Spotlight On: Vinylmation Custom Artist Gemma Steib

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Recently, we found a Facebook page full of some great customs. The page belongs to Gemma Steib. Originally from Essex, England, she now resides in California where she can be found most days working on her commissioned Vinylmation custom figures.

Destination Vinylmation: How many customs have you created?
Gemma: I’m just about to start working on my 87th and 88th customs! I’ve created 26 for our personal collection and 60 commissions and it still feels like it was only yesterday when I was asked to make my first commission. I’m really looking forward to working on the first 9″ custom for our collection, I wont give away too many details but I feel sorry for my poor 9″ at the moment seeing as I’ve already poked a ton of holes into his head, I’m just waiting for a few parts to come through the mail so I can continue to torture him!

Gemma Steib VMK Custom

DV: What first caught my eye, were the Virtual Magic Kingdom figures. This is very unique. For anyone who doesn’t know about VMK, can you tell us what it was?
Gemma: Hubby and I and a lot of our friends used to play an online Disney game that started in ’05 called Virtual Magic Kingdom, VMK for short. It was a little virtual world where you could be anywhere around the globe and we could all experience a little bit of Disneyland from our homes together. It’s actually the reason I signed up on a forum for the game and met my hubby! Not surprisingly Disneyland is where we are most weekends. The game sadly closed it’s virtual doors in May of ’08 and my hubby and I wanted to make a little something to have as a keepsake to remind us of good times in game.

Boolani and TheAlienStitch

I took Boolani (my character) and TheAlienStitch (my hubby’s character) and translated them to the vinyl form, and ever since then I’ve been getting commissions from others who loved the game and want their own little vinyl reminder of a great short lived game.

Gemma Steib VMK Custom

Which warms my heart a little more for each one I complete, especially ones with sculpted hats like the one with the seagull pirate hat. I couldn’t help but giggle a little inside every time someone ordered one of them, especially as everyone referred to it as the chicken hat, I even roped my hubby into helping make all the individual pieces of straw for the seagull to sit on hehe.

Gemma Steib VMK Custom

DV: What is your favorite VMK custom you’ve done?
Gemma: Other than our own personal ones, I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite out of the VMK customs, although creating the space suit pants for one does come close to topping the list along with the ‘chicken’ hat. But really my favourite part of making the VMK customs is seeing them go off to their new homes and seeing posts on Facebook of their new owners taking them on adventures, Especially when those adventures are Disney park related!

Gemma Steib VMK Custom

DV: What do you like most about making customs?
Gemma: Painting is just something I adore and I love the challenge of translating ideas and designs to the Vinylmation form, especially charactertures of people.

The “making of” a Gems Vinyl Custom

DV: How can people see your work and order a custom from Gems Vinyls?
Gemma: Usually I can only take one one or two commissions per week depending on how complex the design is, so my wait list does sometimes get backed up. It sometimes takes a while to get through them all without rushing orders. I’d hate to have to rush a piece that wasn’t up to my standards which I wouldn’t be happy sending out. People can contact me on Facebook. I have a Facebook profile and a group for my customs. My profile for Gem’s Vinyl Customs is usually where I post the most. I debated so much over making a profile vs a page but I much prefer having an inbox on the profile so I can be contacted easily.

Profile – http://www.facebook.com/gemsvinyls
Group – http://www.facebook.com/groups/101823626520457?ap=1

DV: Thank you and keep up the great work. We will be featuring more of your customs soon.
Gemma: Thanks again for featuring my customs!

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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.

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  • First I would like to say Ive known Gemma for a very long time, she has been doing customs since the beginning of vinylmation and was the first to use accessories long before anyone else was, including Disney.

    Her and her Husband are both humble and very nice human beings. She has a very unique style and im proud to say I own one of her customs in my collections. Which says alot because I don’t collect too many customs from anyone.

    Keep up the great work Gemma, your awesome and have my full support.

  • Woot for Gemma!!!!! I proudly own 2 customs that she created for me – and they are the most creative, adorable things ever!!!! What a talented lady!!!!

  • Thanks again for featuring my VMK Customs! I loved painting these ones :)

    And thanks to all those that have supported me and pushed me to create some challenging sculpts, the customs wouldn’t be what they have come to be without a few nudges from friends to see just what I could do. Also sending some huge hugs to Evilos, all the support from such a great custom artist has been a blessing!

    Thanks again Destination D!

  • I just had Gemma do a custom for me and I cannot believe the wonderful job she did. She has so much talent

  • My wife and I have known Gemma since the early days of VMK and have been longtime friends. We commisioned our VMK selves from her earlier this year to be the topper for our wedding cake. She did a wonderful job and the pieces looked great on top of the cake.

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