Aidan Campbell

Miniature artist, small scale model-maker and traditional craftsman

About me

Although now living on the West coast of England at the end of the Wirral peninsula I was born and raised on the East coast of Lincolnshire. From my earliest childhood I have been interested in making things, all sorts of things, and knew that what I wanted to do when I grew up was to try to make a financially viable business out of spending all day in a little workshop or studio learning as many new skills as I could through handcrafting a diverse variety of objects. What is more, from the age of thirteen I've been taking on the odd spot of commissioned art/craft work to supplement, at first my pocket money, later my wage. However, for a whole variety of mundane reasons real life got in the way and the pressure to get a sensible job and earn a reliable salary saw my life head in a very different direction. Having studied Quantum mechanics for my first degree I found myself working in computing and Information Technology which wasn’t to my liking. In an effort both to avoid being trapped in such a job and through a love of study I retreated back to university chasing funding and qualifications wherever they would take me until friends and family joke I now have more letters after my name than in it. Nevertheless, after several academic and professional courses of study and various forms of paid and voluntary employment, including, technical author/illustrator, science teacher, archivist/librarian, archaeological conservator/restorer and more besides I eventually acknowledged that I wasn’t going to be happy until I was earning some sort of full time living from the art and craft work I loved. I knew by this stage I already had some sort of established reputation as a miniature artist/craftsman as I was having to turn away commissions through lack of spare time, I just didn’t know if I had a strong enough reputation to make a full time job out of what had previously been a part time hobby.

So, in the Spring of 2003 at the age of 27, and with the full support of my loving wife I gave up on the collar and tie lifestyle, sacrificed a reliable income and started saying yes to all the various commissions I was being offered. My wife and I agreed I’d initially take any kind of art or craft based work offered and see what direction that would take me in, and if it were possible to build a full time business out of it. Though principly concentrating on miniatures and small sized objects, the diversity of work I’ve been offered over the last few years has been astounding, and as my reputation spreads I am being approached about ever more varied art and traditional craft work. This has seen my business grow from working out of a confined little back bedroom at home, to, in spite of a major global recession, a move in late 2009 to a far more spacious industrial premises which enables me to work more efficiently.

In terms of the types of work I can undertake, I maintain my first love is always learning new art or craft skills, and I am always to be found surrounded by a heap of books about some traditional craft or other. Furthermore there is now little I’ve not tried in at least some modest way. Over the years I’ve covered everything form portrait painting to blacksmithing, weaving to theatre set design, glass blowing to shoe making, graphic design to traditional lime plastering, silver smiting to bow making and fletching, pottery to architectural model making, landscape photography to furniture making, sculpting war-games miniatures to embroidery, bone carving to wildlife illustration, bronze casting to cake decorating and the list goes on. As to whether any of these constitute a main interest it’s hard to say. Once I feel I've mastered the basics of any particular traditional craft or model making discipline the lure of the next challenge is often too great to resist. However, where once I would experiment with each new skill purely for my own enjoyment, as my experience has increased I am able to take on a more and more diverse range of work on a professional or commissioned basis. Furthermore, with an ever increasing skill base on which to draw I am increasingly confident in my ability to produce a professional standard of work in disciplines which I have not previoulsy tried, simply by drawing on skills used in several similar and related disciplines. So if you were to ask me what it is I love most about the work I now do, I’d have to say it’s the unpredictable diversity.

I hope this web site reflects the range of work I can undertake, and reflects the standards I work to. I consider myself both an idealist and perfectionist, and no matter what the budget or timescale a client can allow for a project I always find myself reluctant to let any project out of my workshop as I always want to keep refining and improving things just a little bit further. I am, however, acutely aware of the importance, especially with commercial work, of bringing in a job on time and on budget, and of clearly defining what a client can and can’t achieve within the time and money they have available for any particular project. A truly stunning piece of work that arrives six months after the client wanted it and costs them five times more than they had budgeted for is of no use to anyone. I have many satisfied clients who have become regular customers, however you don't have to take my word on this as the Testimonials section of my web site lists a few of the things others have said not just about my work but also the quality of service provided.

So if you think I may be able to help you with a project you have in mind, or if you want something making that is just that little bit different and don’t know who to turn to, then contact me, I’m always happy to discuss any kind of art or craft work.