Miniatures by Rebecca Smith of Smiths Little Things
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I was always the “art student” throughout my schooling years. I went on to study visual arts at university and following that, I became a secondary school art and media teacher. At this point, time for my own passions was in short supply and my own art practice was put on hold for a while. However, on my recent maternity leave, I was able to experiment with my art practice further. This led to the concept of ballpoint pen miniatures — drawings I could create whilst the baby was asleep. Now, back at work, I have continued this practice.
How did the idea for miniature drawings come about?
For a long time, I have been interested in pushing the boundaries of ordinary materials. This led me to experimenting with photorealistic pen drawings. I then wanted to push the boundaries further by creating photorealistic miniatures with an ordinary BIC ballpoint pen.
What is your favorite type of miniature drawing to make?
I am inspired by the natural world and therefore enjoy drawing animals and nature. Furry animals are particularly satisfying to draw with a pen.
None of my drawings exceed a 40mm circle and I have to use a magnifying glass for the tiny details. It is difficult to get tone from a ballpoint pen, especially in such small areas. Also, when mistakes are made with pen, you cannot erase them and have to start the artwork again. I am a perfectionist and have drawn some of my miniatures several times before being happy with them.
Who are some of your favorite artists or designers?
I am inspired by the work of Ricky Swallow. He brings the still life tradition to life with his meticulously sculpted woodcarvings. The etchings and aquatints of Melbourne printmaker, Kyoko Imazu, are really beautiful. Her animal prints are incredibly detailed and have a childlike innocence to them. Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer created animal paintings and prints, which are also inspiring in their detail and technique. He was one of the first artists to view animals as a worthy subject.
Don’t be scared to put yourself out there. Be confident in what you are doing. Find an area or idea that interests you and focus on it. You want your audience to be able to identify your artwork as yours.
What’s to come from Rebecca Smith?
I am currently developing my website which will feature my ballpoint pen miniatures as well as limited edition prints of these drawings. Keep an eye out!
Smiths Little Things was created by Rebecca Smith of Melbourne, Australia. See what she’s been drawing lately on Instagram!