After watching various animated Disney films as a child, Richard Morgan was hooked on animation as an art form. In high school, he met two of his heroes, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, authors of The Illusion of Life, considered to be the bible of animation. They encouraged him to push for a sense of storytelling in his artwork.
In pursuit of his dream to be an artist, Morgan attended Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. During the weekends and summers, he worked with Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, the theatrical and live performance division of Walt Disney Imagineering. In his spare time, he would do extensive study — in figure drawing class, the local zoo, or even at the mall — to sketch people and animals from life. In doing so, Morgan soon had a portfolio that would earn him a much sought-after internship with Walt Disney Feature Animation. After graduating, he earned a full-time position animating on feature films including The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, John Henry, Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and others.
After more than a decade with Disney, he moved across the country to start his own company, Aspen Sienna Art Studio. Morgan and his wife opened a gallery and he painted plein-air/studio landscapes for five years in beautiful Montana. Before long, however, he realized he missed the energy and excitement of the animation industry (not to mention the warmer weather of Florida).
Teaching seemed like a good fit for him and he became an instructor of Design and Film Theory courses at his alma mater. He continued to paint and show in galleries throughout Northern Florida. Morgan eventually found his way to DigiPen Institute of Technology in Singapore. He taught there for three years before transferring to DigiPen’s Redmond campus as a senior lecturer.
Morgan enjoys the creative process and giving back to the next generation of artists and game and film developers. He currently teaches animation courses including Basic/Advanced Animation, Digital Painting, and 2D Film.
- Brother Bear (2003)
- Lilo & Stitch (2002)
- John Henry (2000)
- Tarzan (1999)
- Mulan (1998)
- Hercules (1997)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
- Pocahontas (1995)
- The Lion King (1994)