Posts Tagged ‘Mosaic’

LEGOLAND in Boston looking for a Master Builder

December 19, 2013

If you live in the New England area, and have always wanted to become a LEGO Master Model Builder then here’s your chance.

Via: Boston Magazine

On January 25 and 26, at the Boston Public Library, an “intense competition,” called Brick Factor, will be held to try and identify the perfect candidate to take on the job of building Lego projects for the Discovery Center Boston coming to Assembly Square in the new year.

Applicants will be asked to tackle several construction challenges over the course of two days, competing in multiple rounds to take the title. The lucky winner of the competition will be offered a full-time, salaried position from the Discovery Center, and will become responsible for constructing new features, exhibitions and models at the new attraction.

So what does it take to become the next “Master Model Builder,” a title that only a handful of other people in the United States hold?

According to Lego representatives, the perfect candidate should have “a natural love of Lego bricks…be creative,” and show that they are a skilled model builder and passionate about working with and teaching kids.

“The Brick Factor Competition is a unique opportunity to turn one lucky individual’s hobby into a dream job,” said David Gilmore, General Manager for Legoland Discovery Center Boston. “The Master Model Builder will become an integral member of the team, bringing all the incredible Lego brick models within the attraction to life. We can’t wait to put New England’s building skills to the test.”

Here’s a look at what the “Brick Factor” was like in Toronto

Tips from a former Master (me 😀 ):

1) Practice before you go. Do timed building tests — both free style and theme to get and idea just how long (or short) half an hour or hour is when on a clock

2) Have a portfolio of your previous LEGO models — a booklet or tablet with pics of what you have done can give LEGOLAND an idea of what you can already do.

3) Don’t just show one style / theme of building — Master Builders can be required to build anything. So you have to be able to build a building one day, a mosaic the next and then make a sculpture and a microscale model. If you just specialize in one type — Castle, Space, Mecha, etc. — and don’t diversify your building style they might not be as interested in you. That’s not to say that you won’t get hired, but it helps to be versatile. 😉

On the flip side — Remember it is a real job. Its not just playing with LEGO all day. Whoever wins will have budgets and time frames. You can’t spend months on a foot long model getting it “just so.” Its also a corporate job, no matter how creative it may be. And sadly, they don’t pay all that well. Which is part of the reason I’m not at LEGOLAND any more. So if that’s not your cup of tea, you might not want to do it.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying out. I don’t regret the 5 years I spent working at LEGOLAND California. It was amazing, life-changing and I learned to be a much, much better builder because I was there. But there were days when I didn’t want to go into work. Its a job and you work hard. I want anyone trying out to go in with their eyes wide open and not have false expectations.

So for those that do plan on trying out in January, Good Luck! And if any of you readers do try out, I’d love to hear how you do.

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Montague Channel

September 26, 2013

Montague Channel

I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here, but I like it. 😀

This LEGO painting by Frances Sky is kind of mosaic, but also like a painting. Using the bricks as paint brush strokes.

Frances’ artistic practice is rooted in abstract expressionism. She is also influenced by improvisation music such as Peter Van Huffel, and Aurealis’ jazz sphere. Her paintings engage the viewer in a visual inquiry between atmospheric and lyrical qualities of the form and the hard physicality of material, Lego

Apparently Frances normally works in acrylic. You can see her work on her website francessky.wix.com/artist.

11th Doctor

September 17, 2013

I know I’ve been missing in action here on the blog, but if you’ve been following me on Facebook, and you really should be 😉 , I posted yesterday that I’ve been getting ready for BrickCon with my newest mosaic.

Oh yes, bow ties are cool! Ever since Doctor Who returned to the airwaves on 2005, I’ve become an unashamed Whovian. As it is the 50th anniversary of the classic show, I figured I’d try my hand at portraying the current Doctor Matt Smith in my mosaic style.

LEGO 11th Doctor Mosaic 1

Overall the mosaic from concept to completion took about a week and a half. It actually took longer as I did the initial design 2 months ago, but I was too busy with commissions and LEGO conventions to actually get around to building it till just a few days ago. I started building Friday and just finished up an hour ago.

I posted a “teaser pic” on Facebook also
Teaser Pic 1

Several people correctly guessed that it was the Doctor. 😀

People often ask what computer program I use. And although I do used a few programs to do the initial color values, I mainly design the mosaic by hand. Here’s what it looks like.

LEGO 11th Doctor Mosaic Plans

This will be debuting at BrickCon 2013 next month and if you are still thinking of going as an attendee you only have one more day to register, so get on it!

Iridescent Flight

August 21, 2013

Iridescent Flight

Jaw dropping. That was my first thought after seeing this. Sean and Steph Mayo just keep getting better and better.

You have to look at the image in a larger format to really appreciate the size, scope and detail of this model.

Even the paints and brushes are cool
Lego Paint Brushes

Somehow I’ve still not met Sean and Steph, even though I’ve been at two LEGO Cons (BrickWorld and BrickFair Virgina) with them. Even so, I did get to see some of their models up close and in person. Pictures just don’t do their models justice. I really hope I get to see this one in person in the future.

This takes mosaics and sculptures to a new level of cool.

Current Mosaic Teaser

July 3, 2013

Mosaic Teaser Photo

So, this is what I’ve been staring at off and on for the last month. And its part of the reason I’ve been less than active in posting here — that and the infernal heat wave that has thankfully broken.

Believe it or not, there’s a mosaic in there, or there will be when I get finished. Each of those letters stand for a color:

T– Tan
Blk / B — Black
DO — Dark Orange
etc.

People often ask what program I use for my mosaics. And although I do use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Bricksaic — a freeware LEGO mosaic program created by Bob Kojima, who also created BrickShirts — they all only get me to my starting point. Which is pretty much the same starting point I’ve used for the past 10 years — the picture, brick paper and a pencil.

Cheese Slopes Image via: BrickSet.com

Now of course, they didn’t have cheese slopes in all the lovely colors that it comes in now, dark tan double cheese which I’m using for the first time in this mosaic is new this year and makes a huge difference in the shading of the image. I couldn’t even conceive of making the mosaics I’m doing now when I started so many years ago. And the more cheese the better in my opinion. 😀

Because of the cheese slopes, and my tendency to turn bricks sideways a lot, I can’t use any one program. I’ve yet to see a program that can account for all variables that I constantly throw in so the design still needs to be done by hand.But that’s half the fun — building is the other. 😉

I see my mosaics as a puzzle, evolving on paper and then through the bricks. And sure, I’ve done dozens of mosaics (I’ve lost count to be honest), but a lot of the basic logos just aren’t all that challenging anymore so I have to find more interesting images to stimulate my creative side.

Thus bringing me to my current project — a set of 4 mosaics. The teaser photo is only of the first one, my goal is to get at least this one and maybe the second one before BrickFair Virginia in August. They will all be about the same size as my Baby Colby mosaic and all but one of them is a portrait mosaic.

Intrigued yet? I’ll be unveiling the mosaic in due time. And if you are going to either BrickFair or Bricks by the Bay in August as an attendee, I’ll be doing a more in depth presentation on how I do my mosaics — “Mosaics — SNOT what you think.”

BrickWorld Chicago 2013 Recap

June 25, 2013

Okay I know I’ve totally been MIA for the last couple of weeks and I apologize for that. BrickWorld was fun, amazing and totally exhausting! I’m still not fully recovered from the trip. That’s what happens when you only sleep 2-4 hours every night. 😀

So BrickWorld this year started out with a bang, literally. I happened to fly in just before a major storm that actually had torrential rains, lightning, thunder, and even tornado warnings. I only really experienced it while riding in the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel. Even though it went on all night, and lots of flights were canceled, once I was in the hotel / convention center I rarely looked outside as I was busy setting things up, talking with friends, and starting on all the LEGO Convention fun.

This year’s theme was Heros and Villians
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There was a set unveiling — the Sydney Opera House
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It looks really good in person and all that dark tan! Also there’s a 48×48 stud baseplate in blue!
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And they also showed what the next Cusoo set will be
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There were awesome models, here’s some of my favorites:

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I think this was my favorite micro scale model
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There was a lot of buzz about the new roller coaster LEGO compatible parts. I was going to get one, but I didn’t have any room in my suitcase, so I’ll be ordering one instead. 😉
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And this was rather random but cool — tiles and flowers making a “glove”
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What it looked like during Public hours
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I have tons more photos on my Flickr photostream although I know I didn’t get pictures of everything.

It was a great show and I look forward to next year. Now on to planning for BrickFair Virginia and Bricks by the Bay — back to back weekends I might add and cross country for me. But I’ll be at both. 😉

BrickWorld Chicago 2013

May 26, 2013


Hi all. I realize I’ve been totally off the grid for the past couple weeks. Finishing up a large commission (which will be covered later) and feeling under the weather has been keeping me occupied.

But I’m back now, and the only thing that’s on my mind at the moment is BrickWorld Chicago, which is just about 2 1/2 weeks away. I have a pretty awesome new mosaic planned, we’ll see how much of it I’ll get done before the show. Its in four parts, so even if I don’t get it all designed, at least some of it should be ready by then.

And if any of you readers are coming, either for the whole thing or just the public days on the weekend, stop by and say hi. I’ll have my vendor table there and I’ll be selling not only my own stuff, but also BrickShirts shirts so that’s a good place to find me, at least during public hours.

Oh and if you some how weren’t paying attention to any of the other LEGO blogs and sites out there, there was an unveiling of the largest LEGO Model ever in New York’s Time Square this weekend

As I wasn’t there, I defer to Joe Meno and his guest post on Brother’s Brick for all the details.

The exciting thing, at least for me is that now that the event is over, the giant X-wing will be coming here just in time for Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California on June 15-16. Of course I’ll be in Chicago for BrickWorld, but it will be here for the rest of the year, so I’ll get to check it out soon enough. 😉

And if you are coming to LEGOLAND California for the Star Wars weekend, then be sure to check out the LEGO display put on by LUGOLA, SandLUG, LGuage and FBTB.

Newest Mosaic — Emerald City Comicon Logo

February 23, 2013

So you’ve probably noticed I have been absent for the past week. But as there is a little less than a week till the Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) and two weeks till BricksCascade, I’ve been very, very busy getting ready for both shows stocking up on hundreds of keychains, necklaces, etc.

I also wanted to create something specifically for ECCC. And what better than the ECCC logo?

ECCC logo mosaic

As always with my mosaics I incorporated a lot of tricks to get just the look I wanted and even invented a few new ones. 😉

If you look at the close ups, you can see parts that are upside-down and sideways

ECCC logo mosaic close up

ECCC logo mosaic close up

And though it looks like they are just stuck on, the letters do have at least one connection point. Now since this is not glued, the letters also have some double stick tape to make sure they keep in place. Especially as I travel — handy tip, double stick tape is your friend. 😀

Of course I will be bubble wrapping this tightly as well. 😉

For those that are wondering, the mosaic is 2 x 2 ft square. So not on the small side. And it took me about a week to design and build.

I also came up with another Doctor Who design — his ever present sonic screwdriver.

Blue Sonic Screwdriver Necklace

LEGO Green Sonic Screwdriver Earrings

Since they revived the show there have been two variations — a blue one and a green one. Now they of course do look more different than just the tips, but when you are going for one that is only an inch long you can only do so much. For those who can’t make it to either show they are available online at my Folded Fancy Creations Etsy shop.

I find it somewhat ironic that a lightsaber handle is used for the design. Who knows, maybe the Doctor is also a Jedi. 😎

Baby Colby

January 18, 2013

So you’ve probably been wondering why I’ve been off the radar for the past few days. Well, if you’ve been reading my blog for very long you know that when I have a project, I tend to let everything else slide.

So here’s my latest creation
Baby Mosaic 1

I have decided to start selling portrait mosaics but in order to do that, I needed a sample to show my skills. This is a picture of my friend Tiffeny’s baby Colby. Its the first time I’ve done a portrait, although my Remembering 9/11 mosaic was my first based off a real picture.

I wanted to make a smaller mosaic than my standard size of 2 feet tall, so I decided to go with 1 foot tall as I felt it was a nice size, but I could still retain the likeness of the image.

Since I know you are always curious about my process I took a picture of the brick paper design I made for this mosaic.
Brick paper Baby Mosaic

It looks like kind of a mess, but trust me, it makes sense. 😉

What I do is take the original picture, then I use Photoshop and Bricksaic to find the color values. If you are not familiar with Bricksaic it is a freeware program created by Bob Kojima. Bob is also the man behind BrickShirts. Bricksaic is a program to help you design mosaics. It can be helpful, but it doesn’t work fully for my technique. The best part of it though is that you can constrain the image to only the LEGO colors you want to use. So instead of the mosaic having weird colors in random places you only have the colors you want.

Here’s an up close shot so you can kind of see what I’m doing.
Baby Mosaic Close up

The model took my 40 hours or so to make.

Its funny, I never would have thought that I would be able to create something like this a decade ago when I started in the Model Shop. But after so many years, and so many mosaics, it was relatively easy.

I am selling them on my Etsy shop, if you’re interested, but I admit, it’s not cheap. 😉

2012 LEGO Model Review

January 1, 2013

2012 Model Review

Happy New Year Everyone! As I reflect on this past year of 2012 I decided to make a compilation of all the models I created this year. To be totally honest, this isn’t all of them. I made over 30 wedding cake toppers and literally hundreds of earrings, necklaces and key chains. But this gives you a pretty good idea.

This has been a whirlwind of a year. I went to ten Conventions this year — five LEGO Conventions, three Comic Conventions, the McDonald’s Worldwide Convention and Focus 12 Convention. I had six large project (even if one of them was microscale) — 3 ft x 3 ft Statoil logo mosaic, 4 ft long McDonald’s building, a giant Harting Connector (the big black thing on the left), a 2 1/2 ft microscale replica of a home, 4 ft x 2 ft John Hancock logo and 10 giant bricks, and a 5 ft x 5 ft Google Chrome logo. I flew to Portland, Orlando, Chicago, Virginia, and Seattle. I drove to northern California twice, Phoenix and Vegas — while building the top of the Harting model the whole way in the car (I wasn’t driving 😉 ).

Who knows what I’ll be building next year. I’m certainly excited. 🙂

Hopefully you had a wonderful 2012 and welcome 2013!