"I Don't Care How Long It Takes": This Young Animator Says She'll Keep Drawing Outside Of Pixar's Gates Until They Give Her A Chance

·4 min read

This is Jessie Plascencia, a 22-year-old student at San Francisco State University who gained the attention of over 7.1 million people when she declared, "My dream is to someday work at Pixar."

A closeup of Jessie smiling
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

"So, what better way to get their attention than to chalk draw in front of their gates?" Jessie posed before getting to work outside of Pixar's headquarters in Emeryville, California. To start, Jessie picked up a new set of chalk and brought to life an illustration of the character Giulia from the animation studios' film Luca.

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

In the now-viral video, Jessie — who is majoring in studio art with a minor in animation — walks viewers through her process: applying a hard press for pigment; using yellow in the eyes for realism; blending with the palm of her hand, and five different colors for the skin tone; and finally, signing her work with her username for contact.

An accurate chalk drawing of a Pixar character on the sidewalk

You can watch the full video here.

TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

Fueling her drive, viewers flooded Jessie's comment section with a wave of support:

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

So, she went back the next day to draw two more characters, and, catching the 22-year-old by surprise, three Pixar employees were searching for her. "The art director was the one saying, 'I found her!'" Jessie recalled while mimicking the group's excitement as they approached her. "The security guard told me, 'All the employees are talking about you right now.' So I'm freaking out!"

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

Inspired by their encouragement, Jessie went on to submit her resume for the company's summer internship and continued drawing outside Pixar's gates in the meantime, including well-known characters like Mei Lee from Turning Red...

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

...Joe from Soul...

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

...Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc...

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

...Nemo from Finding Nemo, and more.

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

"I don't care how long it takes," Jessie said. She's not taking no for an answer.

  San Francisco Chronicle / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
San Francisco Chronicle / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

To learn more about her path toward Pixar, BuzzFeed reached out to Jessie, who said, "I want to work for Pixar [because] it seems like all of their movies have a common theme to them: Everyone has a different story to tell, so what's yours? Whether it's a rat that can cook or a clownfish that can swim across an entire ocean, Pixar inspires me to believe in myself in a world where 'anyone can cook.'"

  TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com
TikTok: @cowboyjess / Via tiktok.com

"When I moved to the Bay Area, I couldn't believe how close I was to Pixar's studio. In 2020, I started bringing my chalk with me on walks so that I could manifest drawing every day at my dream studio," Jessie said. "When I would start drawing on the sidewalk, some of the colors I was using reminded me of the characters from movies like Soul and Inside Out, which inspired me to start drawing Pixar characters."

  Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Jessie was later informed that she did not get a spot in the summer internship, but she was offered a tour of Pixar's campus, and one employee sat down with her for lunch and let Jessie pick their brain. "I was also informed that Pixar employees were sharing my videos on their Slack channels as well," she said. "I was shocked at how many people were rooting for me."

Through the attention her viral video gained, Jessie has also been offered an opportunity to work as an illustrator for a children's book company.

Regardless of how the internship decision turned out, Jessie is intent on continuing her drawings and striving for a seat at Pixar's table. "[You have to] believe in yourself without a single doubt in your mind," she said. "Put all of your focus on what it is you CAN do and work from there. All of these other people can work for the company, so why can't you?"

If you'd like to keep up with Jessie, you can follow her on TikTok.