It's been a dream come true for Charlottetown artist Chris Ruprecht, who's created a sign for Disney's animation studio in California. 

Ruprecht is a chef by day, but another of the 36-year-old's passions is sculpting in clay and metal — mostly dinosaurs, and some people. 

"I was very happy and proud, it's a great feeling," Ruprecht said. "I was excited and at some points I was like — is this actually happening? Doing a project for Disney?"

Ruprecht isn't sure exactly why the company didn't choose to make its own sign, but he was happy to be asked.

"I think it was to give an opportunity to someone like myself that is still starting out and trying to get noticed," Ruprecht said. "So it was a huge help for me."

Hoping for more work

Throughout the last few years Ruprecht said he's been making contacts in film and animation. One of those contacts was a modelling artist who designs characters for Disney movies. She saw a sign Ruprecht had made, and asked if he'd be interested in making one for Disney.

Instagram post about Disney sign

This Instagram post from Disney animation studios character sculptor Alena Tottle thanks Ruprecht for his work on the sign. (Alena Tottle/Instagram)

From concept to finish, the process took a couple of months, sending drawings back and forth to Disney for approval.

The end result was a simple 3D version of Mickey Mouse ears on a classic pine sign with red letters spelling out the word "modeling." 

The Mickey ears were 3D printed then sanded, and Ruprecht cut out the letters by hand using a scroll saw. 

He hopes to create more signs for Disney, and has also been talking with the Nickelodeon network about working on a project, he said. 

Chris Ruprect with small dinosaur sculpture

Ruprecht works on a compsognathus, what he says was 'a small, chicken-size dinosaur.' (Submitted by Chris Ruprecht)

With files from Nicole Williams