The next maker in our Summer Maker Series is 28 year old, self taught artist, Damien James Webb from Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a passion for model making and set design. Like the other makers we came across his account on social media. He had tagged us in a photo of our product he uses that he’d modified for his craft, which he’ll tell you about below. We were instantly hooked on his account waiting for the next miniature to be posted.
What is your craft / business?
I’m a miniature artist and model maker building sets, props, characters, etc. using recycled materials.
What are you most well-known for, or what do you consider your area of expertise?
I’m best known for making miniature recreations from pop culture such as the set of the tv show Friends, the house from the movie UP, and the Banana Stand from the show Arrested Development.
Who or what inspired you to get into the type of work you do (how did you get started)?
I started building small towns at a young age. Using playing cards, VHS tapes, etc. to build little worlds. As I grew older, I took classes in high school for architectural design and drafting where I learned to build using foam core and matte board. I then moved on to get my degree in Theatre Production at Grant MacEwan University in Alberta with a focus on set design and prop making. I’ve been growing and learning ever since.
How do you describe or categorize yourself?
I’m kind of a renaissance man. I have many interests and skills that I’ve dipped in and out of over the years, and i’m never scared to try more. From Locksmithing to Men’s Fashion, I’ve had a strange path so far in life in regards to my areas of work.
From where, or whom, do you draw inspiration?
I get inspiration from many places. It could be another artist (of any background) or a building i see on the road side. I once had the idea to put a hat and fake nose/glasses on a rock from a story a co-worker told me one morning. It’s nice to try and do weird ideas from strange references to see how it’ll turn out.
What are the OLFA tools that you use for your craft?
What is your favorite OLFA tool and why?
My daily driver is my (slightly modified) 18mm Pistol Grip Ratchet-Lock Utility Knife (L-1) named STEVEN (who has his own IG account HERE). He’s been by my side for over a decade now. I’ve added a small lever to the ratchet knob so that i can quickly and easily change the length of the blade using one hand while also still having the secureness of the screw lock holding the blade in. Sometimes i’ll be cutting paper with just a small portion of the blade then, at a moments notice, i’ll be carving Styrofoam blocks with the full length of the blade. So, having the the modification saves me so much time in the studio (also makes changing blades a lot faster).
Drawing by @thosenerdydesignsketches
When do you do your most creative work?
I’m kind of always ready to go… If i’m not in the studio im thinking about projects, making sketches, or collecting reference for future projects.
What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m mostly self taught. That’s in both model making and most anything else. I’ve had some formal training, but most of what i do now is done by sitting down and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. If i fail, i learn and try again.
What is your favorite project or piece of work you are most proud of? (Provide image if possible)
I’ll only ever complete a piece if i’m fully in love with it. If something’s not right, i start over. That being said, my favorite at the moment would have to be my “Married with Children” set i made a little while ago. It was a recreation of the Bundy’s Living room and kitchen from the show i had done for a client. It was dense with props and patterns and materials, so it’s wonderful to look back on and enjoy for me.
What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Many… I enjoy repairing bicycles, playing video games, graphic design, was a side snare in a pipe and drum band, computer sciences, vehicle mechanics, fashion design, home repair… name it, and i’ve ether done it or have had an interest in it.
What do you do when you need to take a break from what you typically do?
I mostly will sit down and play video games when i’m not working on my models. I’ll play a wide variety of different things on many different systems spanning many generations. They help me pull my focus away from other things stressing me out and allow me to just worry about just one thing for a moment before needing to return to the real world.
Where do you search for inspiration?
I enjoy looking at what other artists and craftsman are doing. It’s always a constant learning experience, and seeing how others work and figure out problems is really helpful.
You can find Damien on the web at:
More of Jame’s miniature work: