Spotlight On: Vinylmation Custom Artist Tayner

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Destination Vinylmation: Tayner, at only 14 years of age you are creating some nice looking custom Vinylmation. How long have you had a passion for art?

Tayner: My passion for art really started coming out at the age of 12, when I was given a sketch book and good sketching pencils for Christmas, which I instantly took to!

DV: Beside Vinylmation, do you paint or sculpt or create other forms of art?

Tayner: Mainly, I like to draw and animate, and in both, I like to keep them cartoon like, rather than life like. I enjoy sculpting as well, but due to cost and availability of the clay I like, I don’t sculpt as much. My animating is usually with Vinylmation, as you can see on my website, but I also like to try and draw my own animations, rather than model the Vinylmations the way I want. Occasionally, I also paint!

DV: It’s still early, but what kind of career do you see yourself in down the road?

Tayner: I am attending a special high school next year, which is dedicated to the arts, and also has great links to amazing art colleges and universities! I am hoping that both of these will greatly help and improve my art skills, which will lead me to being a product designer at Disney World! If not, I would like to work on animated movies with Disney Pixar! In essence, I want to work for Disney!

DV: Tell us about this Sailor Mickey Custom. You say it was the hardest custom you have ever done. Why?

Tayner: As you can see, Sailor Mickey is a slightly more complicated design than my other Vinylmations. I didn’t expect as much of a challenge as I received. The first challenge was the body. I couldn’t get the lines straight for his shirt, and his jacket was uneven, as well as the buttons being larger/smaller than the other. No matter how much I tried, the problems didn’t get better. Eventually, I gave up on touch ups, and went straight to a new body. His body became FILLED with lines to make sure every centimetre of him was rightly placed! I also learned a technique from watching Evilios’ videos, in which you place down painter’s tape, to keep the lines even, which is how I made the lines on the shirt straight. The last challenge was sculpting his Sailor hat to look just right! It took me a few tries, and 2-3 hours to do this one! Overall, a much harder challenge than my others!

DV: What was the inspiration for this figure?

Tayner: Well, my family had just booked the Disney Dream as part of our next Disney World vacation. Right away, I went to Google, and began looking up any info and images I could find of this magnificent cruise ship! One of the many images that came up was, of course, Sailor Mickey. The only problem here was that there were so many variations of him, that I didn’t know which one to choose! I ended up choosing the one you see, as I liked him the best!

DV: You also have a very special non-Disney Vinylmation set you created. It was for your parents 17th wedding anniversary. What was the process to make sure you captured your Mom and Dad’s look from almost two decades ago?

Tayner: This was indeed a difficult process. As it was a surprise, simply saying “Can I see photos of you on your wedding day?” would certainly raise suspicion. My siblings and I had to make up an excuse to see them. We knew that there were some photos other than their wedding day in the album, so we said we just wanted to see those. Still might have given them their suspicions, but not as much, we hoped! We then sorted through many photos until we found just the right pictures of them. Once this was done, I sketched out the main characteristics of each of them onto a piece of paper, and then combined it all into a Vinylmation sketch (which would eventually be re-done 5-6 times each).

DV: I heard you had a little help with this one?

Tayner: I needed to purchase a lot of materials for this project, and I also wanted to make sure the sketches looked just right before taking the sketches to the figure. I decided the best thing to do was get my siblings involved with the project. We all split the cost, and because I added them, I had to do another 5-6 sketches per figure, until my brother and sister approved them! There was no help with the painting, but I think that adding them on was a great move, and the gift was more special coming from all of us, rather than just me!

DV: And the final product came out great. Talk about the display case.

Tayner: The right display case was finally found at Michaels Art Store! We had searched dozens of websites for display cases, including Michaels, and a nearby favourite, Curry’s! None of them were good enough for what we wanted. On one of our trips to buy supplies for this project, we walked by the Display Case section and I ran over to one I thought was great! My brother said it was too big, and suggested the smaller version of it. We instantly picked it up, claiming it was to go on my shelf, hoping that would cease any suspicions! It is a baseball holder, but the circular parts to hold individual baseballs fit the Vinylmation feet so perfectly, it made the project so much better to be able to keep the Vinyl’s still!

DV: Do your parents have it up on display at the house?

Tayner: Yes! It is sitting proudly on my dad’s desk in my parents’ room!

DV: For more of Tayner’s work, please visit

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.