Friday, February 18, 2011

Academy of Art - Current Online Traditional Animation Faculty

For my Academy of Art animation students I've been remiss in not officially noting that my friend and colleague Diana Coco-Russell has joined the Academy of Art University as the on-campus Associate Director of 2D Animation.   In addition to her work on-campus at AAU , Diana also teaches for 2D Animation Online (ANM 610.OL Figurative Concepts and ANM 611.OL Visual Elements of Story ) .

Diana Coco-Russell
Associate Director 2D ANM (onsite) ,  Online Faculty
2D Animation, Drawing for Animation, Character Design

Diana Coco-Russell IMDB:

Currently teaches online:  ANM 610.OL Figurative Concepts,  ANM 611.OL Visual Elements of Story (also teaches ANM 364 Character Design & Drawing for Animation, and Drawing for Animation Workshop on campus )


Diana Coco-Russell has spent most of her artistic career in animation, with her longest run at Walt Disney Feature Animation as a clean-up animator. Beginning with Beauty and the Beast in 1992 and ending with Home on the Range in 2003 her credits appear on most films from that decade.

Known as Diana Coco in the industry, she began her career doing layout/story boards for Filmation on the Lone Ranger/Tarzan TV series, later moving into clean-up animation working on He-Man and Bravestarr.  Having graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as an Illustration major, she found she preferred the camaraderie of the studio atmosphere to the life of a freelance illustrator. After Filmation folded she went back to UCLA and received a Master’s in Education. Teaching Biology and running the Yearbook class could not match the call of creativity found in feature animation and she returned to the entertainment industry by starting up with Disney Feature Animation in Burbank.

While at Disney she met Walt Stanchfield, who was conducting bi-monthly Gesture Drawing classes for the entire studio. Walt made a huge impact on Diana with his challenge to create and craft powerful drawings with life and simplicity. The call to draw the figure in poses so clear that they ‘spoke to the balcony’ was irresistible. She took Walt’s drawing philosophy ‘on the road’ teaching figure and gesture drawing classes at a variety of institutions including the local Hollywood animation union, Santa Monica City College and Laguna College of Art & Design. Diana continues to ‘coach’ drawing and animation in a variety of venues while pursuing her other interests - plein air painting, animal drawing and riding horses with her husband and friends.

You may view our other current online  "2D"/Traditional Animation faculty at this link:

AAU current Online Traditional Animation Faculty 

-David Nethery
Associate Director of 2D Animation Online
Academy of Art University


1 comment:

nik said...

I had the good fortune of learning the fundamentals of animation and Color theory from Diana Coco - she is a very inspiring artist and her critical encouragement does wonders to the quality of the work you produce - She inspired me to be a better artist!