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Daniel Killen

Daniel Killen

Daniel Killen was born in 1965 and raised along the coast of Southern California, which he still calls home today. The youngest of four, Daniel’s family originally immigrated to the United States from Scotland in late 1963. Always feeling like an outsider, he began creating and using his imagination to cope with his own shyness.  As a child, Daniel created creatures and worlds out of clay, cardboard and any other items lying around the house. His love for creating grew to include illustrating, and painting, setting the course for his life’s goal of being an artist. Daniel’s study of design, illustration, and fine art painting became a lifelong pursuit.

Daniel started creating designs for a T-shirt business and worked in his spare time as a freelance artist designing play backdrops and props used in CBS afterschool specials, produced by his Emmy award winning brother. He was given the opportunity through a Disney artist to produce clean up line work for Western Publishing on Walt Disney licensed creations. This included work on Little Golden Books, featuring Mickey Mouse and Goofy, the “Pocahontas” Giant Activity Book, and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” coloring books. Daniel’s work has consistently been accepted into visual design competitions including the Orange County Fair where he has won numerous first place awards in his division. Daniel’s latest book illustrations can be found in the 2013 released children’s book “Lessons from Sarah the Cat” for a Southern California Charity, Pathways to Independence, based out of Seal Beach CA.

Daniel studied animation at Roland Animation School in Hacienda California. Learning the basics of 2D animation principles, he was recruited in mid 1995 by Warner Bros. where he worked in their animation division on “Space Jam” starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Trained primarily in effects, he fulfilled a lifelong dream on his first professional Hollywood project by getting to work with all of the classic Looney Tunes characters. Performing tasks as an Animators Assistant, he was given the responsibility of animating certain EFX scenes on his own. This experience lead to work on eight additional animated feature films over the next 8 years for Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg’s and Jeffery Katzenberg’s DreamWorks SKG Animation Studio. Daniel was also given the responsibility of concept and prop designs on Warner Bros. “The Iron Giant” directed by Brad Bird, where he designed the giant’s visual readout, including the font design used in all scenes when the giant’s viewfinder was shown. He also was responsible for the creation of other common items in the movie as well as the words ATOMIC HOLOCOST, which reads across the main characters “Duck and Cover” school safety film. Daniel had achieved another dream as he had been given free rein to create and design for a major animated feature.

Daniels other movies for Warner Bros. were “The Quest for Camelot”, and “Osmosis Jones” with Bill Murray. DreamWorks SKG, projects included working in the EFX Department, on “Prince of Egypt”, The Road to El Dorado”, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’, and “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas”. He also did freelance work for Rich Animations “The King and I”. Daniel continued to hone his drawing and painting skills in classes provide by the major studios, as well as the Animators Union.

Daniel now works with the Chuck Jones Galleries bringing to canvas inspired Warner Bros. properties such as The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, The Iron Giant and the classic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and the Road Runner. Greatly influenced by such artistic giants as Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper and Frank Frazetta, Daniel incorporates sly wit, poetic beauty and adventurous themes into his work. He brings his whimsical sense of humor, pleasing colors and clever layout to all his creative endeavors. Daniel lives by two inspirational quotes from French Director Robert Bresson. “Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen. “, and “Bring together things that have not yet been brought together and did not seem predisposed to be so.”