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SATURDAY SIX Artist Spotlight: The Theme Park Artwork of Bryan Bindman

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This week the SATURDAY SIX Proudly Presents: The Theme Park Artwork of BRYAN BINDMAN! To coincide with Disney’s Festival of the Arts, each February the SATURDAY SIX spotlights artists in the theme park community. Each of these artist spotlight features gives us a chance to appreciate an artist whose work uses characters, attractions, or any other part of the Disney or Universal theme parks. We began this annual tradition in 2021 and have continued each year (you can find previous artist features by CLICKING HERE.) The class of 2024 kicked of with Jamie S., followed by Jess Feldman, and today we are putting a focus on the wonderful, whimsical, and sometimes a bit wicked art of Bryan Bindman.

::gulps down Dr. Pepper and slams it::

Thank you Derek for this incredible honor! I’m so proud to be following in the footsteps of many of my contemporaries who’ve been previously featured. It’s exciting to finally say I have my own Saturday Six (TM, copyright 2024. All rights and registered trademarks the copyright of Major League Baseball)

Today, I want to talk about the six things that inspire my work.

# 6 – HORROR

In Massachusetts, we had a place called Spooky World. It was a local farmland with a hayride, but a BIG BUDGET hayride- there were pyramids, flying saucers, and even an Elm Street set piece. It was the first big horror attraction I’d ever known.

This was my introduction to what Horror could be — it was the dark end of the forest, it was the cryptids lurking in the woods, it was local lore and movie villains. It cemented Halloween as a bigger thing than just trick-or-treating.

I sometimes miss the cool air, the crunch of the leaves, and putting on some cheap Halloween mask from  CVS. The local baseball fields and empty schoolhouses suddenly turned into exaggerated insane asylums and murder houses (with a few student volunteers) during October.

Thematically, I just love drawing horror- skulls, chainsaws, bloody apparatuses and weird creatures. It’s a great palette cleanser after doing so many smiley cartoons. You explore a different side of myth (and of yourself) when illustrating it.

And of course, I love our local haunts as well.


I was once convinced that I would be an architecture major. It made sense – I have an extensive library of books on Disney Imagineering, I adored the book California Crazy, and I loved the functionality of giant arenas. As a kid, I used to draw structurally excessive, balcony-laden concert halls in my spare time.

I took one year of architecture and was known more for bashing a chair once in frustration rather than any of my actual drawings.

Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California.

Thankfully, I still love the look of crown moldings and Greek column work. Buildings can represent a lot to different people. An arena holds memories of so many concerts and sporting events. A theme park has shops. show buildings and restaurants that switch out. A city has cultural landmarks that sit awaiting maintenance. And they can all change on the outside but still contain fond memories one has. Every time I create something, someone wants to talk about a memory they had with that place, and that’s special to me.

Amoeba Music in Berkley, California.

Again, a lot of it overlaps within the theme park world, and even outside them…


…and some places can just set the perfect mood without having people around.

Bulldog Cafe in Los Angeles.

Architecture is much like music – it can elicit a time, a place, a mood all on its own.


In my sophomore year of high school, I bounced onto the stage in the ensemble of “How 2 Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, and became the go-to guy for absurd characters right into college. Since then, my love of theatre blossomed. Orlando has such a rich theatre circuit – from the theme parks, to the International Fringe Festival, to the numerous local productions of one-act plays, burlesque, and musicals – there is always something to inspire or capture. I’ve been so grateful to meet so many people through performing, and I find joy in capturing them as individuals, or just the general vibe of a production in a sketch or poster.

I recently visited Broadway for the very first time. There was an electricity to New York, and nothing shook me awake quite like HADESTOWN. Stepping into a musty renovated movie house with rustic furnishings and being taken by the blues-induced music, the sets, and the sorrowful nature of my favorite Greek tragedy – it floored me. I went home and furiously drew up a picture of the cast. A couple of months later, several of the key players had already left. It was impossible to be current.

You know what doesn’t change much? The sets. So I began infusing the same minimalism from my attraction posters into sets of famous Broadway musicals.

I still love capturing casts in general, and this is where it overlaps with the parks again. Live entertainment is the backbone of Orlando. Maybe it’s a form of sadism, maybe it’s a challenge to myself (or maybe it comes from being left out of a few cast photos), but I love seeing how many people I can put into a particular piece and pay homage to them.

I’m still pretty proud of one of the largest things I ever did – I call it the ULTIMATE Bill and Ted’s Halloween Adventure. Approximately 104 characters, a couple from each year of the show. Some of the shows were impossible to find pictures or video of, so it was quite an achievement. On top of that, halfway through coloring the file became corrupt, so I had to restart the coloring from scratch. Some of the picks are just faves, some are friends, and some are nods to people who have passed on.


Speaking of live entertainment, there’s a weird Venn diagram where the interests in the theme park community intersect between rides, shows, and pro wrestling.

What do we all love? PAGEANTRY. SPECTACLE. A solid story of good vs. evil in the face of the odds.

This all started when my dad took me to a WWF house show at the Worcester Centrum in 1993. It wasn’t until the main event arrived that I truly became hooked: The arena lights went out, a swirly fog arose, and a deafening funeral dirge began, igniting the crowd into a pop that threatened to blow the roof off. This was signaling the arrival of the UNDERTAKER.

The Undertaker was supernatural. He was horror encapsulated, with theatrics to support him. A living zombie who felt no pain, who his opponents ran from in fear. That’s what drew me into wrestling.

Wrestling has always been about characters, and that is reflected in my work. Wrestling, like theme parks and theatre, has its assortment of archetypes with brightly colored costumes and huge amounts of pomp and circumstance. There are stories and speculation around it, much like the parks, and oftentimes wrestlers themselves are huge parks fans too!

With wrestling, I find it’s more fun capturing the actual person or character rather than a move. I like moments over drawing the actual wrestling, though I have done an occasional Austin-in-a-Bret Hart sharpshooter, or Razor Ramon punching Shawn Michaels.

Seriously, are they ever going to build a Hall of Fame in Orlando? Make it happen!


It was inevitable. This wouldn’t be a SATURDAY SIX without talking parks, and so much of what I love overlaps with them. I blame my parents for bringing me to Orlando since I was a tyke. My mother worked for Tupperware, so we would sandwich in a vacation during her contained convention schedule and take fresh trips to the parks.

When I was about nine years old, my family was on one of our semi-annual Florida trips when my dad turned to me and said “Tomorrow, we should go to that new park”

“New Park….?”. We had already been to Epcot and MGM. What was he talking about?

Our rental car pulled into the open parking lot off Kirkman Road and I was glued to the window. I saw this sparkling silver globe with the letters UNIVERSAL, spinning around dancing fountains, with the bright orange splat of the Nickelodeon sign in the distance.

After a brisk walk from the parking lot to the front archway with its cool gray tones, you entered a world where King Kong, time-traveling, and ghost-busting all existed in the same universe. Marvel heroes fought in New York, Charlie Chaplin danced in Hollywood, and you could get a picture in front of the PSYCHO house.

Universal has been a big part of my life, whether it’s been memories I made there as a kid or the friends I’ve made there currently. I laugh looking back at the evolution of reading Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park in my room, seeing Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park in theaters, and then getting to actually ride the Jurassic Park River Adventure in real life. I had more fondness for Back to the Future films because of going on the ride first. (I’m a Part 2 guy, btw)

Seeing the parks evolve – especially in the post Wizarding World era – has been exciting to watch, but I won’t deny missing some of the classic places from years past.

Recently, I’ve been drawing what I call “Storybook Maps”. They’re child-like interpretations of previous attractions or areas. I wanted to harken back to the fun maps and souvenir placemats that were produced for the many cities and tourist destinations in the 90s. They often had oversized characters next to small buildings, and they tended to capture the vibe rather than the realism of scale.

I’m glad I explored this way of illustrating. It took me years to figure out how to do a JAWS piece. I got constant requests for it, and I could never figure out how to do something that didn’t just emulate any of the ephemera that was already present. Every time I sat down to draw it, it looked off – you had 10 different sharks jumping out of the water to depict every single scene.

I created a set of rules for doing this – no faces, for one, because you are automatically drawn to pupils and it distracts from everything. I also purposely turned the buildings around so the more iconic facades are all pictured, but everything is still in the (relatively) correct place. The most fun was putting all the easter eggs in: the Universal monsters are prizes for one game, the characters from the movie AND the queue line video are sprinkled throughout, and there’s even a hidden Steven Spielberg in it!


As much as I am influenced by the various people, places and things mentioned above, the biggest inspiration to me has always been Disney.

While I had my share of Santa’s Villages and tourist traps in my elementary school years, nothing compared to stepping foot into a submarine and diving 20,000 leagues under the Sea. Sure, every mom-and-pop amusement park had a carousel or even a low-budget dark ride, but only Disney dared to submerge you in depths of almost 8 feet of water with crudely moving fish and octopi.

Just the fascination with having animatronics underwater, and seeing sunken ships and Atlantis itself made me a fan of the Magic Kingdom instantly.

As I got older, however, my favorite park became Disney MGM/Hollywood Studios. The atmosphere of old Hollywood and taking that three-hour backlot tour had an effect on me. This was a time when the magic of Hollywood was still pretty behind the scenes, so seeing even the smallest of props from one of your favorite films was exciting.

(By the way, the shopping cart is from THE LOTTERY, starring Bette Midler.)

When I got older, my dad and I would conquer Pleasure Island at night, and we would bounce between the Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse, then catch the New Year’s Eve show. I feel extremely lucky knowing I was able to experience this since it was, in fact, short-lived. I lovingly tried to cram as much into drawing the original layout and referencing many of the tenants over the years – there’s even a tiny Frankie and the West End Boys!

The parks continue to inspire me, either directly or indirectly. It’s partly a blend of nostalgia, partly appreciation of craftwork, and partly love of design. It keeps me feeling whimsical about my work.

That’s it, the six influences of Bindman! Thank you so much for enjoying my Saturday Six! I hope you all were entertained.

You can find me on Instagram or Facebook at Bindman Art, on Twitter/X as @BBindman, or usually walking down Sunset Boulevard wearing my patented combination of a black flat cap and some obnoxious shirt.

So there you have it: The Theme Park Artwork of  Bryan Bindman! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out the THEME PARK ENJOYMENT INDEX, giving a monthly recap of all the theme park news you need to know (and a lot more you don’t need to know, but we’re gonna tell you anyway). You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: 

Artist Spotlight Class of 2021: SonderQuest | Sam Carter | Brian Cooper | Sterling Denham

Artist Spotlight Class of 2022: Rob Yeo | Ava Buric | Jess Siswick | Hayden Evans

Artist Spotlight Class of 2023: Marie Catano | Savannah Hamilton | Bunny Wars

Artist Spotlight Class of 2023: Jaime S. | Jess Feldman | Bryan Bindman

SATURDAY SIX Presents: Artists Inspired by Universal’s VELOCICOASTER

SATURDAY SIX Presents: Artists Inspired by Universal’s HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS

SATURDAY SIX Artists Inspired by HHN Series: Dead Skull

Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, Digital Maestro Scott Walker, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, artist @SonderQuest, the mighty maven of merchandise Hedgehog’s Corner, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and “the Dadalorian” Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, charter member of the Universal Four @Nitro230, the permit princess Alicia Stella, master cartographer Tommy Hawkins, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Absolutely no help was added by SeaWorld Influencer @SuperWeenieHtJr. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.


Bill and Ted may be gone from Halloween Horror Nights, but they will live in our hearts and minds forever.

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One thought on “SATURDAY SIX Artist Spotlight: The Theme Park Artwork of Bryan Bindman

  • I am very proud of my son Bryan to have received this honor. I enjoy sharing his artistic and creative talent to my family and friends. Bryan always had the ability to put down on paper his thoughts in a clear and entertaining style.
    From Bryan’s earliest years we would purchase multiple sketch pads from the Christmas Tree Shops. Bryan would draw as we drove in the car to theme parks, up and down the east coast, upstate New York and Canada. We thoroughly enjoyed these family trips, and I documented all in thousands of family photos.


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