No Detail Is Too Small
Interview & Text | TE Editorial Special Thanks to Ms Felicity Eku
NO DETAIL IS TOO SMALL
International Miniature Painter / Artist
Oliver has received many award and recognition from all over the world through his miniature paintings. Currently, his focus is on historical figures. From the size 28mm to 75mm, it takes an amount of patience and concentration to get it painted perfectly. He started off working on this by himself and now with a team of three, they split their tasks, one for the historical research, the other responsible for sculpturing and Oliver will do the painting.
TE: How did all these started?
OV: I was first exposed to miniature figure from a gaming magazine in 1986. I got my first figure in 1998 and that is where I started embarking into paintings. In 2006, I decided to do it professionally, starting with refurbishing used figures. I will buy secondhand figures from Ebay, fix it, repaint and then sell the figure again. My first sell was from a secondhand figure that cost me RM30, and I managed to sold it with RM200. Slowly my work gained attention from people around the world. They started contacting me asking for commission work. My main markets are from UK and US Ebay. When my client ask for commission work, I will normally ask them about the design that they have in mind, but at the same time, I will advice them from my point of view. It is usually a mix of the client's and my idea.
TE: Tell us some of the challenges.
OV: During the 80's, there is no Internet widely available and the books or magazines reference are limited. Since I was not trained for these, I had to dive into a lot of trial and errors. Paint access is one of the main difficulties, the only access I can get is from ordering overseas, places like Spain or United Kingdom and it was very expensive. Later in the 90s, it was still difficult for me to get any kind of information about painting, the nearest paint access is from Hong Kong. I will usually call them up and ask about the painting colors. Back then, they can only explain the colors verbally, it is extremely difficult to imagine because there is no visual guide. Another few years later, I found an article on how to paint from a local magazine. I learn from the article bit by bit. Only in recent years, there are more forums being set up and one of the popular forum called "Cool Mini Or Not". With these forums going on in places, I can discuss and ask about technique from artists around the world . This forum explained it through videos and photographs, that is how most of us learn. The forum is like a platform for the miniature artist around the world.
Other than that, if you embark on your own business, you do not have off days or public holidays. You have to work everyday. But the good part is flexibility, you can work from early morning until midnight. You arrange your own off days. The most worrying thing about having your own business is, the financial part. You will worry if there are no commission request or any sell. There is always pros and cons, it depends on your choice.
TE: Advice(s) you want to share to the readers.
OV: Regardless of how interested you are in something, you need to have a very strong patience. You need to get ready with the coming problems. I trained a lot of people in this industry, but most of them quit because they don't have the patience. In the end, it comes to whether you are willing or not.
In the end, it comes to whether you are willing or not.