Every miniature artist knows that to recreate any object at micro size, they must not overlook even the smallest detail, because that's where the beauty of this art lies. If you take a peek at the works of Hungarian miniature artist Fanni Sandor, that's exactly what you'll see—meticulously planned and crafted miniature animals that are the next best thing to the real ones.
39-year-old Sandor told Bored Panda that she's a biologist and worked with nature conservation projects until her kids were born, but now she is a full-time miniaturist.
Being a biologist, Sandor took both inspiration and knowledge from her profession. "The nature-based subjects inspire me principally, so mostly I make lifelike animals and plants."
"I crazy-love miniature things, ever since my childhood," the artist said. Sandor started making her first miniatures at the age of 6, but only much later in life did she turn that passion into a profession. "In my twenties, I saw professional miniaturists' work for the first time through the internet. I was completely fascinated. I realized there are a lot of miniature lovers who live around the world, and some of them are making miniatures at an artistic level. That was the point when I decided I wanted to be a professional miniaturist and I wanted to make art with my works."
How does one master such a craft, you may wonder? Well, for Sandor, it took pairing her innate passion for this craft with the basic skills she already had and loads of practice. "I'm used to drawing, painting, and sculpting, so I had the basic skills which are needed for this art form. I practiced a lot until I showed my first new generation of miniature work for an audience. In my work, my most important aim is to produce realistic and detailed representations."
When asked about the particular steps she takes when creating each sculpture, Sandor provided a detailed response: "The first step of making miniature animals is collecting a lot of pictures of the animal species I want to sculpt. After that, I make a few sketches of the animal. The drawing is very important, because it’s much easier to sculpt if you do some study drawings of the subject. After that, I make the sculpture. For sculpting, I use paper embossing tools and pin ending tools. After baking, I add more details to the sculpture with my carving tools. The next step is painting. It’s very important for me that I paint the finished sculpture very detailed; however, the fur or feather coat will cover the paint. And the last step is the furring or feathering. I attach the fibers or feathers to the body with a strong glue. The legs are made of wire."
The woman said that depending on the complexity of the miniature she's making, it takes from 2 days to a week to complete it.
Sandor's works have not only gained her over 26k Instagram followers, but she has also received an honorable title.
"In 2014, when I thought my miniatures were good enough, I applied for the IGMA Artisan title in the animal figures category, and I got it. (IGMA—International Guild of Miniature Artisans was founded to promote fine miniatures as an art form.) It was a great honor. After two years of hard work, in 2016, I was awarded the IGMA Fellow title (this honor is given to those whose work is the epitome of excellence) and I was over the moon."