Celebrating 50 Years of the Pirates of the Caribbean

I am happy to announce I am one of 23 finalists in the 2017 Disney D23 Expo Design Challenge. The challenge was to design a work of art celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride opened at Disneyland on March 18, 1967 and the franchise also celebrated the release of its fifth movie installment in May.

My finished work is entitled "Things to Come for the Redhead." It measures 36inx22inx4in and was built into a custom made shadow box.

1-Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-Katherine-Young

Here are some close-ups of the work.

Katherine Young Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Katherine Young Pirates of the Caribbean 3
Katherine Young Pirates of the Caribbean 4
Katherine Young Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Katherine Young Pirates of the Caribbean 6

My piece is multidimensional and made out of ephemera from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I bought tons of Pirates-related ephemera off of ebay to use in my work. The oldest piece is a 1916 article published in the Saturday Evening Post titled "The Pirates of the Caribbean." The newest piece I used is a button given out to guests at Disneyland celebrating the 50th anniversary. My work is made out of everything from E-tickets and FastPasses to vintage magazines and sheet music. I even got to include some work that I designed when I worked for Walt Disney World (how meta right?!?)!

I believe this is the first printing of the title that became the iconic ride.

I believe this is the first printing of the title that became the iconic ride.

In this image you can see Pirates themed Disney Dollars, a Park Map for the Magic Kingdom, a magazine spread from a vintage Jack & Jill magazine, a 50th anniversary pin, and more.

In this image you can see Pirates themed Disney Dollars, a Park Map for the Magic Kingdom, a magazine spread from a vintage Jack & Jill magazine, a 50th anniversary pin, and more.

In this image you can see a Disneyland brochure from 1968 and some cast member internal magazines featuring Pirates.

In this image you can see a Disneyland brochure from 1968 and some cast member internal magazines featuring Pirates.

In this image you can see vintage ride tickets, vintage postcards, maps from the new interactive experience  A Pirate's Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas , and more.

In this image you can see vintage ride tickets, vintage postcards, maps from the new interactive experience A Pirate's Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas, and more.

A poster I created for an internal cast member event including my own photography I took inside the ride before the park opened.

A poster I created for an internal cast member event including my own photography I took inside the ride before the park opened.

A poster I created to advertise the opening of  The Pirates League  experience.

A poster I created to advertise the opening of The Pirates League experience.

I started taking the different paper pieces and cutting them up and turning them into the different parts of my illustration. I used marker and acrylic paint to create my final image.

Each of the seagulls actually have an image of a bird somewhere in their body.

Each of the seagulls actually have an image of a bird somewhere in their body.

The finished seagulls.

The finished seagulls.

The little cherub.

The little cherub.

The final cherub has that iconic phrase still easily readable.

The final cherub has that iconic phrase still easily readable.

I tried to keep little peak-through spots where you can see the original ephemera throughout my work. From afar you can't really tell what my final work is made of. But when you get close-up you can see all the parts. I hope that the longer you look at my final work the more items you recognize. The depth of my work is going to be really fun for die-hard Disney geeks.

My work was built into a custom made shadow box. I laid down different pieces of ephemera and then painted on the background.

In this image you can see the  Saturday Evening Post  article, book pages, magazine covers, sheet music, and more.

In this image you can see the Saturday Evening Post article, book pages, magazine covers, sheet music, and more.

Here is what it looks like after it had the background painted.

Here is what it looks like after it had the background painted.

I then started building layer after layer. What you can see in-person, is different parts of my illustration are at different depths.

I started laying in the layers closest to the background. The layers extend all the way up to the lip of the frame in the finished work.

I started laying in the layers closest to the background. The layers extend all the way up to the lip of the frame in the finished work.

Here are some more close-up images with ephemera items circled in red. Do you see other hidden items that make up the image?

Here you can see the 50th anniversary button.

Here you can see the 50th anniversary button.

Sheet music for the iconic song from the ride.

Sheet music for the iconic song from the ride.

The blade of the sword is made from FastPass tickets for the  Pirates of the Caribbean  ride.

The blade of the sword is made from FastPass tickets for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Can you see the vintage E-tickets and Captain Jack Sparrow?

Can you see the vintage E-tickets and Captain Jack Sparrow?

To be selected as a finalist I had to submit a proposal and sketch of the original work I would create for the 2017 Disney D23 Expo. I submitted my sketch in tribute to the Marc Davis's concept piece below it. The original concept piece created by Marc Davis was supposed to show what would happen to the iconic redhead after she was sold off in the ride. I loved the idea that he was trying to look into the future but could never see what the franchise had become. My proposal was to add new elements extending into the newer aspects of the franchise now portrayed in movies. And at the same time it is created out of ephemera/"actual history" of the franchise.

My sketch on top pays tribute to Marc Davis's iconic concept art.

My sketch on top pays tribute to Marc Davis's iconic concept art.

Above in red are circled the added elements including: - Jack's 'x' in the cheek - Jack's tattoo and 'P' brand indicating he was a pirate by the Ease India Trading Company - Jack's compass - A piece of eight cursed aztec gold on her neck - An adornment in her hair just like Jack - The moon in the clouds shining down exposing the curse - The ship is now the Black Pearl - You can now see her bones because she is cursed - The flag is now the symbol of Captain Jack Sparrow

Above in red are circled the added elements including:
- Jack's 'x' in the cheek
- Jack's tattoo and 'P' brand indicating he was a pirate by the Ease India Trading Company
- Jack's compass
- A piece of eight cursed aztec gold on her neck
- An adornment in her hair just like Jack
- The moon in the clouds shining down exposing the curse
- The ship is now the Black Pearl
- You can now see her bones because she is cursed
- The flag is now the symbol of Captain Jack Sparrow

I hope that my final work is as iconic as the Pirates of the Caribbean and is as densely full of elaborate imagery as the franchise. Your only chance to see the work in-person is at the 2017 Disney D23 Expo. After that, it goes into the Walt Disney Archives.

UPDATES FROM THE D23 EXPO 7/19/2017

The Design challenge gallery at the D23 Expo was stunning. It looked to be over a story tall and had prime real estate right across from the Disney Archives exhibit. I really loved how my work looked on that faux rustic wall!

The display was above and beyond my expectations.

The display was above and beyond my expectations.

My work was right on the end.

My work was right on the end.

The description they used was horrible. I even sent a one sentence description that was better than this.

The description they used was horrible. I even sent a one sentence description that was better than this.

I loved watching people look at my artwork. Something would catch their eye and then they would go closer and examine all the little details. I even snuck pictures of some of them! 

The kid in the awesome WED shirt was discussing all the parts to his dad!

The kid in the awesome WED shirt was discussing all the parts to his dad!

I am so glad he liked it!

I am so glad he liked it!

More people checking out my work!

More people checking out my work!

More people checking out my art.

More people checking out my art.

It was so cool seeing people taking pictures of the work!

It was so cool seeing people taking pictures of the work!

It was an honor to know fellow Disney fans, friends and artists took time to take a look at my work.

Some of my friends were even awesome enough to post it online! HUGE thank you to you all!

Some of my friends were even awesome enough to post it online! HUGE thank you to you all!

I even ran into some friends!  Robert Lisinsky  was a finalist in the Design Challenge last year!

I even ran into some friends! Robert Lisinsky was a finalist in the Design Challenge last year!

I even met Disney Fine Artist  Dave Avanzino  and he gave me some pointers!

I even met Disney Fine Artist Dave Avanzino and he gave me some pointers!

And my favorite picture of the work has two pirates in it!

Sea turtles mate.

Sea turtles mate.

Here is a full tour video of the work that I narrate. Hopefully it will give you a better sense of what it looks like to see it in person.