Find your inspiration with Pixar’s Dan Holland

Pixar animator Dan Holland and a sample of his art work from "Sugar Queen" | Composite photo, images courtesy of Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Dan Holland, an animator for Pixar Animation Studios, is coming to Southern Utah University in December to share his insights into character and animation design.

Holland will be presenting an artist talk at the Southern Utah Museum of Art Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. His presentation is part of the Art Insights series hosted by SUU’s Art & Design Department. Admission is free, and the general public is invited to attend.

Holland studied art and film at Brigham Young University and animation at The Vancouver Film School. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in character animation from the California Institute of the Arts.

Holland has worked as an animator, sketch artist, and art director at Pixar over the last 12 years. His latest project was as sets art director on the feature film “Inside Out.” He has taught and lectured for the past 10 years on character and animation design.

A love of animated films led Holland to become an artist. He describes his work as creative problem solving in the most entertaining way possible. While working on a design, Holland and his fellow animators at Pixar often use the phrase “Push it to 11.”

Holland said this phrase encourages his creativity so he can push the design as far as it can go, and then some.

Art work by Pixar animator Dan Holland, photo undated | Image courtesy of Southern Utah University of Visual and Performing Arts, St. George News
“Sugar Queen” art work by Pixar animator Dan Holland, photo undated | Image courtesy of Southern Utah University of Visual and Performing Arts, St. George News

When asked where he finds inspiration for his art, Holland gave an enthusiastic answer.

“Where DON’T I find it? ” he said. “The most fulfilling part of my work as an artist is distilling life into something fresh. I enjoy the research and the process rather than the final product.”

Holland’s Art Insights presentation will cover his personal inspiration, design philosophy and method, as well as what it takes to collaborate with a team of artists. He will also discuss some of his experiences from his work at Pixar.

Art Insights is hosted during the fall and spring semesters by SUU’s Art & Design faculty.

Students and community members meet to experience presentations and discussions by visiting artists and art educators from around the nation who share their work and insights.

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts is comprised of nationally accredited departments of Art and Design, Music, and Dance. The college offers programs in Theatre Arts, graduate programs in Arts Administration and Music, as well as a Center for Shakespeare Studies. There are 16 different degree areas offered.

More than 60 full and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 600 majors. Over 1,100 students enroll each year in over 195 arts classes on the SUU campus. The college presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year.

The college’s affiliate organizations include the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival and SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company.

For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts visit the college website.

Event details

  • What: Dan Holland, an animator for Pixar Animation Studios, presents an artist talk at the Southern Utah Museum of Art.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S. 300 West, Cedar City.
  • When: Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Holland’s presentation is part of the Art Insights series hosted by SUU’s Art & Design Department.
  • More information can be found here.

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1 Comment

  • .... November 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Well considering I don’t have to work for a living and have all that free time on my hands I will make it a point to be there. .I would like to thank all those involved in making this possible. Praise the Lord !

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