that time i went to PIXAR to talk about my book (?!)

So this was a crazy day. This is what I saw as I walked into the main doors at PIXAR last week… life-sized LEGO sculptures of Toy Story‘s Buzz Lightyear and Woody… and a poster with my book on it. Mind. Blown. No time to think about it much though because my talk was starting in about ten minutes. As I was setting up, I was told that the last presenter hosted by PU {PIXAR University} had been JJ Abrams. Hm. No pressure. Quick, could I make one of the books explode or something!?

Alas, nothing exploded, but I did get all set up in a gorgeous theatre with a really, really big screen {of course, it’s PIXAR} and talked my little heart out. I told the story of how my blog was born {which included a cameo by my son, because if it weren’t for having him I never would have started this site}, and how the book came about. The main point of the talk though focused on the big lessons I learned while writing CREATIVE BLOCK. We covered blocks, inner critics, public critics, and then getting through all of that so that you can get back to the joy of making work… work that you’re really proud of! I have to admit. I was nervous. I was in a room full of creative geniuses and I was worried that they’d be like “Uh-huh. Yeah, we never get blocked, lady.” You never know?! But no. That was not the case, because as it turns out they were all human. I spoke for about forty minutes, followed by a Q&A. Everyone then went out into the lobby so I could sign a few books {sign books?!?! very surreal, I have to tell you!}. The feedback I got was amazing. AMAZING. I had no idea who was in this line up and as I asked each of them what they did at PIXAR and what kind of art they did on their own {because all of them had something going on the side} I felt like a total fan girl! I mentioned to two of the guys that my son’s favorite movie is UP… they both worked on it! A few people told me that while they’re very confident in what they create at work, they really miss drawing, or painting, or [enter medium here] but felt a bit blocked when it came to getting started again. Several of them said this book was coming at the perfect time for them… it almost made me tear up a tiny bit, but I held it together because I was pretty sure that JJ didn’t cry while he was there.

Lunch time! I had a giant celebratory cheeseburger, and more fries than one person should ever have, with my amazing PIXAR host, visual-effects expert / fine artist Vincent Serritella, and my good friend Cariann Nesler. She came along as my cheerleader/photographer/book seller/driver, thank goodness! Vincent gave us a tour of this insane campus, which included their current in-house art show. Yes, they curate shows using the personal work of their staff – how amazing is that! {that is a close-up of Vincent’s fabulous self-vandalized self-portrait below}. We met a few famous friends along the way, and then, after a lovely full afternoon, it was time to say bye bye…

*Leaving PIXAR. Thank you so much for having me, PIXAR! Hope to come back through those gates again soon.

comments (22)

  1. Jessica /// 03.14.2014 /// 10:15am

    Sounds amazing Danielle! Your book is awesome and has truly arrived at the perfect time. I want to hear your full 40 minute talk! Is it available for public consumption? Sending love and big congratulatory hugs. xo

  2. Liz Lidgett /// 03.14.2014 /// 10:21am

    That is awesome, Danielle! So happy for you!

  3. the jealous curator /// 03.14.2014 /// 10:24am

    thank you! jessica… i’m going to do a very similar talk at powell’s on may 21 (at the cedar crossing location) can you come to that?

  4. Jessica /// 03.14.2014 /// 10:45am

    Yes! I’ll be there! Can’t wait 🙂

  5. danielle (aka the jealous curator) /// 03.14.2014 /// 10:59am

    yay!!! can’t wait to see you xo

  6. Debbie Iverson /// 03.14.2014 /// 11:17am

    Just want to send a big THANK YOU for the blog. Your adventure at Pixar just highlights how valuable what you share really is to us “creative types”. And your posts are overwhelming in the best possible way. 🙂

  7. the jealous curator /// 03.14.2014 /// 11:26am

    oh thank YOU debbie! what an amazing compliment… thanks : )

  8. cariann /// 03.14.2014 /// 11:36am

    I’ll be your sidekick/driver/helper any day! Was an honor to spend it with you! xo

  9. the jealous curator /// 03.14.2014 /// 11:42am


  10. Melanie Biehle /// 03.14.2014 /// 11:58am

    I’m so happy for you!!! This sounds amazing. I want to hear the talk too. Someone should film the Powell’s one and you can share it with us. Do it. DO IT. xo

  11. Sarah Gee Miller /// 03.14.2014 /// 12:24pm

    Wow, what an amazing adventure! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I’m so looking forward to your talk in Vancouver in the coming months. I’m hoping to score a signed copy of Creative Block 🙂

  12. danielle (aka the jealous curator) /// 03.14.2014 /// 1:00pm

    ha! deal! i’m actually doing a similar talk in vancouver (may 15 at hot art wet city) and in seattle (may 24 at elliott bay book co)!!! that covers both of you 😉

  13. Jim Stephens /// 03.15.2014 /// 12:36am

    Hi Danielle, thanks so much for the site and sharing with us all. I just wanted you to know that I shared the book and site with my students today as a source for creative inspiration for their senior projects. Any chance you will be in Denver over the next few months?

  14. danielle (aka the jealous curator) /// 03.15.2014 /// 11:44am

    oh that’s so great to hear jim! denver is not in the schedule for the book events but i have had lots of people invite me! if i make my way there i’ll let you know! : )

  15. Eileen /// 03.15.2014 /// 2:30pm

    I teared up when I read this. I love the book. I have to say your art is my favorite so far. It also came a a great time in my life. My ceramics has caused breathing problems for me for some time and I have to move on to something else. I was devastated by this until I started reading your book. Can’t wait to see where the exercises get me. Really looking forward to the fries on the hood day.

    Hope you come to the Chicago area for a signing sometime!

  16. danielle (aka the jealous curator) /// 03.15.2014 /// 3:55pm

    that’s amazing eileen! thank you so much, and please send me a few shots of your ‘fries on the hood’ day! 😉
    ps. there is talk of chicago so i’ll keep you posted! xo

  17. Mary Gaspar /// 03.17.2014 /// 9:53am

    Wow…amazing! So happy for you Danielle! My kids would friggin’ flip seeing all this Pixar goodness. And I love Vincent’s work…been following him for a while. So cool how interconnected the artist world has become. And talk of Chicago-what what?! Oh count me in;)

  18. the jealous curator /// 03.17.2014 /// 11:35am

    i know! it was amazing! going back in december so that my son can get a behind-the-scenes tour! can’t wait to see his face!!! 😉
    yep. there is talk of chicago so i will keep you posted!

  19. Pat McRee /// 03.17.2014 /// 5:01pm

    Danielle, I’ve loved the website for the longest and pre-ordered the book as soon as I heard it was coming. Drove up and saw the Amazon box, hopped out of the car and ripped into it…read every word and looked at every picture without putting it down! I’ve had this feeling my work will end up on your site sooner or later. We shall see. Huge congratulations! Let me know when you come to Memphis and I’ll be your bookseller/driver! Love from Pat Godfrey McRee

  20. the jealous curator /// 03.18.2014 /// 7:28am

    oh thanks so much pat! i’ve never been to memphis before, so if i make my way down there i’ll let you know! : )

  21. I read Danielle Krysa, and I love Vincent Serritella’s work | Scaryfriends /// 03.18.2014 /// 8:09am

    […] are a few blogs I  keep up with, thejealouscurator is one. So I was reading this article and then my world shrank a little. this is how it happened […]

  22. I read Danielle Krysa, and I love Vincent Serritella’s work | Alex Feliciano /// 05.14.2014 /// 9:00pm

    […] are a few blogs I  keep up with, thejealouscurator is one. So I was reading this article and then my world shrank a little. this is how it happened […]

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