Congratulations to professional photographer Marcos Garavelli aka Lepralego! His creation Brick Walk is a fully-furnished Georgian-style building inspired by New Walk in the UK city of Leicester. Help us congratulate him and learn more about their creation.
- Who are you?
My name is Marcos Garavelli.
- Where are you from?
I’m from Spain, born in Argentina.
- How old are you?
I’m 44 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I’m a professional photographer.
- What hobbies do you have?
I love cinema, music and I’m also a big football fan. I’m interested in gardening and cooking, but I’m just a beginner at both. LEGO is more than a hobby for me so that’s why I’m not including it in this list…
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
I share my LEGO creations on my Instagram account, my Facebook page, and my Flickr account.
- 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?
Yes, I’ve been working for a couple of years (Yes, years!) on a Haussmann-style building. I have called it Boulevard des Lumières. It has been a major challenge for me because of its size and the number of pieces it has (18,500 parts…) and also because of my lack of knowledge in the field. I’ve learned a lot during the process: building techniques, Bricklink orders, parts, colours, proportions…
- How and when did your interest in LEGO come about?
When I was a kid I used to love building new things with my LEGO bricks. I remember that I was always trying to build big cities in my room and most of the time I ran out of pieces. One day, as an adult with a stable job and living in another country, I went inside a toyshop by chance and when I saw the LEGO boxes on a shelf I felt again that old passion, so on impulse, I bought a LEGO set.
- 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.
Well, since the day I mentioned in your last question (17 years ago…) the presence of LEGO in my everyday life has not stopped growing, and LEGO Ideas has been extremely important in this process. Nowadays I find myself constantly thinking of new ideas, imagining scenes, reliving memories. I even wake up at night to write down things I have dreamed of! I feel excited, energetic, optimistic, and want to build more and more. I’m deeply grateful to this platform for all that it has awakened in me and proud to be part of its community.
- 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 that the 1980s train sets (also known as The Grey Era), especially the 12V system, marked the pinnacle of the train theme, with their lampposts and remote-controlled signal points, crossings, and decouplers… I dreamed of owning those sets practically all my childhood but I’ve was never able to do it. Perhaps that unfulfilled desire that accompanied me for so long is behind the love I feel today for LEGO! The modular buildings of the Creator Expert theme introduced in 2007 were also very important in my life.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
My favorite has always been the Green Grocer (10185). It was the first modular that I fell in love with and for me, something special emanates from it. It was an important step forward since it was there that interior details began to be incorporated. Thanks to that set, the series was consolidated and the others arrived. For me, personally, it was the set that changed everything; it meant a change in my priorities and the conviction that I want to be close to LEGO in one way or another every day.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The part 4070, 1x1 angular brick (commonly known as ‘headlight’) is for me the best LEGO part ever. It has multiple options for bracket techniques and it is also a great part for offset techniques as it gives you the possibility of ‘breaking’ the 20 LDU width sequence of the regular bricks, reducing it to 16 LDU.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
When I think about LEGO designers, Jamie Berard is always in the first place. His designs have influenced me and so many people so much and for so long that no amount of thanks are enough. Marcos Bessa has inspired me too. He has built many of the most incredible sets LEGO has released to date: The Ewok Village, the Ghostbusters Headquarters and the last Diagon Alley are some of the standout examples. I also admire the work of Justin Ramsden: his Spring Lantern Festival raised the level of beauty of the whole line; the Milan Madge’s work in Pirates of Barracuda Bay was outstanding, and the last NASA Space Shuttle Discovery was great, too. Cesar Soares, who worked with treehouses before LEGO hired him, has done an incredible job adapting the Ideas Treehouse by Kevin Feeser.
In the fan designer field, I admire Jonas Kramm’s work and love the style of Andrew Tate (Snaillad). Luca Petraglia, Rocco Buttliere, Michael Haas, Jessica Farrell, Alice Finch, and Warren Elsmore blew my mind so many times with their builds. From the LEGO Ideas platform, I would like to mention again my friend Pablo Sánchez (Bricky_brick) in the first place. Pablo’s passion for LEGO design inspired me and so many fan designers here and outside this platform. In the last interview, I mentioned also Ivan Guerrero (bulldoozer), Thomas Carlier (The Brick project), Lionel Martin (Castor-Troy), Vaggelis Ntezes (Delusion Brick), Rafa (Brick Dangerous), and Truman (Legotruman). This time I would like to add three talented desingers and great LEGO Ideas’ partners: Maria Kalaoglou (Mind the Brick), Nick Lafreniere (NickLafreniere1) and Gab Kremo (GabKremo). It’s a pleasure to share all this experience with all of you, my dearest friends!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
bricklink.com is always open on my desktop, for checks about existing parts, inventories of sets, and piece availability. I regularly visit newelementary.com for news related to new parts and colours. brickset.com is the reference guide for official LEGO sets. I also visit eurobricks.com quite often, as well as its forums.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I visit Leicester (UK) quite often, a part of my family lives there. New Walk is my favourite street, it’s a beautiful Georgian pedestrian promenade that has been a traffic-free promenade for more than 200 years. It’s a lovely place where you can enjoy the pleasure of walking and sharing moments with your family and friends, surrounded by trees and beautiful period houses. It’s a special place for me, it reminds me of some moments of full happiness. So I thought that this project could be not only a tribute to this particular street but to all the historic promenades that are still part of many English cities. That was the starting point.
- 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?
It took me about a month and a half to complete the whole process from the initial idea to the final submission. I read all the historic information about New Walk, I organize my personal images of the street and my sister (who lives in Leicester) took many detailed photographs and send them to me too. With all this information I drew some sketches.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I put all my efforts trying to capture the feeling of this place. The building on Brick Walk is not a reference to any specific building, but rather includes details from and references to many buildings in the Georgian architectural style, common to many English cities. Perhaps the most difficult part was the use of different colors for the exterior and the interior walls.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Perhaps I could say: ‘Those simple things you like that much may also like many other people’
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took 13 months approximately and I’ve felt very moved, as I mentioned before, this is a special project for me, I’ve made it mainly just for me and realize that so many people share the same taste for this kind of build is really overwhelming.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Less than 2400 pieces plus 5 minifigures.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I’m proud of how the exterior facade and interior walls do not interfere with each other.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I’ve built it using Stud.io from Bricklink.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I think that you have to research and build those things that connect with you and your own experience. The deeper you go with that, the better you'll feel about your result. You are the first 'visitor' to your work. I think that you'll always go further trying to be honest with yourself than trying to please people at any cost.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I think that my Instagram account and Facebook pages helped in the support of this project. I’ve made some videos of this model with different lighting situations and shared them with many LEGO fan groups.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
The most attractive thing about the Ideas platform is its Community. When you submit a project it starts a wonderful period of interaction and feedback with people with shared interests, passions, doubts, and concerns.
- 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?
I have many other projects right now gathering support, you can check out my profile: Lepralego. About future projects, I feel uncomfortable anticipating things that may change during the design process.
- modular building
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea