Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Digging Up The Dirt with KillDozer and Caroline McFarlane-Watts, Artist/Miniaturist of Tall Tales Productions

Sometimes at conventions amongst all the sharp fanged sculptures ,blood drip t shirts,and Horror icon paintings you can find something completely out of the ordinary that inspires curiosity and imagination. Such a booth was spotted at the last Monsterpalooza I attended. Unique and dark miniature fairy tail worlds and characters drew me in immediately. I was lucky enough to meet Caroline McFarlane-Watts in person after admiring all the amazing and incredibly detailed characters at her booth. Witches of all sorts adorned her table in miniature form and look as though they would jump off the table or even speak to you the closer you looked. I knew I would have to dig up some dirt and find out more about this talented artist and the back story of her creations. 

KillDozer: I had never heard the term "miniaturist" before meeting you at Monsterpalooza and later reading about your work. Do you identify yourself as a miniaturist? If not, how do you classify yourself as an artist?

Caroline: Yes, it's a niche title - 'miniaturist'! I sort of stumbled into miniature model making when I was working on set and I found myself working specifically in the miniature section of the art department. I usually refer to myself as a 'sculptor' but more often than not I get hired as a 'miniaturist' or 'miniature model maker'.

KillDozer: What was your introduction into art? Where you inspired by your family to pursue this unique talent? 

Caroline: I loved drawing probably from the time I was old enough to hold a pencil. I remember getting a lot of positive attention for a drawing I did of some daffodils when I was a very little girl. That sort of thing has a massive impact, doesn't it? Getting positive feedback from adults when you're really young makes you want to keep doing that thing that creates positive attention.

KillDozer: What is the medium you most prefer to work with? Were you always interested in sculpting alternate realities?

Caroline: I always liked pencils and watercolour paints, but now working with clay is my default. I think we create what interests us (unless it's a 'pay the rent commission') and so a fairytale reality is most likely what you're going to get from me.

KillDozer: What is the process of putting together these beautiful scenes together like? Does it all begin with a sketch? Do your characters and settings all have backstories? 

Caroline: Planning is important, so yes, there will be sketches and measuring before building / sculpting!

KillDozer: There seems to be a fun yet spooky theme throughout your work, have you always been drawn more toward the "dark" or spookier side of fairytales when looking for inspiration or creating these characters and worlds ?

Caroline: Fairytales are inherently dark. They're simple tales about good versus evil written to keep children in line! I know Disney scales back the darkness quite a bit, which is probably a good idea, but the concept of the fairytale witch, the hobgoblin, the Snow Queen, Bluebeard... these are interesting and fun characters to work with.

KillDozer: Your pieces seem to have a personality all their own. The longer you look the more it feels as though they might smile back at you. Have you ever animated any of your creations or had a storyline in mind to do so?

Caroline: I'm glad you feel my characters have personality because the witches in particular all have a back story. I've been writing for Good Witches Bad Witches for a few years and have all kinds of plans for it!

KillDozer: How did Good Witches Bad Witches become a reality? What has the feedback been from this project?

Caroline: I started working on Good Witches Bad Witches in 2015 and the feedback was so positive and the audience grew to 80 countries so quickly that I felt like I was on the right track with it! I love working on it and am thrilled it has gained so much attention.

KillDozer: One thing I love about the talented people I meet and get to interview is finding out other fun facts or talents they have. With you it would have to be that you were on the show Cake Masters! What was that experience like? Is creating a cake similar to creating your miniatures? 

Caroline: Cake Masters is a great Food Network show and in each episode celebrity pastry chef Duff calls in a specialist to aid with a particular cake. In one episode his client was Dockers, and his team were creating a miniature cityscape of San Francisco as a cake - complete with miniature figurines wearing Dockers clothing. They needed a miniaturist for this one, and so they called in Hollywood's miniaturist! I had a lot of fun working with them on that fantastic cake.

KillDozer: You had a lot of incredible pieces displayed at Monsterpalooza. Where can people go to purchase these amazing creations of yours? Where can we go to follow your work?

Caroline: Thank you, I am glad you think so! I have a line of Limited Edition witch character figurines and a range of other miniature works at my webshop. I'm also all over social media and following me means you'll get the heads up on special offers and free video tutorials. My links are: 




KillDozer: What has your experience with conventions been like? Your work definitely stands out amongst the monsters and creatures usually on display. How do those in the "horror community" react to your work?

Caroline: Monsterpalooza was my first 'monster' convention, but I absolutely loved it and will certainly have a presence there next year and I'm sure for many years to come. For people who love sharp teeth and gore, the 'horror community' is just the nicest group of people! I love attending events like these. Also, I will be at other conventions such as Comic Con and Designer Con, so people can always look out for me there!

KillDozer: Among all your witches, if they battled to the death who would survive and why?

Caroline: Well the funny thing is, Good Witches Bad Witches is a world of opposites, of bad and good witches who are always pitted against each other. If a battle was green-lit I am sure there'd be many casualties...! My personal favourite witch is a witch I am still currently sculpting and will reveal on social media before long..

KillDozer: Name the best portrayal or witch character in a film, and why?

Caroline: Apparently she's a hermit, not a witch.... but I'm still going with Aughra from The Dark Crystal. I loved her as a child. She and the queen in Disney's Snow White were powerful, brilliant and captivating. I love the sorceresses in Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and in the paintings of Waterhouse and Burne-Jones.

KillDozer: What is the dumbest question people ask you about your work? (example-"does it take long?")

Caroline: I'm often asked if my miniature food (made of clay) is edible, if my miniature vessels such as minuscule teapots can "hold boiling water' and sometimes people ask if I can create entire sweeping miniature worlds for under $100 for them... ;)

KillDozer: If you could recreate any scene from any film in a miniature which scene would it be?

Caroline: If I had the time and inclination, then something from 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'... ooh, you shouldn't have asked because now I want to do this!

Look for the Tall Tales Productions booth at the next convention you're at to meet Caroline and her amazing creations in person! 
And don't forget to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for updates, or head straight to the source at!


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