A creative road from animation to fine art


Robert Tyler was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles as child.

His natural inclination for the visual arts was encouraged by an elementary school teacher who worked as a cell painter at the Walt Disney Studios. She showed some of her cells in class and Tyler was hooked.

However, his Disney destiny may have revealed itself years earlier. “The first movie I ever saw was ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’,” he said. “I was three years old.”

After graduating from John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, Tyler attended the Chouinard Art Institute, a professional school founded in 1921 and merged with the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music in 1961 to form the California Institute of the Arts—also known as CalArts.

While at Chouinard, Tyler focused on cartooning and life drawing.

Portfolio in hand, Tyler landed a job at the Walt Disney Studios…in the mail room. (Yes, this is how Hollywood works.) Soon after, in 1967, he was given an animation desk and the opportunity to prove himself artistically. His first assignment was working with animator John Lounsbery on "Robin Hood." In addition, Disney invested in Tyler by paying for additional classes in the evenings.

Around this time, he met Leo Sullivan, an accomplished animator and future Emmy Award winner who became a life-long friend. Tyler was mentored by several of the greatest Disney artists including Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, Eric Larson, and Johnny Bond.

As Tyler’s creativity, confidence and reputation grew, his professional credits multiplied. He worked for Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, Murakami-Wolf Productions, Chuck Jones Studio, Warner Bros. and more. He won an Emmy for his work on “The Simpsons.” See his IMDB profile for a list of projects.

By 2011, after 40+ years in animation, Tyler was ready for a new creative outlet. He turned to fine art, drawing inspiration from many places to depict subjects as varied as landscapes, faces, masks, cars, and music. His preferred mediums are oil painting and block printing.

Tyler’s work has been exhibited in several shows, including a month-long exhibits in May 2014 and July 2016 at The Animation Guild’s Gallery 839. See photos from the exhibition.


Today, Tyler’s giclée prints are an affordable way to collect the work of a unique American artist.


Copyright © 2018 Robert Tyler All Rights Reserved.