Spotlight On: Vinylmation Custom Artist Heather

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Hope you are enjoying Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! At the last Walt Disney World trading event we meet Heather Kattelman from Fleming Island, Florida. She was displaying a couple very impressive custom 9″ Vinylmation she had created. One was Star Wars themed, the other a TRONorail. We caught up with her recently and asked her all about them.

Destination Vinylmation: How long have you been creating custom vinylmation?

Heather: I’ve only been creating custom Vinylmations on and off for about 9 months. My kids got me interested in it last year during the Vinylmation trading event of Trade City.

DV: Do you do other artwork, or just Vinylmation?

Heather: Really just vinylmation. I sort of play around here and there with other types of painting but only when I need to for an interior design project or something like that.

DV: Tell us about the inspiration behind the Star Wars figure.

Heather: My entire family are Star Wars fans and I was thinking about starting a new custom and mentioned to my husband that I was thinking about doing a Star Wars themed piece. We both thought it would cool to do something that I could take with us and have signed by the celebrities at Star Wars Weekends! From attending previous years, I knew there was always a main SW Logo for the event and felt that would be awesome to include on the vinyl somewhere and of course having the SW Logo was only fitting!

DV: It is perfect, and lots of room left around it for autographs. Tell us about the process of making the custom?

Heather: First, I draw out the concept on paper to gauge the scale and placement.

DV: Then do you pencil it onto the vinyl?

Heather: Usually when I paint the artwork on the vinyl, I just go right to painting. Occasionally for extremely detailed areas, like parts of Darth Vadar & Mickey I lightly pencil portions of the design on first.

DV: What is your favorite part about your Star Wars custom?

Heather: Wow, this is a tough one! I love the way the front came out with Vadar and Mickey but the back with the X-Wing I especially like! This was a last minute decision to add the fighters – I originally planned to paint another character on the back but changed my mind at the last minute. I’m really glad I did, it’s my favorite part!

DV: It is incredibly detailed and very different from anything we have seen. Let’s talk about the TRONorail figure. How long did it take to design and complete this one?

Heather: The Tron Monorail took me about 30 hours.

DV: The paint job and colors look perfect, how much trial and error was there in picking the perfect paints and getting it to look right on the vinylmation?

Heather: THANKS! I have a lot of pictures of the monorail and let’s just say that I think I have every color of blue, green, teal paint that is made! I also had to do a fair amount of mixing to find the perfect shade on at least 3 of the colors – none of the “off-the-shelf” ones matched the way I wanted.

DV: What was the hardest part about either of these?

Heather: The hardest part of both vinylmations was the lettering of the logos – I hate “writing” letters! I’m such a perfectionist that this is a very tedious process.

DV: The hard work certainly paid off. Now are these customs for sale or for you own personal collection?

Heather: Yes – Any of my customs can be purchased. Currently I have the “TRONorail” available on eBay. I also can be contacted directly at [email protected] or through Facebook at

DV: Do you take custom orders?

Heather: I sure do! I’m happy to do custom work for people that’s either something I’ve already completed that they’ve seen and would like one of their own or a unique figure that I create based on their requests.

DV: Where can people see your work?

Heather: You can find photos of some of my figures here.

DV: What customs are next for you?

Heather: I have a couple that are in the works: “Transformers”, “Iron Man” and possibly “Captain America” – Do you see a theme here? LOL :) But first I am currently doing a Darth Maul – Phantom Menace 9″ that I’m really excited about!

DV: We can’t wait to see those. But before we go… What is your favorite figure from Disney’s Star Wars set?

Heather: Oh, that’s such a hard choice – they’re all awesome! If I had to pick one it would have to be Vadar!

DV: And how about Disney’s TRON set?

Heather: I love the way ZUSE came out!

About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.