At first sight, Lorraine Loots’ artworks seem like regular paintings – beautifully detailed and pretty to look at – but still regular. What strikes you is that these paintings are impossibly small, no bigger than a human thumbnail. These tiny portraits, which are about the size of a quarter and can be best seen under a magnifying glass, are part of a series of artworks entitled “Paintings For Ants”.
According to Loots, this project started in 2013, when she decided to pursue a career beyond art, ironically. “I decided that I wanted to do a normal nine-to-five to pay the bills and then I would spend an hour a day just finishing one artwork,” the South African artist said. “I didn’t want to stop painting, though, so I constructed this borderline-OCD project where I had to spend an hour a day creating something.”
But when Loots began posting her paintings in actual size on her Instagram account, requests for purchases immediately came pouring in. The one hour limit didn’t last long, and the project became a full-time career and even resulted in a book called 365 Paintings For Ants.