LEGO Bro built nice little mosaic of the Apple logo. Whether you are a fan of the fruit or not, you have to admit that he nailed it.
Mihai Marius Mihu calls this piece the “Citadel of the Loud Curse”. If I lived anywhere near that thing, I’d be running for the hills! I don’t know which is more frightening…the gaping red mouth or the silent ash-colored, house-crushing Titan. Regardless, this is a very striking build and, like good art, it draws out a response from its viewers. Mihai is exceptionally skilled at that!
Those who went to Brickworld in Chicago and Tampa last year probably remember this crazy cuboid contraption by Tyler (Legohaulic). Built using an abundance of Technic elements and flex tubing, this creation features conveyor belts that lift ball bearings and lets them drop through one of 4 spiraling and twisting tracks. Check out the masterfully produced video to see it in action.
Even though the fish in this koi pond by Chris Maddison are inanimate, this creation is still pleasant to look at with its articulate placement of elements within two concentric circles.
Symphony of Construction is a telephone game that alternates between the mediums of LEGO and music. Already 3 rounds have produced interesting results, and now it’s your turn show us your creativity of interpretation. Check out the Symphony of Construction contest, where you have until March 1st to build a creation inspired by a piece of music and possibly win one of four LEGO gift certificates donated by The Brothers Brick.
Take a look at a sample of the works from the most recent round:
We usually focus directly on LEGO models that people have created, but I always enjoy seeing fans use LEGO as the subject for their photography skills as well. Flickr user Young_Design has been creating a series of photographs which I love, featuring minifigs in gorgeous settings with great lighting. A good eye, a nice macro lens, and a little photoshopping skill can bring a viewer right into a minifig’s compelling world.
It’s been barely a year since No Starch Press released Beautiful LEGO, a coffee table book packed with carefully curated images of LEGO creations, conceived and organized by New Jersey graphic designer and LEGO builder Mike Doyle.
Unlike many of their other LEGO themed titles, which are targeted squarely at the AFOL community, the book had the potential to appeal to almost anyone with a passing interest in LEGO (ie. almost anyone on the planet). It soon started showing up on the shelves of regular book stores, and has since become one of their best sellers. So the rumors of a sequel came as no surprise…
Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark replays that winning formula, with some interesting twists. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s weightier: this version is about 50 pages longer and sports a proper hard cover. Some folks will be pleased to hear about that change, although as a coffee table book, I kinda find this one harder to handle.
Mike has also cut back heavily on builder interviews (just 4 this time round, compared to 9 in the first book). I’m sure some AFOLs will see that as a loss, but I think it makes sense for a work like this to focus on the images first and foremost. For those curious to learn more about specific builders, every image is labeled, and the Contributor index contains all the necessary URLs.
Then there’s the subtitle, “Dark”. With this book, Mike applied what he calls a “thematic filter” to the curation process, targeting specific classes of build. It’s a bold move, but gives this sequel a much stronger identity than merely “hello, here are some more great builds”. Admittedly “dark” is a rather broad theme with many possible interpretations, but I think it still pays off. The builds range from the serious, the creepy, the political, the darkly humorous, and even just darkly colored.
As for the individual builds and images, Mike delivers again with another 300 pages of gorgiously photographed creations, from over a hundred different builders, that will be appreciated by both AFOL and non-AFOL alike. Everything is organized into chapters such as “Creepy Crawlers”, “Skin and Bones” or “Future Shock”. And a wide variety of building styles and categories are covered.
To achieve a harmonious effect, some of the models were specially reworked or reshot by their creators, and Mike also re-tuned some of the images too (for example, applying neutral backgrounds). The overall effect is definitely moodier than the first book – and that means it’s literally darker. The builds in this tome also skew to the more complex/detailed end of the scale than in the first one. So you’re gonna want to read this one under a decent light!
For the sequel, Mike also chose to include a small selection of digital creations. This is definitely a controversial decision, which Mike acknowledges and explains in his Preface. But the digital creations are clearly annotated as such, wherever they appear.
Like its predecessor, Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark is a beautiful object, that shines a flattering (low wattage) spotlight on the LEGO building community, and in a way that makes that world accessible to the general public. I’d recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who enjoyed the first book. And I really hope this becomes a series of books. If it does, I cannot wait to see what theme Mike decides to cover next!
Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark goes on sale everywhere November 20th, and will retail for USD $39.95.