4 Amazing Artists Featured at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is underway and will run through February 20. One of Walt Disney World’s premiere annual events, the festival celebrates the act of creation, with brilliant visual arts displays, delicious food, and inspiring musical performances. 

While the entirety of the celebration is a joy, perhaps the most amazing aspect is the ability to view original artwork created especially for the festival and meet the artists responsible for its creation. This week, we’ll preview just a few of the talented individuals participating.   



Nidhi Chanani

Illustrator, cartoonist, and author Nidhi Chanani will return to the Festival of the Arts this year. She will appear in the France Pavilion with four new pieces created especially for the event. 

In 2017, Chanani released her debut graphic novel “Pashmina.” Two years later the rights to the story were purchased by Netflix to be made into a motion picture with Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) set to direct. In October 2018, she published a graphic novel through Dark Horse entitled, “Jasmine’s New Pet,” based on Disney’s Aladdin. 

The four pieces she will display, “Ticket to Believe,” “Good is a Thing You Do,” “You’re Never Without Me,” and “I Give My Hope to You,” draw their inspiration from Disney parks, Pixar, and the groundbreaking 2022 mini-series Ms. Marvel. Like all of her work, the pieces are masterpieces of color that exude a sense of wonder and whimsy. 

Previewing the work on her Instagram, Chanani stated of the Ms. Marvel-inspired piece, “I know I shouldn’t pick a favorite but… IT’S MY FAVORITE!”

Each piece will be available throughout the duration of the festival, and Chanani will appear in the park for signings from February 13 through the 20th. To see more of her art, check out her webpage Every Day Love



Jerrod Maruyama

In an article in Astrum People, Jerrod Maruyama’s early life is described as follows, “Jerrod was born and raised in San Jose, California. His early years he spent underperforming at school, avoiding organized sports and drawing. He started out his career as a hack – attempting to copy his older brother’s drawings of war scenes and Godzilla.”

That sounds like a pretty amazing start to me, and he’s translated those early days into a career creating some of the most charming and unique art you are ever likely to lay your eyes on.

Over the years, Maruyama has had clients including Disney, Netflix, Target, Sesame Workshop, Dreamworks, and Warner Bros., to name just a few. And the one thing you can count on when looking at a Maruyama piece? It’s going to be adorable.

 The pieces created for the Festival of the Arts draw from Disney princesses, Pixar’s Turning Red, Pixar’s Luca, and Journey Into Imagination with Figment. They can be found in the Odyssey Pavilion, which is located between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion, and Maruyama will be in the park to sign his work from February 10 through 14.

For more on his various projects, visit his personal page.



Ashley Taylor

A perennial fan favorite, Ashley Taylor returns to this year’s festival with four pieces based on Moana, Tinker Bell, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. Her display can be found in the France Pavilion, and she will be making appearances from January 13-21, and February 17-20.

A freelance illustrator and artist living in California, Taylor first fell in love with art because of the film Sleeping Beauty and has drawn inspiration from such legendary Disney artists as Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle. Over the years, she has worked with companies including Disney, Marvel, and Studio Ghibli. One of her latest projects included working on the design for the new finale float in the Main Street Electrical Parade. 

Her pieces this year are titled, “Find Your Way,” “The Best Day,” “I Believe” and “Wishing and Hoping,” the latter of which continues a series of pieces that Taylor has created from Cinderella. Writing about the Moana-inspired piece (Find Your Way), Taylor wrote, “ I wanted to show Moana reflecting on her growth, challenges, lessons, and mentors throughout her journey. And how she decides that the time is right to become the leader she wants to be – knowing that she can add some new skills and lessons for the people of Motunui.”

For a look at each piece, as well as her other creations, visit her personal Instagram page.



Fenway Fan

Pop over to Fenway Fan’s website, and you’ll see that she describes herself as “a happy soul currently wandering and capturing every sparkle moment in this world. My life is canvas, my mind is paint, my body is brush — I’m creating and living in my own art wonderland.” Based on that alone, you can tell that her art is going to be exuberant. 

Influenced and mentored by contemporary artist Ding Yi, Fan has worked with Disney, Hasbro, Blizzard, Illumination Entertainment, The Metropolitan Opera, and many others. In addition, her work has appeared in venues such as the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, Disney’s Wonderground Gallery, and Times Center. She describes her work as, “treading a fine line between the subconscious and mysterious archetype.”

For Epcot’s Festival of the Arts, she created the pieces, “My Home My Temple,” inspired by Pixar’s Turning Red, “My Pretty Pretty Hat,” based on Wanda Vision, “Improvisation – Castle and Fireworks,” and “Improvisation – Tree of Life.”  The work can be found in the Wonderground Gallery Tent located in the Odyssey Pavilion, and Fan will be signing from January 13-19. 

For a closer look at the work of Fenway Fan, visit her webpage


Inspiration Everywhere!

Those are just a small sampling of the talent represented in this year’s festival, and with over 100 artists participating in the event, there will be inspiration hiding around every corner of the park. It’s an amazing opportunity for anyone who loves art, creation, and imagination, and the works present are genuine treasures.

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