Tag Archives: Grant Davis

It takes a village to make a village

I’ve recently started being interested in the idea of collaborative LEGO builds. Everyone does their part and they all come together to create an amazing piece of art. Such is the case with The Village of Thornefeld a terrific medieval village collaboration from Cole Blood, Timothy Shortell, Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, James Libby and Jake Hansen.

I had the pleasure of seeing this model in person at Bricks Cascade. Photographs can never quite capture the grandness of these large creations, but it was joy to see up close. What’s incredible about this build, besides it’s huge size and masterful execution, is the cohesiveness of the whole thing. Each builder worked within a tight color scheme and used matching rock styles to make all the sections mesh seamlessly. I love the way the ground slopes slowly upward, creating a wonderful rolling landscape and various levels. This is great territory for storytelling which each builder does nicely, creating a bustling village that’s full of life.

The Village of Thornefeld; A Collaborative Project

TBB cover photo for February 2020: Taking in the sights

From the incredible detail to the creative forced perspective execution, this build from collaborative team Grant DavisEli Willsea, and Micah Beideman, does not disappoint. With every glance, you’ll notice something new (oooh, look at that AC unit and that awning made of 1×1 cones), which is one of the many reasons we chose it for our February cover photo. Read our original article to see how this trio used LEGO to bring a painting to life.

The Painted City

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A painted city is worth a hundred thousand bricks

When talented stars collide, masterpieces arise. I hate to be so cliche, but it is what it is. This artwork is the result of a collaborative effort between Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, and Micah Biedeman. It was the product of hanging out in Grant’s home last year, 3 weeks worth of cumulative effort, and somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 LEGO bricks (who’s got time to count when you’re oozing with inspiration and art?). Both Grant and Eli should need no introduction, as neither are new to the world of making large scale builds and focusing on a single aspect of wonder. In 2018, they walked away with The Brothers Brick Creation of the Year award, and now they’re back with another stunning creation.

The Painted City
See more of this amazing build, including a video of how the builders accomplished this visual feast for the eyes

Interview with LEGO Ideas Pop-Up Book fan designers Grant Davis and Jason Allemann [Feature]

Last weekend, The Brothers Brick attended the launch event for the LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book in Portland, Oregon, and we chatted with fan designers Grant Davis and Jason Allemann about their collaboration and how the set became a reality.

Both Grant and Jason (aka JK Brickworks) are talented builders and have been featured on The Brothers Brick multiple times. If you haven’t yet, you should read our official review of the set (spoiler: we loved it) and then dive into this behind-the-scenes conversation about creating the set. LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book is now available from LEGO for $69.99 US.


The Brothers Brick: Thanks for chatting with us. We really enjoyed building and reviewing your LEGO Pop-Up Book. Can you tell us a little about how the collaboration first began?

Grant Davis: I had an idea for a LEGO pop-up book in late 2014. I created a model originally powered by LEGO rubber bands, but it was significantly more inconsistent than what I knew a set should be. I ended up contacting Jason because of the technical skill I had seen in his creations, and because he showed interest in my original model on Flickr when I posted it.

Grant’s first iteration of his LEGO Pop-Up Book using rubber bands and bendable minifigure legs.

Jason Allemann: Grant got in touch with me in February 2016 via a message on Flickr. I, of course, absolutely loved the original Pop-Up Book model he had posted over a year earlier, so when he asked if I wanted to join him to develop an Ideas project based on that concept, I jumped at the opportunity.

TBB: Had you two ever met each other prior to this collaboration?

Jason: I don’t think we’d ever met in person before the collaboration, but I was very familiar with Grant’s work via Flickr. I do recall he left a comment on my Particle Accelerator video on YouTube at some point, and I even gave him a shout out in one of my follow up videos for that model, all long before we started working on the Pop-Up Book.

Grant: The first time that we actually met was at Brickworld Chicago 2017 after the Ideas project had already launched and had 8,000-9,000 supporters. We both didn’t know that each other were going to be attending. It was pure coincidence that we ran into each other at the convention! We didn’t talk much about the project, but I do remember that we played some two-player arcade games together as our first in person bonding experience.

TBB: What was your collaboration process like?

Jason: We mostly shared info via e-mail and the occasional Skype call. What I remember most about the design period was that it just took a while. We were both pretty busy with other things, so it would often be weeks between development updates, and it took a full six months before we finally submitted the project. We are both easy going people, so working together was really nice, and we were on the same page with most of the design decisions.

Jason’s first prototype of the pop-up mechanism and an early idea for minifigure storage.

Grant: The bulk of the initial contact was done over email. We fleshed out a lot of the nitty gritty details there in long multi-point messages. We talked through how many inserts we should suggest in the project (we suggested two, which is what LEGO themselves decided to stick with). We set up a Google document to work on the exact description for the project as well, which helped lessen the amount of e-mails.

There was even a lengthy discussion on what exactly the project should be called. We talked through several title options for the project before settling on the simple title of “LEGO Pop-Up Book.” We at one point or another considered “Brick Adventures,” “Brick Tales,” and “Brick Worlds.” The “Once Upon a Brick” title that is on the final model of the book was thought up by the LEGO design team.

The first prototype of Grant and Jason’s LEGO Pop-Up Book submitted to LEGO Ideas.
Click to keep reading our interview with the fan designers of the LEGO Pop-Up Book