'I honestly pinch myself every morning': Saskatoon woman first Canadian chosen as a Disney Fine Artist
SASKATOON -- Saskatoon artist Denyse Klette is the first Canadian to be signed to join a small and unique group of artists with Collectors Editions.
The contract is a full circle moment for her career. Klette recalls her very first drawing experience was at four-years-old. She spent hours copying the drawings of her sister’s “How To Draw” book which was created by a Disney artist.
By the time she was eight, she announced that she would quit Grade Four to become an artist. While she ended up finishing school, she’s happy where her career has gone.
“I always knew I was going to be an artist from that point on and I had spent 40 years painting and creating,” Klette told CTV News.
The journey to the contract started in 2019. Klette says she met a sculptor at a show in Florida who later visited her in Saskatoon. During the visit she helped connect her with the Wyland Gallery at Disney’s Boardwalk Florida.
Two weeks later Klette submitted her first piece to Disney Fine Art, of Tinker Bell.
It's described as "a unique piece of art that incorporated both painting and sculpting with high-end European crystals."
Known as a painter and sculptor, they reached out a few months later and said they’d be interested and would like her to design more paintings. On Dec. 5, 2019 she signed a contract to officially become a Disney Fine Artist - Walt Disney’s birthday.
“It was humbling and exciting all at the same time. A pinnacle of my career really.” Klette said.
What immediately impressed and made Klette stand out was her “thoughtful fusion of sculpting and fine art painting, which allowed viewers to experience some of their favourite Disney moments in a new way,” Noka Aldoroty, director of Disney Fine Art at Collectors Editions said in a Wednesday press release.
Klette’s contract with Collectors Edition makes her a licensed artist of the Disney Fine Art collection. Collectors Editions is an official licensee of The Walt Disney Company.
During her five-year contract Klette gets to pick and choose what Disney movie she’d like to create. She starts with a full colour concept on her iPad and submits it to Collectors Editions who sends it to Disney.
Once the concept is approved, she proceeds with creating the piece of art. Then it must go for approval again. Once it's approved it's available for distribution to one of the galleries.
“I honestly pinch myself every morning to make sure this isn’t a dream, because it is the most exciting thing to do.”
In 1993 the City of Saskatoon commissioned Klette to create a mural on Broadway. She says the people of Saskatchewan have always supported her art and she is proud to represent the city on an international level.
“I’ve dedicated my life to my art and to have this as what I get to do from now on is exciting. I don’t know how to put it into words.”