Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Roman Rodriquez

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I was at work the other day, just flipping through Facebook (don’t worry, my boss isn’t a Vinylmation fan), when I happened to see a custom by an artist out of Cincinnati I was not yet familiar with. I contacted Venezuelan born Roman Rodriguez right away to talk to him all about his creations, his inspirations and of course, cake.

Destination Vinylmation: Usually we would start off by asking about the artist or the Vinylmation, but in this case my first question has to be… How did you come to own a life size Watto from Star Wars?
Roman Rodriquez: Very good question.  I love Star Wars and I had the opportunity to buy Watto on Ebay and I went for it.  I wanted to have a life size for my office and I was lucky enough to get it.  Plus why wouldn’t someone get him :0)  he is awesome. LOL

DV: A lot of sculpting went into your Watto custom. How long did it take to create?
RR: It took me about 3 days from beginning to end including painting.  Once I get into a project I can’t stop working on it until I am done.  I start with an idea and how to approach each step of the process.  After I get a clear picture from beginning to end I just go for it.

DV: What was the most difficult part about creating Watto?
RR: It had to be getting the right shape so it would look like him.  I was afraid that it may not look like him at the end and I would have just wasted my time.  I was able to see soon enough that it was going to look like him and I just couldn’t stop.  I remember that I just keep on looking at his eyes making sure that I capture the essence of him.

DV: What was the inspiration behind making Mr. Smee as a theme park guest?
RR: My family and I love Disney and we would love to live inside Disney World.  I wanted to create something that would show the joy of a vacation at Disney World.  What better way than Mr.  Smee taking a break from Captain Hook.   He is such an interesting character and gets blamed for everything bad that happens to Captain Hook.  I decided he needed a break so I gave him the vacations of his lifetime.

DV: From looking at your work, you seem very comfortable using props and sculpting… what other types of art forms are you into?
RR: I am into cake decorating you can see some of my work at my Facebook group.  I can apply some of the sculpting techniques to creating Vinylmation.  I love creating something from nothing and letting my creativity run wild.

DV: Cake you say? Tell us about your most memorable one.
RR: My favorite cake has to be the 2nd cake I made.  It was my son’s birthday and since he was into airplanes, I decided to make him a scaled down 747. Even though my skill have gotten a lot better since this cake, this was the one that gave me the confidence to keep on making them.  In addition, it was for my son’s birthday and that made it that much more meaningful.  Thinking back it was also the first time I used an airbrush…WOW… Now I can live without it.  Please check my Facebook group to see this cake in video and my other creations.

DV: What drew you to the Mickey canvas?
RR: I have been designing cakes for about 4 years.  The bad part about it is that after the party you have only pictures and videos of it.  It is hard to put all that time, work, and love into something and then in one minute destroy it all to eat it.  I started collecting Vinylmation a few years back and I wanted to create something that I would actually be able to keep.  What better way than merging my love for art and the passion we have for Disney??? Vinylmation has provided me that venue to express my passion for Disney and Art while keeping it at the end.

DV: Do you have a place where people can view your work?
RR: I feel honored for all of you that are joining me in this new venture.  Please join my Facebook group.  You can see my work or request a special piece for yourself. You can also now like my new Facebook page.

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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.

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