Attentive readers may have noticed that I haven’t posted for about a month. My father recently suffered a severe stroke, and I’ve been very busy and distracted as a result. I only bring this up because it has lead me to really think about the role that LEGO plays in my life. My friend Gary McIntire suggested that it was worth putting some of my thoughts in writing, and I thought I’d share.
I’ve realized that for me, and I expect for others as well, LEGO is more than just a hobby. It’s a distraction from the stresses of everyday life, a release. There’s something therapeutic about diving in to a bin of plastic bricks and creating something that is heartening, regardless of what may be going on in other aspects of life. I’m hoping that some of our readers share the same experience with LEGO as something more than a toy, and that they may want to share as well.
I’m actually posting a LEGO creation, while I’m at it. This is small cargo shuttle, that I’ve been building over the last five weeks or so. This ship is intended to be the space equivalent of a box truck, like this. I imagine this particular ship as having a lot of light-years under its belt, used for longer journeys than originally intended, so there’s a hammock in the cargo bay. As I explained above, I had a lot of time to think about this creation, even if I didn’t have much time to build or blog. I also imagined the that it might not always have been docked in the nicest of space neighborhoods, so I built after I took some photos, I covered it in graffiti.
Great shuttle, I especially love the graffiti. I hope your father get better soon as well.
Just finished oohing and aahing over this on flickr, thought “I hope he blogs that on TBB” then came right here and BEHOLD!
I totally agree that LEGO is an escape from everyday stress. Not too get too deep about it, my theory is that in my work (marketing & new product development) I spend all my time helf-creating things then handing them over to other people for completion or exectution – LEGO is a way of starting something, creating it, tinkering with it, but (most importantly) finishing something.
If I’m really stressed then the best thing in the world is actually building a set, following the instructions step by step and then “getting closure” with a finished model. Takes even the mild stress of creativity out of things for that short period.
It’s nice to hear others have a similar feeling about what LEGO does for the builder psychologically and it’s not just me being weird! Good luck Dan. All the best to you and your family.
My joy of Lego comes from the feeling of creative freedom. I paint professionally (mostly wildlife, but also landscapes, portraits, and so on), but as a professional I have to paint what I think will sell…which is rarely what I WANT to paint.
With Lego, I’m not selling it, or marketing it, or bound by anyone elses vision of what should be created. I’m completely free to create whatever I can dream up, and take however long I want. It’s a fantastic way to experience creative freedom (that I think all people need an outlet for, whether they might realize it or not).
Anyway, very nice work on the shuttle, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on what Lego means to you – nice to know I’m not the only one who carries such a passion for what many consider to be simply a child’s toy.
I’m really enchanted by the grating created by stacked triangle flats. I’m definately going to have to experiment more with that look now that I’ve seen it in action, fantastic effect. I’m still not sold on the grey barrel thrusters. Maybe I’m just too used to the shape of that part in brown but it allways looks like a barrel glued into the engine assembly.
Mostly I like the general look and feel of the shuttle. Official Lego space is allways such a spindly looking affair with their thin wings and big windows and arrays sticking out everywhere. This thing is a brick, just like the modern-day equivelent cargo trucks. It has a real density to it’s look. You can imagine how it sounds as those big repulsor pods hiss and piston into position or as the cargo ramp slowly grinds open, loud warning beep sounding. This model has a great reality to it. Awesome work