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What’s your earliest memory with miniatures?
When I was around 10 years of age, I always visited an aunt, and in her house she had a room that every time I tried to enter, was locked. So one day, she left the door open, and when I got inside, I was amazed by what I saw. A room fully filled with scale model trains; it was full of houses, roads, cars… even mountains. That was mind blowing for me!
How did you first get started making miniatures?
Honestly, it all started after stumbling upon a diorama in a store. Since that day, I became interested in that kind of miniatures. But the need for innovative change in my career took me every day deeper into the world of miniatures.
Do you remember the very first miniature you ever made?
Yes, I remember being presented a scale model kit of an ambulance by my father. But at that time, I didn’t have the skills to work with the materials and so on. So it was a very tricky to make it in a non-grotesque way. Unfortunately, I only have a few parts of the unmounted vehicle body that I used for other miniatures.
As for my very first diorama, I still have it and it belongs to one of my friends.
What is the most challenging miniature to make?
Almost any work using miniature techniques are complex projects! When working in scale and actual measurements, it is necessary to stick to these measures. Architectural buildings are always a challenge. Personally, I believe that the greatest difficulty is simulating rust texture. Rust has so many variations and colors.
What advice would you give to new miniaturists?
Determination and creativity are crucial elements for a successful miniaturist. But when I started in this amazing miniature world, I received very little information on the subject. I had to study measures, scales and even a bit of architecture. Photographic references are a great choice to analyze and learn details about construction. Basically, miniature art is nothing more than a realistic representation of a real environment, but in smaller scale, so it’s very important to have good planning in your project so that your research and development is convincing.
Well I’m fascinated by classic and vintage cars. I also admire abandoned buildings and environments. I like these styles because they have so many details when it comes to textures and colors. I like to try to recreate something that had its own history and was set aside for awhile.
What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen by another artist?
I definitely believe that would have to be the amazing miniature “Boxes” by French artist Marc Giai-Miniet. The concepts behind each one of his artworks is completely unique in my point of view. Let’s not forget to mention also the incredible work of Thomas Doyle.
What is your hope for the field of miniatures?
It would be very satisfying for me to pass on the knowledge acquired during the five years I’ve been involved in this industry. I think in the future there would be more lectures, workshops, and small dioramas courses.
How can miniature enthusiasts help keep the art alive?
By sharing their knowledge and skills.
Who are some of your favorite miniaturists?
The list will be a little big so I’ll summarize my favorites:
- Dirk Patschkowski
- Ken Hamilton
- Lori Nix
- Alan Wolfson
- Satoshi Araki
- Marcel Ackle
- Yasu Okugawa
- Ichiyoh Haga
- Shunichi Matsuba
- Chuck Doan
- Don Railton
- Randy Hage
- Thomas Doyle
After many years as art director and designer in the film and motion picture industry, I felt the great need for an artistic recycling. It was with the creation of miniatures that personally I find so intriguing and fun; I could express new skills. When you can analyze a photograph and reproduce exactly what is observed in scale… it’s fantastic.
Upcoming projects planned?
I currently have a list of projects in progress in my website, showing the percentage of how much the project is ready. It’s a fun way I found to interact with my audience so they can keep up with my work.
New miniatures in the works?
I am currently developing a project in partnership with a filmmaker, through which I will show epic and iconic scenes of big Hollywood movies. The first series will be based on the master Stanley Kubrick, reproducing scenes like the hallway from Overlook Hotel among others.
What’s to come from Grandmondo?
Workshops, tutorials, and short courses.
Other activities you enjoy?
I have been doing visual arts since the age of seventeen. I consider myself a digital self-taught artist who has worked for advertising agencies, studios around the world. I have developed many skills in animation design, art direction, illustration, motion design and photography.
I also enjoy restoration as a hobby, as well as collecting old cars with my father. I think through my father came the greatest influence and passion for old cars.
What do you want miniature fans to know about you?
If you like my work as a miniaturist you can contact me directly on my website, Instagram or Facebook. We can talk about a special project that you want to have in your collection. Custom orders are welcome.
Grandmondo Miniatures was created by Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi from Sao Paulo, Brazil. To see more of his miniature works of art, check out the Grandmondo Miniatures website, or visit Instagram, Facebook, Behance.