This week the SATURDAY SIX Proudly Presents: The Theme Park Artwork of Savannah Hamilton! 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 2023 kicked off with Marie Catano (@draw4theworld,) while today we are shining the spotlight on Savannah Hamilton (@savaemazz), who – believe it or not – is the second artist in this series to have their artwork featured on Broadway…
Savannah Hamilton: Hello everyone! Let me just start by saying I am extremely honored to be invited by Derek for a whole SATURDAY SIX feature! About a year ago, he invited me to be a part of the HHN Artist Spotlight (which I am still freaking out over), so to be invited for a full dedicated article is both exciting and a wee bit nerve-wracking!
A little bit about me: I was born and raised in South Florida, and I’ve been living in the sunshine state for all my life. Living within a 4-hour-drive away from Orlando, I grew up going to the theme parks, so my love for them came pretty naturally. As I graduated high school, I eventually settled down in Orlando for college, and it was the best decision I’ve made. I’ve met so many people and made so many friends because of my art. As an artist, I willingly put my art out there into the world, and yet I’m always awed by the reception, and I never really thought I could’ve gained a following from this.
The best way to learn about me is to look at my art! Not only do I have an interest in theme parks, I also like animation, character design, anime, superheroes, and pretty much anything that catches my eye! Wanna know what my current hyper-fixation is? My posts will most definitely give it away. At the end of the day it makes gift buying for me so much easier!
# 6 – Halloween Horror Nights
Let’s start off with what I’m most known for! Ever since I got into HHN back in 2015, I felt somewhat discouraged, because I didn’t see any other HHN fan artists out there (something that I was proved very wrong about later on). However, when I stumbled across a drawing of the Director done by the one and only Sterling Denham, I literally said “I’m not alone,” and the rest was history!
The expansive mythos and design of this event is what drew me in as a whole. I used to be absolutely terrified of HHN (thanks in large part to the terrifying commercial featuring Bloody Mary), but looking at it from an artistic standpoint not only helped me overcome my fear but also made me realize that there is a job market for artists in themed entertainment!
Like many, I love drawing the HHN Icons, but another love I have is seeing the characters in the various scarezones along with the stories they are telling on a nightly basis. Intellectual Properties like Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and Halloween may get the lion’s share of press and attention, but for me it’s the scareactors out on the streets who are the unsung heroes of HHN.
For HHN31, I was particularly attached to Sweet Revenge, one of the scarezones that year, so I of course did a lot of art reflecting that.
# 5 – The Usher
For those who know me (and even for those who don’t,) I make it annoyingly obvious who my favorite HHN Icon is. Not only do I draw him a lot, during HHN30 I would always wear my homemade Usher hat, so much so that even a year later I’m still getting recognized because of it. Mostly, the vintage aesthetic of the character is what drew me in, but also because he looks like a Tower of Terror bellhop. It’s like having a little bit of “scary Disney” at Universal!
# 4 – Disney
Growing up I was obsessed with Disney, so it made sense that it would show up in my art one way or another. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a Disney animator, or at least a Disney sketch artist. Since moving to Orlando, my career aspirations have moved away quite a bit, but I won’t be disappointed if my career path leads me back there one day.
Here I did some fan art of some of the original characters from the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser!
# 3 – Marvel and DC Heroes and Villains
I’m a big fan of Marvel and DC comics and their characters, so I tend to draw them a lot. It all started back when I got into the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2016, eventually I found my way into the DC Universe that same year, and the rest was history!
# 2 – Sketch Cards
The whole idea for the sketchcards came from when I met Cait (@pizzacait on Twitter) back during HHN30. I initially drew up a handful to hand out for fun one event night, fully expecting to only part with at most 3. But, by the time the event was open, they were all gone! As a result, I continued the season drawing them for friends and scareactors. I unfortunately couldn’t do much during HHN31, but I do hope to bring them back one day.
# 1 – Beetlejuice on Broadway
By far the coolest place where my art ended up! Since its premiere, I’ve been a fan of Beetlejuice the Musical, so much so that I was devastated when it was announced it’s original run was officially cut short due to the pandemic and the Music Man (the latter which I’m still bitter about).
Over a year later, I was ecstatic when it was announced that the show would be revived in a new theater, with a brand-new fan art mural put up right outside. I, of course, submitted a piece of mine, and lo and behold it was chosen among many other talented artworks!
Sadly the show’s revival run closed at the beginning of January, but I am grateful that I was able to fly to NYC and see the show and the mural in person.
HONORABLE MENTION – My Hero Academia
Every once in a while, I do like to sit down and watch some anime, with my favorite one being My Hero Academia. For context, it’s all about this boy named Izuku “Deku” Midoriya who trains to become the #1 Hero in a society where everyone has powers, or “quirks.” What I love about the series is the story and how this superhuman society is affected by it. Additionally, I do love some of the characters, with my favorite being Deku.
Here are a few MHA x attack on Titan art mashups!
This is by far one of the coolest things I have ever participated in. Once again, massive thanks to Derek for inviting me to be among the many talented artists in the Saturday Six Club! IF you’re interested in checking out more of my art, you can on my Instagram and/or Twitter @savaemazz!
So there you have it: The Theme Park Artwork of Savannah Hamilton! 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).
Artist Spotlight Class of 2023: Marie Catano |
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.