Have you ever seen an artist drawing in the window at the Fortuosity Shop on Main Street, U.S.A.? Have you ever wondered what they do with that artwork? Luckily I was able to set up some time with Disneyland Guest Service Manager, Yvette Mendez, who gave me a little insight into the current Artisan Watch program and also told me about the artists on staff and what we can look forward to seeing in honor of the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland park.
Michelle: Yvette, can you tell us a little bit about artisan watches and the process that the artists go through to create these unique masterpieces?
Yvette: We have two different styles of watches. The first is our limited edition series that typically represents a scene from a film, cartoon, animated short or experience in the park. Each is accompanied by a reproduction of the original artwork. The second style is the Original Watch series. Here’s a step by step process of what it takes to create an original watch.
- First, choose a character and the background from one of our artists books.
- Next, have the artwork personalized with a special date, name or phrase, all subject to approval of course.
- Then, the art is scaled down to the size of a watch face and hand-assembled after you choose the band color and bezel.
- Finally, see the art come to life and a magical memory created. Each original watch comes with the original artwork.
Michelle: How many different artists are there to choose from? And can the artists only be found at the Fortuosity Shop or can we expect to see them anywhere else?
Yvette: Currently we have five watch artists: Charles Landholm, Eric Scales, David Scott Smith, June Valentine-Ruppe and Todd Wiesenhutter. All have been with us for many years and have created hundreds of watches. Their schedules often vary, so sometimes it’s the luck of the draw on who you’ll see in the window, but it’s amazing to watch them at work. I’m really excited to share that some of our artists will be appearing soon at The Disney Gallery. For those of you who have visited the new gallery location, you might have noticed the “art studio” in the second room. Our artists will be hard at work in the studio, coming up with new designs and putting the finishing touches on original artwork for our Guests. Right now you can find them in The Gallery every Tuesday and Thursday so stop by and say “hello.”
Michelle: I can remember several special watches that were made for some of our past park anniversaries, what can we expect to see for the 55th Anniversary?
Yvette: With the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland park fast approaching, our artists have been hard at work, creating a series of limited edition watches titled the “My 55th Collection.” Each image reflects their interpretation of the 55th Anniversary and what it means to them, with every concept built around our beloved Sleeping Beauty Castle. I wanted to make sure to give our Disney Blog fans the first sneak peek at this commemorative collection, so today we’re sharing some concept sketches from our artists.
The 55th Anniversary limited edition watches will retail for $250 each. Each watch comes complete with a reproduction of the actual artwork. The first watch in the series will debut at shop opening on July 17. For a list of release dates visit www.ArtofDisneyParks.com for more details.
I guess you could say … Time’s up … so next chance you have, stop in and check out some of our artisan watches, and see how art comes to life.