While at the D23 Expo in August, I was mesmerized by all the upcoming Disney Vinylmation on display. But M.C.’s attention was caught by many of the non-Disney created figures at the show. One custom artist in particular had some unforgettable pieces on display. Ryan Marella is a custom artist from California and you are in for a treat with today’s spotlight.
Destination Vinylmation: What got you into the art world?
Ryan: Art, I guess, runs in my family. My dad has an artistic talent and so does my twin brother. I was always amazed at the different aspects of art… so many possibilities, and so many awesome artists. I suppose what really inspired me was reading comic books. The art work is just amazing. Artists like Jim Lee, Rob Lifield, Todd Mcfarlaine and so many more.
DV: Have you ever taken an art class?
Ryan: I did try to take as many art classes in High school as I could. I took some in college but never really could focus on one type of art.
DV: Do you collect the Vinylmation created by Disney artists?
Ryan: I do collect Vinylmations with my two other brothers. I find it a lot easier to share a collection. The Disney artists do an amazing job.
DV: What’s your favorite figure?
Ryan: I like the urban 1 three eyed monster, it was alot of fun trying to find some one to trade for it.
DV: How long have you been creating custom Vinylmation?
DV: I never even thought I would be painting Vinylmation. A friend asked me to make him one during a trip to Walt Disney World in January 2011. My first custom was very rough, but the more I painted the more I got better at it. It’s fun creating different characters, you never know what you’re capable of unless you try. I have now created over 130 customs.
DV: Wow! Can you pick a favorite?
Ryan: My favorite would have to be Captain Jack Sparrow.
DV: How did you come up with the idea of the Manny Pacquiao piece?
Ryan: Manny Pacquiao is Awesome and I watch all his fights, so one day after the Pacquaio/Mosley fight I decided to make a Vinylmation of him. He had to be on a 9″.
DV: How much work went into creating Manny?
Ryan: Creating MP took a lot of work. I first had to research all his pics from the last fight. I had to find different angles of MP to get the right detail. Then I sketched his face on the vinyl. During the time I create any vinyl, I try to watch videos about them. It helps with the creative process. Finally painting and clear coating it, that took some time.
DV: What is your favorite aspect of it?
When I finally finished, I was very happy at the end result. I guess my favorite aspect of it is MP’s facial expression, I think it shows his personality really well.
DV: How about the hardest part?
Ryan: The hardest part is the face, getting the right expression takes some work.
DV: Where can people go to find out more about your customs and even purchase one from you?
Ryan: I do have a website, www.ryactiv.sketchlab7.com. And, if you trade Vinylmation, I do trade at Downtown Disney outside D-Street Anaheim.