Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Are-Jay

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On today’s Spotlight we feature the talents of Californian artist, and appearently Dole Whip fan, Are-Jay. And I’m sure after you check out all his customs, you will soon be a fan of his.

Destination Vinylmation: Were you into creating artwork before custom vinylmation?
Are-Jay: Yes! I have been creating art for all my life. I remember going door to door selling my drawings while I was still in elementary school. Comic book art was my passion for such a long time until I began customizing various vinyl figures about 4 years ago. Prior to Vinylmations, I created custom Symbiotes, Mighty Muggs, and Minimates!

DV: I have always enjoyed your work, and i’m glad we can finaly share some with the DV readers. How long have you been creating custom Vinylmation?
Are-Jay: My first Vinylmation custom was completed on 08/19/2009 and was a Classic Batman design.

DV: How many custom Vinylmation have you done?
Are-Jay: I’ve lost count at this point but I’d say somewhere around 175-200.

DV: Wow! How about Disney’s Vinylmation. Do you collect any?
Are-Jay: I do! I used to be a completist for the 3″ figures but due to the flurry of releases each month, and the limited availability of some of them, I’ve cut down and began only collecting my favorites.

DV: Do you have favorite Disney Vinylmation figure?
Are-Jay: My absolute favorite Vinylmation is the 3-eyed Monster from Urban 1, designed by Tyler Dumas. I just love the vibrant colors and randomness of the design. I even created a 9″ tribute piece to match the 3″!

DV: You have just launched your first custom blind box series. This is exciting.
Are-Jay: For my first custom blind box series, I created 15 unique Spiderman customs- including a chaser, and 3 variant designs. They are shipped randomly, which adds to the excitement and captures some of the fun when buying an official Vinylmation blind box!

DV: Why Spiderman?
Are-Jay: Spiderman is such an great character and even though a person may not be into comic books, everyone loves him! I initially wanted to do a mixed series of various Spidey characters but he had so many amazing costumes, I couldn’t choose! I ended up creating the entire series based on his most famous looks which worked out well as everyone who purchased one would get who they wanted- Spiderman!

DV: Which Spiderman costume is your favorite?
Are-Jay: Like mentioned above, its so hard to choose! LOL My current favorite would have to be the Ultimate costume worn by the new Spiderman, Miles Morales. The costume design is incredible and I’m really enjoying reading his series. I’d definitely recommend checking out the book!

DV: Out of your personal custom portfolio, can you pick a favorite?
Are-Jay: While my Batman is a close second, I’d say I am most proud of my Twilight Saga Collection. Each custom features the cover design to each of the 6 books. The book covers are really amazing and they translated so well to the Vinylmation shape. I love that set because the customs have such a unique sophisticated look to them.

DV: You are one of the more experienced custom Vinylmation artists out there. What have you learned from creating your customs that you can pass onto other custom artists?
Are-Jay: I’d the say the most important thing for any artist is just to stay true to yourself and your style!

DV: How can people purchase some Spiderman blind boxes and see the rest of your work?
Are-Jay: You can purchase my Spiderman series by contacting me at [email protected], through my new facebook fan page: facebook.com/arejaydesigns, and they are also currently listed on ebay. You can view some of my past work at my blog: arejaydesigns.blogspot.com

DV: Thanks for sharing your work with our audience. Don’t be a stranger. Keep us updated on your work.
Are-Jay: Thank you for the opportunity! It’s been wonderful getting to share a little bit about myself and my art. Please feel free to stop by any of my sites and say hello!

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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.

3 Comments

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  • Thank you guys for finally spot lighting this artist. I have a few pieces buy him and can assure you the PICS DO NOT DO THEM JUSTICE, he is an amazing artist and if you order a custom from him you will not be disappointed his customs are some of the best I’ve seen.

  • Are-Jay is doing 4 customs for me at the moment as a Xmas present for my husband – can’t wait to see them!

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