One of our Facebook posts garnered a bit of attention so we thought we'd reach out to @mmmbyselma and have a little chat with her. She's creating some absolutely fantastic pieces of miniature food and we're sure it's going to make you hungry by the end of this post. Q: Hi Selma, thanks for agreeing to doing this interview with us, we're delighted! For everybody that's reading can you please tell us a bit about yourself? Thank you very much for contacting me and for your interest. Pleasure is all mine. I am Selma Mahmutovic, an artist - miniaturist and freelancer art educator. I live and work in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's been almost seven years now since I've dedicated my work to polymer clay. Even though I drew, painted, and printed graphics, sculpting has always been there and I gladly worked on it - whenever I had a bit of time I sculpted.
However, somehow that passion of mine would always end up in a drawer due to many obligations at the Academy of Fine Arts at the time (students of printmaking will know what I mean). After the official classes at the Academy, I've decided to take a little break before graduation - and that was the best move I've ever made. I did creations for myself in my own home studio, and without any outside influence I've realised that this is what I'm meant to do. My life always revolved around fine art, but in last six-seven years it became a very part of me. Q: How did you get into making miniature pieces of artwork? Growing up in a country where dollhouse miniature and dollhouse culture did not exist, I devoted myself as I said before, to classical fine art. I am a very detailed oriented person and miniatures are all about details. Since for me it is important not to be superficial in any of the segments of work, so I read a lot, experimented, and learned different techniques. Thanks to the new technologies and social media I met a lot of artists through the internet.
We still exchange experiences, advises, and encourage each other in creativity. The miniatures came as a logical sequence after I got well informed about polymer clay techniques. Nothing makes me happier today than applying my knowledge to creating miniatures not only for me but for many collectors. Every second I create miniatures is pure joy for me. Q: What is the process for making them; how long does it take; what tools do you use; where do you get your ideas from? The process of creating miniatures is rather demanding and often lasts long. Of course, it depends on what I am creating and which material I am using. For example, if I sculpt food, I first prepare all types of polymer clay by conditioning it, I prepare colours I'd need, and other materials such as acrylic paint and pigments of soft pastels. I also take time to determine the scale. Time for creation depends on miniature complexity. I never rush because I focus on the success of every little story I am making. Tools are extension of by body. What I cannot do with my hands, I use different tools. During these seven years I've collected many different sorts of useful tools. Those that I use the most are blades, dotting tool, silicon modelling tools, and needles.
All interested can see the tools I use here:
Books, magazines, and cooking shows play big part in my miniatures creations. Inspiration comes from everyday life - if you know how and where to look. I pay attention to details around me. I wonder a lot. I love to read. I've never stopped reading children's literature, and I get inspired by it as well. For all of this, very often my creations are often in intense colours and somewhat 'childish'. I love stop animation, and I don't think there is one stop animation movie that I haven't seen. The process of creating these movies is incredible, and characters in these movies are product of imagination. Therefore, I am in love with miniatures and sculpting. Q: What aspect of creating these pieces do you find most challenging or rewarding? For me, every miniature is a challenge. Each one is more or less difficult in its own way. The moment I sit down at my desk is the moment I enter my Mmm... world. Something like 'Alice in Wonderland'. She was facing different characters and challenges. I am facing different tools, materials, colours, shapes, challenges - ups and downs. I embrace all of it, but make sure to upgrade myself with every new creation I make. Personal state of mind directly influences the creation. My biggest reward is seeing people's smiles when they first look at my work. Q: What's in the pipeline (plans) for 2018, seeing as 2017 is nearly over... it's gone so fast! This had been a wonderful year for me, filled with creative challenges even though I did not make all the miniatures I wanted. I am beyond happy that my miniature tomatoes found their way to the New York Magazine with all other wonderful creations of other miniaturist. Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for those readers looking to get into miniature making?Any quick tips or starting points! We live in an Internet era. It takes only one click to make something available. Who wants to create miniatures can find all about in online. There are plenty of tutorials out there, so follow those but also pay some sort of respect for people who share their knowledge for free online with the whole world, and always give credit to those artists you pick some 'tips and tricks' from, and especially if you try to copy their work as a way of learning. That's will make both you and the artist feel good - and possibly you can also make a friendship like this. What I would advise is to always pick material that you feel comfortable with and simply get started. Without maximum dedication to work and experimenting, there is no progress and for sure - no exciting new creations. We're so thankful to Selma for sparing us her time and for her sharing a little bit of her life and work with us. We're sure that 2018 is going to her year, thanks and all the best Selma!! Social media/shop: Facebook: @mmmbyselma https://bs-ba.facebook.com/mmmbyselma/
Instagram: @mmmbyselma https://www.instagram.com/mmmbyselma/
Twitter: @mmmbyselma https://twitter.com/mmmbyselma
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mmmbyselma ...