Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Jorge Castilla

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

Jorge Castilla of RedVirtue Vinylmation Arts is best known for his line of Star Ducks line of customs. Well, it was time to catch up once again with Jorge and he has updated Star Ducks with new flavors and has also just created a new design based on the Stop and Go sign above D-Street.

Destination Vinylmation: What made you think of designing this D-Street icon?
Jorge: Well I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a great “urban” design. You and I have agreed in the past that the Urban series has been pretty wishy-washy in the delivery department. I wanted to come up with something that yelled “why haven’t you come up with this, Disney?” No disrespect to the artists they generally do a wonderful job, especially with all the other series’. But man that urban series hurts to even acknowledge sometimes. My favorite set is Urban #4. There were so many great original designs in it. Big Teeth, Blocks, Heart Broken, Tin Mouse, and Yellow Splattered remain some of my all time favorite vinylmations in my collection. But it has me scratching my head why I haven’t experienced more amazing designs in the series. Urban is a theme with so much freedom that the other series’ don’t have, but it’s seldom tapped into. So far I’ve designed “Lonesome Ghostbuster Mickey,” which juxtaposed The Lonesome Ghost cartoon with the 80’s blockbuster, Ghostbusters. I’ve also made the Star Ducks Cafe vinylmations that gave a Disney spin to a popular coffee brand. Making “character” based vinylmations kinda seems like something that if you make it Disney will eventually do it too if they haven’t already. So I’ve pretty much avoided making character-based vinyls because I want my customs to remain to have value, and if I make a character and Disney makes that character later I feel that custom may lose some of it’s appeal. So I really take joy in trying to create vinyls that will likely not be made, but still have that Disney flare to them. Like the Grape Soda Bottle custom vinylmation. It isn’t a character but it’s still Disney/Pixar. I mean we all collect Vinylmations because they are Disney themed right? Sorry for the tangent. When thinking of “what to make next” the D-Street icon seemed like one of those obvious choices to do. Just about everyone who collects Vinylmations recognize the icon.

DV: The hand on “Stop” is brilliant. Was the molded hand the idea from the start?
Jorge: Most definitely. It’s another reason why I wanted to do it. I didn’t think anyone had tried tackling it yet and I figured it would either be a long time before Disney does it themselves if at all because of that over-sized hand. I don’t think they would want to invest on making a new hand mold just to use it once. They’ve made claw-hand molds but so far it’s been used twice: Lobster and Cancer. But with the D-Street “stop” icon there really isn’t much use for that mold afterwards which may not be a lucrative investment for them.

DV: Did you have any challenges with these designs? If so, what and how did you overcome them?
Jorge: It took me a little while to figure out what to make the hand out of. My first initial test was with bake-hardening clay. But it seemed that when I painted the baked clay the paint would stay tacky when I applied it to the hand. Luckily I found a great alternative at the hardware store that is very strong and stays dry when you paint it.

DV: Is this set for sale?
Jorge: There are going to be seven sets. They will each be put up on auction on ebay one by one. Each comes with a cool over-sized artist card featuring both “Stop n Go” Mickeys. The third set is already up for auction!

DV: How many times have you ignored the Stop signal and went into D-Street anyway? (We won’t tell)
Jorge: All the time!

DV: Can you hint to any designs swimming around in your head right now?
Jorge: Definitely. There will be a “Marshmellow Mess” Lonesome Ghostbuster Mickey in the future that comes with a pretty cool accessory. I’m currently testing out a variant design for the Grape Soda Bottle vinylmation. Star Ducks is getting new flavors this month too – Strawberries & Cream, and Caramel! There’s also a Peppermint Mocha flavor already in circulation for the Holidays. On the more urban side of things I’m currently working on vinyls that are very Disney but very non-character specific. I wish I could say more this early because I’m very excited about them. But we’ll have to wait till next time.

DV: To keep up with Jorge, visit his Facebook page.

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.