Snow Buddies

Ceramic Cookie Jar    FIGI Graphics

Project 27          Acrylic Painting  4.5' x 9'             2015                                             

Susan Struck


   Being born in Burbank, CA in a hospital down the street from the Disney Studios, seemed to be an appropriate beginning to my life in the arts. As the only child for the first 5 years of my life, I spent much of my time alone, creating stories, drawing pictures inspired by the books and movies I loved. Each night pulling out a cigar box full of mermaids, animals and monsters I had sculpted out of dime store modeling clay.

   At 16 I decided to dedicate myself to becoming a professional artist, studying books about the Masters, Rodin, Da Vinci and Michelangelo, in addition to art technique books, I studied Joseph Sheppard for lessons in anatomy and figure drawing, Bruno Lucchesi for figurative sculpture techniques. After working on my own, painting murals, creating terra cotta sculptures and painting portraits, I talked to a gallery owner, who advised me to start casting my sculptures in bronze.

   I took one of my sculptures into the Age of Bronze Art Foundry where I met R.C. Johnson, a master sculptor and the owner of the foundry. Impressed with my abilities, he offered me an apprenticeship in lost wax casting. I worked hard for two years learning every aspect of mold design, metal casting and finishing. As well as studying sculpture techniques, taught in the Rodin style of clay modeling.

   While perfecting my sculpting techniques, I answered a call for artists to work on an animation production. With my portfolio full of life drawing in hand, I went in for a pencil test and was hired to work as an animator on the first CG Saturday morning cartoon “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” for the FOX Network.

   Starting as a tweener, quickly working my way up to assistant supervisor, I developed a keen eye for troubleshooting problems with character continuity and flow of motion. While working at American Film Technologies, I began working, part time, as a giftware 3D product designer for one of the leading giftware companies, FIGI Graphics, sculpting prototypes for bas relief picture frames, lamps, switch plate covers, ceramic cookie jars, etc.

   Upon completion of the second season of “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”, most of the artists were released, while I was transferred to the film colorazation department, to work as a assistant color palette designer for the original b&w series “Zorro” for the Disney Studios.

   As FIGI Graphics expanded, their need for my full time design work increased after the success of the first collection I sculpted , “Noahs’ Friends” I created several giftware collections over the next 10 years.

   I moved from San Diego to Los Angeles and took on a new challenge, working as a quick sketch pastel portrait artist at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. Rendering a likeness in less than thirty minutes, I soon became a top selling artist. I estimate I had drawn 2,500 faces in the time I spent there, allowing me to hone my skills and speed with the added pressure of an ever present audience. Very different sitting with live models in front of me and a curious crowd behind, than working in a quiet studio.

    Living in San Diego, CA, loving my city, very excited about digital illustrations, using my Wacom tablet. I am presently working on illustrations for three children's books with my sister Kim and hope to have them published this year. 

    I am currently working on Project 27, a trio of large canvases that pay tribute to great artist, gone to soon. I have completed the first canvas, Stage 27 and working on the concept designs for the second canvas. I continue to explore new techniques in digital painting, curious about the 3D printing and the role technology plays in the creative arts.

  Passionate about the work I do and the contributions I can make in my community, I enjoy my life in the arts and look forward to living each day, creatively connected to the world around me.


Athena- Warrior Goddess                          Terra Cotta 2014

Struck Studios