Member Profile: Amanda Kelly and Panda Miniatures


Editor's Note: We asked Amanda Kelly a few questions about her projects and ideas. She joined the APMM by way of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans. Her award-winning work can be seen @pandaminiatures on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, and on her own site Watch the magic happen here: Soccer Mommy - Shotgun (A Miniature Piece by Panda Miniatures) - YouTube

My name is Amanda Kelly and I’m a miniaturist currently living in Virginia, USA with my fiancée and our 3 cats. I am originally from New York but moved to VA to pursue my Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture. My thesis artwork is centered around compulsive hoarding and the stories of the people affected by it. I’m a Graduate Teaching Fellow at my university and I also teach online courses through Atlas Obscura. In my spare time, I love to figure skate and travel.

I’ve been making miniatures professionally for about 6 years. I’ve worked with clients such as Coca-Cola, Xbox, and Netflix. I usually work in 1:12th scale but have worked in various other scales on occasion. I’ve always had a fascination with miniatures since I was a child. I used to play with my grandmother’s dollhouse when I visited her. She would hide tiny Hershey bars in random places in the dollhouse for me to find. When she later passed, I inherited her dollhouse and have been renovating it ever since. It wasn’t until college when I bought my first dollhouse kit and it snowballed from there into an obsession and passion. I built up a following on Instagram (44K currently) and started taking commissions.

I was an artist and oil painter before I became a miniaturist. I hold degrees in Commercial Art, Illustration, and Art History. Having an extensive art background has helped me develop my practice over the years and prepared me for graduate school. There are two branches of my art practice - my personal work and my commission work. My favorite personal work is my “Hoarder’s Porch”.

It was the first artwork where I drew from a very personal and traumatic part of my life. I documented the making process on Tiktok and opened myself up to my audience (490K followers currently) in a way I have never done before as an artist. This artwork is the foundation to my current thesis artwork. It has been shown in multiple gallery shows and has won various awards.

My favorite commissioned work was my most recent diorama for Xbox. I was commissioned to create a miniature scene inspired by the full release of the game “Grounded” where you’re shrunk to the size of an ant. I loved the concept because what miniaturist wouldn’t want to be shrunk down to walk around their own creations? I had more than two months to work on this project, which is rare for this industry, and gave me the opportunity to create freely. It was both a fun and challenging project to work on since the scale was larger than life size.

Details from "Grounded"

Most of my work is made using a combination of scratch building, 3D printing, and found objects. For the “Grounded” diorama base I used Sculptamold, aluminum foil, insulation foam, rocks, straw, grout, and resin. The details were 3D printed and then painted by hand.

Hoarder's Porch with details

For the “Hoarder’s Porch”, I “kit bashed” a custom porch kit by creating a new roof and columns. The landscaping was made with static grass, coffee for “dirt”, and resin for the puddles. The wasp nest was made from paper while the stacks of trash and other items were either broken miniatures from my collection or 3D printed. I spray painted aluminum foil for the tarp on the roof and used drinking straws for the drainpipes.

"Hoarder's Porch" - zooming in on fine details

We try to ask everyone who shares their story with us the question: "If you were given as much funding and support as you wanted to make something, what would you make?"

Amanda answers: "Wow, that would be a dream! I would love to create a to-scale replica of my childhood home down to every last detail."