Mauricio Abril

Mauricio Abril

Illustrator, Concept Artist, & Teacher

I think it’s very natural to feel like you don’t want to lose time, but I knew I would have more regrets if I was 10 years older and had never tried. As long as you do things with intent, you are never wasting your time.


By Roadtrip Nation

Mauricio Abril


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Grew up loving art and was an avid illustrator, but gave it up at the age of 10 because he didn’t see a future as an artist.
Attended UCLA where he pursued his degree in molecular biology with the goal of going to grad school for his Ph.D. and becoming a researcher.
During his senior year of college, he began to doubt this career choice but didn’t realize he had an alternative.
After graduating, he got a job at a biotech company and co-authored a research paper—admits that during this time he was bored with his job, which eventually led him back to illustrating.
Decided to quit his job and move back in with his parents in order to fully dedicate his time to developing a portfolio that he could use to apply to art schools.
Attended the Art Center College of Design where he earned his degree in entertainment design.
While still in school, he started taking on freelance projects as a concept artist—after graduating he landed a full-time position working with Disney Interactive Media Group.
He now works as a concept artist for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he develops conceptual artwork and design projects for Disney theme parks and live entertainment.
Keep following my journey


Illustrator, Concept Artist, & Teacher

I create illustrations to aid in the design process for theme parks, games, animation, and books.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Problem Solving

Day to Day

Once a client establishes interest in me, we communicate in order for them to brief me on what they want and expect from my services. This takes place either over email or in person if possible. Then I begin my work from my home office at my own schedule. I check in with them as often as they require and turn in my deliverables (usually jpeg images or layered Photoshop files) either via email or a file transfer site.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

If you have the art training, you need to have a professional looking website with only your best work. Not a social media site but a professional looking portfolio. This is where you'll direct people to showcase your work and may be the difference in whether they hire you.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Stick with your science background, it's the best option for a career and life."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
Career Change

Interviewed By

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip

University of California, Los Angeles students and alumni