Kenny Yamada at his workstation with some of his handiwork on his computer monitor.
Artist Kenny Yamada has been accepted into the Disney Gallery, and on Aug. 20, Yamada will be the gallery’s showcase artist, where he will sign his original prints of Snow White and Pinocchio at the Disneyana Shop on Mainstreet U.S.A. in Anaheim’s Disneyland theme park.
As a gallery artist, Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s art galleries will sell Yamada’s original art and prints. The Disney Gallery is unique in that it is the only location in the entire park that is considered both an attraction and a merchandise location. Cast members who work and sell items in the gallery are also specially trained to run the gallery as a museum.
Through the years, Yamada has completed several projects for the Walt Disney Co. Among his most notable works are the Walt Disney World 25th anniversary logo, the diamond castle with Mickey and Minnie in diamond costumes for Disneyland’s 60th anniversary and the grand-opening poster for Euro Disney.
One of Yamada’s first clients was the University of California, Berkeley’s Athletic Department. His first project was a Cal Bears football poster that was displayed on BART trains. More than 50 of his posters were reportedly stolen off BART trains that yet.
In the years following, Yamada also created the Cal Bears posters that were displayed on billboards and on the sides of buses.
Yamada’s artistic passion developed at a very young age. He began drawing Disney characters by age 3 and started to make public appearances by age 5. He grew up in Lodi, Calif., and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Academy of Art.
He currently resides in Anaheim with his wife, Millie, and two daughters.