Our good friend, Greg over at VinylmationWorld.com posted this blog about a great Vinylmation Custom Artist Jennifer Bednarski. This interview was conducted for Vinylmation Exchange and Vinylmation World. If you enjoy her work below and want to see more, go like her Facebook page at:
and check it out, she has even more amazing designs. Here is the interview:
2014 was a big year for Custom Vinylmations and the artists behind them. Collectors have turn to custom artists to bring their dream vinyls to life. The love and desire for custom vinyls continues to grow and shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
We are now at the start of 2015 and Jennifer Bednarski is a Custom Artist to keep an eye on. She has taken customs to a whole new level with such creativity and out of the box style. We recently sat down with Jennifer Bednarski and got to know a little more behind her work.
1) Can you tell us how you first encountered and came to find Vinylmations and the art of customizing them?
Ironically, I was in WDW shortly after Park 1s were released. I’ve always loved collecting action figures and toys so I was drawn to them but just couldn’t quite “get it.” A lot of my collecting is about faces and they really didn’t have any faces. So I didn’t buy any…lol. Fast forward 4 years, my family was planning to visit WDW again, while researching things to do, I came upon a video about the artistry involved in vinylmation design. Suddenly, “I got it.” I was hooked!
After a little internet search I found the FB groups…first the collecting groups and then to my absolute delight the custom groups. Almost instantly I started falling in love with the custom artists’ work. I was especially enthralled with the designs by Are Jay, Celeste, Mark J Hoffmann, F1shcustoms & Mike Vetrone. After a few months of drooling and stalking I decided it was time to try a custom of my own.
2) So how do you build up towards an idea or concept? Do you sketch it out on paper, on the vinyl, or go along as you are working on it?
From the moment a client contacts me about a custom, I start working on it in my head. I’ll keep working on it for days. Hahaha…I can be a bit obsessive. Which means I’ll be standing at the check out at target and I’m thinking about it. Folding laundry and I’m so distracted that I’m mismatching socks. I just love the problem solving of creating! Once I have a strong sense of where I want to go with a design, I will start looking for photo references. On occasion I will grab a piece of paper and sketch out a really rough layout of the idea. If a piece is especially complex, I’ll even sketch a bit on the vinyl. But for the most part the design in in my head and then I start trouble-shooting the “process” of creating in my mind. I create the piece “mentally” several times over before I start actually working on it. (Ok, am I starting to sound like a nut? Because I feel like I might be sounding like a nut. )
My first goal is to create my client’s dream custom. So we’ll talk up front about what especially draws them to the character or photo they share with me. Once I have a feel for what they’re looking for; I will use sculpted elements to emphasize that which makes the character unique (like a mermaid’s tail) or to accomplish greater accuracy in a character recognition. In my creative work, I like to create designs that capture emotion or create a sense of movement (energy). Sculpted elements really help convey movement…which, I really worked to my advantage in the 2014 mini-series a Hair Affair.
4) We can see that Tangled is your favorite movie. Have you ever created a piece for your own personal collection to keep?
Oh, you noticed, huh…LOL.
For a long time, I kept an early Tangled custom I created of Rapunzel’s tower. It featured many sculpted elements as well as flowing blond hair coming from the tower. I had put way too many hours in the piece to let it go. But time soften the memories of all those long hours, so Rapunzel’s tower found a new home. Typically, I do not keep my work.
5) Is any Disney Custom you have wanted to create but haven’t had the chance to yet?
There is! Way back when I made my first couple of 3″ custom, I got the idea to create a 9″ of Giant Alice spilling out of the White Rabbit’s house. In the year and a half since then, I find myself still thinking about how I would create it. [NOW…I want to make something clear here. If suddenly someone releases a 9″ Alice in the White Rabbit’s house…I WILL COME FIND YOU!!!!]
I enjoy the 3d mold because again it lends itself to designs with a lot of visual movement and energy. Sculpting is my favorite part of the creative process, so I have a natural tendency to design 3 dimensionally. Interesting fact: back in 10th grade, I placed in the top 5% of the nation in spacial visualization. Which basically means, you can show me a 2D pattern and I can immediately see what it will look like in 3 dimensions. (Shhh…this is my superpower.)
7) How busy has customizing vinyls kept you?
It has been no-stop since the day Patrick Chan finally wore me down and I agree to make him a custom Maleficent. I typically work from a 6-month waiting list. I always feel bad that people have to wait so long for my work. I try to work faster but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and love details, so a piece isn’t done until I’m happy with it.
I recently quit my part-time job so that I am now doing custom vinyl work full-time.
Creative work is very unique in that it comes from the artist mind and being. Unlike production work, it can’t be forced. So unfortunately, there are days when I have 8 or 10 hours to create but not much is accomplished because: I’m not be in the right frame of mind, I’m creatively exhausted from work the day before, the full-moon kept me up or perhaps I’ve had too much coffee and my hands aren’t steady (oh, yeah…you KNEW there was no way this interview was going to end without me bringing up coffee! Lol)
8) Custom Vinylmations and Custom Artist were definitely at a high point in 2014 with no stop in sight. So any clues or hint at what we can expect for 2015?
I’m very excited for 2015!! In the first part of the year, I will be releasing my first full-set of 12 blind box customs. Plus, I have a collaboration with a profound custom artist who I have adored since day one!! I still can’t believe it’s happening!! I will be working hard to push my commission work to stronger and more innovative designs. Finally, I have been dabbling with the idea of getting a 3d printer, which would of course lead to endless possibilities.
THANK YOU SO MUCH Vinylmation Exchange and Vinylmation World for this amazing interview opportunity! The energy you put into the wonderful hobby of vinylmation and custom vinylmations is reflected in your following and the warm sense of community that has been created. I know that you volunteer your time and you need to know, it makes all the difference!!
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