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4 Disney Store Artists Share How Disney Pins Go From Design to Your Denim Jacket

It’s no secret that we love Disney pins. Whether it’s on a lanyard, a shirt, or a hat, a pin is the perfect way to add some Disney Style to your everyday look. But, have you ever wondered what goes into making into making a Disney pin? Well, we sat down with four artists behind the Disney Store’s Artist Pin Collection to find out what the pin design process is like and what they love about Disney flair.

Nontra Null
Pins Created: Beast, Genie, Zero

What is the design process like to create a Disney pin?
This was my first time designing a pin! I am a somewhat of a pin collector as well, so I was really excited to give it a shot and add my own pins to my collection! I knew I wanted the pins to be unique and whimsical, so I chose my favorite characters and moments and redrew each of them in my own style. Beast is my favorite, because Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney film. I remember being in 2nd grade, watching and cracking up when he came out from his makeover with that ridiculous hairdo.

What sort of elements do you think make for a great Disney pin?
I think the best pins are the ones that look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The more special they are, the more collector they feel. My favorite pins are the ones that interpret the characters in a different way than how you traditionally see them. Also, the cuter the better in my book!

Pins have had a bit of a style renaissance lately. What do you think of the trend of seeing pins on jackets, bags, etc.?
I love it! It’s so fun to see what each person chooses to add to their items—like a peek into their personality and interests. You can tell so much by what someone’s wearing- their favorite characters, food, and sayings. They also make a great conversation piece when you start diving into where each pin came from. I love to mix newer ones with vintage, old finds—like a wearable scrapbook!

Who is your favorite Disney character?
I have so many, but Mickey is my all-time favorite because, well, he’s the original! “It all started with a mouse,” right? I also love that Mickey is always being reinvented and reinterpreted by different artists. He is so iconic and recognizable, but also versatile and always evolving.

What is the best part about creating product for the Disney Store?
The best part about creating product for the Disney Store is bringing joy and happiness to people around the world through my designs! I love seeing someone at the airport rolling a luggage piece I designed, or a kid at the beach in a swimsuit I worked on—it never gets old! I also get to stay connected to the characters and stories I love and be the first to know about new content coming out- the ultimate job perk! My husband works at Disney Animation, so it’s also fun that we get to work on different aspects of the same things!.We love being a Disney family. Now that I am a mom (I just had a baby!) I think it will be even more fun to create with my own family in mind.

Keith Fulmis
Pins Created: Lion King, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame

What is the design process like to create a Disney pin? 
Well, it all starts with a theme. It could set around a holiday, activity, character or an anniversary. Once that has been decided, it is up to the artist to give it life. I typically do two to three sketches in order to find the right composition. Once the most ideal composition is picked, I create a clean tight pencil version which I then ink and create a vector version of it. From there it’s off to the factory and then the hands of our collectors.

What sort of elements do you think make for a great Disney pin? 
I like using translucent colors for the backgrounds and opaques for the characters to help them stand out. I also like to make use of pin on pins and danglers. But my go to is translucent colors cause it affords me the opportunity to create patterns beneath the surface of the translucent color that produces a elevated effect or finish that does not distract too much from the characters.

Pins have had a bit of a style renaissance lately. What do you think of the trend of seeing pins on jackets, bags, etc.? 
I think it’s great! It is nice to see the pin culture as a whole go full circle. Pins have been part of our culture in America going all the way back to political pins that were use in Lincoln’s era and pins have been part of Disney culture from the beginning as well. Seeing people in the Parks and on the streets waring pins I have designed is a great feeling, knowing that something I created means the same to the person waring the pin on their jackets and so on. I’ve been designing pins for close to 10 years, and it has been a wonderful ride. So, I was honored when Stores asked me to participate in the Artist Pin Program for the 30th Anniversary of the stores.

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?  
Well I have two favorites, Robin Hood and Scrooge. Robin Hood was my favorite Disney film growing up, I loved the story, the art and the way the animators brought him and the rest of the cast of that film to life. Scrooge from the classic Carl Barks comics is the reason I wanted to become a Disney artist. I was in awe at the way Barks would tell a story panel to panel and the way he could bring Scrooge and other characters to like with a few brush lines. I knew that was what I wanted to do when I grew up.

What is the best part about creating product for the Disney Store? 
To be honest it’s the whole thing! At the stores we get to develop a product from concept all the way to final version that sits on the shelves. It’s like bringing a child into to the world, raising it and setting it free. Every stage in the process has its ups and downs, and at the end of the day we have something that we are proud of and we send it out into the world to share it with every one and hope that it gives the fans the same joy we got making it. From time to time I go the website and read the responses as well as look at peoples’ social media posts of products I’ve made and it gives me joy to see and read how much they love it.

Paul Meshreky
Pins Created: Roger Rabbit, Ariel, Prince & the Pauper

What is the design process like to create a Disney pin?
I’m not the best person to ask! But you did, so I am forced to answer. Hahaha! My actual job is designing Disney clothing and accessories, so this opportunity was my first (and hopefully not the last!) time getting to design Disney pins. And boy oh boy, was it interesting! Learning all the different materials, functions, limitations of a whole new type of product was great. And then getting to put those learnings into immediate action was such a cool experience.

What sort of elements do you think make for a great Disney pin?
The main element I think is personality. Our guests fall in love with our characters because they see themselves in them. And wearing a Disney pin of your favorite character is a way of telling people “THIS IS WHO I AM!” without yelling at someone “THIS IS WHO I AM!” (people do not enjoy that). So, having a beloved character on a pin that also shows that character’s (and the guest’s) personality is the ultimate goal. I mean, love is probably the ultimate goal, but that personality-pin thing is up there, too.

Pins and flair have had a bit of a style renaissance lately. What do you think of the trend of seeing pins on jackets, bags, etc.?
I love it! It’s such a great way of taking things and making them “yours”. Other than stealing. That is the bad way of making something “yours”.

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
THAT’S TOO TOUGH OF A QUESTION! I would pass, but I’ll say The Incredibles (if that counts) is one of my favorite movies ever. Superheroes and family, what more could I ask for?!

What is the best part about creating product for the Disney Store?
This sounds like a copout, but I love the whole process! The actual process of getting something made is so exciting. A designer at the Disney Store is involved in every step of the process. From deciding the concept for the look of the season, to picking colors, to designing the product, to approving what the factories send, to finally seeing the actual product! It always blows me away an idea that was in your head eventually is manufactured and you can hold it in your hands and show it to people.

Daria Vinogradova
Pins Created: Inside Out, Zootopia, Baby Groot

What is the design process like to create a Disney pin?
There is a lot of collaboration involved between the artist, internal teams and external partners that help us bring our sketches to life. For the three pins I designed, I worked with Pixar (Rainbow Unicorn), Animation Studios (Fru Fru) and Marvel (Groot) to make sure my art interpretation matched the stories they were trying to tell. After finalizing my design, I worked with our pin team to pick colors, sizes and exciting treatments to make all elements of the pin stand out. We review each product several times to check for improvements we can make and once everyone is happy, it goes into production!

What sort of elements do you think make for a great Disney pin?
For me, I would have to say that it’s character/art choice. For these pins, I went after characters that have small roles but big personalities.

Pins and flair have had a bit of a style renaissance lately. What do you think of the trend of seeing pins on jackets, bags, etc.?
It’s fantastic! You can truly own your look when you accessorize with pins. Tell the story of YOU.

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
Maid Marion from Robin Hood, because she was kind to everyone in all circumstances.

What is the best part about creating product for the Disney Store?
I really enjoy retelling my favorite stories through product. So it’s always heartwarming to see someone blog or Instagram their favorite Disney item and it just happens to have my artwork on it or be a product our team worked on. It brings me so much joy to see others loving what we do.

The final set in Disney Store’s Artist Pin Collection releases this weekend: in-store on April 1, and online April 2.

Posted 4 years Ago
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