10K Club Interview: Pablo Sánchez, Fan Designer and Creator of Brickwest Studios and The Bakery!
Already having made it as a fan designer, Pablo Sánchez (aka Bricky_Brick), who is the fan designer behind The Pirates of Barracuda Bay, is not slowing down! With not one, but two projects in the review this time we have combined the interviews for both the Brickwest Studios and The Bakery.
Please do help us congratulate Pablo in the comments down below!
- Who are you?
My name is Pablo Sánchez.
- Where are you from?
I´m from Madrid (Spain).
- How old are you?
- What do you do for a living?
I´m camera operator and Director in some productions.
- What hobbies do you have?
My main hobby is LEGO, I suppose that as an AFOL it is now a hobby but also the toy with which I started, I have seen its evolution and it is inevitable not to include it as a way of life. I am also passionate about photography, music, comics and cinema, bicycles and travel.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Yes, I try to take advantage of social networks, some more than others. In this case I use Instagram to announce the recent projects. I also have a small shelter on Facebook where from time to time I share something of what I am doing. And a YouTube channel. Still I have to organize because there are many projects presented and it is difficult to promote all creations equally, day by day I add something to the portfolio and share it as long as it is not designing a new project. I think my best portfolio is currently in LEGO Ideas website.
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
Yes, two big digital ones, I mean big ones for LEGO Ideas, both have more than 15000 pieces. Very happy building with “Port Hope”, a little town in the coast with the presence of Imperial guards, The other one is dedicated to the world of James Bond films, I have allowd my self the luxury to create an unofficial story called “The Last Flight”. This time James Bond will be rescued by the pretty agent 009 to stop a tycoon and crazy musician that want to dominate the world. I have added a little composition of my city too (Madrid).
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
My interest in LEGO was for a reason that now as an adult I understand. It gave me the possibility to create what I wanted, and that for a child is spectacular. I was 4 when I received one of my first sets, Ice Cream Cart (6601), and later the airport (6392) for me, authentic jewelry.
- 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.
LEGO for me is an escape from a difficult world, in wich once inside LEGO , you can make it easy, it is a way of life, an expression of our mind reflected in bricks. Build asks you to display and then answer questions at a meeting, Somehow they are linked elements. In relation to video games I think it is the part that gives it like since it is the way in which we see the minifigures move even if it is in a digital way it is compensated with the real construction.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
Without a doubt Space and pirates. The themes I grew up with LEGO, with great mystery stories, challenges and space treasures or under the sand. In this case the inspiration came from old LEGO sets about the Old West from 1996 and some reissued in 2002. The stories of the Old West are still attractive to today's public, we still see it in games, series, movies and figures.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Maybe 6990 Futuron monorail. I think I was 5 years old, I thought it was something spectacular and with time I realized that it has some exclusive pieces nowadays, and I'm happy to use them now, two or three years later 6399 Airport Shuttle entered in the market and with my new monorail tracks already I could extend the model throughout the room. And my favourite theme can be Blacktron.
Editors note: The fact he hasn't said his OWN SET is hilarious to me!
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
All the pieces have their function, some more than others, to build I like the modified pieces 15444 and 32952 make a good team in my opinion. I also like 41682 2x2 bracket, the two direction build model expands the possibilities of creativity.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
I think LEGO has the best in its teams, on other occasions I have mentioned some of my favorites such as Jamie Berard, Mike Psiaki, Milan Madge, Niels Pedersen, Marcos Bessa, Cesar Soares, Sam Johnson, Adam Grabowsky, Robert Heim among others.
Of the unofficials there is a lot of talent in Cesar Corvus, Barrie Crossan, Gabor Balassa. The one that has most inspired me is perhaps Niels Pedersen, I grew up with his sets and prioritized that construction line, over time I was influenced by the use of modified bricks to build in two directions, and I saw that pattern in Marcos Bessa perfectly applied in the Ewok village.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I usually visit Bricklink and Brickset a lot to know the existence of pieces, models, colors, news of new products, chronology of the sets, ... Today there is a lot of information and generally saturated, but there are certain pages that maintain that journalistic vein and the love for its content.
About Your Projects
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I have a predilection for the Pirate and space theme. They are part of my childhood. Perhaps they are the most adventurous themes and it is possible that we liked it so much in our childhood and now in adulthood. Forgetting the cowboy stories would be a mistake in my memories. I think many kids from the 80s and earlier have enjoyed stories from the Wild West. LEGO had its far west line and also opted for the Lone Ranger line and somehow my bet is to continue with this theme linked to the cinematographic world. Cinema is a young company if we compare it with theater. In 100 years the cinema has evolved what other unions have not been able to. My opinion is that cinema and LEGO have a lot in common, writing a story needs a structure, some pieces for a plot line, characters and treatment.
I like ambience novels in which cities play an important role both in decoration and as props, it is novels like Sherlock Holmes that led me to make this model. The model's name is a wink to the famous street where the private investigator lived.
- 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 project was digitally raised in practically a week, dedicated to it all day. On one screen the project, on another internet, and in the middle the head to unite concepts from stories remembered from the ancient West freehand I put the pieces in software, other times I draw it, but if there is composition in the head I prefer this mode. So if I had to define some phases:
2-What is it going to be and who is it for?
3-Storm of sub ideas
5-Unification of concepts
6-Elements of the scene
On this occasion the model had two separate stages in time. I started with the ground first, to try other techniques. Later I decided to apply it to a set in which there were a series of elements, in this case a building, a vaulted corridor to open the model, modular elements that would not affect the official line, such as leaving a stud on both sides of the model to be able to detail other facades. With this and with the elevation of the ground I try to add detail to the model, although it may inevitably affect the number of pieces, the result I think looks good. I was looking movies, pics and stories from the 18th and 19th century for documentation, such as the use of brick and paver. The beginning of electricity in cities... etc. It has been a very pleasant trip to the past.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
This time I wanted removable elements that could be part of the story, part of the effects of a film, such as moving walls, falling beams and making a ceiling fall, or a lamp, there are hardly any mechanisms as such, only some hinges, coping with it and solidity in the building is not an easy thing.
Certainly the ground, because being mounted horizontally, the result to connect is not as easy as it seems, especially if you want a certain size for your building that is built vertically.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
One of the things that the model has is that it leaves the fourth wall open, the minimum necessary in film and tv. Perhaps something else would have been necessary. Open both side walls with hinges creating a complete interior and exterior for filming. Something less three-dimensional but that adds gameplay and spaciousness to the design. I wanted to add a room on top of the Saloon with a safe and a set of table and chairs, but it was either that or remove other items.
Now I know little more about my project, maybe I would say to myself that if it had been a good idea to customize the minifigures even more or to review the project one hundred percent in its ability to limit pieces and continue to have detail. I always wonder if I could have used another technique, but when I realize I am already making another model and I say to myself, “This technique would have been useful for the model I made three months ago” .That's where I learn too, although I also learn when someone gives me a new fact about curiosities of that period of time.
- 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?
It was completed in about a week. When an idea comes I prefer to use the maximum in that time. Other times it stretches out over time, I have several models from two years ago without finishing, they may not have been such good ideas or at the time I saw other better ones to carry out. This time was unbalanced like the Pirates of Barracuda Bay, a few days more than the official set 21322.
By unbalanced I mean that it is normal for models to take longer to be promoted than to be built.
The project was carried out in approximately a month, because it was divided into time. The model achieved its milestone almost four months after its inception. The production time of the model has been less than the promotion time to become trusted by 10,000 people. (which I thank from here).
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
Extreme trust in the LEGO community, joy, and a desire to continue building, and if I get something for others with it, I am satisfied. It is an honor for me to put a grain of sand on this great mountain. This time the project took a month to achieve the goal.
Much joy and hope, it is a small step so that the people who have voted for the project can be closer to the model in the future. I read a lot of comments and congratulations for Pirates of Barracuda Bay, and knowing that people are enjoying a set that years ago I thought was just a dream. That is priceless. it took approximately four months for the model to reach its milestone.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
I think that it is now at the limit, almost 3000, I usually adapt to the limit, other times not, I thought about the model with several elements in case the final decision should eliminate any element and thus not affect the main idea.
The set is closer to 3000 pieces, I have added two horse carts, but maybe the model wants only one.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I like the elements that accompany the Saloon, It was the first time that I made a windmill, a latrine and a water tank, The use of brackets and hinges was perhaps what I liked the most, the use of the pieces of a not common brick, it required bars, tiles, inverted tiles, bars with clips, modified bars and other cool pieces that fit together. The walls of the Saloon can move a little bit thanks to the hinges and the inverted curved slopes help to be a little bit more consistent. I also like a simple feature like that of the lamp inside the Saloon, passing the days I realized that the stud shooter existed in brown tone, I think it works better for the model, more integrated in the wooden beams.
Without a doubt the floor, and some aesthetic elements of the model. Each element usually asks you for a construction technique.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I usually use LDD and Studio for design and Studio for renders.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
Yes, I customize parts in a Studio-related software where you can redesign parts and include decals or prints. I make the prints with Phothoshop.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I have learned that the dreams of many can come true. And that we have a great potential that we often limit ourselves without realizing it. Ideas, inventions, discoveries, come from commitment and dedication, sometimes from mistakes and sometimes by chance. I believe that we have to think outside the box, there is an incredible world out there, where without being an architect you can build a 100-storey building, without being a gardener make a botanical garden, create stories of the past and the future. The mind is free, let's do it an honor for it.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
When I see something nice I support it. But to see it you have to advertise it, and it is not always easy because the main support pages are saturated with many projects and you have to find the specific audience of your model. If you make an Old West model it is not practical to advertise it on a support page dedicated to Futuron.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
I like many of the ideas, but if I have to choose, I'll take the Saturn V by Saabfan. A model that at first glance I liked a lot, but when I saw the redesign, the firmness and the internal structure I put the first one in my top ten. I need to add The Old Fishing Store and The Tree House.
There are many good ideas that deserve to be official, but I understand that it would be unfeasible to produce 100 LEGO Ideas a year to give an example, apart from licenses and other things.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I find a very good feedback between LEGO and costumers. And just being able to share a creation that you value with a lot of people around the world is nice, you can comment on other creations and give your opinion, since it is a very important part to work in a group and also leave the creative bubble that can sometimes be negative if we lock ourselves. This is only a part, the contest adds more fun and without realizing it, we can be in the top ten most voted creations. It is a platform that helps you to value yourself, to see that your work either as a hobby or profession can be rewarded by a lot of people who value you every time they click the support button. Many times we convince ourselves that our idea is very good but we have not left us yet. we must go out and ask what we do not see, possibly make you see why you are wrong or maybe you are on the right way. My recommendation is to listen, but not only for this, also for the day by day in our lives too.
- Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
I think I will take the holidays to come back with new ideas, order thoughts and continue to build new hopes and smiles with bricks that may make our dreams come true. Because here you can. Thank you very much to the LEGO community.
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