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 facebook.com/HKattelman
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!