words Bailey Grant | photography Isaac Bailey
Walt Disney is well known for inspiring people to follow their dreams. He once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Adam Devaney was born and raised in Brea, California where his dream of becoming an artist began. As a kid, Adam remembers sitting in school drawing while the other kids worked on assignments. After graduating high school, Adam enrolled in art courses at Mt. Sac, a community college in California where he had instructors who had connections in the art industry.
Through those connections, Adam was able to meet art directors from Disney Studios who, later, hired him as an illustrator. “Walt Disney was my biggest inspiration for wanting to become an artist,” Adam said. “He brought so much happiness and laughter into so many people’s lives, and if you know me, I’m always trying to get a laugh out of someone.”
For about two years, Adam worked at building up his portfolio while working a day job at a print shop.
Once Adam felt up to par with the other Disney Studios illustrators, he showed them his work and was given his first Disney project: a children’s book on The Lion King. “After seeing what they were offering me to illustrate,” Adam said. “I was all in, and I never looked back.”
“My favorite thing about being a freelance artist is the flexibility,” Adam said. “I’m able to work at my home studio with no boss looking over my shoulder, and I can work my own hours. It gives me a lot of flexibility to enjoy other interests like playing piano, fitness and movie production.”
“Sometimes I have to work like a mad man for a couple of months,” Adam said. “But then things slow down, and I may have a month of free time.”
Adam resides in the Power Ranch Community and has worked for Disney and other studios for over 20 years. He has worked on about every property you can think of from Pinocchio to Trolls and has a couple of feature films in the works, one of which is starring Dick Van Dyke from the beloved, Mary Poppins.
“I feel really blessed to be able to use my God-given talents to support my family,” Adam said. “It sure beats working for a living!”