Miniatures by FatalPotato
When I was younger, I went through an elimination diet to identify any food allergies I might have had. I wasn’t allowed to eat most delicious things in the meantime. For a kid who could scarf down eight large dumplings as a baby, this was quite the bummer! My mom suggested that I express my appetite through a different medium. Being from an artsy family, she handed me a block of white Sculpey and out popped a miniature marshmallow! My dad later helped me sculpt a hamburger, effectively forging my love for little faux food. I was never interested in dolls or dollhouses… in fact, I took Barbies apart and made them into race cars. So, I just kept on making miniature foodstuffs because I thought they were just so darn cute.
Where did the name “FatalPotato” come from?
FatalPotato is the product of a silly middle school obsession with spuds. I wanted my shop name to be humorous yet slightly dark… the alternative was “AgitatoPotato.”
How long have you been creating minis?
On and off again since I was around five, so about 13 years now.
What types of miniatures do you make and how has your work evolved?
I make realistic-style miniature food. I’ve always centered my art around food, so I’d say my work has evolved more in terms of technique rather than content. When I first started, I sculpted everything from memory; the only reference images of whatever food I wanted to make were in my head. My burgers and donuts were very basic in texture, color, and shape, almost cartoonish. I coated every mini in a thick layer of shiny glaze… I thought the plasticky look was *fabulous.* I later scoured cookbooks and Google images for more ideas and eventually replaced my supremely-glossy style with a realistic one.
Oh, I wish! Being a full-time student, I don’t have as much time for sculpting as I used to. I still try to keep a few minis available in my shop whenever I’m home from college (December and June-September).
What types of different materials do you use to make miniatures?
I use polymer clay as a base medium, followed by chalk pastels and/or acrylic paint for extra coloring, and sealed with matte or glossy glaze. I also use liquid clay for viscous foods and air dry clay for other textures. Organic material, like moss and wood, are handy as well.
Advice for beginner miniaturists?
Hmm… I would say the most important tip, as cheesy as it sounds, is to have patience! Progress will inevitably follow as long as you persevere and keep practicing your craft. Always keep an eye out for inspiration, but cherish and cultivate your own style, let it blossom. As a miniaturist, I find it super helpful to pay meticulous attention to the real version of whatever I’m making. Notice the shapes, the special textures, the particular gradients of color. That’s why I tend to peer at my food like an archaeologist examining an alien fossil… I like to observe all of the itsy-bitsy details that make it unique.
Besides polymer clay, I couldn’t live without my trusty broken toothpick. It’s spiky on the broken end while the pointy end has accumulated years of paint and glue, making both ends excellent for food textures. Kinda gross, but so versatile!
Other activities you enjoy?
I enjoy dabbling in other artsy things, like drawing, painting, and photography. I love drawing skulls and creepy things especially, which is so in tune with my main hobby of cutesy, little food!
Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you to everyone who has supported my miniature foods. I’m very grateful to be included in such a wonderful online art community!
Leah is based in Oregon and will soon be relocating to Rhode Island. To enjoy more of her FatalPotato creations, check out the FatalPotato website and FatalPotato Etsy shop. You can follow along daily on Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and DeviantArt!