Jim Jo is a new-comer to the Adult LEGO Fan community but that doesn’t mean he lacks building skills. His first project is a mammoth mosaic of Darth Vader. The mosaic measures 45 inches square and was done entirely without the help of actual mosaic-making software other than Excel for layout. All of the shading (or dithering) was done by eye, which makes this piece all the more impressive. Jim agreed to answer some questions about himself, the mosaic and the building process. Let him know what you think in the comments!
TBB – Why did you decide to do a LEGO mosaic?
JJ – By training, I am a molecular biologist, specializing in disease and metabolism, and I teach advanced biology and chemistry. I work in a school that has both an advanced art program and a well-equipped woodshop. Art is strictly a hobby for me (one I sadly have little time for), but thankfully I have several friends at my workplace who are skilled artists and craftspeople by trade or training. My mind is extremely analytical (part of the reason I have loved Lego since I was a child), and I think that is reflected in my art. In many ways then, there was a confluence of factors that made even the consideration of Lego mosaic a viable possibility.
I conceived of this project as a Lego mosaic back in the summer of 2012, which is long enough ago that I cannot honestly remember its genesis as an idea. At some point, I had a photograph of Darth Vader, and I thought, given the fairly limited number of common Lego colours, that I could at the very least plan to build it as a Lego mosaic. I had seen a couple of Lego mosaics before, in Nathan Sawaya’s online gallery, who, at the time, was the only Lego artist I was familiar with, so I knew it was possible. So I sat down at the computer and started making the digital picture without really having a realistic plan of how to transform digital into physical. In fact, more than a year passed between the time that I finished the actual picture/plan and when I started building.