while developing products for multiple Disney IPs. Eric doesn't stop at Disney though, at home he pushes himself creatively with other projects and an occasional gallery show to keep himself on his toes and trying new things. Eric Tan has the dream day job and he got it by walking up and knocking on Disney's door!

Talking Points

  • And the Coolest Day Job Award goes to...
  • The allure of what could be and the reality of it.
  • An MC Escher Chewbacca moment.
  • The Boys Team and how Disney divides up its graphic forces.
  • A day at Disney Consumer Products.
  • Where Eric sits in the grand timeline of a film's release and when he gets to work on it.
  • Why can't the final art match the development art?
  • Trying to go in fresh when you've been working on a need to know basis.
  • Knocking on Disney's door.
  • The chain of command at DCP.
  • Working on a new project with a new team and winning them over.
  • Why Kilo Ren is anchoring all the backing cards.
  • The timeline from sketch to send off. 
  • Why does Eric freelance?
  • The rules of working outside of Disney.
  • Opposite Day at Gallery 1988 and working on pedestrian concepts when you work at the biggest IP on the planet.
  • Growing up in the heart of skateboarding and collecting decks as an adult.
  • The art school of skateboarding.
  • The romanticism of being stuck in time.
  • Eric's real feelings about Disneyland and California Adventure.
  • The official rebrand of the Tower Of Terror and matching environmental design.
  • Layering elements and getting lost in the magic.
  • The passion of fans versus the passion for profit.
  • Eric's dream at Disney and some real deal perks of working for them.
  • Did Mark make a soon to be vintage Disney print?