Art student has big dreams of working at Pixar, so she started sketching outside her headquarters and caught the attention of employees

Jessie Plascencia has big dreams of working at Pixar, so she sketched her famous characters outside the company’s headquarters.Jessie Plascencia

  • Jessie Plascencia, a 22-year-old animation student, has big dreams of working at Pixar one day.

  • So she uses chalk to draw famous Pixar characters in front of the company’s headquarters.

  • Plascencia’s chalk art has gone viral on TikTok, and now she has a mentorship with an art director from Pixar.

Jessie Plascencia has always loved Pixar.

Jessie Plascencia child

Plascencia with Woody and Jessie the Cowgirl dolls from “Toy Story 2”.Jessie Plascencia

Plascencia was born in 1999, a month before “Toy Story 2” was released. Since she shared the same name as Jessie, one of the sequel’s main characters, her mother bought her “all kinds of Jessie the Cowgirl merchandise,” the 22-year-old college student told Insider.

It was Plascencia’s mother who also inspired her to pursue art.

“She always encouraged me to be as creative as possible,” Plascencia said. “She bought me a tablet when I was 14 and really pushed digital art.”

“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always drawn and created my own stories,” she added. “I always did that instead of playing outside.”

And it was Pixar that had the biggest influence on the budding young artist.

Jessie Plascencia at Pixar Headquarters

Plascencia has always loved Pixar films.Jessie Plascencia

“I always liked their themes and their concepts, they always touched me,” Plascencia said. “Even now, I feel like every phase that I go through growing up, I always seem to identify with myself. I always go through something in a period similar to when they release their films.”

When the pandemic hit, Plascencia was inspired to release her art.

Jessie Plascencia with her chalk drawings

Plascencia is currently studying studio art and animation.Jessie Plascencia

Plascencia is currently a studio art student and minor in animation at San Francisco State University. As the world went into lockdown, her classes were moved online.

“The pandemic had just started and life was very dreary and there were wildfires at the time in California,” she recalls. “The sky was completely red once when I woke up.”

“So being stuck inside all the time, reading scary news articles and the world is actually red on the outside – I just wanted to escape reality and remind myself why I’m in online school and why I’m taking animation classes.”

“I would go out and remember that’s the point,” she added. “It started with just trying to make positives out of negatives.”

Plascencia then realized how close she lived to Pixar’s headquarters in Emeryville, California.

Pixar Headquarters

Pixar’s headquarters in Emeryville, California.Smith/Gado/Getty Images Collection

“One day I decided it would be fun to just draw with chalk and work on something with my hands,” she said. “And the locals started cheering me on. They were like, ‘You should post this somewhere.'”

Plascencia began using chalk to draw his art in front of the studio entrance.

Jessie Plascencia at Pixar

Drawing of Plascencia in front of Pixar headquarters.Jessie Plascencia

The artist told Insider that she doesn’t think anyone will see her chalk art. At first, she did it just for herself.

“Put simply, I was manifesting my future,” Plascencia said. “Like, one day I’m going to come here everyday and draw and that’s what I’m going to prepare for today.”

“I didn’t expect anything. Even posting it online was more fair to me,” she added. “Like wow, I’m so thankful for this life I’ve been blessed with.”

She then started drawing Pixar characters, which is when her chalk art went viral.

Jessie Plascencia chalk art from Monsters, Inc.

Drawing of Plascencia by Mike Wazowski from “Monsters, Inc.”Jessie Plascencia

The bright chalk colors inspired Plascencia to start drawing Pixar characters. She began bringing Pixar movies to life right outside the corporate headquarters drawing Joe from “Soul” and Mike Wazowski from “Monsters, Inc.”

She posted a video of her first Pixar drawing on TikTok, where she racked up over 500,000 views.

When Plascencia returned to Pixar after her TikTok went viral, she encountered some very excited employees.

Jessie Plascencia with her chalk drawings

Plascencia with a design by Buzz Lightyear.Jessie Plascencia

Plascencia learned that security guards told Pixar animators about his chalk drawings. Word of his art was also spreading on the company’s Slack channels, where they rooted him.

Employees – including an art director – encouraged Plascencia to continue drawing.

Chalk Art Jessie Plascencia

Drawing of Plascencia by Mei Lee from “Turning Red”.Jessie Plascencia

“Getting that kind of confirmation was really empowering,” she said. “It was like, ‘OK, I’m not crazy. I’m not weird having these childhood dreams.’ In the animation industry, it’s about being creative and celebrating that original thought, so that meant a lot to me.”

Plascencia was so inspired that she applied for Pixar’s summer internship.

Jessie Plascencia at Pixar Headquarters

Plascencia was given an exclusive tour of the Pixar campus after employees viewed his designs.Jessie Plascencia

Plascencia didn’t get a spot in this year’s summer internship class. But the student said she was not discouraged at all.

“It doesn’t scare me to fail. I know Pixar is a top studio,” she said. “One of the security guards said to me, ‘I applied 15 times before I was accepted. If you persist, you will get in.’ It’s that kind of encouragement – ​​it was like, ‘OK, we can do this.’ I will continue, why would I stop?

Although Plascencia didn’t get the internship, Pixar invited her to tour the campus.

Jessie Plascencia at Pixar

Plascencia was even able to try dubbing in Pixar studios.Jessie Plascencia

Plascencia was treated to an exclusive studio tour, where she dabbled in voice acting and toured the animation department for a behind-the-scenes look at “Lightyear.”

Pixar even had Plascencia draw with chalk inside the studio.

Plascencia also caught up with Pixar’s chief creative officer Pete Docter.

Jessie Plascencia at Pixar

Plascencia with Pete Docter.Jessie Plascencia

Docter – whom Plascencia calls his hero – has directed “Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”, “Inside Out” and “Soul”.

Plascencia now has a mentorship with an art director from Pixar.

Jessie Plascencia at Pixar Headquarters

Plascencia said she would continue to apply to Pixar.Jessie Plascencia

She even got a job offer to work as an illustrator for a children’s book company.

And she still does incredible chalk drawings in front of the Pixar gates.

Chalk art Jessie Plascencia from Finding Nemo

Plascencia’s drawing of Nemo from “Finding Nemo”.Jessie Plascencia

Whether it’s Dory from “Finding Nemo” or Mei Lee from “Turning Red,” Plascencia always enjoys bringing Pixar characters to life with her chalk art.

No matter how long it takes, Plascencia said she will continue to pursue her dream of having a job at Pixar.

Jessie Plascencia Buzz Lightyear chalk drawing

Plascencia now has a mentorship with an art director from Pixar.Jessie Plascencia

“I’m okay with taking my time on this journey because I know some of the experiences that I’m going to have, I’m going to take inspiration from that and take inspiration from that for my movies or my concept art,” she said. declared.

“There are so many reasons why I love Pixar. It’s about the underdog and self-belief,” she added. “No matter who you are, you have a story to tell, you just have to believe you can do it.”

Read the original Insider article

Kayleen C. Rice