I grew up in Holland, playing soccer and drawing cartoons on rainy afternoons. My first creative influence and inspiration was Walt Disney. When I was eleven my family immigrated to America. I relied on my drawing ability to compensate for my lack of English.
I was enthralled with the wealth of cartoons on American TV. When I was thirteen my family visited the Disney Studio, where I was encouraged to make my own animated films. I often knocked heads with my art teacher at Cupertino High School, Fran Coleman, but she managed to open my mind to a world of art beyond Disney.
While still in high school, I met the legendary Warner Bros. cartoon director, Chuck Jones, and showed him one of my short films. With a recommendation from Mr. Jones, I was accepted at Cal Arts in southern California, where I studied under Disney veterans.
Upon graduation from Cal Arts in 1981, I went to work at the Disney Studio. Over the years I've worked on such films as "Winnie the Pooh," "The Princess and the Frog," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" at Disney, "The Road to El Dorado," at DreamWorks, and "Curious George" at Universal Studios.
I am married and have three lively kids, a fat cat and a boisterous dog, all of whom inspire me. Thus Jimmy Dabble, a middle grade novel about a precocious kid on a farm, was born in 2001. Fuddles, a picture book about a pampered fat cat was published in 2011. And A Very Fuddles Christmas will be published in 2013.