10K Club Interview: Meet Jason Allemann and Grant Davis of Pop-Up Book
Have you been dying to learn more about the talented builders behind the next batch of projects that are currently being reviewed? Well, you don't have to wait any longer as we're back with the 10K Club Interviews, which give you insight into a new group of LEGO builders.
We're kicking things off this week introducing 10K Club members Grant Davis (a.k.a. Grant_Davis_) & Jason Allemann (a.k.a. JKBrickworks), the creative wizards of the immersive Pop-Up Book project that achieved 10,000 supporters in September 2017.
Please help us congratulate Grant on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club for the first time and Jason for hitting this milestone for the 3rd time in his LEGO Ideas "career"!
- Where are you from?
Grant: Oregon, USA
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
Grant: When we first posted the project I was working as a Network Technician doing IT, now I am at a University studying Engineering.
Jason: I develop computer software.
- What hobbies do you have?
Grant: My current hobby is homework, though I do enjoy reading and video games from time to time.
Jason: Aside from designing and building custom LEGO models, I’m an avid rock climber. Over the last decade, I’ve travelled extensively across North America, camping, hiking and climbing some incredible mountains.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
Grant: I have been building with LEGO bricks since before I can remember, and I have been collecting sets all my life. I was first introduced to LEGO Ideas and the LEGO Community back when a friend shared it.
Jason: I’ve been building since I was a child. I was fascinated with the early LEGO Technic sets, and that interest has continued to this day. Now I mostly try to build machines, robots and kinetic sculptures integrating unique and interesting motion.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Grant: 6241 Pirates Loot Island would have to top my list. It was the first pirate set I got, which set me off on building pirates on my own. Today, partially thanks to this set, pirates is my favorite of the LEGO themes. I get such a sense of happy adventure whenever I see or build pirate creations.
Jason: I’m going to go with an old school one this time. Set 850 Fork-Lift Truck. Released in 1977, this was my first Technic set and completely blew my mind.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Grant: My favorite is hands down the cheese slope. It is the most geometrically versatile LEGO piece ever. I love making mosaics out of them, or discovering new pieces that they fit into.
Jason: This changes all the time depending on what I’m building. Right now I think it’s 18677 Plate 1x2 with Horizontal Hole. I’ve been using it all the time in recent models.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Grant: One of my favorite (among the many) has to be Jamie Berard. I had the chance to meet and talk with Jamie for a few minutes when he was at Brickcon Seattle 2013 when he unveiled the Parisian Restaurant set to all of the attendees. Aside from being a great person, Jamie has building skill to boot. He has been the lead designer behind 8 of the 13 modular sets; some of the most sizable and technically advanced sets ever produced.
Jason: There’s this builder named Grant Davis who builds some phenomenal models. You should really check out his work.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Grant: New Elementary is a great lesser known LEGO website that I enjoy. They look at new sets that are released from the specific viewpoint of the sets’ new pieces. From the perspective of a builder, I am thankful that there is a one stop shop to go to and learn about the new pieces in my building arsenal.
Jason: I still keep tabs on most of the major fan sites, but lately I’ve just been spending more time following builders I like directly on their various social media sites, especially YouTube and Instagram.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
Grant: I have always had a fascination with pop-up books. Once I started to get into LEGO I thought it would be interesting to apply some of the same mechanical ideas that pop-up books have to LEGO bricks. After I had proven the concept to work, I wanted to challenge myself to see just how much I could make the outside look like a real book, and how much detail I could pack in the inside of it.
Jason: When Grant posted his original Pop-Up Book video, I was blown away, and a little envious that I hadn’t come up with the idea myself! When he contacted me about collaborating to turn it into a LEGO Ideas project, I jumped at the opportunity.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Jason: Developing a reliable pop-up mechanism for the internal scene was the most challenging part. We went through a few iterations until we finally ended up with something that worked reliably.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
Grant: I posted my original model in November of 2014, and the final model and project was posted in August of 2016, so it was just a few months shy of being in the works for 2 years.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
Jason: It felt great. It took just over a year to reach 10,000 votes.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
About LEGO Ideas
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
Grant: My favorite all time project was the Medieval Market Street by AlexP. It was sadly not approved after it reached 10,000 votes, but I still go back to look at all the cool techniques that were used in the model every now and then.
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- 10k club
- jason allemann
- grant davis