Thanks to coronavirus, we now live in a world where social isolation from coronavirus has led to a surge in the popularity of the Nintendo Switch. But flying all the way to Tom Nook’s island in Animal Crossing is not the only place one can find heartwarming things.
I was scrolling Facebook one day when one particular post caught my eye: a video with a very, very tiny Nintendo Switch.
“A lot of things have been going on in the world, and now everyone’s stuck at home. But before everything happened, my S.O. bought a Nintendo Switch for us, and I’ve been so attached to it – beginning with Zelda Breathe of the Wild, and now Animal Crossing! 😍✨It definitely made staying home (even more so than usual) much more bearable to me 😅 I thought I can make a miniature of the Switch, but me being me, decided I can do more – to make the screen exchangeable so I can give a few of my favourite games some spotlight whenever I want to! This is the process of making a miniature Nintendo Switch, mixing woodworking, polymer clay, and resin!
– HANDXMADE (April 2, 2020)
It turns out that Handxmade – founded by its creator, Oo Xin Man – is “a one (wo)man operation” that focuses almost exclusively on miniature products. Being a website that supports Nintendo Switch indies and creatives of all kinds, I thought they were seriously cool, so – we reached out to her and asked a few questions! If you’re an aspiring artist or creative, check out the full interview below about her and her creations.
Switchaboo Interview with Oo Xin Man (Handxmade)
Normal text = Oo Xin Man, bold text = Switchaboo.
First of all, thank you for having me Switchaboo! It’s a pleasure to be here – never expected to get featured on a gaming site, ever, so this is a huge deal for me and I’m so excited!
- You’re welcome! It’s our pleasure. 😄Tell us a bit about your project! What inspired you to make a Nintendo Switch?
I’ve always been into games since I was younger, especially RPG games. I’ve played Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Kingdom Hearts, and I’m most fond of Wild Arms as it was one of my first RPGs!
So when my partner purchased a Nintendo Switch for us, I was over the moon as I was already drooling at the games for the Switch but had no console to play with HAHA. Being busy with work, it just wasn’t a priority but boy, it’s easily the best console I’ve ever gotten my hands on.
Since I make video content for a living, specifically process of how I make my miniatures, and since I basically live and breathe Nintendo Switch now…I decided to make a miniature Nintendo Switch!
I wanted to make sure I give different games some love, and I do enjoy making my miniatures interactive, so I made the screens exchangeable too!
2. Have you been making things like this for a long time? When did it all start?
Quite a number of years, yes. I got to know about polymer clay and miniatures when I was getting my Diploma, and decided to started Handxmade in 2015 that same year, taking commissions to start my journey.
But as time pass by, I started to understand more about myself and what I wanted to achieve as an artist for me – to create many miniatures, exploring different types of mediums, and constantly learning new things every day. Unfortunately, small commissions like human figurines are mostly the same, albeit details are different, and I feel that I wasn’t able to explore enough as it was also taking up all of my time to make them.
That’s when I decided to stop taking custom orders and move towards being a content creator! It helps that I do enjoy the process of editing the videos I make too, and being someone who found out recently that I most likely have aphantasia (one who can’t visualise), I’ve really appreciate the bulk of videos I’ve accumulated and can look back to for reference.
I tend to make miniatures of things I enjoy, so there are some game related miniatures you’ll see in my YouTube channel like this miniature Tsuki Treehouse I’m really proud of (a game made from a local game company!) Although I am pretty busy with making a miniature house from scratch as it’s one of the items in my bucket list! It’s taking a while to finish as it has a lot of components and I’m trying to “vlog” about the process for other people who might be interested in making one themselves, but am trying to make more time more other miniatures like the Switch! 🥰
3. You chose some games to switch in and out for the screen itself! Why did you choose these games in particular? Do they hold any particular significance to you?
Yes, definitely! We only got the Switch 4 months ago, but I’ve already completed Zelda BOTW (so glad it’s my first game on Switch!), and now am obsessed with Animal Crossing and Octopath Traveller.
I played Ni No Kuni before and it’s one of my favourite games (it’s so beautiful!!), so I decided to include it in my own collection of miniature Switch – my partner is playing it too now hehe. Stardew Valley is also an amazing game (what Harvest Moon should have been) developed by ONE PERSON no less, so I just had to feature it.
I also appreciate the fact that Nintendo Switch has party games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros, although we don’t have the latter yet, but it’s definitely on our wishlist!
4. Do you have a favorite gaming memory?
Well, it’s not a favourite but was definitely memorable…when I was in Secondary School (around 15 years old) I brought my sister’s PSP to school as I was playing Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and I was nearing the end of the game – fighting the last boss. I was almost winning but had to stop to go to school, and it got STOLEN OMG.
I was so devastated, crying all the way home – not only because it was my sister’s (and I got a good scolding for it lol), but because I was WINNING AND WAS GONNA COMPLETE THE GAME 😭 (priorities am I right hahahaha)
Ever since then, I’ve been trying to play Kingdom Hearts BBS again…. Nintendo/Square Enix if you see this please port Kingdom Hearts to Nintendo Switch and let me complete the game in this lifetime hahahaa *cries*
5. Do you have any advice you’d like to give fellow artists and creatives?
I think the best advice I can give is that if you have the opportunity to be able to create, do it. I don’t want to give irresponsible advice to ask you to drop everything and work on it like I did, even if it did change my life for the best. I was lucky and blessed to have a supportive partner who believe in me and wiling to invest in Handxmade – and am currently still working very hard to pay off my debt to him, but I know not many people has that same opportunity.
But a clear direction is SO IMPORTANT. Ask yourself what kind of artist you want to be (eg. content creator, or happy to work on commissions?), and keep hustling! Once that clicked in for me, I was much more confident about my work and was sure that if I had to put Handxmade at the side and earn dough in other ways, I would be able to.
You WILL struggle, you WILL probably have to deal with imposer syndrome, etc, but honestly that’s what makes it worth it and the process so meaningful.
6. If someone wanted to keep on following your work, what’s the best way they can do that?
I’m the most active on Instagram, so definitely there! Lots of life updates and I’m almost half bird account on my instagram Stories haha. The next place I’m on the most often (and also my only income stream) is Patreon. I created a discord group for my patrons and the #gaming channel is the most active over there especially for Animal Crossing! 🤣
All my handles are @handxmade, so should be easy to find hehe. Be sure to say hi!!
7. Any last things you wanna tell the Switchaboo audience?
Thank you so much for having me on Switchaboo once again, and for letting me geek over games and talk about my favourites! If you have any RPG games you think I MUST check out, let me know! Who knows, I might make a miniature of it someday and you’ll get to see the process! 😉
It was a delight to get to know you better, Oo Xin Man!
For our Switchaboo readers – hey, we’ve mentioned Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch so much in this interview – why not check out our review of the game too?