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Inspiration: Vintage Disney USA Record Cover Illustration

Old vinyl records are an absolutely fantastic resource for illustration and lettering inspiration! We recently culled our collection down to the essentials, and though we’ve never actually listened to this particular album, it made the cut because of the illustration on the cover. (Come on, surely we’re not the only ones who do this!)

A couple of notes on why it’s awesome:

• The regional symbols are beautifully stylized: 2–3 colors, simple shapes. The choices are interesting, too! Some agriculture, some natural landmarks, and one building for the NY area.

• The map shapes are so much fun! They’re drawn with just enough accuracy to be recognizable, but the outlines have been smoothed over and skewed. Especially check out the curves and points of the southern border of Texas, combined with that drop shadow—YUM.

• The cut-and-paste map is a really nice way of breaking up the standard layout and creating dynamic shapes. It makes you look twice, whereas a normal map is so familiar that it would only get a quick once-over.

Watch These Videos of Glen Keane Drawing

(Image via Cartoon Brew)

Judging from the amount of process videos that go up on social media, I think it’s safe to say that artists love watching other artists. Ashley and I are no different; if you were to sit next to us while I watched a drawing tutorial, our reactions are so intense you’d think we were engrossed in some kind of sports event or action movie.

“Did she really just use that brush?”

“NO WAY, I never use that layer blending option!!!”


And so on.

It’s something that we really don’t take the time to immerse ourselves in, but we benefit in inspiration and technique every time we let ourselves do it.

For your viewing pleasure today, let’s check out some videos of the great Glen Keane doing his thing. There’s so much more to animation than drawing—great drafting skills are only the basic prerequisite to a good performance, after all—but we illustrators can learn a thing or two from our animator cousins!

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