Today here at we have the pleasure too meet talented artist Lorelay Bove who has worked on the long awaited new Disney film The Princess And The Frog and illustrated the brand new Little Golden Book of the film that is out in stores now!

We hope you enjoy this revealing chat we had with Lorelay yesterday.

Disneylicious: Hi Lorelay and welcome to You are currently working as a visual development artist at Disney Animation studios and you have just illustrated the latest Little Golden Book release of The princess and The Frog which is out in stores this month (October 2009). But before that let’s talk about your background… You were born in Spain but later moved to the US with your family. When did you start drawing and what were your main influences and inspirations?

Lorelay Bove: I started drawing when I was really young, my dad is an artist and one of my biggest influences. After school I remember drawing and mostly painting in my dad’s studio, while he was painting his abstract contemporary works. A big inspiration in my life was Disney films of course, all of the classics. Also classic hollywood films, including one of my favorite films by director Alfred Hitchcock, and Billy Wilder, and of course musicals, I love those!

Disneylicious: Which was your first work to be published?

Lorelay Bove: Actually my first work to be published was a piece I had done for the Totoro forest project fund raiser. Then the Toy Story picture book.

Disneylicious: Being an illustrator for a woman today is not something strange as it might have been in the 40’s. What do you think of Mary Blair, the great artist whose work has influenced so much classic films such as Cinderella, Peter Pan and Alice In wonderland just to name a few? Do you think that somehow she paved a way for women in a world that had mainly male illustrator?

Lorelay Bove: Right, Mary Blair was one of the few women artists, and is sure an inspiration for everyone today, What I learned the most from looking at her work is her color sensibility, is sophisticated, I wished that people looked and studied more at her color, than at her "style". Yes, I think she sure paved a way for Women in the animation studio.

Disneylicious: At one time you found yourself working for Pixar as an art intern. How did that come along? How is it like to work with such great talents that have reinvented the art of animation?

Lorelay Bove: I got the Pixar internship during the summer, through the job fair at Cal Arts. Being there for 3 months was one of my quickest and best learning experience I’ve ever had. I loved being there and getting the assignments, the mentors were amazing and I have to mention Steve Piltcher and Harley Jessup, for their great guidance and their passion. It was quite intimidating being with such an amazing group, but that made me work harder so it was a great experience!

Disneylicious: Do you have a favourite Pixar character for some reason?

Lorelay Bove: My favorite characters would be Doug from Up not for any reason in particular I just think that is a great funny character, it was so smart to immulate what the Dog was thinking and my favorite film are The Incredibles!

Disneylicious: You worked on the illustrations of a Toy Story picture book released a few months ago. Was that your first experience as children’s book illustrator? How do you think it went?

Lorelay Bove: I always wanted to illustrate a children’s book, so I was very thrilled to have this opportunity. Illustrating the Toy story Picture book was quite tough, but It was a lot of fun towards the end when I started with the color. I’m happy the way it turned out and the paper quality they chose fits perfectly.

Disneylicious: And then you started working at Disney, what do you do there exactly?

Lorelay Bove: I work at Disney in the visual development department, and my work consists on designing all the world, including inspiration of characters, costumes, props, environments, and color keys

Disneylicious: Your name is now linked to the brand new Disney film The Princess And The Frog as you’re the illustrator of the new Little Golden Book from the film. How were you contacted to do this book and how did you approach the work?

Lorelay Bove: When I started at Disney I worked on different projects at the same time, but mainly I worked on The Princess and the Frog. I was able to be very involved in the movie, and I’m really excited for the movie. I did some production work as well including the colorkeys and all backgrounds for Tiana’s song "Almost There" Which is a different style and a few new techniques. And I’m really happy that I got to design and color all of the End credits sequence, which will be a surprise!

In one of the visual development meetings I had with Ron and John the art director Ian Gooding had mention to the directors about having me illustrate the princess and the Frog Golden Book, so then Ron and John said they would love have me illustrate it. I did the painting of the book in photoshop, just because of my experience in the toy story book, and how many changes and notes that the book has to go through. But I always try to give it a hand made painting look as much as I can.

Disneylicious: From what we could see the illustrations of this book are very similar to the characters’ design of the movie as it should be but at the same time they look very much like your own illustrations. How did you reach a balance between your style and the original characters?

Lorelay Bove: For the style of the book, since I did a lot of moments and things I had to design during the making of the movie, I had to find a quick way to illustrate the characters, with more simple shapes so that I could focus more on the thing I was trying to pitch whether it was an outfit, costume, a situation or a color choice. And then I even simply the characters even more for the golden book. I wanted to do something cute and charming, to capture the essence of Princess and the Frog, but keeping my style.

Disneylicious: What do you think about this new film, will it be just as exciting as we all hope?

Lorelay Bove: I do hope that people like this film, what I like the most about the movie that I think a lot of people will agree with me is the beautiful color in the film,and the wonderful 2D animation. I think is going to be fresh to the audience to see 2D again.

Disneylicious: There was a little controversy about the film before it’s even out in cinemas. The black Princess, the Latin Prince, etc, What do you think about all that?

Lorelay Bove: I think that when people see this film, they will understand how there isn’t really any controversies. it’s a very heart warming film like any other of the disney films.

Disneylicious: What are your current and future projects, can you share some info with our readers? Other Disney projects in sight for you?

Lorelay Bove: Currently I’m finishing up the end credits sequence for Princess and the Frog, and I will soon be working on a short for Disney, doing some backgrounds and some more design work. But there is always other films and projects that I’m glad I got to be part of them.

Disneylicious: What is your fondest memory linked to a Disney film?

Lorelay Bove: My fondest memory of a disney film was watching Disney classic shorts in my house with my family.
Disneylicious: Lorelay, thanks for being with us and good luck for everything…

Lorelay Bove: Thanks for this opportunity to share.

To know more about Lorelay please visit her blog by clicking HERE.
Interview by 2009 – All right reserved