Local artist breathes life into clay

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -- A talented young Chicago artist is getting national attention for her unique personal portraits.  They don't come in the form of a Mona Lisa style painting, but rather a life like figurine similar to the kind that goes on a wedding cake.

One glance at 26-year-old Taylor Zitman's studio and it looks like Halloween is just around the corner.

"I started sculpting when I was eight.  I always had a lot of really creative ideas in my head and no great way to get them out on paper," said Zitman.

It's not the Addams family, the Minions or even Harry Potter that are Zitman’s claim to fame.  It's wedding cake toppers that are personalized portraits of a couple, and their pets, cast in clay.

"I have definitely gotten some strange requests.  A couple had asked me to do them, the wedding party was zombies and they were climbing up the cake," said Zitman.

Zitman's work has been featured by Perez Hilton online and Refinery29, an online publication that follows hot trends.

Zitman was a college intern at Nickelodeon and her training there helped fuel her creative juices.

"I got a lot of hands on animation training in 2D and 3D motion graphics." said Zitman.

Several of Zitman’s creations have starred in Claymation short films.

By day Taylor is a project manager at Groupon.  She has advice for those who have a passion that isn't their work.

"I hear a lot of people complain, like ‘I don't have time to do my hobby’ or ‘I don't have time to do that.’  I'm sure that's true for some people and some things but I think there is a way to balance it and you just have to kind of figure that out."

If you're interested in Zitman’s wedding cake toppers or Claymation films, go to http://taylorzitman.com/