A new week, and a new 10K Club Interview... but to the LEGO Ideas Community regulars, this will be a name you already know: Jiwoo a.k.a. Dong Min Seon. In her trademark style and inspired by her time in the University library and libraries across the globe, Jiwoo has created her beautifully intricate and exquisitely detailed The Library. Let us know if you love this creation as much as we do!
- Who are you?
My name is Dong Min Seon. I chose to use Jiwoo in the LEGO community.
- Where are you from?
I live in Seoul, South Korea.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I was a power plant piping design engineer. Right now, I’m preparing and challenging myself to get a new job.
- What hobbies do you have?
My main hobby is LEGO building. I’m currently active in LEGO communities in South Korea, and I often meet with people who enjoy LEGO building as a hobby to talk and share information about LEGO products.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
I usually upload my LEGO creations on Instagram or some South Korean LEGO community websites on the Internet.
- 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?
‘The Library’ is the first modular I created as a big LEGO fan and designer.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
The reason why I started to be interested in LEGO building again after I became an adult, was after seeing LEGO Creations. I’ve liked LEGO products since I was young, but I thought LEGO sets were just to purchase, assemble, play with, and display products. But after seeing LEGO creations, I realized that I was able to create my own creations that I imagined in my head. Since then, I have purchased and made various LEGO products again, and I have created what I want to make. And now I’m a big LEGO fan and I’m trying to do various activities related to LEGO building.
- What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
The LEGO hobby gives joy and vitality to my life, develops my imagination, and realizes what I can imagine. I have really enjoyed building LEGO sets since I was young. As an adult, I still enjoy building, but now I collect and display LEGO products. And I also made my own LEGO creations, submitted them to exhibitions, and shared them with many LEGO fans. Now, the LEGO hobby is a big part of my life.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
My favourite LEGO theme is Brickheadz. The first work I started creating with LEGO bricks was Brickheadz. It was so attractive to create characters with different characteristics, although they are angular within a set standard and size. In particular, Brickheadz was really good in that I could make the characters I wanted in a short time. And I could feel the sense of accomplishment quickly by making them into real LEGO bricks. While making Brickheadz, I focused on creating my own characters rather than creating characters that already exist. Because it’s more fun and I don’t get tired of creating it. Creating a new work makes me imaginatively rich, so I’m always challenging myself.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
My favourite official LEGO set is ‘10210 Imperial Flagship’. Since I was young, I really wanted to have a LEGO pirate ship, but due to family circumstances, it was too expensive for my parents to buy me a LEGO pirate ship, so I couldn’t have it. So when I became an adult and started making money at work, the first LEGO set I bought was the ‘Imperial Flagship’. That is still my most precious and favourite product and will continue to be so.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
My favourite LEGO element is a red 2x4 brick. The reason is that the LEGO element that comes to mind when I think of LEGO is the red 2x4 brick, and I think that it is the most basic shape and has a rectangular parallelepiped shape with studs that are most familiar to the public.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Actually, I don’t particularly distinguish creators, but I just watch, learn, and enjoy various LEGO products and creations.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Sure! Some South Korean LEGO community websites.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
My goal in 2021 was to create my own modular work. So I thought about what to make for a few days, and one day before I went to bed, I suddenly thought of a book-shaped library building, and I quickly sketched it on a notepad and started making it the next day.
- How long was the process of making the project, 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?
I took about 10-14 days to make ‘The Library’. When I started to concentrate on something I fall deeply into it without knowing the passage of time, so I thought about how to make ‘The Library’, except for meal times, all day. In particular, I made this creation thinking about the library I spent time studying in at university. So I tried really hard to put the details of the library that I remember in my creation. And also I especially thought a lot about what characteristics to put into my own library by searching many beautiful libraries around the world on the internet. `
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
It was my first time creating a modular, so all parts such as the proportion of buildings, the use of space, and the robustness of the assembled creation were challenging for me. And the most difficult part to recreate was to get some of the less commonly found elements. In particular, in the case of ‘clock brick’, it was difficult to get them in South Korea, so I ordered them from overseas, but they haven’t arrived after a month, so I haven’t been able to complete ‘The Library’.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Make sure to check the special bricks carefully and prepare the available parts in advance as soon as possible! Otherwise, it might take a long time to recreate your work because of just a few bricks!
- 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?
As mentioned above, it took about 10-14 days to complete ‘The Library’. I think that time flew by in an instant because it didn't feel like I was 'working'. On the other hand, it was not easy to promote my work to gather 10,000 supporters. When I make a creation, I have to focus on making what I like, but when I promote my work, I have to pay attention to a lot of things because I have to find and try various ways for many LEGO fans to access and enjoy my work.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
In fact, I’ve been incredibly thrilled since my creation was registered in LEGO Ideas, but when I got more and more supporters, and when there were 100, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 supporters, I was just looking at the phrase achievement for a while. It was an unbelievable result and I was so moved.
Especially, it took only 6 weeks to get 10,000 votes, so I’m so thankful to LEGO fans who supported me. I’m still thankful to them.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
The original version is about 3,800 pieces, but I have changed it to 2,990 pieces to submit it to LEGO IDEAS.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
My favorite part in ‘The Library’ is the curved part of the building and the clock tower part at the top. Since it’s my first time creating a modular, I really pondered a lot about how to assemble it firmly. Of course, design is important, but it has to be clean and strong after making it, so I tried and pondered a lot about it while applying various techniques, so it’s the part feel most affectionate about after completing ‘The Library’.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I use Stud.io by Bricklink. It's very useful and fun.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
I’m usually designing images for printing myself, and I ask my friend, who can print them on LEGO bricks, to source the printed bricks. He prints images on LEGO bricks through a UV printing machine.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I think all the products on LEGO IDEAS are successful, because I think it’s a successful LEGO IDEAS product just by creating my favourite LEGO work and registering my work on LEGO IDEAS and sharing my work with many LEGO fans around the world.
And then, if my work is sympathized with and supported by many LEGO fans, I would be very grateful and happy. If my work is released as a product, it would be very touching.
So above all, I think it’s most important to enjoy creating my own LEGO creations.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I usually promote my creation on Instagram. And also I could promote my work on some South Korean LEGO community websites on the Internet. Thankfully, so many LEGO fans supported my creation, and as a result, my work was able to get 10,000 votes. I just took out the ideas in my head and made a work. But 10,000 supporters took out my work to the world on LEGO IDEAS.
I sincerely thank everyone who supported me.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
My favourite LEGO IDEAS product is the Treehouse. I think the house on the tree is a dream that everyone has dreamed of at least once, but the treehouse product made this dream come true indirectly, so I was really happy while assembling it.
I really like WALL-E. I really like Disney characters, especially WALL-E, which was a really touching movie, so I remember buying them happily because of the high synchronization with the appearance in the movie when the product was released.
There were so many wonderful works in LEGO Ideas, and wonderful works continue to be uploaded today, and wonderful works will continue to be uploaded in the future, but it is a really small probability that an idea will be released as a LEGO Ideas product, so many wonderful works are forgotten; I hope that there will be more opportunities for LEGO fans to make and have wonderful works like Bricklink Designer Program.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
As a big LEGO fan, I’m really grateful to have this space where I can share my works and communicate with many LEGO fans in the world. What I felt while posting my work on LEGO Ideas and gathering supporters, is that posting your work effectively and noticeably on the main photo is really important. It’s because you have more opportunities to receive support when your work looks attractive to many people.
- 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?
Of course I have. I will upload the currently completed coach creation on LEGO Ideas soon. I’m also planning to make more creative modular works and upload them on LEGO Ideas too.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- the library
- dong min seon