The LaughingPlace Store
An Interview with Artist Dave Avanzino
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Artist Dave Avanzino is well known to those who attend Disneyland's Special Merchandising Events. Starting with the Mr. Toad event and continuing through Cinderella's Royal Banquet, the Pirates of the Caribbean event, the Divas event and others, Avanzino's "multimedia dimensional art" has proven popular with collectors. That should continue at next week's Official Disneyana Convention where Avanzino will have a number of pieces available. As Avanzino mentions below, one of the most oft heard things of his artwork is "Ive never seen anything like it."
LaughingPlace.com: How did you come to be a Disney artist?
Dave Avanzino: I came in contact with Disneyland through a picture framer. A friend of mine introduced me to a picture framer that does a lot of work for Disney. Another line of my artwork, which is scripture based, is very dimensional and very difficult to frame. So I ended up going to them and having them frame a lot of my pieces. They just are really wonderful and generous people and whenever I was in there framing something, if there was someone from Disneyland that came in, theyd say, "Come over here, you have to see this guys stuff." Through some of those meetings I started doing small plaques like someones name set in a really cool font that was set in a larger dimensional piece that was usually a gift for somebody - items like that.
Avanzino's one-of-a-kind Mr. Toad piece
Eventually I got in with Special Events because, again, I was called in to consult on the framing of a piece of art for Mr. Toads Wild Ride. I created a piece of artwork whose only intent was to be reduced down and put in the matting. But that original piece of art ended up being sold at the event. That opened the door to having a meeting with the people in Special Events and Marketing and showing them what I really do - heres my dimensional stuff. They said the next event is Cinderella so I said, give me a pen, and sat there and sketched up the Cinderella piece I now have hanging in my office. Based on that I got to make some pieces for that event and it has just grown and grown. For that event I did an edition of 5 and a one of kind. Pirates was the same, an edition of 5 and a one of kind. For the Villains event I did 18 pieces. And now it is up to 41. It is sort of growing.
LP: How do you describe what you do?
DA: (chuckles) With difficulty. I call it multimedia dimensional art. It is text based which is something I carried over from the line of scripture artwork I created. And that is what I want to be distinctive about my work for Disneyland. There are already a lot of artists who draw the characters in different ways. Whereas with my stuff Im trying, whenever I can, to incorporate text into it. Disney has such a rich library, from songs to quotes from movies to whatever, that it is endless. I always tell people I cant really describe it well so I usually just carry photos around. You have to see it.
Maleficient from the villains series