It occurs to me that I should store my collage work here, the artwork where I arrange a tiny version of my self in large settings. I post a lot of it on Instagram, but Instagram is becoming harder to tolerate. First it was the multiple strings of ads, then the “because you saw ____, we’re suggesting something completely unrelated,” to the point where I see increasingly little content I signed up for. What I signed up for was to follow voluptuous models; what I’m getting is car accidents in Eastern Europe, ill-advised hardware hacks, and people breaking into fist fights in various locations. (The nightmarish junk food recipes seem to have receded.)
Given that a lot of the models are invite-only, I would probably stay on Instagram a bit longer; but as more and more of them reveal interests in firearms, conspiracy theory, and plastic surgery, the number of accounts I follow goes down. So, then, where would my collage work go? Do I even need to share it with the world? If I do, then where? Well, there’s always this place. If I take down my Instagram and Deviant Art and Twitter accounts, I’ll always keep this blog going, because why not.
First of all, shout-out to the actual miniaturized version of myself, the 3D-printed sandstone model I had made at a pop-up in San Francisco. It’s had some adventures, including a thrilling weekend at SizeCon. While the figure was high-tech to make, it was very low-tech to arrange Size-themed images with it.
Speaking of SizeCon, I brought my writing desk (some would call it miniature) and asked some people to pose with me. I begged the patience of Jasper Reed, Nika Venom, Raquel Roper, Morgana, and Miss Kaneda to set up little pictures that tell little tales. How cool is that? Not only was it exciting to meet influential creators in the Size community, but to get to play with them? for a keepsake photo? Every time I look at these photos, it’s with a little amazement and pride.
I taught myself how to do photo collage, and not the hard way, with masking layers in Photoshop. No, my technique was to gaze longingly at software I couldn’t afford or borrow, wait several years, then pounce once the technology was replicated for free. I’ve written up instructions on how to use Remove BG and Pixlr X (and now Pixlr will remove the background) to stage your own Size collages. I think it’s easier to insert a tiny person than to faithfully replicate a gigantic person, so… we can only hope technology will enable that soon.
Staging Size collages is a great pastime. You can pick it up when you’re bored, you can revisit your environment with fresh eyes, and sometimes you can even ask a little innocent help from other people, if you’re smart. Even when you’re not doing anything wrong, it’s fun to feel your pulse accelerate when you take photos of the outdoors or empty buildings, because you know what this is going toward.
Turning myself into a miniature made me want to invest in miniatures, at least a little bit. I shopped around for a semi-realistic, affordable writing desk and desk chair, and I scavenged other props from my apartment to decorate my writing studio. The room, rather than being a shoebox or an underground cavern, is a shelf on my own writing desk, right above my monitor. Sometimes I turn the string lights on to inspire me, and I’ll take some time to arrange the furniture to clear my mind and put me in the mood to write about a realistic Size situation. I’m in the middle of building a miniature reading room, as well, and there was a commercial that incorporated a dollhouse that I had to insert myself into.
It very much helps to have a partner-in-crime with these things, and my wife has been amused to be a model and, more often, photographer. We’ll go out for a long walk on a nice evening, and I’ll warn her that I have an eye out for Size-appropriate scenes, which means frequent stops instead of a continuous stroll.
On these outings I like to explore the creek a dozen blocks from my apartment, as well as to pass judgment upon the fairy gardens that pop up in neighboring blocks. I’m kidding, I would never sneeze at anyone’s gesture of friendliness toward Tinies.
And there are other collages, sexier images featuring tiny me exploring the dizzying bodyscape of various models. I don’t feel inclined to preserve those here, this collection is good enough. If you’re curious as to what that could look like, maybe you could spend a weekend figuring out how to miniaturize yourself and give it a try. It’s a rewarding endeavor.