For this subcultalk, we interviewed Larine Guiragossian, a 32-year old Lebanese-Armenian artist who found her passion in miniature sculpture creation. Larine was born and raised in Lebanon but lives now with her husband and dog in Engen, Germany, a small town roughly 60km away from Lake Constance (Bodensee).
In our interview, Larine talks about her personal journey and how miniature sculpture art has become her refuge. She also shares why her biggest inspiration are individuals who don't conform to societal norms and why sleeping in is both a blessing and a curse for her.
What’s the art you’re doing?I create miniatures. Half of my creative process involves visualizing the things I observe on a smaller scale, while the remaining time is dedicated to planning the techniques and methods to bring those visions to life.
Miniature art is not commonly seen in Lebanon, my home country. However, I began my journey in this art two years ago and have managed to establish a community of clients who also derive pleasure from seeing their favorite items transformed into miniatures.
Creating miniatures has served as an escape from reality for me. During the midst of the pandemic when it felt like everything was spiraling towards an uncertain end, I saw it as an opportunity to rebuild a life that truly energizes me, to establish a sense of identity that didn’t rely on being employed by a company. In a world often dominated by materialism, where one's identity is often defined by job titles, financial status, and the pursuit of material possessions, miniatures offered a refuge.
Through this artistic expression, I have discovered the importance of valuing and appreciating the tiniest aspects of life. It has opened my eyes to finding beauty and significance in the often overlooked details. Miniatures have provided me with a fresh perspective, reminding me of the significance of the small, in a world that tends to prioritize the grand and the ostentatious.
Since my recent move to Germany, I have yet to establish an online shop for my miniature creations. However, this period has given me the opportunity to explore and work on my own projects and further develop my skills.
What’s your favorite feeling?
Serenity is my top priority, as I believe it is closely connected to happiness. To cultivate serenity, I focus on maintaining a positive mindset and consciously walking away from stressful situations. I strive to avoid unnecessary anxiety by letting go of worries that are beyond my control. Instead, I choose to acknowledge my past experiences and not focus on what the future may bring.
This heightened awareness allows me to gain a deeper understanding of myself, promoting personal growth and inner peace. I also love how it reflects on my face, despite all my flaws, I see myself as beautiful. This inner acceptance radiates a sense of confidence and self-assurance that goes beyond physical attributes. It allows me to recognize and appreciate the unique qualities that make me who I am.
What’s your favorite word?
This is a question I've never pondered before, but I value honesty. It may sound unusual, but I must confess that there's a French word, 'parapluie,' which means 'umbrella,' that holds no personal significance for me. However, I find immense pleasure in the way it sounds, and I've been randomly saying it for years now. :)
What’s the best wake-up time for you?
During the hours between 6-9 am, I have no desire or intention to engage in any activities. Sleeping during this time brings me great pleasure. After waking up, I take an hour to savor my coffee. It takes until around 10 or even 11 am for me to feel fully awake and functioning. Given my commitments to home chores, spending time with my husband, and caring for my dog, I typically prefer to work during the nighttime hours.
What are you most afraid of?
Have you ever felt vulnerable, like a mischievous spirit is messing with your mind? Or trapped under a dark, gloomy sky? It's that moment when you see the harsh realities of the world, feel alone, and your own flaws become overwhelming. It's a moment of weakness when you start doubting yourself and your abilities. You hear voices whispering that you can't do it, won't succeed, and aren't deserving. That's the moment that scares me, making the easiest choice, which is to give up, even easier.
What’s the feeling you like the least?
Usually, I embrace all of my feelings and emotions, understanding that they are often temporary. However, I truly dislike anger. Just imagine a world where everyone remains calm. It would be a vastly different place, free from high blood pressure, tension, and the need for medications. A world where conflicts and hurtful behaviors are nonexistent, and we never lose control, avoiding regrets for our words and actions.
Yet, at the same time, it is the presence of anger that gives meaning to the state of calmness. Go figure.
What makes you feel most alive?
Dancing tops the never-ending list. It is when I feel the most alive. When I dance, I am completely present, with no other thoughts occupying my mind. My body, mind, and emotions converge, all directed towards the music that fills my ears. The captivating sound of the instruments harmonizes with every fiber of my being, enabling my entire body to move in unison and express itself.
What inspires you most?
I find the most inspiration in individuals who don't conform to societal norms. Those who have the courage to be their authentic selves and walk their own path. Those people who achieve remarkable things, hold strong beliefs, and pursue meaningful purposes. They aren't afraid to explore new avenues and take risks. These individuals shine brightly in their own unique way, without the need for comparison or competition.
"A star does not compete with other stars around it; it just shines”.
What do you do when you feel sad?When I feel sad, I find comfort in expressing my thoughts and concerns in my personal journal. This practice helps in the processing of my emotions and grants me a deeper understanding of myself. Additionally, I consider myself fortunate to have a husband who understands me to a great extent. Engaging in conversations with him truly assists me in navigating difficult times. Not to forget my dog, whose unconditional love always brings me comfort.
Your favorite guilty pleasure?
Now, returning to question number 4, as much as I find sleeping in the morning pleasurable, there is always a sense of guilt that accompanies it. I am aware that those extra hours could be utilized productively for various purposes.
This was fun and interesting, thank you again so much for your interest in me and Kunstlarin!
To meet Larine in person and create together with her expertise your first own miniature sculptures, check out her "Unleash Your Imagination: Miniature Sculpture Crafting" Workshops, that take place at her lovely home in Engen, Germany.
Have you already heard of Miniature Scultpture Art? Or do you maybe even create some miniature sculptures yourself? Write us in the section below! :)
We're excited to hear from you!