About Willard Wigan MBE
Born June 1957 in Birmingham, Willard Wigan began his artistic life at a tender age. Suffering from dyslexia and learning difficulties, he struggled at school, finding solace in creating art of such minute proportions that it virtually could not be seen with the naked eye.
“It began when I was five years old,” says Willard. “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 criticise me. That’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.”
Willard’s micro-sculptures are now so minute that they are only visible through a microscope. Each piece commonly sits within the eye of a needle, or on a pin head. The personal sacrifices involved in creating such wondrous, yet scarcely believable pieces are inconceivable to most. Willard 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.
Willard’s artwork has been described by many as “the eighth wonder of the world”. Such accolade 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.
From a 5 year old child to a 105 year old person, the audiences that appreciate and are in awe of Willard’s work is the most diverse of any living artist, with his exhibitions selling out around the world. Such scarcely available pieces have attracted their own demand within celebrity circles. Owners of Willard’s work now including HRH. Prince Charles, Sir Elton John, Sir Philip Green, Lord Bath, Mike Tyson and Simon Cowell to name but a few.
More recently, Willard has undertaken a vast amount of public and motivational speaking engagements for private, multi-conglomerate corporations and charitable organizations. It is little surprise why Willard’s life story is now attracting significant attention from the literary and film industries alike.
View Willard's coverage on the BBC website