I’ve been asked to introduce myself. But geez; where do I even start? Perhaps the best description I’ve come across for myself is “Restless Creator”, as that pretty well encapsulates most of what makes me “me”. As long as I can remember, I’ve loved creating things. When I was a kid I primarily enjoyed drawing with pencils and making little characters out of polymer clay. As an adult, my hobbies have included toy photography, digital drawing, photo editing, diorama building, Gameboy modding, and miniature crafting. Somehow I keep gaining interest in new hobbies that I don’t have time for!
For me, the most enjoyable cogs of the creation process are researching a new topic thoroughly, practicing what I’ve learned, and improving upon my approaches each time. My biggest art inspirations come from video games, Japanese culture, and food in general. I also derive inspiration from other artists, particularly toy photographers, miniaturists, and digital illustrators.
Photorealistic miniature food
Most recently, the art outlet I have been having the most fun with is photorealistic clay miniature crafting. Although I’ve been creating clay miniatures for years, it wasn’t until 2022 when another toy photography friend of mine commissioned a 1/6th scale pizza that I really began sinking my teeth into the craft. From there, both my interest and fascination with miniature clay work has continued to grow and evolve as I learn new techniques and take on increasingly difficult challenges.
Perhaps most importantly though, the majority of my new hobbies often pair fortuitously well with my favorite and longest-running art medium preference: toy photography! Weaving tons of new skills and creations over the years into my photography has ultimately resulted in a single-universe graphic novel involving a huge cast of characters spanning over 500 posts on my Instagram page. (You can even find some of my earliest miniature clay work in the very first post of the story — I had very humble beginnings, lol.)
But I absolutely could NOT have kept the motivation to continue growing as a creator without all of the lovely people that have taken the time to read the story and share their thoughts along the way! They are the real stars, and I feel so extremely lucky to have found them and developed some of my most cherished friendships among them!
My all-time biggest cheerleaders, though, are my husband and 5-year-old daughter. While my husband can usually polish even my most vague ideas into diamonds, my daughter has proven to be both my “miniature interior designer” consultant and a relentless source of imagination and inspiration in general:
My biggest critic!
First she’ll spend all day asking me a million questions about the next arc I’m writing or the next object I’m making (spamming me with a barrage of nuanced inquiries regarding a character’s likes and intentions, or the story’s setting and punchlines, or the context of the item I’m creating, etc). Then she’ll get to work mocking up new dioramas out of her toys and drawings for me to recreate, and diagrams of different approaches I should consider toward whatever it is I’m actively working on at the time. And finally, she’ll somehow manage to catch at least one or two hugely-important details or mistakes in my work that I would have missed otherwise.
Honestly, it’s kind of crazy just how involved (and critical!) a 5-year-old can be in something like this. But she’s always making sure I’m heading in the right direction, and I couldn’t be more proud, impressed, or grateful! The next generation of toy photographers is coming, and I’m so freaking stoked to pass the torch and see how much further they can take the craft beyond what we ever thought possible!