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2013 Don "Ducky" Williams
Artist Don “Ducky” Williams has had a Disney career spanning more than three decades, during which he has contributed art to virtually every facet of the organization.
Starting that career was not easy. It began when his drawings were featured on a local newscast that in turn was sent to Disney animation in Burbank, which then referred Don to Walt Disney World. His contact at Disney World sent Don a Disney character model sheet, and for the next two years Don drew 100 pictures per week to earn a spot at the company. And when he finally did get hired, it was as a custodian on the graveyard shift. But Don discovered a job painting Guest portraits. That job lasted just six weeks, after which the portrait program ended and Don went to work in Tomorrowland. And that, in turn, led him to 30-day assignment in the art department – an assignment he still has.
When Don started at the Walt Disney World art department he was one of a team of 16 artists. But the group eventually dwindled to just him as others moved into computer-generated art or other assignments. He is currently the senior character illustrator for the Walt Disney marketing and attractions, where he does the illustrations for mailers, brochures, guide books, and specialty items. He also illustrates almost anything that has to do with advertising of the Disney company in the Orlando area. He has also contributed to Disney World itself, providing the paintings, signage and china for the Lady and the Tramp-themed restaurant, Tony’s Town Square Cafe. He also helped put together the original Mickey Mouse house that was located in Mickey's Birthday Land.
Since drawing illustrations for The Prince and the Pauper in 1990, Don has gone on to illustrate dozens of Disney’s books for children. His titles include Disney's Pocahontas, Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians, Disney's The Lion King, Belle Explores the Castle, Disney Princess: Royal Rooms and Pretty Places, Picture Me Dancing with Minnie, Picture me on Vacation with Mickey, Ariel's Light-Up Cake, and many more.
Today, Don is a hugely popular speaker entertains Disney fans in presentations across America and on the Disney Cruise Line ships.