From Disney to Fine Art: Marvel at the Artwork of James Coleman


Artist James Coleman‘s big break sounds like it came right out of a Hollywood movie.

At age 19, he was working in the mailroom of the Walt Disney Company. He decided to submit a painting to an employee art show and, through a series of amazing circumstances, that one decision led him to help create many of Disney’s most famous animated films.

You can hear the full story about Coleman’s unlikely path to becoming a world-famous Disney artist—and now an internationally-collected fine artist—in this exclusive new video from Park West.

Artist James Coleman in his studio.

Artist James Coleman in his studio.

A self-taught artist, Coleman displays an uncanny ability to capture color and light in his paintings. His inspiration comes from the Impressionists and his canvases practically vibrate with radiance and life.

He used those qualities to help develop the trademark “Disney feel,” the company’s iconic art style that Coleman contributed to for over two decades.

"Everything's Better Under the Sea" (2018), James Coleman

“Everything’s Better Under the Sea” (2018), James Coleman

Perhaps his greatest contribution was his 17 years working as the supervisor of Disney’s background department, where he led the creation of the hand-painted backgrounds for Disney’s animated movies.

James Coleman artwork

He eventually left Disney to further develop his unique art style as a fine artist. Coleman works in many mediums—oils, pastels, watercolor—and even incorporates metallic leafing into his artwork, inspired by his visits to Japan in the 1990s.

While he was discovered in a mailroom like a true Hollywood ingénue, James Coleman’s hard work and singular talent has transformed him into one of the most collected and best-known artists in the world.

Coleman working in his studio.

Coleman working in his studio.


We love helping art collectors learn more about their favorite artists, like James Coleman, Peter Max, and more!

You can watch our complete collection of artist videos on Park West Gallery’s YouTube page. Subscribe to our channel and you’ll get updates every time we post a new video!


James Coleman artwork



2 Responses to From Disney to Fine Art: Marvel at the Artwork of James Coleman

  1. Floyd Patrick says:

    Thank you for making my life life a lot more happier.

  2. frank w henry says:


Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Do You Know How to Take Care of Your Art? Take Our Quiz...

    We love art, and we’re betting you do too. That is why we want to give you some expert tips on how to keep your art looking as beautiful as ...
    Read More
  • Everyone Wants to Take a Bite Out of Artist Matt Beyrer

    Artist Matt Beyrer has an uncanny knack for drawing depth and beauty out of unexpected places.

    So perhaps it’s not surprising that Beyrer’s artistic career began in an unexpected place—on a surfboard.

    Read More
  • The Strange History Behind Salvador Dalí’s “Divine Comedy”

    Salvador Dalí was an unusual choice to illustrate Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy.”Dante’s epic poem is considered one of Italy’s national treasures, a work embraced by both Italian cultural ...
    Read More
  • Collect Original Graphic Works by Salvador Dali in Our New Fall Sale

    Salvador Dalí is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. Now you have the opportunity to collect works from the internationally renowned Surrealist in our ...
    Read More
  • Meet the Artist: 10 Questions with Patrick Guyton

    Patrick Guyton has combined his passion for ancient art techniques with a tenacious work ethic to create a truly unique body of work.Guyton’s art is a sight to behold. ...
    Read More
  • Park West CEO Provides Insight into ‘Self-Destructing’ Banksy Art

    Famous street artist Banksy has made art history by having one of his paintings elaborately destroy itself immediately after being sold for $1.4 million.The unprecedented stunt took place at Sotheby’s ...
    Read More
  • Park West Auctioneer Spotlight: Alex White

    It takes a special kind of person to head off onto the high seas to spread their love of art to travelers around the world.Alex White is one of those ...
    Read More
  • The History of Picasso Ceramics: How Picasso Changed Pottery Forever

    Between 1946 and 1973, Pablo Picasso created a breathtaking collection of original ceramic works.Over the past 50 years, Park West Museum has developed one of the largest collections ...
    Read More
  • Understanding the Delicate Process Behind the Art of Patrick Guyton

    The artistic process Patrick Guyton uses to create his art is exacting, volatile, and precarious. This may sound hyperbolic, but for Guyton, something as simple as using the wrong ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery Enhances the Art Experience with New Interactive Technology

    As Park West Gallery celebrates 50 years in business, it’s continuing its mission of reimagining the art world with new and innovative ways for people to interact with art.Park West ...
    Read More
  • Meet James Coleman: 10 Questions with the Acclaimed Artist

    If you’re not familiar with the name “James Coleman,” you’re definitely familiar with his work.For over 17 years, Coleman supervised the creation of the hand-painted backgrounds for some of ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: Patrick Guyton

    The path to becoming an internationally renowned fine artist might not be paved in gold, and that’s fine with Patrick Guyton—he prefers to put gold to better use.Guyton’s own ...
    Read More