Like many kids growing up in Italy, Antonello Dalena devoured comic books, especially the wildly popular Disney’s Topolino, which means Mickey Mouse in Italian. Antonello also loves watching animated movies, which ultimately launched his career as a top comic artist. He has drawn many of Disney’s feature graphic novels and comics, including Atlantis, Cars, Toy Story, Bolt, Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Brave.
Juniors earning a Drawing badge and Cadettes earning a Comic Artist badge can appreciate how Antonello’s passion for art is fueled by being a fan. “Every time I watch a Disney/Pixar movie or a Hayao Miyazaki production, I feel so motivated and inspired that ideas just come to my mind and then directly out through my hands onto the blank page.”
Being a successful artist means Antonello is constantly working, and one of his projects is a graphic novel series for young girls called Ernest & Rebecca, about 6½-year-old Rebecca and her best pal, a magical microbe named Ernest. And yes, that means Ernest is a germ! But he’s no regular germ—he’s about Rebecca’s same height, and he can talk.
Antonello also draws a comic series called Sybil the Backpack Fairy, about a middle school girl named Nina and her fairy friend Sybil. Nina isn’t having much fun at school until Sybil shows up and takes her on some grand adventures.
For Antonello, drawing and creating is a grand adventure, and one any girl can have. “Never give up, even if what you dream in life seems to be very difficult,” he advises. “There is always room for more artists in the world, and if you want to become an artist, you’ll be welcomed. Keep dreaming, always!”
Find out more about Antonello’s work on The Studio.