“Whisper!” Over the phone, there’s silence, then a low, burbling growl. “Oh, that was good! Did you hear it?” Karen Anderson asks. I laugh, and in that moment, the anxieties of daily life melt away.
That’s because when you talk to Karen (or her dog, Max), you’re immediately transported to her world—a world filled with chatty pups and small doors and petite accoutrements like books, shoes, and sweaters.
Tiny Doors ATL began in 2014, when Karen and Atlanta native Sarah Meng founded the project, which installs 6-inch doors in strategic places throughout the city like the Krog Street Tunnel and the BeltLine. “It’s a dream job,” Karen says. “I will never say it’s not a dream job, no matter what happens.” Currently there are 13 doors that are public, accessible, and free to visit throughout the city, and 5 doors in both of Mailchimp’s Atlanta-based offices.
We talked to Karen to learn a little more about what it’s like to create small-but-powerful art—and to be living her dream as Tiny Door’s Principal Artist and Director.
She has a lifelong admiration of miniatures.
When Karen was a kid, she had a metal dollhouse filled with furniture and people. After giving away the house’s insides, she remade everything using clay. “I didn’t care about the drama of the people in the house. I just wanted to know how the bed was made,” she says. “My love was for replicating the world around me.”