Singapore, September 7, 2017 — The Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention (STGCC) 2017 held a media preview at Central Perk cafe to showcase event exclusives and introduce some of the amazing guests.
One of which is James C. Mulligan, a respected and extremely amazing artist working at Disney for more than two decades. STGCC has invited James to do a live painting session on-stage during the event, apart from showcasing his work and selling hand-drawn, watercolored art.
“I started in theater, painting designs in theater and stage work. And it kinda grew from there in to doing fine art with Disney,” James said about how he started working as an artist. In 1996, he began working for Disney by designing in theme parks until he eventually became one of the published artists for Disney Fine Art.
“I do a lot of corporate work, corporate speed painting, which… just for kinda fun. Most of my work is fine art. But that just kind of enhances it and it enables… it gives an energy into my art that I don’t usually get when I’m sitting in front of my easel. So it’s kind of a fun thing to do.” Being in the art industry for more than two decades, James has also worked with younger and newer artists, to which he has gladly obliged to teach and answer questions in order to improve their craft.
Currently, James has signed a contract with Marvel Fine Art, and although he is sworn to secrecy, he did confirm that his Marvel collaboration would be seen in the next NYCC and SDCC. He also adds, “I’m working on a TV show. I’ve got a show in development that I’m an associate producer on.” The details are scarce, but James did drop a few more tidbits, “It’s an animated show, and it involves four-legged centered around kind of a Hollywood story. So it’s really fun, there’s a lot of great people onboard for that.” The said series is still under negotiations with Netflix, and produced under Dreamworks.
James also welcomes commissions and requests whenever he’s invited as a guest in comic cons. “Sometimes people will come to me and ask for some crazy commissions. I’ll try my best to provide them!” Notable perhaps was the weirdest request he had back in San Francisco, “Somebody wanted a Darth Maul Stitch. I would call him a Maul Rat, and it was Stitch in Darth Maul makeup.” He also recalled doing a Disney-fied Princess Leia, and a few Tim Burton characters by request.
Having worked with Disney Theme Parks, he commented on the theme park’s changing experience with the inclusion of new attractions. “Well, it’s certainly bringing it to a new generation of people. What Walt Disney Theme Parks in California has done is they’re still retaining the history of theme parks. They just brought back the train that goes around the park… so they’re still honoring the history, it’s still very special.”
In conjunction with that overall experience, James also related the influx of augmented and VR technology in competition against the traditional theme park experience. “I just did the whole Avatar experience… and they’ve got this attraction there that’s just mind-blowing, it was just crazy from what it used to be. And I think we’re gonna start seeing more and more of that. We have to be careful, though, to not lose sight of the most important thing, which is story and character, in exchange for special effects. I think Disney’s done a good job of that, and I hope they continue to keep those stories alive, cherish the classics and cherish the background and history.”
Short as though our interview may be, our time with James was definitely appreciated. He has genuinely expressed interest in visiting the Philippines and meeting the fans, especially after getting the attention and love of the country for his Disney-fied version of then-crowned Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach.