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10K Club Interview: Ratatouille: ReOpen The Doors by Thomas Carlier

BRICK PROJECT aka Thomas Carlier is no stranger to the 10K Club and neither is Ratatouille! Thomas' passion for this clever rat and beautiful story led him to re-submitting his earlier 10K creation after re-designing it. His re-design became Ratatouille: ReOpen The Doors that he talks about in this interview.

Please do help us congratulate him in the comments down below!

About Yourself

  1. Who are you?
    Hi I’m Thomas Carlier!




     
  2. Where are you from?
    From Switzerland but I grew up in Paris (France).
     
  3. How old are you?
    22 Years Old.
     
  4. What do you do for a living?
    I’m a 4th year Medical Student.
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I enjoy riding my road bike and swimming when I have some free time. I also love graphic design and drawing!
     
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I’m mostly active on Twitter (@project_brick), I regularly post some content there. I recently started my portfolio on Instagram (@brickproject_lego). I also have a website where I share some instructions and upload my digital booklets (brickproject.fr).
     
  7. 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?
    I’m particularly proud of my Carter’s Secret escape game, which is still running for supporters on LEGO Ideas! It was such an amazing experience to develop a project like this one: from concept to building, I can say that I spent wonderful and tricky hours on this. So great memories! I'm really tempted to work on a complex project like this one again just to challenge me again. It allows me to acquire new construction techniques, I like it!
     
  8. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    I have a very vague memory of the precise moment. I was probably 4-5 years old when I started playing with LEGO, but it's since I discovered the LEGO Ideas platform (6 years ago) that I finally started building MOCs. Creating things and universes, that's what convinced me and brought me into LEGO construction.
     
  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.
    E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons. LEGO is my passion. I don't know how I could ever do without it, maybe just because I would never get tired of it. LEGO is the thing I do when I have free time, when I'm bored, when I'm tired, and even when I sleep! So thank you for filling my days with pure happiness!
     
  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?
    Indiana Jones and Harry Potter are my favorite themes. Such nice atmospheres in these sets and box designs. I was super excited when I heard there would be some new Harry Potter sets coming, a few years ago. I really hope you will do the same for Indiana Jones!
     
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Among the sets I have, I will say the 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay set. Among those that I dream of building one day, it would be Harry Potter’s microscale castle 71043. But I must say that I have a little crush on the 79003 set too: I should have bought it so much when it was marketed! Who knows, maybe there will be a re-edition of this one day?
     
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Nothing has changed, Niffler (39561) is still my favorite piece! Would you ever be able to make something even cuter than this one?
     
  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 plenty of talented designers here on LEGO Ideas and social media, but to keep it short, I will only share my favorite: Jonas Kramm, Saabfan, Markus Rollbühler, Senteosan … and my brother Nicolas_builds aka Carlierti (I'm not going to hide, I am inspired a lot by his creations!).
     
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    I regularly check Brickset, The Brick Fan, Zusammengebaut, and Hoth bricks to stay on the top of the latest LEGO news. Also, I would like to share with you some creators (mostly French) that deserve more attention: BrickInvest, Geekme3, Pico's LEGO Channel, SangoLego, avenuedelabrique and Brickjonas.blog

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    Being a huge Disney Pixar addict, I've always seen Ratatouille as a film in its own right. A lot of people think that this is a movie about a rat cooking. Well, that's not my vision! Of course, I'm not going to lie, the main character is a rat and the plot revolves around the French cuisine, but there is something more interesting behind this story. This film is there to make us dream, to say that if you are passionate about something there is always a way, to one way or another, to achieve your goal. I think that passion is the main driver of our dreams, well beyond talent or work. Behind these films that some consider "for children" I think there is something more powerful and something more thoughtful compared to other cinematographic films.
     
  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?
    It took me two full weeks to complete this model. I decided to start from scratch for this one. For sure I already had an example with my previous versions, but sometimes I find it easier to start over on new bases. After reading all the feedback of the first project I made, I’ve decided to include for this second version, the dining area. Indeed, what is a restaurant without its dining room? Well, nothing at all, in fact! It was obvious to me that the dining room was going to have a bigger place in this re-edition.




     
  3. What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The main difficulty was that I had to scale down the model while adding the dining area. So I decided to remove many "useless" rooms like the laundry room, the entrance hall, and unfortunately also the "mini rat" restaurant, which was an Easter egg from the epilogue. I am proud to have made these choices, I find this second version much more harmonious and playable.
     
  4. 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?
    To tell the truth, I hesitated for a long time to resubmit a project centered on the film “Ratatouille”, because I feared a second refusal. But I told myself that I would regret it if I didn't build a second version and it would cost me nothing to try again! So I would say, "Follow your dreams and don't let yourself say otherwise. Are you passionate? So go ahead, resubmit it again!"
     
  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?
    In 24 days. I still can't believe how fast it went!
     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    Intense joy. Oh yes, for sure, I will never get tired of receiving 10,000! I was very anxious to offer a second version based on this movie and the fact of receiving 10k in even less time relieved me and allows me today to dream again. I would really like to see a set based on this movie, that's why I'm so persistent.
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    2250 bricks. I tried my best to reduce the piece count!
     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?My favorite part is undoubtedly the tablecloth design. I have to say that I was heavily inspired by the design of the Harry Potter Astronomy Tower (75969). When I had the opportunity to assemble this great set, I immediately understood that this was what I needed for my project!
     
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    Special kudos to Mecabricks. I often start by using LDD to create the basic structure of the model but quickly move on to Mecabricks to add all the details and choose the colour scheme. This online site is so well done that I find it so much easier to build digitally than in real life! (But that doesn't take away from the joy of building in real life!)
     
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    I created them with Adobe Illustrator. Loving this part, I always try to embed here and there customized pad printed parts.



     

About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas Product Idea?
    Well, It all depends on what success means. For me, a project is successful when it succeeds in convincing the creator even before convincing the public. With this in mind, I advise everyone who wants to submit a project to create something that they would personally buy in a LEGO store. But don't worry about popularity, because if you like your idea, it's almost certain that others will like it too.
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I tried to share on Facebook and Instagram, but I’m still not sure how it went that fast into the 10k milestone. I think a good cover is worth 1,000 times a good ad campaign.
     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    This is a tricky question. There are plenty of amazing projects on this platform but if I absolutely have to choose one it would be this one: the “Jurassic Park” project by Senteosan. This is the project that made me want to progress both in construction and in presentation. Even today I am still blown away by this model and I hope that one day the creator will provide the instructions so that I can build it!

    Here are just some projects that I also admire:
    Asterix and Obelix (by ZetoVince37)
    Moominhouse (by Bonefoot)
    Bag End (by Saabfan)
    The Notting Hill Market (by Lepralego)
    Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin - 90th Anniversary (by Minibrick Productions)
    Alice in Wonderland (by szabomate90)
    Rolling BB-8 !! (by mjsmiley)
    20.000 Leagues under the Sea NAUTILUS (by OrionPax).
     
  4. 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?
    Yes, a fourth Narnia project is still planned for early 2021! But I have so many other things in mind for future projects!
     
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • thomas carlier
  • brick project
  • ratatouille
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