The special effects artist reveals her out-of-this-world design secrets

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tori Fox went from visiting Disney parks as a child to being an artist conjuring up magic in places like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Fox, who specializes in scenic art and special effects, had an education that included training at the Makeup and Prosthetics Cooperative Academy in Orlando, Florida.

“I learned a lot about mold making and painting. And from there I kind of transitioned into the realm of stagecraft. My career has taken me to a lot of really interesting jobs building things with carpentry and fiberglass because I live in Orlando with a lot of theme park stuff.”

She feels lucky to work on projects for famous locations like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

“It was cool to see images come out and see something in the background that I might have been a little bit involved with,” Fox said.

In her work she aims to make people smile and escape their own lives and be transported to a fantasy world.

But her imagination was sparked as a child. Her parents worked for Disney, and she was raised around theme parks and received a first-hand education exploring the theme park experience.

“It really just got me in love with themed environments and being able to see the costumes, the props and the sets that go with it,” Fox said.

But she holds a special place in her heart for Star Wars, remembering what a big deal theme weekends were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

“You could see characters walking around, you could see those costumes up close. And the first time one of the things I love most was very tangible for me on screen,” she said.

Fox has created characters that could fit well into the Star Wars universe and her favorite is Bubbles, whom she introduces us to in the video.

“Originally it was just an exercise, a scrap bar from a mold, something I didn’t really think would become a thing. But over time I continued to paint her and fell in love with the paintwork and with her. In my opinion she is something like the Princess Leia from the Mon Calamari. So she’s sort of a leader of the rebel resistance, if you will.

Be sure to watch the video as she shares her design secrets and shows us how to transform a pristine white leather handbag into a weathered, futuristic prop.

“When I might be thinking about more of my landscaping or theme park work, sometimes I don’t want them to think at all. You don’t want something to be noticed too much. Because then it doesn’t really feel authentic to them,” she said, when they don’t feel fully immersed in that fantasy world.

The idea is to give the guest the feeling of not being on earth anymore.

“That’s when you’re successful. And that’s really what it’s about, right,” Fox said. The special effects artist reveals her out-of-this-world design secrets

Dais Johnston

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