Humorous Miniature Scenes Celebrate the Struggles and Victories of Everyday Office Life

Derrick Lin Workplace Humor Art

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Finding the humor in everyday office struggles, Derrick Lin started creating miniature vignettes as a way to visually express his frustrations. Using everyday materials, he shoots everything with his iPhone and publishes these relatable scenes to Instagram. Now, a good portion of his work has been put together in his forthcoming book, Work, Figuratively Speaking.

Lin's work follows the grand tradition of artists who work in miniature, but rather than focusing on relationships or political struggles, he decided to hone in on the place where many of us spend the majority of our time—the office. “About 3 years ago, I noticed that while we are in the era of social media where almost anything can be shared, people generally avoid sharing their complaints about work,” Lin shares. “We spend a good chunk of our time at our job, and naturally we have a lot of frustration from various sources.”

From a version of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks made with pencils to someone—literally—getting “thrown under the bus,” Lin cleverly uses miniature figures and some office supplies to represent the struggles and victories of the workplace. Lin works in advertising, so it was a natural fit for him to slide into this visual field, injecting humor into sometimes difficult situations. The artist also finds the lighter side of life, reminding us to slow down and relax with his scenes of a figure jet skiing along a sheet of paper or enjoying an evening picnic with friends. “My series is a constant reminder for me to always look on the brighter side of things and seek humor out of the little setbacks and obstacles I encounter,” Lin says.

Derrick Lin's book Work, Figuratively Speaking: The Big and Little Victories of Office Life, published by Rizzoli, is now available for pre-order.

Derrick Lin's clever miniatures play on the struggles and triumphs of the workplace.

Derrick Lin MiniaturesDerrick Lin Miniature ArtDerrick Lin Workplace Humor Art

He started publishing his work, created with office supplies and photographed with an iPhone, on Instagram in 2014.

Derrick Lin Miniature ArtDerrick Lin Workplace Humor ArtDerrick Lin Workplace Humor Art

What started as a creative outlet has now turned into a forthcoming book published by Rizzoli.

Derrick Lin Nighthawks replicaDerrick Lin Tiny SculpturesDerrick Lin Tiny Sculptures

“My series is a constant reminder for me to always look on the brighter side of things and seek humor out of the little setbacks and obstacles I encounter”

Derrick Lin Workplace Humor ArtDerrick Lin Workplace Humor ArtDerrick Lin Tiny SculpturesDerrick Lin MiniaturesDerrick Lin: Instagram
h/t: [Creators, Colossal]

All images via Derrick Lin.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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