We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Hirsch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I start creating custom miniatures as a way to study scenery for my day job as a production designer. People started ordering custom commissions from me and the business just took off! Now I have a six-month waiting list and more tiny chairs than I can sit on in a day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Starting out as a set designer and artist in L.A. was intimidating, to say the least. You are surrounded by so much talent here and well-connected talent at that. I was nervous I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t know the right software. There was always someone better than me waiting to take the next job. I kept procrastinating on creating and selling my personal art until a really successful Disney Imagineer gave me the best advice ever. He told me “Just do what you love, relentlessly, and someone will eventually pay you for it.” He was right.
In doing what you love, you attract genuine people that love you and your work and you start to slowly become part of the massive craft party that is Los Angeles. I turned to miniatures when I didn’t have work designing full-fledged sets. Minis allowed me to study sets without breaking the bank and they take up, literally, a twelfth of the space. They let me play in different worlds that are not contained to a computer screen and they help me to look at everyday items in a new light to see if they would work as something different at 1:12 scale.
After I had a few miniatures under my belt people started offering to buy them. I started getting lots of amazing ideas from clients for custom commissions and it took off from there. I love what I do and I love creating for people and being connected to their lives forever through my art.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hands down my three favorite shops are Necromance in Melrose, Gold Bug in Pasadena and The Halloween Store in Burbank. Such awesome, quirky, bewitching shops with an array of unique stuff to look at and buy. As for restaurants I love Milk, The Alcove and Mama M Sushi in Pasadena. For bars, No Vacancy is the best. Love the decor and the drinks are fantastic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thank you to Mycotoo for always nurturing my talent and career. They are a fantastic design company in Pasadena that create incredible experiences for theme parks, events, and more.