22-year-old art student Jessica Plascencia has had a lifelong dream: to work at Pixar, one of the most famous and successful animation studios in the world. After grabbing a bucket of chalk to draw popular Pixar characters in front of the company's headquarters, one small step of her wish has come true thanks to her TikTok community.
Even as a child, Jessica was encouraged by her mother to be creative. "She bought me a tablet when I was 14 and encouraged me to create digital art," the 22-year-old told Insider. She always preferred to draw and invent her own stories than to play outside.
At the beginning of the corona pandemic, severe forest fires raged in California. The artist didn't want to read any more gloomy news or be permanently stuck at home. She wanted to escape from this reality and decided to have more positive experiences again. So Jessica went outside to draw some artwork with chalk. Everywhere people told her to post her artwork somewhere. She did so reluctantly.
Pixar employees also became aware of Jessica's artwork. They shared photos of it in a company chat program and praised them for it. "It felt really empowering to get that kind of encouragement," says the artist. Jessica didn't get an internship directly at Pixar, but she did get an extensive tour of the studio. She was also allowed to paint her chalk figures in the headquarters building. Jessica was able to try her hand at voice acting and met one of her greatest heroes: Pete Doctor. He directed the films Monsters, Inc., Up, and Soul. And perhaps best of all, Jessica gets to take part in a mentoring program with a Pixar art director.
Even if her drawings didn't directly lead to a job offer: Jessica Plascencia wants to keep trying everything to eventually work at Pixar, "no matter how long it takes," she says. Just like the heroes in the animated films, Jessica is not an option to give up.
Source: TikTok/cowboyjess, "Insider"