Ep. 87: Costume Concept Artist Gina DeDomenico Flanagan

Costume concept artist Gina DeDomenico Flanagan spent the first half of her childhood roller skating around a cul-de-sac and the second half riding a horse around Hawaii. She studied fashion and illustration and then found her way into the entertainment business working with costume designers. After a 10-year motherhood hiatus and a divorce, she re-entered the industry and found that everything had gone digital. Through tears and hard work she learned the new tools and now she helps outfit superheroes. Pow!
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What is your earliest memory?

Taking a bath in the kitchen sink in our Fremont Calif. home. I was so excited to see out the window over the sink... I must have been so small!

Gina and her horse.” This was taken for a magazine article in Hawaii. They wanted me in my english riding outfit and made me put on a western hat. As you can see, this still haunts me today.”

Gina and her horse.” This was taken for a magazine article in Hawaii. They wanted me in my english riding outfit and made me put on a western hat. As you can see, this still haunts me today.”

How do you feel about democratic design?

I feel it is a mirage. You get what you pay for. Real quality can never be mass produced and sold cheaply.

What’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten?

When my first daughter was two years old, I was struggling with my ego, I felt I “had to work to stay in the game”. Someone I respect said to me “You have all the time in the world to work, your children only grow up once, and before you know it they are gone.” She was so right—I still hear her in my head today.

How do you record your ideas?

Organized chaos on my computer, Dropbox, and external hard drives...

What’s your current favorite tool or material to work with?

My Wacom Cintiq by far! My dream is to have the biggest one they make, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 with Flex arm …. THEN I will be happy…. only then.

What book is on your nightstand?

The Power of your Attitude by Stan Toler. This book was a powerful tool that helped me to navigate reviving my career.

Gina at Parsons: “Parsons School of Design senior year. Three years of construction, draping and illustration. A perfect education for a costume concept artist.”

Gina at Parsons: “Parsons School of Design senior year. Three years of construction, draping and illustration. A perfect education for a costume concept artist.”

Why is authenticity in design important?

Staying clear and pure is important in every aspect of life, always a good platform.

Favorite restaurant in your city?

Nonna’s.  It is the best Italian restaurant in California as far as I am concerned, and I met the man I love there, so it is my favorite for sure!

Chris Pratt in The Magnificent 7 / Designer: Sharen Davis

Chris Pratt in The Magnificent 7 / Designer: Sharen Davis

What might we find on your desk right now?

My large Cintiq, a Macbook Pro, an external hard drive, dark chocolate, 3 cups (coffee, the water I refuse to drink and the Diet Coke I did drink), notes and reference material on the next superhero I have to conceptualize, and a ridiculous amount of tangly power cords.

Who do you look up to and why?

Alan Villanueva. He’s a fellow concept artist. He held his hand out to me and lifted me up. Trained me to be a concept artist for Supers, without fear of me competing with him. He changed my life and I will be eternally grateful for his kindness and generosity. He’s truly a stand up guy.

Elastigirl Concept

Elastigirl Concept

Elastigirl Concepts

Elastigirl Concepts

Elastigirl Concepts

Elastigirl Concepts

Elastigirl Concepts

Elastigirl Concepts

Final performance illustration for Lady Gaga in A Star is Born / Designer: Erin Benach

Final performance illustration for Lady Gaga in A Star is Born / Designer: Erin Benach

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What’s your favorite project that you’ve done and why?

Galaxy Quest. Creating the villain Sarris was a blast, and I was a huge fan of Star Trek as a kid so being able to work on the spoof version was fun. The Pitch Perfect movies were fun too, as my kids considered for a second that I “might be cool,” but it didn’t last.

What are the last five songs you listened to?

Bryan Ferry, Avalon ( love this album!)
Hallelujah, The Pentatonix
Your Body is a Wonderland, John Mayer
If I could Tell Her, Dear Evan Hansen Soundtrack
Cake by the Ocean, DNCE

“I go to Comic-Con San Diego every year and sit on panels or work with Wacom and the Costume Designers Guild my fabulous Union. I was at Comic-Con with my brother when I was 12, I am so proud to be there today! The people there have so much spirit, if just some rubs off on me I am thrilled!”

“I go to Comic-Con San Diego every year and sit on panels or work with Wacom and the Costume Designers Guild my fabulous Union. I was at Comic-Con with my brother when I was 12, I am so proud to be there today! The people there have so much spirit, if just some rubs off on me I am thrilled!”


Follow Gina DeDomenico Flanagan on Instagram.


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Clever is produced by 2VDE Media. Thanks to Rich Stroffolino for editing this episode.
Music in this episode courtesy of
El Ten Eleven—hear more on Bandcamp.
Shoutout to
Jenny Rask for designing the Clever logo.