Today we’d like to introduce you to Rocío Cintrón.
Rocío, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today, both personally and as an artist.
Since kindergarten I loved art, toys and Disney! I am fortunate to have great parents that really encouraged and supported my dreams. I am from such a small town in Maryland so I did not even know what was possible.
What helped immensely before college was taking private art lessons at a studio and portfolio preparation course in Baltimore. From there I attended Towson University and majored in Illustration. I remember taking a package design course and admiring Toy packaging design, but did not know how to pursue that kind of work.
After graduating, I felt like I still needed to learn more to pursue a commercial art career. Thankfully, I had a friend that told me about the Fashion Institute of Technology, which had everything that inspired me, from Illustration to Fashion to Toy Design. Moving to New York City was intense,as the program was a lot of work and I barely slept but in the end, it was all worth it! Looking back, I am grateful to have experienced living in one of the greatest cities and to have learned from many talented and diverse people.
The Toy Design Program at FIT is extensively dedicated to all aspects of toys from design, concepting, engineering, model making, production, child development, and storytelling. From there, I was lucky to do an internship with Fisher Price. As a Latina, one of the very first toys I designed was Dora the Explorer and felt honored to have had the opportunity to do so.
My dream had been to hopefully one day work for Disney. After graduation, I was accepted to a year long graduate internship with Disney Consumer Products. Grateful to both my mentors at school and Disney for supporting my career. Most importantly, I followed what I loved and just kept trying! Eventually, with a lot of work, I found a career that combines all together. Makes me so happy to design for children, because what they play with can influence what they would like to do later in life and it’s very rewarding.
Currently, I am a Design Manager at Disney. I collaborate with toy companies to help develop toys for Disney Junior properties such as Minnie Mouse, Sofia the First, Vampirina, Fancy Nancy and more. My job includes helping companies come up with concepts and giving artistic direction so that their toys are consistent with the look and
personality of the Disney brands. I especially enjoy working alongside show creators and seeing their stories come to life.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
For toy designs, so much goes into it and it is a collaborative process. I try my best to create toys that encourage lots of play, aspirational, empowering and current. Some types of toys will always be fun but newer generations of kids will have different trends and want more advanced technology.
For my personal work, I love to celebrate women and my Latino culture. I like to draw and paint to take a break from everything digital. For fun, I try different mediums but love the therapeutic nature of watercolors and the vibrancy of gouache. Hope my artwork inspires representation, diversity, colorful, playfulness with lots of sweetness.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Feel free to check out my portfolio at rocio-cintron.com and personal artwork on my Instagram (instagram.com/rocio_cintron). Also have an Etsy shop. I am open to doing commissions as well!
We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I wish it was not like that! I encourage everyone since we luckily live in a city full of artists, to reach out and network. It could turn into a great connection, friendship or mentorship! Also go to museums, galleries, conventions, and workshops for connection/inspiration!