Joel Payne, a signed internationally known Disney Interpretive artist could be categorized as a modern day Renaissance man with a two decade long multi-talented career in the entertainment industry.
His story starts with a life changing moment at the age of 4 that would change the course of his life
forever. “My earliest memory that inspired what I wanted to do today, came when I was riding on the
Pirates of the Caribbean ride and I looked up to my mom and said, Look mom! Look how real the robots
look, at which point my mother replied, -son, those are the waiters at the Blue Bayou... But is was in that
moment that I realized just how amazing Disney reallywas. Walt was so good at his craft that I couldn't
tell the difference between the fantasy and the real thing and I knew that I wanted to learn how to
harness this kind of magic!” Disneyland and Disney feature animation would ignited a lifelong passion
for the arts in its many forms from that point on for him.
While Payne didn't have any formal artistic training, at age 20, he would embark on a 21 year career that
would be forge through the fires of on-the-job experience. “When I started doing digital art, computers
could only handle 16 colors.” His passion would bring him to create art for 3D TV shows, Triple “A”
video games, and multiple virtual reality rides. Industry training required perseverance in acquiring
the skills and discipline that would prove to serve him well in future endeavors on his path to artistic
His artistry became evident early in his childhood in the field of music having played in both the band
an orchestra in grade school. It was in high school that Joel's desire to work for Disney came to the
forefront and has paintings skills took priority.
In 1993, Joel's big break would come from a company called 'New World Computing' a game company
known for the popular “Might and Magic” Series. His talents were manifested as a minister in the service
of 6 videos games over the next few years for them. His very first game project “Heroes of Might and
Magic” became critically acclaimed and is currently on it's 7th sequel. Although busy with his official
duties, he maintained his connection with music by scoring 5 stage plays for the Knightsbridge Theatre
during this time, notably the first American performance of the play “Wuthering Hieghts” which had a
record run for the company.
In 1995 Joel would become one of the youngest video game directors pioneering techniques is Digital
Set creation three years before Robert Stromberg would coin the phrase “Digital Backlot” Joel would
later own the name DigitalBacklot.com
In 1996, Joel finally got his chance to work with Disney on “Disney's Virtual Jungle Cruise” ride still in
operation in Florida's Disneyquest. Responsible to creating the rides river rafting track and 3D scenery,
Payne learned from Disney Imagineers storytelling, color and lighting techniques that he still uses in his
From 1996 to present day, Joel would go on to build 3D worlds for Steven Spielberg's “Sky Pirates”,
Disney's Atlantis (VG), Mortal Kombat:Shaolin Monks, Max Steel and Star Ship Troopers:Roughnecks,
Silent Hill:Homecoming and Baldur's Gate:Dark Alliance. He would also score film music for world
renown Stan Winston: Trakk. His companies first project “Growums” teaches children through 3D
character animation how to grow your own vegetables from seed to harvest. Payne not only designed
characters, but he also animates and voices the main characters just like Walt did for Mickey Mouse
many years ago. Joel's Growums characters have been features on the View and have been turned into
plush toys and walk about life sized characters that make their appears at state fairs around America.
In 2011 Payne began in earnest his dreams of pursuing a fine art career. With inspiration and influence
from his Disney and Entertainment pedigree. Joel Payne, and with support from James Coleman
Studios, has a new found energy and dedication for his inventive new form of mixed media artwork.
When asked about his latest works for the Disney Fine Art portfolio, Joel has said, 'Every painting that I
do, I want to have the word “WOW” be the thing the viewer expresses first because this is what I myself
said years ago at age 4 that began my long journey. I want people to walk by my artwork and I want you
to fall into it, live in it and escape for a while. I think this is why I began creating this type of magic in the
first place, to make the illusion as believable as possible so that I could inspire others to live the magic
within each us all”
Payne's artistic history is wide reaching in its diversity as a Digital and traditional painter. His professional artistic career spans across #1 rated video games, 3D TV shows, films, motion based Virtual reality rides, and 3D magazines. Utilizing a 21 year career as an entertainment artist, Payne's talents have enabled him to work with industry personalities such as Stan Winston, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron as well as major corporations like Intel, Microsoft, DreamWorks, Disney, Sony, Corel, F9E, Foundation-imaging, and Disney Imagineering. Payne's artwork has been featured in Max Steal, Starship Troopers the 3d cartoon series, Titanic, Jurassic Park, Silent Hill 5, Baulders Gate: Dark Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monk, Flintstones the Movie, Disney's Virtual Jungle Cruise and Disney's Atlantis. His latest artistic effort on Growums is a nation wide success. Payne's bold imagery is smart, with brilliant colors that strike a cord with the most respected art critics by putting a smile on their faces. Become a fan at www.facebook.com/JCPArt