Bob Elias spent his boyhood immersed in the beauty of Carmel by-the-Sea. His aesthetic appetite developed at an early age, as did his artistic ability. He has memory of being recognized in kindergarten for his ability to draw. His talent was regarded as a gift, and as such, he was afforded every possible opportunity to develop and grow as an artist. Being a true baby-boomer, hours were spent in front of the television, and when he had the choice, cartoons illuminated the screen, and his mind.
A move to southern California brought a new perspective to his life in two dramatic forms; surfing, and Disneyland. Cartoons had come to life, and when he entered the Magic Kingdom, he felt like he was in heaven. Ultimately, he had an opportunity to be a cast member on Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship in Fantasyland. Bob entered the sign industry right out of high school, and began a twenty-some year adventure as a commercial sign-painter. His talents as a cartoonist and illustrator set his work apart from the mainstream.
Migrating to the Bay Area afforded myriad creative opportunities, and he was able to work for a large shop in San Francisco. Beautifully hand-lettered signs with his crisp, rhythmic lettering could be seen all over San Francisco and the surrounding area. Special talents as a muralist afforded him to leave his creative touch in private homes, and exclusive hotel suites in San Francisco and Las Vegas.
In 2005, Bob was given the opportunity to submit artwork to the Walt Disney Company, and he began to produce original paintings based on either Park Themes and Attractions, or Disney’s Family of Cartoon Characters. His dream had come true. He continues to produce original paintings as one of Disney’s Featured Artists, and his distinctive works are for sale exclusively in Licensed Disney Galleries.
Attending a workshop, “Thinking with the Chuck Jones Side of Your Brain “, at the Bowers Museum, Bob was introduced to the Chuck Jones family, and his legacy of creativity. Remarkably, that experience lead to an invitation to donate a painting to one of the “Chuck Jones’ Center for Creativity” fund-raising events. His gracious welcome by the family, and their appreciation for his interest in “All Things Chuck Jones ” led to an invitation to submit designs for, and ultimately, produce original paintings of the cartoon characters that captured his imagination since childhood.
Another dream has been realized, and Bob is allowed to paint these beloved characters that kept him glued to the TV (…and keep him glued to this day.) He especially enjoys working from Chuck’s conceptual drawings, or model sheets, and placing them in his own world of creativity. Furthermore, participating in events such as “The Chuck Jones Big Draw” afford Bob an additional honor of perpetuating Chuck’s legacy.
When afforded the time and opportunity, Bob loves to spend time painting the world of surfing, one of his lifelong loves. Bob lives in Orange County, California.