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10K Club Interview: Downtown Records by Dale Harris

A huge congratulations to Dale Harris aka HarrisBricks and his Downtown Records creation. This cool design manages to capture all the charm and magic of a record shop, with just the right amount of LEGO magic. Leave a like if you agree!

 

ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    My name is Dale Harris, but on LEGO Ideas I go by HarrisBricks.


     
  2. Where are you from?
    I live in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
     
  3. How old are you?
    I am currently 41-years-old. 
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am a Graphic Designer and Art Director. I work in the areas of brand identity/logo design, design for print, social media and web design and development. 
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I spend far too much time sitting in front of a computer from 9-5 Monday to Friday, so the rest of the time I try not to do that. I have a passion for music, and live music in particular and am a committee member of our local Blues Festival as well as our local LUG. Over the past few years building my own designs with LEGO has become one of my major hobbies. 
     
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I document my LEGO journey and my builds over at harrisbricks.com.
     
  7. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?
    Each year, for our local brick show, Bendigo Bricks, I like to recreate some of our beautiful local architecture, so there are a few of those builds that are particularly close to my heart. Namely the Shamrock Hotel (which is now on display in the building it represents) (Photos are here: Shamrock Hotel photo gallery) and the centre of our city, Charing Cross (Photos are here: Charing Cross photo gallery). 

    I also like to build displays that revisit LEGO themes from my childhood for display each year at Brickvention in Melbourne in January. So far, I have revisited Classic Space and Fabuland and I am currently working on a Castle build for 2022.

  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO come about?
    My love of LEGO building comes from my childhood, and those first LEGO sets I received in the 1980s. I remember many weekends spent sprawled out on the lounge room floor with my brother Adam and my sister Sarah surrounded by our LEGO sets and all the things we would build together. I definitely had a dark age where I didn’t build with LEGO products, but my wife reignited the spark a few years ago when she was introduced to our local LUG via a friend.
     
  9. What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    For me LEGO building is a creative outlet. My passion is in building, and specifically in building my own designs. I also enjoy exhibiting my builds and meeting like-minded fans of all ages.
     
  10. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    I think it would have to be the classic trinity for me, Classic Space, Castle and Town. It might just be something to do with my age.
     
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Definitely 6066 Camouflaged Outpost.

    I can remember vividly opening and building it as a child, I am not sure of the year, though it must have been after 1987 when the set was released, so I would have been either 7 or 8 and I am assuming it was Christmas; in my memory I am building the set at my Grandma’s house. The set was so inspired with its cave with multiple hidden entrances and disguised tree/tower making the perfect hideout for the band of brigands and their stash of treasure. It definitely captured my imagination and remains one of my favourite LEGO sets to this day.
     
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    They are all good, it really depends on what I am building at the time. At the moment I am a big fan of 35480
     
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    There are so many amazing builders and designers out there: Ralf Langer, Jonas Kramm, Yvonne Strijbos, Aido Kessler are all at the top of their game as far as I am concerned. 
     
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    The one I spend my most time at is probably BrickLink. I know it is official now, but I don’t really spend my time on many other LEGO related websites. 

     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I am a music fan, and have record collection, so record shops are places I know and love. I thought that a record shop might be a good addition to a LEGO city in the vein of other LEGO modulars.


     
  2. How long was the process of making the project did, and what did you have to research as well. What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
    The design process took a couple of weeks really, not too long. Basically the research came from my own experience and memories of record shops, but I also looked at many photos of building facades before deciding on the style of the building itself. 
     
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Building the staircase in Studio was not very fun, but I got there in the end (There was a small amount of swearing involved).  


     
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him? What do you know now that you wish you knew then? 
    I think the main advice I would give anyone looking to start a LEGO Ideas project is to make sure you understand how much of your own time and effort you will need to put in promoting it, in order to reach 10,000. 
     
  5. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
    The main idea was built over a weekend and then it took about a week to finesse it. 
     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    It felt amazing, such a relief to finally get there. It took me 486 of the available 790 days. 
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    ~2,600.
     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    Hmm, in terms of technique it is probably the tree, and the shop window surroundings that I am the most proud of.
     
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used a combination of LDD and Studio.
     
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    I illustrated/created them in Adobe Illustrator and applied them using Studio PartsDesigner. 

     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Have a plan - it can change as you go along, of course - but if you have a plan and an aim to reach each day/week/month and keep track of it as you go along, you will easily know what steps needs to be taken to reach the goal.
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    I had the most success with promoting in Facebook Groups. 
     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    There are so many amazing ideas submitted to LEGO Ideas, it is really a shame that so few of them can be selected. I am really passionate about designers and builders creating their own ideas rather than ideas based on licenses. The more original ideas that get produced the better.


     
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    There is a great community on LEGO Ideas who will share in and celebrate your success, and you can help them and cheer them along to reach their goals as well.  
     
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?Sometimes I entertain the idea of having another go, and I have a few designs that I have been working on, but I think if I was to do it again it would not be for a long time. I need to have a break. 

 

  • product idea
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • dale harris
  • downtown records
  • harrisbricks
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