Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Crazy4Vinyls
Destination Vinylmation: It’s been awhile since we last featured your work and you have been very busy! You recently sent us some pictures of some of your latest customs, Pooh dressed as Tigger and Tigger dressed as Pooh. We will feature those below, but a look at your Facebook page shows this is not a new idea for you. You have made a line of Customs taking the Cutesters Kids and painting different costumes on them. It reminds me of the Disney Universe video game. Where did this idea come from? Crazy4Vinyls: The idea came to me when I entered a custom design swap on vinylnation.net. The idea of the swap was to take a Cutester kid and redesign it in any way that you want. Now since Vinylmation is Disney I thought it would be a fun idea to take one of the kids and redesign it in a Pooh costume. I was lucky enough to have the co-founder of Vinylmation Kingdom, Xero, send me an extra cutester kid since I didn’t have any extras. When I was finished I sent a picture of the kid to him and he was very interested in me creating a whole army of cutester kids in costumes. So we worked out a deal where he would send me some kids that he wanted redesigned and he would also send me some extra kids that I could have to sell. I did start doing this a little after the Disney Universe game came out but it was not the inspiration for the costumes, although the game does have some great costumes that could be made in the future.
DV: Tell us about the different costumes. Are they all Disney themed? C4V: The costumes include Figment, Stitch, Monorails, Lotso, Kermit, Mickey, Minnie, Green Dragon, Toy Story Alien, Simba, Nala, Boo, Nemo, Mike Mouse, Sulley, and Duffy. They have all been Disney themed but it could really be done with just about any character. Most of the costumes are based on Vinylmation designs that have already been done.
DV: I really like the Simba a lot. Which one came out as your favorite? C4V: I am really proud of Simba. At first I thought how could I make all those leaves that surround his neck and head but after looking at him on the computer I just tried to break down the design and figure out where to start first. That’s a hard question. When I finish one I think it’s my favorite until I finish another one. If I had to pick one I would say it’s the alien from Toy Story. He was my first vinylmation I bought in WDW when they were released.
DV: Now you have the great looking Tigger and Pooh, are these the start of a line of Disney Characters in costumes of other Disney characters? C4V: It could be if I didn’t think of other things to do. It was actually going to be a trio. I was going to do Tigger as Pooh, Piglet as Tigger, and Pooh as Piglet but I decided just to do the two of them. It seems that I always come up with something new that I want to try, but there is always the future.
DV: Moving out of Disney World for a moment, lets take a trip up I-4 to Universal Orlando. Later this year, a new Dispicable Me attraction will open at Universal Studios and I see you have a series of the Minions from that movie! To me, the possibilities seem endless with this design as you can create an infinite amount of facial designs. Tell us about your design and your plans for this series. C4V: Someone on Facebook suggested to me that I try some Dreamworks designs, non-Disney characters. So I thought a Minion would be perfect. It’s body shape would fit perfectly on the Mickey mold. At first I was torn between one eye or two. I wondered which one would look better. I settled on the one-eyed and began looking at images. You are right there are so many different looks that the minions have. After making my first one and selling it, I had some more people contact me for more. So I made three more, this time a two eyed version along with the one eyed. After posting images of those three I had even more people want minions but I will have to get to those later because I have something even bigger that I am working on. I also had someone send me some more Dreamworks designs. So maybe in the future you might see Po from Kung Fu Panda, Megamind, or Shrek.
DV: One last piece… Oscar the Grouch. I’m a stickler for creative use of the ears and you did a fine job here. Why Oscar? And will we see a HAL Ostrich turned into Big Bird soon? C4V: I actually have on paper a whole line of Sesame Street characters. I have Bert, Ernie, Oscar, Elmo, and Grover. I decided to go with Oscar because I thought he was a popular character and I wanted to use the ears to add some extras. So that is why I added Squirmy, the apple core, and the words in the ears. When I read your comment about HAL ostrich turned into Big Bird you should have seen my mouth drop open, that is an awesome idea, another one to think about.
DV: We have been following your progress from your first customs to now and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m seeing a progression in your talent level. I know I expect my second to be better than my first, my third better than that and so on. How are you feeling about your progression? And what have you learned along the way so far? C4V: I think that is a great compliment, that means I’m getting better right?? Ha ha! I have learned along the way that taking the time to spray the vinyls with multiple coats is what makes them so smooth and also taking the time in the beginning to start with very light coats so the paint does not get clumpy or have lines in it. I am really excited to see what I have created and I would have never thought that this is something that I would be interested in or good at.
DV: You sell your customs on eBay. And many of the customs we mentioned here have already sold. But if one catches a reader’s eye, can they request that design? C4V: I do sell some of my customs on eBay. I don’t have any on there right now but I do have Oscar, Mickey Kid, Minnie Kid, Tenderheart Bear, and Love-a-Lot Bear still for sale if anyone is interested. I do take requests. Just shoot me a message on Facebook or send me an e-mail. On Facebook you can find me under Josh Edwards or my Facebook custom page is Crazy4Vinyls Custom Vinylmations. I can also be reached by email [email protected], but a message on facebook is the fastest way to get in contact with me.
DV: Do you have anything exciting that you are working on for the future? C4V: I am currently working on what I think is my most exciting customs yet. I am creating my very first blind box series. The series will consist of 9 vinyls plus the mystery chaser so 10 designs in all. I am planning on designing the boxes that they come in as well. I am hoping to have this done by the end of the month or beginning of February. So be on the lookout for this to make it’s debut. I also just ordered my first 9″ CYO from ds.com so that will be exciting to try one of those.