Over the past few weeks, you may have heard me mention working on a special side project for my website. Actually, I haven’t really been working on it for the past few weeks. I’ve been working on it for about ten years.

I’ve recently expanded the Gallery section of Lepus Studios to include some of my fan art. Visitors can now explore my Super Mario Sculpture Gallery, a set of tiny polymer clay sculptures, based on Nintendo’s beloved characters. And (there’s no way to say this without sounding a little crazy) the collection has about 350 different pieces.

Why did I do it? About ten years ago (long before I was drawing webcomics), I was really interested in miniature sculptures. I wanted to make myself a set of Super Mario characters (I’ve been a huge Nintendo fan since I was twelve years old). I started with a little Mario (small enough to stand on a dime), and then I built the other characters loosely to scale with him. However, I never set up any parameters about which characters were important enough to make the cut. In a month I had about fifty characters. The next batch doubled my collection. For the last decade I’ve been adding to the horde each time I finish a new game. I usually only make a handful of little guys at a time, but it adds up.

Of course, I can never replicate every character. Over twenty years of Super Mario games have generated more characters than I could keep up with. I had to set some rules about which ones should be included:

  1. I only sculpt characters. No props, items, or power-ups. 
  2. I only sculpt one version of each character. No different statues for Fire Mario, Cloud Mario, Tanooki Mario etc. 
  3. I don’t add any new characters unless: A: they appear in more than one game, B: they play a key role in one game, or C: I find them interesting and really want to try sculpting them. 

Until now, I never intended to make my fan art public. It’s always been something I did just for my own amusement. But this stuff is starting to pile up, and it feels strange to keep it all to myself.

To be fair, I’ve sited Nintendo as the legal owner of all Super Mario characters. Nothing in the statue gallery is for sale. I’m not even running any advertisements on the pages that show Nintendo characters so I won’t directly receive any profits from displaying them (aside from the attention it might bring.)

So if you enjoy Nintendo games, miniatures, or just want to see how strange my work can get when I have time on my hands, please Check Out the Gallery.