Big idea’s don’t always have to be over the top.
One of the qualities a good artist must have is the ability to see greatness in the most mundane things. Japanese artist Tanaka Tatsuya takes this to a whole other level. Through his social media accounts, he shares the photos he takes of adorable, miniature worlds made out of everyday objects. His fascinating work is most famous for the amount of detail he adds to every scene, and how carefully he arranges everything to immerse us in the miniature worlds he builds.
This project, which Tanaka named ‘Miniature Calendar’, began as a way for the artist to express himself and bring joy to his audience at the same time. “Everyday occurrences seen from a miniature perspective can bring us lots of fun thoughts,” Tanaka says on his website. “I wanted to take this way of thinking and express it through photographs, so I started to put together a ‘MINIATURE CALENDAR’”.
Ever since he started this project back in 2011, he has posted a daily photo in which he shares the miniature worlds he created with the most common objects, using them in the least expected ways. Not a day goes by where Tanaka doesn’t make our day with his creativity. The best part is the excitement of waiting for the photo of the day, wondering what he will use today and what he’ll bring to life. Will he use broccolis as trees? Some eggs as mountains? Or perhaps guitar strings as clotheslines? Tanaka always finds a way to surprise us through his work.
The artist usually takes about two hours from when he starts taking the photos until he uploads them on social media. He has to think about what objects he wants to use or what scene he’d like to create. Then, he must think about what kind of illumination to use—soft, harsh, colored, etc.
After he plans everything, he starts turning his idea into reality. He chooses which little figures to use (or if he needs to create new ones from scratch) and what kind of setting he wants to place them in. Once all the photos are taken, Tanaka has to carefully edit them and think of a title for the final photo before he finally uploads it. Two hours don’t really sound like enough time for work so complex and detailed.
One of the best parts of his art is that he doesn’t work in advance. He thinks about the idea, creates it, and photographs it the very same day he plans to publish it. Many have asked Tanaka if this makes the process stressful and if he fears eventually running out of ideas. “Not at all. I intend to give it my best and to see how far I am capable of expressing the world I want to create in the limited time I have,” Tanaka says. “I take it seriously every day. I think this perseverance allows me to create pieces that go beyond my own limits”.
If you’d like to see more of the miniature worlds he creates, check out his work here: