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Disney’s films, TV series and theme parks are meaningful to all sorts of people. Young kids are often exposed to the “Magical World of Disney” from an early age, falling in love with their characters and their worlds of make-believe. But the feelings fans have for Disney princesses, princes — even evil queens — last longer than childhood. Adults who head to Disney World for weekend getaways, snapping pics with their favorite characters, prove that’s the case.
There’s also no shortage of Disney fans who grow up to become artists, incorporating their love of Disney’s characters and worlds into their own work, sometimes as creative homages to the fantasies that kickstarted their artistic journey.
One of those such artists is Marciano Palácio, who at 25 years old has been creating art professionally since 2015. Despite loving to draw as a child, he never realized that life as an artist was a possibility until only a few years ago. “It always seemed like a really distant possibility, so drawing was always of a hobby than a real career option while I was growing up,” he tells Hornet.
But while in college, he realized that his “hobby” was taking up more of his time than any other thing; he had to find a way to become an artist professionally.
One series of illustrations in particular caught our eyes recently — a series in which Disney princesses are seen meeting young boys. The images offer up a powerful message: that Disney princesses aren’t just for girls. Boys can have a strong affinity for these beloved characters, too!
Marciano tells us the story of how this series of illustrations, which he refers to as “Disney Princesses for All,” first came about:
In 2016, I made an illustration of Princess Jasmine meeting a little girl. It was like she was facing a younger version of herself in that little girl, and I liked it! As I have a huge amount of female followers, I wanted them to see their own younger selves in this little girl, but also, as a little boy who loved Disney princesses, and as a man who still loves these characters, I started to think what it would be like to draw these Disney princesses meeting little fan boys, representing other guys like me.
After a friend confirmed with him that it was indeed an important message that people needed to see, Marciano put pen to paper. “It was really great, because after I posted it, I saw that other male artists started to draw little versions of them finding the princesses. I think this is the reason we do what we do as artists — this chance to touch people, to inspire them to feel something about their life, so they can feel represented or warmed in a little place in their hearts,” he says.
“And it’s also really cool to spread the message that it’s OK for boys to feel inspired by strong female examples!” says Marciano. “Women, as with men, can be really awesome role models for everyone, no matter their age, sexual identity, race or anything else.”
Marciano’s biggest hope is that one day Disney will recognize his work and that maybe he’ll be able to create something for them — “Even if it’s just a small thing,” he says. As you can imagine, as a child he was a huge fan of Disney films, most especially the Disney princesses.
“The female Disney characters were always my favorites! I think that as characters and with their stories, they carry important values and life perspectives, like strength, hope, kindness and other qualities that can inspire girls and boys around the world to be better versions of themselves.”
While not all of Marciano’s work involves Disney princesses, he does enjoy fan art most of all. (Other fan art of his includes work depicting Lady Gaga, Cher and various TV series.) “Basically, I like to draw whatever inspires me,” he says. “I really love fan art because I think it’s a cool way to express my love and admiration for what inspires me as an artist, and share my vision of these already known and loved themes with other people who have the same passions I have.”