Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Daniel studied art and animation at Academy of Art College, San Francisco.
After submitting his portfolio three times to Pixar his break came when was hired on as a Simulation and Effects Production Assistant on Monsters, Inc. After a lot of hard work, tenacity, and the valuable experience of learning from the amazing artists around him, Daniel made the jump from Production Assistant to artist, a transition that is not so common to come by. This role was his entry into the storied animation studio and there began an eight year period, from 2001 - 2009, working as an artist for Pixar. Designing characters and sets for films such as Ratatouille, Lifted (short), Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3, for which he was the Character Art Director. Among the many characters he has created over the years, perhaps his most famous to date is "Lotso Huggin' Bear" (aka "Lotso") the unforgettably nasty (but wonderfully strawberry scented!) bear that he designed for Toy Story 3.