Mingjue Helen Chen is an Art Director and Visual Development Artist, based in Los Angeles. Currently working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, she has contributed to notable films Big Hero 6 (2014), Paperman (2012), Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
Chen was born in Beijing, China, however, moved to the USA when she was very young, growing up in Minnesota. She left Minnesota, accompanied by her twin sister, Yingjue Chen, to attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
In 2010, at a CTN expo, her student portfolio caught the attention of Andy Nicholson and Troy Nethercott. She was hired on the spot as a visual development artist for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.
Chen had the rather daunting task of relocating to Los Angeles alone. She had just two weeks to move, find a car and accommodation, before starting her new job. As a recent graduate, she was given a surprising amount of trust by her art director. For four months, she worked in a small tight-knit team, designing sets, painting key moments and learning.
She went on to work for Jim Henson Company, Cinderbiter and Paramount Animation. Chen is currently working as the environments art director on the Untitled Wreck-It Ralph Sequel, set to be released in 2018.
Alongside her animation work, Chen dedicates a considerable amount of time to comic books. She has contributed to titles including Marvel’s Silk, DC’s Gotham Academy and Batgirl. Chen works mostly as a cover artist but has illustrated interior artwork for Gotham Academy #6, #7, #11 and #15, among a few others.