Peter De Sève

Peter de Sève

De Sève is known internationally for designing and illustrating cherished animated characters, including Sid and Scrat, from ‘Ice Age’. His illustrations have become part of popular culture internationally and feature in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Mulan (1998), A Bug’s Life (1998), Tarzan (1999), the four Ice Age films (2002-2016) and Finding Nemo (2003) to name a few, as well as a variety of media formats i.e., The New Yorker magazine and children’s fiction i.e., The Duchess of Whimsey. Peter was warm and inviting as he spoke from his studio at home. He shared his personal journey from art student to critically acclaimed illustrator and character designer, by discussing and illustrating his successes, failures, and struggles with ‘imposter syndrome.’ The talk was very well received by the students, as they felt like it was more of a conversation than a ‘lecture.’. Here’s what some of them had to say:

drawing of squirrel on frozen oak

Student Reflections

“Peter de Sève…was fascinating – what struck me most was the fact that he was so approachable. In his presentation, we saw how Peter was involved with the character design and animation of many films we grew up with, such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. To me, that kind of work has always seemed so distant, something reserved for the kind of people an ordinary person like myself would never meet. Talking to Peter made me realize that that’s not true, because Peter was also just an ordinary person. Seeing that made a successful job in the creative sector seem much more realistic to me.”

“He invited us to his home…I loved how he explained his own life story, while staying so humble and nice.”

“This lecture just completely filled me with gratitude. Talking with someone as big as Peter de Sève, in the film industry opened my eyes.”

“I was especially taken aback when – after showcasing some of his gorgeous work and creative process – Peter shared that he struggled with ‘Impostor Syndrome’, that he was somehow faking his success. It was strangely inspiring to see that even such a brilliant person deals with these kinds of things.”

“Being able to listen to and ask questions to Peter de Sève, one of the biggest in the animation business, was surreal and incredible. His experiences, his advice, and his kindness really spoke to me and helped me to further learn how to get where I want to be.”

“The message I took away from Peter’s lecture was that, ‘sometimes you have to close your eyes and jump.’ It’s about trusting yourself, being open to try new things, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.”

“Peter de Sève’s process showed me, and other classmates, that our creative dreams are definitely achievable.”


Finally, a thank you from our students to Peter in the form of beautiful and personal illustrations:

collage of drawings