Professional Artist Shares His Talents



Allen “Tony” Adams has broken through in the art field and continues to practice his talent as well as help others.
Having a profession which one truly enjoys may seem like a far off dream, but for Allen “Tony” Adams it is a reality.

Adams has spent the majority of his life doing what he loves; painting, both for his own enjoyment and professionally. He was able to work at Walt Disney Studios. After years of taking multiple classes himself, he decided to settle in the Bay Area and give back to the community by providing various classes at the local Coos Art Museum.

“I really enjoy teaching,” Adams said. “Many times I learn from students because when you ask a question to 40 different students you get 40 different answers back.”

Adams has worked in the professional art industry for over 40 years. After the few years he served in the Korean War, he enrolled himself in the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Calif. Afterwards, he applied to various art studios but was denied due to the need of experience, which he lacked.

“I had heard that one of the best ways to break in was to go to Walt Disney Studios,”

Adams said.

With Adams being involved in such a known franchise, he appeals to younger artists who want to pursue further in art, such as sophomore Amy Norton.

“Coos Bay is small so it’s really cool to have someone who worked professionally in the art field, especially at Disney, to be teaching an animations class,” Norton said. “I would hope to learn more in that field and use it towards my future.”

Senior Shasta Banks said she enjoys the art scene but wishes there was more to support it.

“It’s not every day we get someone so neat in the community,” Banks said. “We already have a very artistic community, but it’s so underground. This could help.”

After taking a test to challenge his abilities, Adams was hired as an apprentice at Disney for a month. Over time, he worked his way into animation.

“I wanted to get into the background department but it seemed nearly impossible, and that I could only be an animator,” Adams said. “I had learned to paint, and I was stuck using a pencil so I left and joined General Dynamics.”

General Dynamics is an American aerospace and defense cooperation, and the world’s fifth largest defense contractor.

Adams used his talents there to help develop references toward plane blueprints. The company would then take his paintings and offer them to the government.

“I always liked planes so it was like learning while I was earning,” Adams said. “Before computers were around, if they wanted a picture that depicted what the plane would look like, I’d paint them. It took research to bring it to life, but I really enjoyed it.”

After working for General Dynamics, Adams and his wife moved to Oregon, where he could paint scenery and teach classes.

In the upcoming months Adams will be teaching an animations class and beginner drawing class at the Coos Art Museum.

“I took a lot of classes, starting when I was 15, and still take a lot of classes,” Adams said. “It takes studying and hard work for it all to pay off.”

Norton said offering classes to the public can broaden the creativity in the area and help students achieve their ultimate potential.

“This could help artists because you can learn to do something that you didn’t think that you could do,” Norton said.

These classes could be incorporated in the way students interact at school and activities, and improve their abilities to the benefit of others.

“It could help those who are in artistic positions, like theatre,” Banks said. “The experience could help makeup artists and costume design take their creativity further.”