LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) — The world’s tinniest handmade sculptor in history, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is Dr. Willard Wigan, MBE.
Wigan has spent years meticulously fine-tuning his technique to achieve such microscopic art. “I work in between my heartbeats,” Wigan reveals. “I can feel my heart racing, and I’ll just wait for it to stop before working in between… It’s basically breathing exercises.”
Wigan typically works up to 18 hours a day for up to six weeks to complete a single piece of his smallest handmade microscopic sculptures. Wigan finished the sculpture in the eye of a regular sewing needle—one of the minuscule display platforms now synonymous with Wigan’s work—using miniature handmade tools to carve the sculpture and his own eyelashes attached to an acupuncture needle for a paintbrush.
Wigan is a British sculptor from Ashmore Park Estate in Wednesfield, England. Wigan, the son of Jamaican immigrants, was born in 1957 and began his artistic career at a young age. He suffers in school due to undetected dyslexia and moderate autism. Wigan found consolation and tranquility in creating art of such minute proportions that it could not be visible with the naked eye to avoid the incessant taunts from his teachers and student peers. He came to believe that if his work couldn’t be seen, he couldn’t be criticized. Wigan, who was often regarded as nothing, set out to prove to the world that there is no such thing as nothing.
The sculptures have captured the imagination of the public, art critics, and avid collectors worldwide, including that of Queen Elizabeth II, who awarded him an MBE. In thanks, Wigan offered the Queen a minuscule model of her own crown, perched on the head of a 2mm pin.
“The world hasn’t seen the best of me yet,” Wigan, the two-time Guinness World Record holder, said. Wigan’s continued goal remains quite simple: to inspire others with his micro-sculptures and to encourage others to live to their fullest potential, remembering that nothing does not exist.