Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray tells of a man who stays young forever while a painting of him ages instead.
Alex Eylar gives Dorian Gray the LEGO treatment in this eerie creation:
Previously on The Brothers Brick:
This is the fourth post in a series of six where we’re looking at LEGO models through a communicational point of view. Feel free to read the introduction, first, second and third post to get you up to par before diving into this one – it’ll help. Also, I’m sorry for skipping the promised case study yesterday. I caught the flue and didn’t have much energy to write. But I wouldn’t miss this post for the world – this is the good stuff!
After looking at design and build last Monday, it’s time to present your creation to your target audience. Ideally, you should adjust your presentation to further strengthen your build (or adjust your build to strengthen your presentation, depending on what you’re out to do). We’re going to exemplify how presentation affects your message by looking at how it’s done online, but a lot of it is applicable to live presentation as well.
When you present your model, you can do three things:
Obviously, you want do number two. Different groups have different guidelines, so as we said before: make sure you say what you intend to in a way your audience accept.
I’m mainly a space builder. When I took my first stumbling steps online, LUGNET had just started to break down, and it wasn’t long before Classic-Space was founded. The site has been around for a few years now, and is starting to get a set of informal rules on how a model should be presented there.
Let’s have a look at those who dwell there and the informal guidelines on that site as a case study.
So, to dehance your model on Classic-Space, you would write a five-page long back story with lots of details on the fictional technical construction of your small generic space fighter. It probably belongs to some obscure faction you made up (that you’re trying to get everyone to build in), and uses pre-molded guns on a studs up construction. Your pictures would be taken with a cellphone or a webcam, have a lot of clutter in the background, be poorly lit and out of focus. Oh, and it’d be your first time posting there too, and you would be acting like you’re the end-all answer to LEGO building because your mother said you were sooo good.
If you want to enhance your model on Classic-Space, do the opposite. That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success, but it places your message in a much better position to make an impact on the crowd there.
Do a separate analysis on your target audience.
Taking pictures of your models has almost become an art in itself in the LEGO community. It’s pretty obvious how to dehance a model – said blurry, out of focus and poorly lit shots are sadly too common. Here’s a random picture from MOCpages that tells us nothing:
This model seems like a start. A more skilled builder could’ve at least offered advice on how to improve it – but when we see nothing, we can do nothing.
Here the actual build, though stunning on its own, is nigh secondary to the presentation. I only wish that he had created a custom website for it rather han putting it up on MOCpages. Too much distracting clutter there.
To see more cases where presentation influence the build, comparing the Brick Testament to “ordinary” castle customs (these by Aaron Andrews, aka DarkSpawn) will yield interesting things. Note how construction suddenly become a lot less important and carefully planned scenes matter more.
If you’re going to present your model live, you have basically the same things to think about as when presenting online: How do I best convey my built message to my audience? Except now you can consider another factor: interactivity. Should your audience be allowed to touch your model or not? That might help you connect with the audience, and lets them see play factors. No playing can create a distance. Think how you best support your model’s purpose: if you consider it a toy and built it for your kids, then maybe it’s a good idea to somehow enable people to play with it. If you want it to be considered art or a sculpture you should probably put it behind a fence.
And that concludes the bulk of this series. Next Monday we will look at a few other factors that can affect how your build is perceived by your audience before summing up what we’ve learnt.
Thomas Wunz is rapidly making a name for himself in the Castle community. His newest creation is does nothing to tarnish that reputation. Built on a beautifully-crafted crag, overlooking the sea (access via some nifty stairs) , the Hold of Wyhrt Quoip is a very imposing fortress.
By the way, Thomas tells me that the proper pronounciation is “Wee-ert Qu-oip”. In case you were wondering. I certainly was…
Mark Stafford (Nabii) shows us once again his skills for innovative use of parts that others would have considered “useless”, such as the red airplane tail fins used as the wings and the various Bionicle parts throughout.
Castle builder Piotr Lewandowski has recreated several iconic scenes from the Star Wars universe as Castle vignettes.
Here’s “Duel of Mates” (inspired by “Duel of the Fates” between Qui-Gon Gin and Darth Maul in Episode I):
And another duel, on “BestPin,” between Luke Groundwalker and Darth Father (heh heh):