You may already know that the Aztecs (along with several other ancient civilizations) believed in human sacrifice. The thought of removing someone’s still-beating heart sounds pretty grizzly indeed. But these guys truly believed the world would end if they didn’t pay the gods, and evidence suggests many people saw it as an honor! Now, you may think the priests that carried out the sacrifice, like this rendered LEGO recreation by Steven Howard, were evil. But they had a pretty tough life. They had loads of official responsibilities, including being peacekeepers, teachers, doctors, mathematicians, and astronomers. They also had to advise the king, be fluent in the ancient languages, memorize all chants and prayers, perform regular rituals, take confession, and prove their worth by hunting dangerous animals. All this while also regularly fasting.
It’s probably fair to say some priests were a little psycho, and I bet many were terrifying. It takes a very complicated mind to be and do all those things. So perhaps this build isn’t far off the mark. I particularly like the scowl, and those mysterious, dark, and brooding eyes made with helmets. The colorful headdress and costume are instantly recognizable. I also like how the old skulls and more recent lantern elements were used on the knees and belt.
Very recently, we featured another, very different, set of builds from Steven. Take a look at these three epic mechs!
This LEGO render by Steven Howard is a stunning sight to behold. The lighting, the dark shadows within the room, the textures, the central figure peering out into the brightly lit exterior are all handled beautifully. Buuuuut the title and the shackle around her ankle clue us in that not all is right with this. Steven tells us that he supports an organization called Rapha International that helps children who are being exploited and trafficked in Cambodia and elsewhere. Obviously, this is a subject close to Steven’s heart and if you’d like to help in some way then visit rapha.org to learn more. He’d also like to encourage other LEGO artists to build or render something that brings light to a cause you believe in and to use the hashtag #buildabetterworldwithlego. Who knows, doing so just might make this world a little better in some way or another.
If you were to create mechs based on your favorite LEGO minifigures, which would you chose? For Steven Howard, he’s picked three that would top the lists of many people, especially when they look this cool. And I’ve gotta say, the setting sun backdrop and shadows showcase them well. They look like they stomped straight out of the LEGO Movie. But they’re even better up close…
Ludwig van Beethoven is known across the world as one of the greatest composers who ever lived. He ranks among the most famous and influential musicians of all time. So naturally, there are plenty of busts of his form in colleges, museums, and concert halls all over the globe. But how many are made with LEGO? Steven Howardhas expertly rendered one, complete with note-studded parchment.
The stern face, flowing locks, large collar, and ascot make Ludwig instantly recognizable. But one of the best aspects of this creation are the expressive eyebrows, shaped using Wampa horns.
There are a lot of musical builds coming together for a LEGO Ideas contestright now. You might want to try your hand! If you’d just like to see other musical masterpieces, keep an eye out for more cool content, or visit our music archives.