Legacy Content

An Interview with Artist Dave Avanzino
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Another of Avanzino's Pirates pieces

LP: Which piece of yours has been the most well received?

DA: From what people have said I think the Villains pieces. I think those are the most in my style that I’ve done for them so far. "Cinderella" was good but that was just one word. I also did "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" as a one of a kind but that was gone (snaps) like that and very few people saw it. I also did "Pirates of the Caribbean". That had some text and was dimensional but it wasn’t as much my style. My style is more taking not just one word but a whole line of dialog. These were the first pieces where I really took a major block of text or several words and really did a treatment of it. And they seemed to have a really, really positive response and people continue to mention them to me. I also loved the frames on them. The pointed tops I think really caught people’s attention.

LP: Backing up a bit ... how did you get started doing this type of artwork?

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Some of Avanzino's current scripture-based artwork

DA: I developed this style doing a line of scripture-based artwork. The original concept for that was basically a contemporary illuminated manuscript. Those were the old Bible pages that the monks used to hand letter with the really scripty first letter. TIt was something I thought up several years ago and then it took three years before I ever even made one. I finally did because one day I needed a wedding gift (chuckles). One of the nice things about being an artist is that I can go into the garage and make a wedding gift in a couple of hours. And so I started making pieces using the "Love is patient, Love is Kind" verse with a big decorative “L” and all the text set. From that I saw that people really responded to them in a way I never imagined. And I actually had a lot of doors open up and was able to get into publishing them and having people make products out of them. That is what developed the style and they got more and more elaborate and now, as you can see, they are getting bigger and bigger and I'm creating 3 foot by 4 foot ones for churches around the country. So that is how I, over the past several years, have developed this multimedia and dimensional style using different materials where there’s everything from paper to wood to metal and all sorts of things in there.

LP: What’s it like dealing with the Disney collectible community?

DA: So far I’ve had a really great experience. I really enjoy talking with people and so I like hooking up with people at different events. They always seem really nice and really curious asking, “how did you do this?” “how did you think that up?” I’m still fairly new and because my stuff is all handmade there are very few people who own my stuff - I’d say under 50. That's because I haven’t been able to generate the amount of pieces like someone who can make a lithograph of their work and sell three thousand of them. So you know the amount of people coming up saying “I own your work” is pretty small. But there are a lot of people that will come and have seen them and say "I love your stuff I wish I could get one."

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"Tomorrowland" from Avanzino's series for the Official Disneyana Convention

LP: What will you be featuring at the Official Disneyana Convention?

DA: I have a series of pieces based on the lands of Disneyland. Each letter incorporates something from the park’s various signage or from an attraction spelling out the name of each of the original lands.

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An Avanzino auction piece for the Official Disneyana Convention
(c) Disney

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-- Posted August 31, 2001
-- Interview by Rebekah and Doobie Moseley

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