“When creating my miniature pieces, the process can take from one month to almost two years to create a single piece,” this is what professional miniature artist Chris Toledo of Toledo Miniatures told Bored Panda about his finely-detailed, expertly-crafted 1:12 scale historic building interiors.
Chris has the patience of a saint and the focus of a Jedi. His childhood love for art and architecture eventually grew into what it is now: a resounding success that fascinates tens of thousands of people.
“Each model I create starts with extensive research of the era and time period I'm trying to recreate,” Chris said. “Over the years I've collected home plans and building guides from the early 20th century to make sure my pieces are 100% accurate representations of the past.”
Scroll down for the rest of our in-depth interview with the artist and upvote your favorite miniatures. Let us know in the comments what you think of Chris’ art and whether you’ve tried making miniatures yourselves.
“The process for building my pieces is much like building an actual house or room. I start with simple layout drawings to make sure everything flows cohesively and harmoniously,” Chris explained how involved his creative process is.
“From there, I create a more detailed blueprint which I eventually construct on a 3D computer modeling program. This helps me visualize each project and allows me to make any changes before I begin construction of the actual piece.”
According to the artist, building his miniatures is a lot like building an actual house: “After I have a solidified design, the construction process begins. When building my pieces, I use many tools similar to those of building something full-sized, except they have been scaled down to accommodate the pieces I make such as a table saw the size of a show box or a hand saw made specifically to cut tiny hair sized details into wood.”
Chris fell in love with constructing miniatures just over 20 years ago. He revealed that he's “always” been fascinated by them.
“I remember going to Disneyland as a child and being totally fascinated with the miniature buildings along the Storybook Canal Ride. About that same time, I discovered the world of dollhouse miniatures and I loved the idea of being able to build these tiny creations myself.”
“I began with kits that I would find at local hobby stores and eventually moved onto creating my own designs,” he said.
However, he kept his miniature work a secret for a long, long time, telling only his closest friends and family members about it.
“Although I had always pursued the arts as a career option, I never imagined it would be my miniatures that would take me there. Over time, miniatures became my favorite art form because it encompassed every medium I loved to work with. From woodworking, painting, interior design to art history...making miniatures had it all.”
But what about the people who’d like to follow in his footsteps? What friendly tips does Chris have for prospective miniature enthusiasts?
“I think anyone can find something they love within the world of miniature making. It’s a form of art that allows you to have something in your hands that maybe you wouldn't be able to have in real life,” he stated.
“For me, it was my love of historic architecture. Creating miniature replicas of historic rooms gave me a chance to hold a piece of history in my hands and see it with my own eyes. “
“When people ask me how they can get into this hobby, I always tell them to follow the path that I did. Beginning with hobby store kits. This allowed me to first experiment with working on a small scale and to become familiar with building small and develop that ‘Miniature Eye’ that allows you to visualize in your mind how you would transform a full-sized object or room into miniature.”
Chris said that the biggest piece of advice he can give anyone is “to just have fun.”
“With miniatures, the possibilities are truly endless and you're only limited by your own imagination.”