Rik Maki began his career as a baseball pitcher in the minor leagues for seven years before trading in his wooden bat for a wooden pencil. He became a freelance cartoonist and advertising illustrator, and worked for the National Film Board of Canada, before coming to America 1978. He’s spent the past 18 years designing characters for Disney and Pixar, for such films as THE LION KING, FINDING NEMO, A BUGS LIFE, HERCULES, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, TREASURE PLANET and DINOSAUR. This week Maki will mount an exhibition of his original sketches at Van Eaton Galleries. The opening reception is Wednesday, June 21st, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. and he’ll be there, sketching all night long at his animation desk. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. The Van Eaton Galleries are at 13613 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, California. The art show runs through July 8th. For more information, visit Van Eaton’s website or call them at (818) 788-2357.