When I was invited to participate with some Mickey Mouse designs for UNIQLO’s Magic For All shirt series, I thought it would be a ton of fun, since I had really enjoyed working on the Star Wars T-Shirt Grand Prix with UNIQLO a few years ago. Of course, it’s not so simple as just drawing Mickey Mouse; first I had to figure out how I draw Mickey Mouse, and that meant figuring out exactly what my relationship with mickey Mouse is. So I started just doodling Mickeys, and thinking about Mickey specifically, and Disney in general.
My oldest brother is a big Disney fan, and that led me to remembering how I grew up with my family always watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sundays. And magic is a really great word for that memory - for me, childhood was kind of magical, and Mickey Mouse always captured that so well, that sense of wonder at the world, curiosity, maybe even a little naivete. I eventually landed on a version of Mickey that felt right, something cute and innocent feeling.
I tried to tap into those nostalgic feelings I had and started drawing more Mickeys - Mickey walking through forest, playing with a toy steamboat, kicking a soccer ball. I filled a sketchbook with fifty or sixty ideas, and sent them to UNIQLO and DISNEY to pick from. The designers came up with four shirts, including one based on the little ‘How To Draw Mickey’ sketch I had made for myself. I re-drew cleaned up, nicer versions of the design on Bristol board.
The most unexpected design they came up with was actually taken from those first Mickey sketches. Which seems really appropriate and great, that even as long as Mickey has been around (and in my life), there can still be some surprises from him.
These sketches were all drawn for the @UNIQLO MICKEY ART collection, available now in stores and online globally.