The daily search for inspiration is an easy one today, as today is Mary Blair’s 100th birthday. Mary was a true innovator, and a driving force behind many of Disney’s most memorable animations including Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. Her brilliant work as a concept designer, colorist, and art director continues to have a lasting impact on art makers all over the world.
Born Mary Robinson in Oklahoma in 1911, she attended L.A.’s esteemed Chouinard Art Institute, soon making her way in an industry then dominated by men. Both her husband, Lee Everett Blair, and her brother-in-law, animator Preston Blair, were also artists. Mary joined the Disney studio in 1940, where she and her husband created concept art for many of Walt Disney’s films. After she left Disney more than a decade later, her graphic work included major advertising campaigns and illustrations for Simon and Schuster’s Golden Books for children.
Looking back on Blair’s work reminds us of the importance of being a creator. Whenever an artist begins to imagine and to make, something of the moment of creation becomes permanent and manifests as a physical object that enters the world and begins to effect the people around it. This is an important part of making, realizing the lasting impact of art once created. Enjoy the process and create beauty, then share your art with the world.