JA: You spent six years illustrating a column in The Ottawa Citizen called Brown's Beat, which eventually led you to meeting artists working at Walt Disney World in Florida; tell me about the process and experiences you had becoming an artist for Disney.

PE: It started out very informally. My family and I used to take vacations at Walt Disney World back when I was still in my early teens. I believe I was about 17 when a friend of mine who was working at WDW offered to introduce me to the fellows in Disney's art department. Two of the character artists I met were to have a major influence on my later career with Disney. Russell Schroeder was very generous in looking over my art samples of Disney characters, offering critiques and supplying me with photocopied model sheets in order to improve my abilities. I would continue to drop in with new samples in subsequent trips to Florida thereafter for several years. Harry Gladstone was impressed with my talent too, and later when he transferred up to New York to take over as art director for Disney Merchandising, he gave me a call asking if I'd like to work for him. I was now about 22 and very much hoping to work for Disney, but I had reservations about living in New York City, as I was not a "big city" type. Being born and raised in Ottawa, the capitol of Canada, yet still a small, laid back city, I was used to the comfort of suburban life.

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