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Daniel Killen Named Official Artist of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Orange County Artist Daniel Killen Named Official Artist of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Killen to Create Posters Leading up to the 50th Anniversary in 2021 of the Iconic Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Classic Chuck Jones Cartoon Characters, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Return in the “Full of Hot Air” Poster

Costa Mesa, CA: The Chuck Jones Companies of Costa Mesa announced today that Orange County artist, Daniel Killen, has been selected to create the poster images for the iconic Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta leading up to its 50th anniversary in 2021. Killen, represented by the Chuck Jones Companies for his work incorporating the Looney Tunes cartoon characters made famous by four-time Academy Award recipient, Chuck Jones, has produced the first of four images, “Full of Hot Air” for this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The official 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta poster by Daniel Killen. It is a fine art serigraph, printed one color at a time on archival paper, 30″ x 20″.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to represent the spirit and joy of the first Fiesta and the 50th coming in 2021, said Killen. ”This first image, “Full of Hot Air”, shows the morning sun breaking over the Sandia Mountains outside of Albuquerque with the Road Runner aloft in an early rising balloon and each subsequent poster image will represent another part of the same day as Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner participate in the festivities of the Fiesta until the last one has them enjoying a sunset over the western plains.”

“Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner appeared in the very first posters for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta,” said Lisa Mulder, merchandise manager for the Balloon Fiesta, “and bringing them back to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary seemed like the right thing to do. We’re delighted with Daniel’s concept and artwork and feel it represents the exuberance and fun spirit of this international gathering of balloon fanatics”.

According to Craig Kausen, president of the Chuck Jones Companies and Chuck Jones’s grandson, “My grandfather was fond of quoting American philosopher, George Santayana, about Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, ’A fanatic is someone who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.’ We’re extremely happy that the comic genius of my grandfather has been channeled so perfectly into Daniel Killen’s artwork for this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.”

The Chuck Jones Companies announced that they will be selling a very limited number of hand-embellished Artist Proofs of “Full of Hot Air” through their Chuck Jones Galleries in Orange County, San Diego, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. An interest list is forming, contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant for more details.

About Daniel Killen

Daniel Killen was born in 1965 and raised along the coast of Southern California, where he still lives and calls home. The youngest of four, Daniel’s family originally immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1963. Always feeling like an outsider, he began creating and using his imagination to cope with his own shyness.  As a child, Daniel created creatures and worlds out of clay, cardboard, and any other items lying around the house. His love for creating grew to include illustrating and painting all of which set the course for his life’s goal of being an artist.

He studied animation at Roland Animation School in Hacienda, California. Learning the basics of 2D animation principles, Daniel was recruited in mid-1995 by Warner Bros. where he worked in their animation division on Space Jam starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Trained primarily in visual effects, he fulfilled a lifelong dream on his first professional Hollywood project by getting to work with all the classic Looney Tunes characters. Performing tasks as an animator’s assistant, he was given the responsibility of animating certain EFX scenes on his own. These experiences lead to work on eight additional animated feature films over the next eight years for Warner Bros. and DreamWorks SKG Animation Studio. Daniel also created concept and prop designs for Warner Bros. The Iron Giant, directed by Brad Bird, where he designed the giant’s visual readout, including the font design used in all scenes where the giant’s viewfinder was shown. He also was responsible for the creation of other items in the movie as well as the words ATOMIC HOLOCOST, which reads across the main character’s Duck and Cover school safety film.

His other movies for Warner Bros. were The Quest for Camelot and Osmosis Jones with Bill Murray. DreamWorks SKG projects included working in the EFX department, on Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. He also did freelance work for Rich Animation’s The King and I. Daniel continued to hone his drawing and painting skills in classes provide by the major studios, as well as the Animators Union.

Daniel now works with the Chuck Jones Gallery bringing to canvas such inspired Warner Bros. properties as The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, The Iron Giant, and the classic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and the Road Runner. Greatly influenced by such artistic giants as Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper, Frank Frazetta, and Chuck Jones, Daniel incorporates sly wit, poetic beauty, and adventurous themes into his work. He brings his whimsical sense of humor, pleasing colors, and clever layout to all his creative endeavors. In 2018, Daniel was chosen by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to create the poster for the 2018 Fiesta and to conceptualize and execute the designs for future posters leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the Fiesta in 2021.

Daniel Killen signing posters at the headquarters of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 23, 2018.

About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

From a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to become the largest balloon event in the world. Held each year during the first week in October, the Balloon Fiesta now attracts almost 600 balloons and 1000 pilots.

The first gathering of 13 balloons in 1972 was held in the parking lot of Coronado Center Mall in Albuquerque. The following year, 13 countries took part in the “First World Hot Air Balloon Championship”, the world’s largest ballooning event, held at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. By 1978 Albuquerque was playing host to 273 entries. The number of balloons steadily increased, with 600 in 1988 and 903 balloons in 1999. The organizers of the Balloon Fiesta registered over 1000 balloons in the year 2000.

In 1972 there were about 10,000 guests that viewed the first Balloon Fiesta. Hundreds of thousands of guests visit Balloon Fiesta each year, and hundreds of thousands more fans watch the balloons from outlying areas and on TV. In order to accommodate the increases in balloons and guests, the Balloon Fiesta’s home field has grown from a corner in a mall parking lot, to its present home, a permanent site which is more than 350 acres.

The Balloon Fiesta has not only grown in numbers of balloons and guests, but in the number of unique events as well. In addition to the spectacular Mass Ascensions, the Balloon Fiesta has added the annual Balloon Glow, the Night Magic Glow™, and the Special Shape Rodeo™. These additions have grown to become guest favorites. In order to preserve the magic of these spectacular events, it is estimated that more than 25 million still photographs are taken of the Balloon Fiesta, repeatedly earning the title “the world’s most photographed event.”

For more information, visit www.BalloonFiesta.com.

About Chuck Jones Companies

The Chuck Jones Companies include Linda Jones Enterprises, the Chuck Jones Galleries, and the not-for-profit, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Linda Jones Enterprises was founded in 1977 by Chuck Jones and his daughter, Linda, as an art publishing company representing the art of the four-time Academy Award-winner, Chuck Jones. In 1991, the first Chuck Jones Showroom, a retail art gallery, opened in Corona del Mar, California. The Chuck Jones Galleries quickly grew to three locations besides Orange County, it now includes a location in San Diego’s historic Gas Lamp Quarter and the iconic Plaza area of old Santa Fe, New Mexico. The not-for-profit Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded in 1999 by Chuck Jones. Its mission is to inspire the innate creativity in all of us through the philosophies and work of Chuck Jones. Its vision is a world where creativity is known and experienced in every discipline, by the many, not just the few.

Visit www.ChuckJones.com for more details.

Images available upon request. Contact Robert Patrick at 949-660-7791 x 1103 or by writing Robert@ChuckJonesCenter.org for interview and image requests.