Report: Miniature Art at the Academy of Art, Munich

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle,

earlier this year I have been invited to speak about miniature art at Munich's Academy of Art.
This was my second attempt to reach a different audience with my passion. Like in the first one
- an exhibition - I have no clue if it made an impact :D

But let me tell you about this experience ...

A friend of mine, who is studying there had to present his project idea. He wanted to introduce the miniature hobby, from his angle, mainly the gaming and painting for gaming aspect to his fellow students and teacher. His class - as far as I remember - was a mix between art, art pedagogics and social media connection to art. An absolute interesting field in my eyes. His goal was to present how this form of hobby connects people and how you can build from there. Good point as we - the ones in the miniature world - know.

He asked me if I want to be part of this talk and show another perspective on this hobby. The more artistic approach and if I want to briefly introduce what I do, teach since over a decade and explain my way a bit. Sure I said yes.

I took a train to Munich on a cold morning to Munich ... and arrived at the Munich Academy of Arts.
After a good chat and a coffee we both made our way to the teaching room.

A statue in front of the Academy

The hallways were super-artsy 

and it was nice to spot something that makes you think here and there ...

... and a superlarge building ...

I found interesting stuff here and there that reminded me of our field of passion.

And then some other parts that just looked
 like the messed up hallways around the MV studio today ...

of course I was a little nervous
speaking in front of "real" art students and a teacher about my geeky work, but another feeling was there too: Simple pride. I prepared a small presentation to introduce everyone into what this miniature world is about: Sculpting, creation, storytelling, conversion, painting on another form of canvas and much more. I did a decent job and everyone was interested and looking forward to the talks ahead of us. I told my friend I would stay for the talks about his project and the conversation that started was really interesting. Of course I did not show the typical Space Marine chopping off Orc heads, but also stuff that is more pleasant and more artsy for a larger crowd. From composition examples on bases, to sculpting projects and the painting aspect I tried to cover a wide range of what this hobby can mean.

A lot of question popped up and I was happily helping my friend to answer them from my perspective and we all had a good conversation. For some questions I was not prepared at all:

"Could you do this also in big, like real big?"
- Ehm, maybe if you pay me the materials, sure, but the reason for doing this in a tiny scale is the secret behind miniature work :D

"What's its philosophical deeper meaning to the world and the human society?"
- Ehm, seems like I am not prepared at all :D

 In fact we had some more questions that made me rethink if I was well prepared. They were deeptalk. And answering them just lead to deeper talk. Do not get me wrong, I love deep thinking and deep talk, but somehow it felt that a lot of students in that class have a lot of ideas on what they are actually studying, but often I felt it a little bit off from reality, I mean life. Ok, this might be a little bit too harsh. Do not get me wrong. I do have some friends who studied art on different academies, it was definatly not easy for some to find a job or make their passion their job without knowing the right persons in the artworld afterwards as life is different than just studying. Life is different in theory.

Some students were really interested though and I was happily answering questions. Not for showing off or anything, just for educational aspects and insight in our small world. Thanks to those who have been really interested :)

After an hour of interesting talks and discussion I decided that my time as a guest speaker was over. Left the building quite confused, but happy that many new people heard about miniature painting.

Speaking of confusion: 
I was quickly calmed down again by looking at the large scaled bronze statues out there in front of the building. Calmed my head whilst studying texture, sculpting elegance and snowfall. 

Then I kicked a pink bike off the stairs and felt happy again :)

No, just kidding.
I was happy without kicking it.
It was really an interesting trip with interesting talks and deep conversations on a lot of theoretical aspects on how the real art world is definatly something that has a lot of philosophy in it. I think sometimes we miss this in our miniature world. We are too much stuck to rules, technical aspects, competition thinking instead of asking us more frequently: What if ...? ... and then continue and explore this road more and more ...

We are also too stuck on strange subjects
of miniatures most of the time: Warriors with chopped off heads, Orc boobs, Ogre Samurais, SciFi Ninjas, Armies that slaugther eachother, boobs, butts and Barbarians of course. It is something that might work in the figure world as it is a world of Fantasy and Scifi geeks. I am one too, do not get me wrong, but presenting this to the outside world as an artform can lead to awkward moments for both sides.

What if ...?

I hope you enjoyed this little report!
Keep on happy painting!

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