Since I was a child, I remember being enraptured by all things miniature. One of my earliest childhood memories was playing with our miniature house (yes, a doll's house) in the hallway. Although it didn't contain much in the way of accessories, the magic and wonder of this small created universe intoxicated me.
Years later, I came across a craft book containing all manner of miniature doll house creations – from chairs to wardrobes to candelabras. It showed you specifically how to make each one, but as our home didn't have many craft items, creating much of this remained in the realm of my imagination.
Years later when I was 13 or so, I stumbled across some old nerdy war-gaming magazines in a bookshop, and my passion for all things miniature sparked again. But this time it had a 'boys' theme... war!
Over the years, I have collected miniature characters and painted them – awaiting the day I would have an actual battle. But while waiting for this day (and still am), I have been (on and off) creating the miniature scenery pieces for the battle settings: war-torn battlefields, industrial wastelands, temple ruins set in the jungle, or muddy swamps on the outskirts of an enchanted forest.
Battles and scenarios can be set in almost any location or time, so the creative possibilities are endless!
A labour of love
Over the years, I realized I had amassed quite a large number of hobby craft items. Strangely – though my hobby would be put on-hold (for a number of years) – I recently broke open my boxes, refreshed my supplies and started it up again.
I have since brainwashed my girlfriend, who secretly (whilst in denial) has a nerdy streak and has joined me in the creative passion that is making miniature scenery. It's amazing how infectious creative crafts can be!
Alongside this hobby, however, I wondered how one could make money from it. Although selling the finished pieces is viable and workable, the amount of hours it takes in creating them would never be returned in man-hour income.
I reasoned that the time and effort it took to complete a miniature scenery piece would produce only nominal profit, so it would just have to be a 'labour of love'. But then I thought of an idea, something lots of people in the creative community shy away from – sharing my secrets!
Sharing the love
What if instead of working for hours on end and hopefully selling off the items I make, what if I would share my passion with all things miniature with others? In essence letting go of all my secrets, methods and skills, I could share it all with others and teach them to do the same.
So with this in mind, I created my own little business, Miniature Worlds Workshop! A workshop-based business where we could teach others the methods for creating their own miniature worlds and letting them soak in the wonder of it – the same wonder I felt as a small child.
We are currently looking at booking in our third round of workshops this year and foresee that it will keep on growing. Our first workshop was a blast, and all the young people involved were both chuffed and stunned at what they created and came away with at the end of the workshop. We really shared in their joy and pride at what they had made with their own hands.
This I believe is how the Father feels toward us as we create, learn and stand back, proud of our own creative results. Even though He knows it was He who gave us the gifts, the passion, the wonder and the skills, it is HIS joy for us to discover these. And as we stand back – proud of what we have created – He shares in that same joyful pride and wonder at what we have made.
The kingdom of creativity
I could be working on my own little projects (and still am), hoping to sell them all while keeping all my knowledge and passion to myself. I could hope more people would somehow stumble across them, enabling me to sell more and continue to fund my hobby/passion.
But I realized the joy and focus on the Kingdom of God is love, and that love entails sharing with others – sharing our secrets, sharing our creative skills, sharing our knowledge, teaching others and sharing our passions.
Not only does this build momentum and create new ideas that we may have never imagined, but it enriches other people's lives by letting them be included in the same passions we have. It also teaches them skills and abilities they can then share and pass on.
And if we can make enough money to feed ourselves and pay our bills whilst doing this, then what an amazing opportunity to bless others with our creativity.
God is creative, He is passionate, He is loving and He loves to share his passions with us. Just as a parent delights in seeing their child's face light up as they discover their own hidden talents and abilities, our Father delights in watching us unpack our precious gifts, talents and the creativity that He himself has given us in our own unique design.
Creativity is not so much creating something out of nothing, I believe, but rather a rediscovering of what God has already created but intentionally hidden. The purpose is not to withhold it from us, but for us to be able to experience an unbelievable joy as we re-discover it.
If you would like to look in on, learn and maybe share this passion of all things miniature with us, then check out our links below.
Tim Everton is a youth worker and designer from the beautiful Southern Coast of South Australia. In his off-time he loves to drink coffee and cause his girlfriend's eyes to roll with his outrageously witty humour. He also loves creating and designing all manner of miniature nerdy things, if these things may be of interest to you, feel free to check out his websites http://miniatureworldsworkshop.weebly.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/miniatureworldsworkshop/