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About Matthias Lechner

In 1970 I was born in Mannheim, Germany. I spent my youth in an idyllic south-German setting. In 1990 I moved to Hamburg to find my place in the awakening German animation industry. Later, I studied classical animation in Dublin, Ireland and moved as an "animation nomad" to Hamburg, Seoul, Copenhagen, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. For 20 years, I have worked as an art director and production designer on a large number of European and American animated features films. My passion lies in exploring a cross between drawing and cinematography.Currently I work as an Art Director for Walt Disney Feature Animation. I live with my wife, daughter, cat and dog in Ventura, CA.

When I was a young teenager, I started an extensive collection of movie stills (this was before the internet, so it consisted of magazine clippings and actual stills from cinema displays.)At first, the subject didn’t matter. I just fed my brain with every movie-shot ever taken.

Later, I was in love with Robby Mueller’s Cinematography (Down by Law, Paris Texas) which reminded me of Edward Hoppers paintings. The second influence would be the American landscapes as photographed by Ansel Adams and Brassai’s Paris-Photos.

At this point, I might not have known what to do with all this. All I knew was that this was what resonating with me.

One doesn’t have to come from the classical arts to find ones voice as an illustrator. You just have to find, what drives you. Over the years you will develop (or find) your own procedures and techniques. The experience and skill makes for a pleasant or interesting viewing, the content though – your drive – makes it unique.

My entire career, I have been illustrating for animation movies. This is what I have always wanted to do, and this is, what satisfies me to this day.