Interview: Jessica Hlavac’s I’m So Tiny

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Here at Crushable, we are completely unashamed of our fascination with tiny things. Basically, if you miniaturize any object, we will want to buy, hold or hug it. So when we learned that our friend Jessica Hlavac had created a calendar of the tiny things she makes at I'm So Tiny, we were pretty excited. And we decided to track her down to ask all sorts of questions about the creation and presention of her tiny  little objects. Enjoy.

How did you start creating tiny things?
I'm not sure what exactly started it. I remember wanting to make a little cake, and then just doing it. It was pretty good, and I showed it to my husband, who kind of freaked out. I thought “I can do this better,” and then I made a banana, and showed it to my husband, who kind of freaked out.  I thought, “I can do this better,” then so on and so on. I would show an ever larger group of friends what I made, and then eventually strangers started finding my pictures and contacting me to tell me how much they liked them.

Why are small things so appealing?
I don't know. I think about this a lot. The obvious answer is some kind of control or God complex thing, but that seems too simple. I've always liked fake food, and I've always liked miniature stuff. I never had a dollhouse, but growing up there was a dollhouse supply store in town, and I remember really liking the little mundane things, like tiny dish washing detergent, or little soda cans. There is something exciting about seeing an everyday object, which is inherently comforting, in a new perspective. It makes them wake up for a second, like a magic trick.

How do you make such tiny things?
I use razor blades, sandpaper, toothbrushes, tinfoil, sewing needles, toaster ovens, cornstarch, window screens, pasta machines, paint brushes, cookie cutters, rocks, wax paper, baby wipes, or whatever I find lying around.

What are your tiny foods made from?
Polymer clay and pastels. I also have a couple of varnishes I uses to create wet or matte effects.
Is your eyesight worse since starting to make itty bitty things?
No, but I am totally paranoid about that! I know I must be straining my eyes. I tried using some magnification while I worked, but I found it distracting and a pain. I feel like next time I have my eyes checked I should probably mention it.

Have you met any tiny fetishists since starting this?
YES! Well, I didn't meet them exactly, but one day I noticed I was getting a lot of hits from a particular website, which turned out to be a forum for members of the macro/microphilia fetish community. There was this really sweet post that said something like “Look, this girl makes the cutest little food to feed a tiny man pet!” I got hundreds of visits a day for a while from there. It was kind of awesome, but no one ever contacted me directly.

Do people ever try to eat your tiny food items?
Oh no. They'd choke or break their teeth.

Anything else interesting that's happened since you started I'm So Tiny?
Well I've had an art show in a lingerie store, and I just released a wall calendar. I’ve started making videos, and was recently invited to be a part of the project, which is like an online advent calendar for Halloween. I get featured on a lot of miniature enthusiast websites that are in languages I don't understand. I find the fact that so many strangers pay any attention to my weird hobby really thrilling and humbling. I'm looking forward to seeing where this all goes.

And for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of Jessica making a tiny breakfast:

breakfast from i'm so tiny on Vimeo.