Dom Corona on Becoming a Disney Fine Artist
Dom Corona has always loved Disney and art. From a young age, he wanted to become a Disney artist, and he recently got the chance to create a piece for the Disney Springs art walk. Read about his journey becoming a Disney Fine Artist and his Instagram content strategy.
Who is Dom Corona?
As a kid, Dom’s family would go to Disney each year, which jumpstarted his love for Disney. His first drawing happened during his first trip to Disney World in 2003, where he drew a sorcerer Mickey in a little autograph book and had Mickey sign it. He was five then and still holds onto this as a memento of where he started.
His passion for art, drawing, and painting led him to take advanced art classes throughout high school.
“I would try and add Disney characters into my art, and my art teacher really hated it and would always ask me to do something else. She was like, “You have to stop painting Disney characters.” And just my whole life, I’ve always drawn or painted Mickey.”
From a young age, Dom knew he wanted to be a Disney artist, leading him to join the Disney College Program in 2016.
“It became my goal to become a Disney Fine Artist. Once I learned what that was and really being able to be an artist and have my own brand and being able to legally paint Disney characters and include them in my art.”
After the Disney College Program, he returned home and went into real estate and eventually marketing, working at several creative agencies. In his free time, he continued painting and began sharing his work on Instagram.
Dom’s Creative Process
When asked how long his paintings take, Dom shares that it varies dramatically based on the subject of the piece, where he is mentally, and how detailed the artwork is.
Dom paints on canvas with acrylic paints. His favorite part about using acrylic paint? If you hate how something looks, you can paint over it.
“I like that there’s flexibility with acrylic and the fact that it’s not permanent.”
One of Dom’s favorite pieces
His Instagram Journey
In early 2019, Dom shared his first painting online. He explains that sharing his pieces online made him even more excited to paint, and he continued to buy bigger canvases and paint whenever he could.
“My following was growing, and people were really excited to see it. I guess the public perception of my work was so encouraging that it made me want to do more and more, so it was very natural.”
His goal for Instagram is to create a legacy with his artwork.
“I would love to have it [my artwork] be, not just a living, but more of a legacy. I want it to be bigger than life, and hopefully, I’ll be able to sell paintings for a million dollars one day. So, I would say even more than a living. I want it to be kind of everything that I’m known for and about.”
His most popular post so far shared a Pluto piece that he raffled to raise money for an animal shelter in Orlando. The animal shelter was near and dear to his heart because he adopted his dog, Nemo, from it. Unfortunately, it burned down, so Dom decided to raffle his artwork of Pluto to help raise money for the shelter. This post received over 32,000 likes.
Dom shares that his dog Nemo seems to be always present in his most popular posts. For example, his first Instagram reel shared Nemo pretending to ride a Swifter like a broomstick from Harry Potter. This reel gained over 93,000 likes.
Instagram Content & Strategy
Dom’s content varies from sharing his artwork, his personal life, and, of course, lots of Disney Park content.
“I think that the more my heart is in a post, no matter what it is. I think that is what does the best, and it usually is art because that’s what is most important to me.”
He notes that he was initially reluctant to post Instagram reels, but once he started posting on reels, he found they gained strong engagement. Another strategy he has is creating multiple pieces of content from one art piece.
“People think you can only post something once, whether it’s an outfit or whatever. So, I try and take different bits of content with one art piece because I put all this work into this art piece, and I don’t want to just use it once, so I find different ways to reuse things and be creative.”
He also shares that consistency is key and makes a point to update his followers if he’s been away so that he isn’t just popping in and out with no context of what’s going on in his life.
Becoming a Disney Fine Artist
Some of Dom’s teammates at Disney Creator Lab shared that there was an opportunity that they thought he would benefit from and that a group of Imagineers wanted to meet with him.
Later that same day, Dom met with the Imagineers. Before finding out what the meeting was about, he had to sign confidentiality statements.
Then, they shared that they wanted him to complete a piece for the Disney Springs Art Walk, which was firmly rooted in diversity and inclusion. He was specifically asked if he would create a Pride piece for the art walk.
“I was most honored because that’s something that’s also really important to me, just being proud to be who you are, and I think that being able to show that and combine it with Disney and just where I’m at right now in life and having that be such an accomplishment for me was … I’m still in shock.”
The Creator Marketplace
In the past, Dom has worked with a variety of brands. One of his favorite collaborations was with a budget app company. For the collaboration, he created a painting of Donald Duck with bills called “Duck on a Budget.”
Although he’s had many good experiences with brands in the past, Dom shares he would love to see more content creators being paid fairly, as well as people not taking advantage of companies with fake followings or engagement.
“People actually getting paid what they deserve and people not knowing how to ask for what they deserve… and knowing that you’re worth more than that because you have an audience that cares about this product. So, I just hope that people know how to strategize better, and I hope that content creators become more educated about [this.].”
Dom shares that his work is currently being approved through Disney as all Disney Fine Art is put through a rigorous screening process to maintain character integrity. Currently, he’s preparing for prints of his work to be made.
Interested in Dom’s work? He shares that his pieces will soon be on the Disney Fine Art website. However, if you’re interested in commissioning a piece, he shares that you can DM him on Instagram or send him an email.