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Claire Keane // Art & Stories






Washington post

 Love is

From the start of this book, the caring nature of a little girl and neediness of a lost duckling become intertwined. Set in a charming city neighborhood, the book tells the tale of their time together through gentle rhymes: “Love is holding something fragile, tiny wings and downy head./Love is noisy midnight feedings, shoe box right beside the bed.” Cozy snuggles and playful days, though, give way to the duckling’s growing ability to fend for himself — and join his fellow ducks. The little girl’s expressive and adorable facial features convey a range of emotions as she experiences the stages of loving and letting go. Breezy ink sketches and muted hues enrich the warmhearted story. (read more on The Washington Post)


November 18 2016 issue 

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The Wall Street Journal

Meghan Cox Gurdon on the Best New Children’s Books

... LITTLE BIG GIRL “refreshes with its lack of irony” and that “the point here is to rejoice in a new sibling, and that’s what Matisse models beautifully for young readers as she and her brother ‘discover their big world together.’” ( more)


disney's 'frozen' artist claire keane debuts children's book 'once upon a cloud', and it's as gorgeous as a disney dream - artwork

by caitlin white

Disney artistry runs in the Keane family. Glen Keane is nothing short of a legend: He oversaw animation on some of our favorite Disney movies growing up, bringing The Little MermaidAladdin, and Beauty and the Beast to life. That Disney gene was passed down to his daughter Claire, who continued the family legacy by working for visual development on Tangled and everyone's favorite new animated movie ever, Frozen. Claire brings that magical spark to every single page of her new debut children's book Once Upon a Cloud.

Once Upon a Cloud is jaw-droppingly stunning. There isn't really a better way to say that. You can see the Disney influence in Claire's artwork, but it's taken to another level, as if you're dreaming a whole new Disney-fied landscape. So it's no surprise that Claire got the idea for her book when she was working on the art for Tangled. Even Mandy Moore, who voiced the Rapunzel character, gave Claire a well-deserved shout-out for her work.

Once Upon a Cloud follows a little girl name Celeste who ( more)

THE FRAME  89.3 kpcc

Illustrator Claire Keane follows her dream with 'Once Upon A Cloud' children's book

by michelle lanz /john horne

Claire Keane comes from a family full of incredibly talented artists. Her grandfather, Bil Keane, created the Family Circus comic, and her father, Glen Keane, was a Disney animator for 38 years, designing iconic characters such as the Beast from "Beauty and the Beast" and Aladdin.

Claire followed in her father’s footsteps, working for Disney on films such as “Tangled” and "Frozen," but she decided not long ago that  ( more)


ONCE UPON A CLOUD by Disney Illustrator and Author Claire Keane

BY bonnie lynn wagner

ONCE UPON A CLOUD by Claire Keane is my favorite picture book of 2015, and one of my favorite overall picture books. I'm sincerely hoping it gets a Caldecott nod next year! The book has the most gorgeous illustrations, which isn't a surprise when you discover that author/illustrator Claire Keane has done design work for Walt Disney Animation! She did concept development for smash hit Frozen as well as for Tangled (For example, all of Rapunzel's tower artwork? You can thank Claire Keane for that!). Being artist runs in her family, too. Her father is Glen Keane, who designed Ariel, Beast, Aladdin, and several other iconic Disney characters. Her grandfather, Bil Keane, ran the long-running comic strip The Family Circus. So you can see why I so desperately wanted to read this one! I wasn't alone, either: Barnes and Noble chose ONCE UPON A CLOUD as its March 2015 Picture Book of the Month with a national storytime and everything! Due to snow on the East Coast, it took an extra week for me to get my hands on a copy of this highly-anticipated book, but it was worth the wait ( more)


by mallory mcginnis

The Spire

Claire Keane’s Debut Book ‘Once Upon A Cloud’ Swooshes Onto Shelves in 2015

by the spire

If Kate Brown recommends something, you should go find it – that’s one of the best known rules of the internet. And here she’s pointed out the news that Claire Keane – an illustrator and animator fresh off a stint working at Disney on projects like Frozen and Tangled – will be publishing her first picture book in 2015.

‘Once Upon A Cloud’ clearly nods towards her prior work whilst pushing a singular and wonderful narrative voice, as it follows a young girl who floats up into the sky one day to embark on a grand night’s adventure. She’s off looking for a present to get her mum, and decides that the only present good enough must be one taken from the stars ( more)



by jim hill

There's this great little moment in "Waking Sleeping Beauty" (which - FYI - was just released on DVD yesterday) from 1980. Where a very young John Lasseter - armed with an 8mm sound camera - is filming an equally young Randy Cartwright as he wanders the halls of the Animation Building on the Disney Lot. ( more)


By Kate

Our winter issue is packed with beautiful interiors, but the real gems live inside those homes, and we want to thank all of the kind, creative people who shared their stories with us. One such talent is Claire Keane, an artist who hails from a long line of illustrators and calls Venice, California, home. ( more)

Publisher's weekly

 Little Big Girl

Matisse is still small enough to need to ride in a car seat, but she never feels overwhelmed by her environment. She confidently skips across a big box store—with her very pregnant mother racing to keep up with her—and can carry a mountain of cushions across the living room to create an indoor trampoline. What better role model for a new baby brother? In language that repeatedly invokes ideas of big and little, Keane gracefully captures Matisse’s quiet understanding of her own growth. The book represents something of a “big” jump for Keane, too: whereas the artwork in 2015’s Once Upon a Cloud reflected her background as a visual development artist for films like Tangled and Frozen, her breezily inked vignettes of domestic life in this book nod more toward the work of her grandfather, Family Circus creator Bil Keane. (In one such scene, Matisse and baby bro get dressed by first emptying out the contents of a dresser.) With gentle and warm humor, Keane shows how several small moments can add up to a big epiphany. (-Publisher's Weekly)


November 21, 2016 issue



"LOve is" book review

BY CHarnaie

Perfect for Valentine’s Day—or any tender moment—this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned. (...Read more)

89.3 KPCC / The Frame

by Erika Aguilar

When Claire Keane was six years old, she wanted to paint the walls and ceiling in her bedroom with murals.

She never got to.

But decades later, Keane would find herself in a virtual fairytale tower castle, where her childhood dreams came true.

“Drawing,” Keane said flipping through a colorful sketchbook. “That’s where it’s at for me.”

Claire Keane reviews her latest pastel drawings at her art studio at her home in Venice. She uses pastel sketches to inspire artwork in other mediums. “I can draw in color, which is kind of fun,” Keane says. “I feel more connected to drawing then I do to painting.” (Read more here)


From Disney to Dream Life: Author and Illustrator Claire Keane Brings Family Magic to Her First Picture Book

by iva-marie palmer

I have sons. Two wonderful sons. And though there’s a chance with the second, who’s only 5-months-old, I’ve so far had no indication that Boy Number One is ever going to sit through a princess movie with me. All things pink and purple hold little appeal for him.

And yet … when I opened Claire Keane’s beautiful first book, Once Upon a Cloud, the pages swirling with pink and purple and some kind of magic, Clark, my 4-year-old, came and snuggled up next to me. We read the book several times, following a little girl who must dream up the right gift for her mom.

Maybe Clark, who’s wont to pick a flower for me each morning as he leaves for school, identified with the heroine. Or maybe he just couldn’t help but be captivated by Keane’s gorgeous work. After all, she has a gift, one inherited and honed ( more)

B&N Reads

March’s Picture Book of the Month, Once Upon a Cloud, Is a Colorful Story Filled with Wonder

by molly schoermann-mccann

March’s B&N Picture Book of the Month, Once Upon a Cloud, is the stunning debut picture book from Disney Animation Studios visual development artist Claire Keane, who most recently lent her talents to the blockbuster films Tangled and Frozen. Every page is saturated with color, from the deep purples to pale pinks, and the result is a breathtaking visual treat (... read more)


"The Family Circle: A Conversation with Claire Keane"

by Jocelyne Barchet

Her grandfather, Bil Keane, created the legendary comic strip The Family Circus. Her father, Glen Keane, was named a Disney Legend in 2013 for his contribution through character animation on such films as Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. Now, Claire Keane is carrying on the family tradition, not only with her work at the Walt Disney Animation Studios as a Visual Development Artist, conceptualizing for wildly successful films like Tangled and Frozen, but also with her new visually stunning book "Once Upon a Cloud", in stores today! Her new book is described as "a story about finding unexpected inspiration and giving from the heart," exactly how you could summarize Claire's life story, which, by the way, she was kind enough to recently share with me... 
Jocelyne Barchet: Tell me about your early life and what it was like growing up in Southern California- Did you spend much time with your dad at the Disney Studios as a kid?
Claire Keane: I grew up drawing a lot at home. ( more)


The Art of “Tangled” – interview with Claire Keane

by kirill grouchnikov

If you’re new here, let me introduce myself – i’m a giant fan of “Tangled”. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, it sweeps you off your feet. A visual journey so wonderful that you catch yourself watching it over and over again, discovering yet another subtle layer of colors, textures, strokes and shapes. A splendid feast for your eyes that passes by in a blink of an eye without you noticing how the time has passed. In short, a movie that sets the bar so high that you never expect another movie in the same genre to be quite on the same level.

So you can only imagine my excitement when Claire Keane has graciously agreed to answer a few questions i had about her work on “Tangled” and the animation industry in general. Going under the rather dry title of “conceptual artist”, Claire’s work spans the entire movie, from the leading characters to Rapunzel’s surroundings – not to mention the intricate details of her magic hair ( more)



by sunny chanel

Artist Claire Keane makes ridiculously beautiful images. Her style may feel familiar to you, and for good reason, she has touched all our lives with her work as a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Keane made “significant contributions” in character development for both Tangled and Frozen, and after leaving Disney in 2012, she is poised to make “significant contributions” to our bookshelves. This month Keane’s first picture book Once Upon a Cloud, a whimsical and dreamy tale, was released to add enchantment to storytimes everywhere ( more)


Here’s one to hand to any kid that still can’t get enough of Frozen.

by carter higgins

And when you do, give them a little wink-nudge that this book’s creator worked on what Elsa and Anna’s world looked like. And she worked on Tangled. And then they will see the lush purple cover anyway, and sometimes that’s all it takes.

Meet Celeste. She wants the perfect gift for her mom. Big eyes. Big dreams. (Sweet bear expression. And do you see those little shoes she’s kicked off? Even sweeter.)

Celeste is stumped. When she’s about to fall asleep, the Wind carries her away.

She sparkles with the Stars and then meets the Moon and the Sun. ( more)