My name is Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi. I Born in São Paulo - Brazil in 1981. I've been doing visual arts since the age of seventeen.
My work in miniatures began more for hobby and the challenge of wanting to recycle me as digital artist , thus being able to produce something more realistic, out of digital that is widely used today.
The fact that I have built a solid career in the Motion Picture and Film Industry as a designer over 20 years only brought me benefits when I decided to venture as miniaturist.
I grew up in the 80’s in an urban environment. At a young age still, I moved out of Brazil to England/London. Where I stayed many years working in a variety of jobs as a graphic designer, art director and motion graphics. Back in Brazil I have studied Cinema 3D and Animation.
Ford Truck Model A - 1928
As an artist, I have always taken inspiration from my surroundings and places where I visited or taken photographs. Of course now days with the Internet is much easier to get inspiration and ideas to get going without leaving your home.
When it comes to personal projects, my mind goes crazy on the various places or memories I ever visited, but more importantly I believe it is the care to recreate a proper atmosphere of the time or location. I like to try to recreate something that had its own history and was put aside for a while. I like these styles because they have so many details when it comes to textures and colors. When a client requests a themed diorama, I try to follow faithfully their characteristics in reproduction.
Well, classic cars and vintage items fascinate me, that's another hobby for me, collecting and restoring them. Since childhood I always had this obsession with collecting old and rare things . In my house I was always surrounded by these things because my father and uncle always buying and restored things. My father is an enthusiast and collector of classic cars and antiques, so that I believe to be the main source for teaching me the history and beauty of these things.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: Where does Grandmondo ship?
A: We ship worldwide.
Q: How much is shipping?
A: Each project is discussed prior with client for shipping costs, it may vary from location-to-location. All orders of U$8000 (excluding the free-shipping offers) or more being shipped free! We can ship via Fedex, DHL and other local carriers.
Q: Do you make other type of work?
A: Yes, I do Art Direction / Motion Graphics and Stop-motion commissioned work, please contact me using the contact page to discuss further.
Q: How can I contact Grandmondo?
Q: What is your instagram account?
A: You can follow me @grandmondominiatures
Q: How do you make these?
A: The making of each miniature or project starts with a lot of research on the subject. I do make a collection of old photographs of elements that is common to see in my work, such as rusty patterns, architectural plans and vegetation. The next step after the long hours research is to go for the mockup version, sometimes made out of paper or cardboard. Then I begin to put my magic into the final piece. Only then I can add the final effects such lighting or other structure needs. This whole process can take several weeks or even months. I try to capture most of the details in general.
Q: How did I get started doing this?
A: When I started back in 2010, I had no idea it was this world full of details and pinpoint accuracy . When I came home from my day job , I would go to my studio and start making models all night until the morning, then it was time to return to the routine of daily work. It did not take long to figure out that I was having a lot more fun in the studio than in my day job . In 2014 , I decided to take the hobby into a more professional manner and launch the site to show you my works . Luckily I had the support of my friends and family to keep pursuing the art career. I have graduated as a 3D Designer in 2008.
Q: Why do you think you’re drawn to the types of environments you create?
A: The rustic and abandoned places I like to re-create is almost something peculiar from what I see around from other artists. Personally I think those type of environments involve so much atmosphere and rustic and abandoned places that usually I end up creating are always full of life and soul somehow . For me these scenes represent pieces of history that somehow was forgotten or left behind by their characters. Each diorama or environment is meticulously thought out and studied months or even years before their own production. Always I found beauty in places like these, so for me such places are static but at the same time see all the stories that have passed there give me the sense of motion.
I put so many details in it that I like to people to find some hidden detail. Like the door slightly open so you can see the back room and the only way to see that is if you stare into the piece. What I am trying to do actually is to give you scenery, lighting and enough props that in your own mind you can come up with a narrative. I never feature human figures except small animals or some art posters with people. I think that putting human miniatures on the scenes advertises that they are not real, pulling focus of the overall experience to the piece.
Q: Are you models are for sale?
A: Mostly of my models are for sale. They are all one of a kind and I do not reproduce once sold, not big fan of production-line. Custom models can also be commissioned. This means you have full control of what you want, at what scale and at what budget. Do not hesitate to contact me, all estimates on projects are free.
Q: What is the hardest thing to make? How long does it take to finish a project?
A: Almost all the works using miniature techniques are complex projects. When working in scale and actual measurements, it is necessary to stick to these measures. Architectural buildings are always a challenge. Personally, I believe that the greatest difficulty is to simulate an environment, which existed in the past or still exists today. The positioning of elements should be as natural as rust texture. Rust has so many variations and color that can say how long that piece was left behind. And like almost everything is practically done by hand, I'd be lying if I told you that there is something easy to do. Each sculpture takes 3 months to 1 year and a half and I make everything from the smallest brick to the tips of cigarettes left on the streets. It’s art by the millimeter.