As a miniaturist, one of the most common questions I get asked is “do you consider miniatures an art or a craft?”. I absolutely love this question because it opens the door to deep and meaningful conversations about the incredible world of miniatures and the effect that they can have on both enthusiasts and casual viewers as alike.
The fact of the matter is, in recent years the world of miniatures has experienced an enormous upswing in followers, artists, hobbyists and craftspeople. In addition to increased popularity on social media, we now have access to artisan videos, tutorials, podcasts and even television shows dedicated to an artform that, in the not-so-distant past, was considered a niche craft.
Modern miniature enthusiasts are made up of people from all backgrounds, ages and demographics. So what is it about this tiny movement that is having such an huge impact on the social media community and seemingly bridging generational and societal gaps around the world? The answer can be reduced to one word: Imagination!
The world of miniatures has the unique ability of allowing artists and hobbyists to indulge in worlds, environments and lifestyles that might otherwise be unattainable. The possibilities are truly limitless and the appeal of creating a scene or world where the builder has complete creative control with no boundaries is often too great a temptation to resist.
With the start of the global pandemic in 2020 I found myself looking for ways to escape the realities of the world while also flexing my creative muscles. At that time, the world of miniatures was completely uncharted territory for me. The idea of recreating the apartment from one of my favorite television shows was truly exciting and I felt that if I could fully capture the ambiance and feel of that show and replicate it in miniature form I would have an amazing creation. I knew that not only would I enjoy making it but that if I executed it properly and stayed true to the show from which it came, my creation would be enjoyed by many. My miniature journey started with one single piece and then quickly grew into something much more. As a collector of Hollywood props and memorabilia I was interested in creating the iconic fireplace from the hit television show Frasier to display alongside my collection of props from that show. I had no idea how to even begin creating a miniature fireplace or how to get the scale right, in fact I didn’t even know that there was a standard “scale”. I used images from the show and compared them to the known height of the actors to get accurate dimensions and I began to build…in absolutely the worst possible way that I could! I made a complete mess and but I enjoyed every step of the process and when I was finished with the piece I posted photos of the completed fireplace on social media. The feedback I received inspired me to make more pieces from the show and I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to recreate the entire apartment. That build became known world wide as The Frasier Project.
After completion of The Frasier Project I decided to make another set from the same show so I recreated the coffee shop, Café Nervosa in painstaking detail. My favorite part about this particular build was that it allowed me the opportunity to get creative with the areas that we never see but can only imagine, such as the Peugeot Sounds record store, the restroom and my personal favorite…the kitchen. The kitchen in Café Nervosa was the first opportunity that I had to really create my OWN story in the world of miniatures. I wanted to juxtapose the snobbish and uppity attitudes that the characters displayed in the main area of the coffee shop by creating a filthy and carefree environment in the back to show how superficial their elitism actually was.
It was during the creation of the kitchen environment that it became clear to me that while some forms of miniatures would be considered a craft or a hobby, miniatures are also definitely an artform. Artists are creating miniatures to express themselves and evoke feeling and emotions in others. People are finding themselves more and more connected to the stories that miniature artists, including myself, are trying to tell. More and more people are finding themselves inspired and captivated by the huge stories of these small works of art.
During my progression as an artist it was very important to me to dive deeper into other areas of miniatures and to begin to create pieces that others could purchase and enjoy and that’s where the idea for my brand The Bearded Miniaturist was born. I wanted to create custom pieces that others could incorporate into their current projects and help others create the miniature world of their dreams. Although the brand is still in its infancy I am constantly creating new designs and content and letting my imagination run wild and trying to bring joy and inspire and at that end of the day….that’s what art is for.
Please support my miniature journey by engaging with me on social media. You can find me on Instagram @The_Bearded_miniaturist, join my Facebook group The Frasier Project, YouTube @The Bearded Miniaturist