As children, and even as adults, we all have dreams and aspirations we hope to see come to fruition someday. It's just a matter of how deeply we dream, and how hard we work to see them happen.
22-year-old Jessie Plascencia—@cowboyjess on TikTok—was adamant about her dreams to work as an illustrator and artist for Pixar's animation company.
She gained more than 7 million followers when she announced:
"My dream is to someday work at Pixar."
But the supporters and comments kept pouring in as Jessie began to share her illustrations, especially after she set a new goal of drawing a new character in sidewalk chalk outside of Pixar's main campus gates every day until she had the chance to speak to someone on the team, and hopefully be hired.
"What better way to get their attention than to chalk draw in front of their gates?"
In her first viral video from her series of Pixar gates videos, Jessie showed her obvious love and concern for detail, as she pressed "hard" into the ground to make sure the pigment came through, and as she blended it all out, so it would create a smooth image, to emulate what she saw on screen.
Jessie pointed out she added highlights for the hair, lights to the eyes and "five different colors to create the skin tone" before finally revealing her Guilia from Pixar's Luca.
Since then, the artist has shared her sidewalk chalk renditions of Mike from Monster's Inc...
We can't "forget" her portrait of Dory from Finding Nemo.
And Finding Dory.
And one of Pixar's latest films, Turning Red.
Which she discovered had been shared by a Pixar employee on Instagram.
In addition to drawing on the sidewalk outside the campus gates to gain the attention of the Pixar team, Jessie also applied for a summer internship program with them.
As her videos gained attention, she had the opportunity to speak to a team member, who talked with her about the realities of being a professional artist and illustrator.
One key piece of advice Jessie received along the way was to "perfect" the skill she felt she was best at.
"I asked them (the Pixar employee) so many questions."
"The biggest advice they gave me was to focus on something you're really good at, whether it's character design or color scripting."
"Basically, perfect what you're really good at."
"It was really helpful, and if anything, it made the dream more tangible for me."
Unfortunately, Jessie discovered she was not awarded a spot in the Pixar summer internship.
But after that decision was made, she discovered that members of the Pixar team had been actively sharing her TikTok videos with other team members.
She also got the chance to draw on the sidewalk inside the gates at Pixar to celebrate the release of Lightyear.
"I was shocked at how many people were rooting for me."
In addition to that internal support, Jessie was also offered a job as an illustrator at a children's book company.
Though she may have not (yet) gotten the job she was dreaming of, Jessie appears to be the epitome of the lesson "When one door closes, another door opens."
Just keep going!