2008 Jess Rubio

In 1957, at the end of his first year of schooling, Jess Rubio was hired for a 15-day stint drawing portraits at Disneyland. On day 14 of his assignment, Jess was working in Frontierland when he explained to someone that Guests were getting hot waiting in the sun to get their portraits done, and asked whether something could be done about it. Jess was asking the right person: It turned out to be Walt himself. Although he worried that he might be fired for talking with Walt, instead he was offered a regular assignment. Soon, Jess was doing portraits for Disney executives, doing caricatures at Disney Studio parties and teaching other artists. He was also doing artwork for everything from napkins to shopping bags at the park. In 1962, Jess got a contract (signed by Walt and Roy, he notes proudly) to serve as a lessee providing portrait and caricature artists to the park. Today, Jess lives in Florida and runs his own company, Rubio Arts Corporation. The company still provides all the portrait and caricature artists for Disneyland, as well as for Disney’s California Adventure and for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Walt Disney World.
 
 
Jess Rubio

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