Donella and Joe Vitale
Donella Vitale is an illustrator who loves to create fun, playful art with hopes that it will result in a smile. She was raised in Mississippi. While growing up she was influenced creatively by her mother who was constantly creating some sort of art. She especially liked her mom’s papier-mâché characters. Donella took any art classes that she could find and thanks to her supportive parents went to college at The Savannah College of Art and Design. She has worked as an artist ever since, drawing and painting in various forms and techniques. She was introduced to the Tiki scene when she met her husband Joe in the late 90’s at Disney.
Donella currently works in her dream job as a Concept Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Born in Brooklyn NY and raised on Long Island, Joe took full advantage of a location where a few stops on the train gave him access to the extremes of small towns and beautiful beaches to the chaos, style, and many cultures of the greatest city in the world.
He grew up skateboarding, surfing & immersed in NYC’s underground music scene, while developing his skills as an artist.
Joe’s fascination with tiki started on a family vacation to Walt Disney World and a stay at the Polynesian Village Resort when he was 7. The place was magic to him and made an impression that would shape his future.
After creating tiki art and collecting tiki for years, a dream to create his own tiki mugs was realized when Joe’s work caught the attention of Tiki Farm. He along with 5 other artists created Tiki Farm’s 1st round of artist mugs in 2002.
Everything came full circle when Joe joined Walt Disney Imagineering where he now designs and builds rides and attractions, getting to create the same magic that was such an inspiration early on.