In a previous Disney Parks Blog article, I introduced you to the town of Trade City, USA. It is this year’s theme for the annual Disney Pin Celebration to be held at Epcot in August 2010. I recently spoke with Disney Design Group Artist Chris Chapman, who along with artist Tyler Dumas, lead the charge for creating the critical component to any event we produce – exciting, unique and fun artwork. Chris shared with me a few stories about this upcoming event.
Work on this year’s event actually began months before the last trade was made at Disney Pin Celebration 2009 last June. It takes that long to brainstorm ideas, refine concepts and finalize a storyline. The “city based on trading” theme seemed like a natural fit for this year’s event. We wanted a connection to the 10th Anniversary of Disney Pin Trading, so the idea of “Founder’s Day Celebration” for the town gave us a reason to celebrate with our Guests.
But the funniest thing is that we had been building Trade City for the past several years and didn’t even realize it! I still recall the meeting when Jon Bishop, Design Manager with Disney Design Group, made the connection that Trade City could contain Pin Trading University (the theme from Disney Pin Celebration 2008 – Go Pinbacks!) and The Museum of Pin-tiquities (the 2009 event theme). For those of you wondering, we already thinking about 2011 (but that is for another time).
There are two items in particular that I really love, and Chris worked on both of them — the Mayor Mickey portrait and the Trade City Road Signs.
“The natural choice for the Mayor of Trade City was Mickey Mouse,” explained Chris. “We featured him in the main logo for the event, but I wanted to create an image like something you would find in City Hall.”
Chris partnered with senior character artist Alex Maher to create the dignified looking Mayor Mickey image pictured above. It took Chris about six hours to paint the portrait. I think he captured the turn-of-the-century, presidential portrait style perfectly! Back in the day, portrait subjects had to hold still for a very long time (and no smiling –- gosh, I love my digital camera even more now!). This image will be used on the completer pin for the Super Framed Set.
Chris also worked on a mystery boxed set featuring Trade City Road Signs. He used rough concept art created by Daniel Kaplan, one of our Trading Coordinators. Trust me, we had a ball thinking of road signs that one might find in Trade City. We ended up with way more signs than what we needed. The cool part about this set is the trading boards will feature “completer” pins that will compliment the retail set. In other words, if an event Guest wants the complete Trade City Road Sign set, she or he will need to trade for additional pins from the trading boards during the event. All I can say is, “Look out for falling pins!”
For all of the event details, please visit www.DisneyPins.com. Hope to see you there!