Angle on Artist – Willard Wigan



Here is the next in our series, Angle on Artists. I only found out about this amazing micro-sculptor Willard Wigan recently because one of the girls had to research him for an art museum trip! And his art just blows me away. And this person is an inspiration to us all. As a schoolboy growing up in 1960’s Birmingham, England, he was ridiculed by teachers and peers alike for not being able to read.  No one talked about dyslexia in those days, and so young Willard’s learning problems went undiagnosed, and his teachers told him that he was stupid and would never amount to anything.

“It began when I was five years old.  I started making houses for ants because I thought they needed somewhere to live. Then I made them shoes and hats. It was a fantasy world I escaped to where my dyslexia didn’t hold me back and my teachers couldn’t criticize me. That’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.”

Willard Wigan, Sculptor and Dyslexic





Willard Wigan‘s micro art has been described as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ as his micro sculptures are so tiny, they are only visible through a microscope. Each piece sits within the eye of a needle, or on a pin head. Some of his sculptures are smaller than a full stop (imagine it this . big). He paints each sculpture using the hair from a fly’s back.

Willard’s ability to create such microscopic works has left the medical world baffled. In order to create his art, he enters a meditative state in which his heartbeat is slowed, allowing him to reduce hand tremors and sculpt between pulse beats. Even the reverberation caused by outside traffic can affect Willard’s work. Consequently, he often works through the night when there is minimal disruption.

As his work is so specialized and scarce, it’s attracted a demand from such celebs as Prince Charles, Elton John, Mike Tyson and Simon Cowell. You’ve got to see it to believe it…but don’t worry, his shows come with microscopes. Such accolades resulted in him being honoured by HM. Queen Elizabeth II with an MBE for his services to art, which was presented by HRH. Prince Charles in July 2007.



Willard is a dedicated supporter of charitable causes, particularly those relating to children and animals. Often taking time out from his busy schedule, Willard works with children in less privileged circumstances. Recognition of his work has led to an affiliation with the legendary illusionists Siegfried & Roy through MagiCares and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

How can you not be a fan?! Here’s a link to the Willard Wigan gallery.