In the northern hemisphere, spring is underway. It might not feel that way for some, as snow is still falling in parts, but it is indeed springtime. And what says springtime better than a butterfly? Maybe flowers, but flowers need pollinators like butterflies, and so the two go hand in hand. Or proboscis in nectar pit, as the case may be. So when the Style it Up contest gave the prompt to build something with LEGO that is perfectly symmetrical across a line, I (Benjamin Stenlund) eventually settled on a Monarch butterfly, one of the most recognizable insects in North America. Ok, I admit, my wife told me to make a butterfly.
The challenge, of course, is trying to replicate the complicated patterns on the wings, with their many angles and colors, all while using a mostly rectangular system of interlocking bricks. I found that the old fingered hinges were better than the newer clip hinges, as they are flat, so I was thankful to have my childhood LEGO laying about. An even greater challenge than the building was photographing it without glare, as the flat surfaces reflected everything. But the end result, in my not-so-humble opinion, is delicately beautiful.
Tired of the same household chores? Are you sick of your job? Is the drudgery in the news bringing you down? Do you like butterflies? How about dragons? Then you’re about to turn that frown upside-down because Chris Yu has something special for you. Enter the butterfly dragons. I didn’t see that coming either yet I can’t help but smile. Despite being the size of a Brachiosaurus and having six massive legs these sweet dragons seem to have the playful, carefree gait of a puppy. I can’t even properly name all these colors in terms of what LEGO officially calls them but turquoise, lavender, light yellow, azure, butterscotch, magenta, salmon pink and others all work together to please the senses. In this bright and serene backdrop, I can just imagine their butterfly wings (or maybe ears) fluttering as they run. See, aren’t you feeling just a bit better now?
It turns out this is not the first time Chris has delighted us. Pack your bags for adventures in outer space and check out his transformable Classic Space luggage.
We have featured a beautiful LEGO creation of grey butterflies gaining colour by Dario Minisini before. Now the builder returns to the theme with this meaningful build of grey clouds being turned into a rainbow-coloured butterfly.
I just love Dario’s style of butterflies, as well as the multiple smaller ones. Some of the partially formed butterflies really give an impression of movement. The builder does not provide much of a description, but the message seems quite clear from the title: “Let the colors go out from your heart”.
LEGO artists often title their creations with a cryptic title like “Daydream” or skip the title altogether, allowing the viewer more freedom in interpretation. Dario Minisini’s latest creation surprises with a descriptive and beautiful title: “Life is not always grey. There are colors too.”
Multiple gray butterflies leading to a rainbow-colored one makes for a powerful composition. Their flight path seemingly implies that the colorful butterfly and its monochromatic counterparts represent a single butterfly, possibly viewed from a different angle or transformed as it flies through the triangle. Supports are made from bent translucent bar pieces that Dario uses in many of his builds. I think it’s great how Dario manages to keep the creation’s message open-ended, even with the descriptive title. However, it is not quite true that the three gray butterflies are void of color – they use sand blue wedge plates for the undersides of the wings. Could this be a subtle message or just a lack of parts?
Brothers Brick regular Alanboar explores the link between LEGO art and science in his latest Butterfly Mimicry creation; his exquisite case of mounted butterfly specimens being made in honour of pioneering naturalist Henry Walter Bates. The concept of Batesian mimicry argues that harmless species, such as these butterflies, evolve the markings of poisonous animals avoided by predators.
Tracing the subtle differences in pattern across these beautiful LEGO butterflies, each created from a limited set of elements, reminds me of our understanding of the malleability of genetic code and the way Bates’ work foreshadowed these discoveries.
I love seeing well-done, easily recognizable brick-built creatures. I usually see the bigger ones, like mammals and the like. What I don’t often see are adorable insects done in brick.
This butterfly by Dave Foreman (thirdeye88) caught my eye. It’s instantly recognizable, and I have to say I love the vibrant color the wings get from his choice of elements.