10K Club Interview: Meet Jonathan Brunn of the Dinosaurs Fossils Skeletons
As we start our apparoch toward the next review results we're kickstarting the next round of 10K Club Interviews as well and to start things off we welcome 10K Club member Jonathan Brunn (aka Mukkinn) of the Dinosaurs Fossils Skeletons - Natural History Collection. As a self-proclaimed science geek, Jonathan has had a life-long passion for dinosaurs and his eye for details shines through in his design.
Please help us congratulate Jonathan for his big achievement, in the comments below.
- Where are you from?
I'm from a little village in the South of France, between the mountains and the sea.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I'm a Graphic & Web Designer. I work in a creative agency named Agence Point Com, in Perpignan (France).
- What hobbies do you have?
I have tons of hobbies, of course the first one is LEGO (especially NASA and space related LEGO sets). I also love searching for fossils in the mountains nearby my home and I'm a big fan of dinosaurs and everything related. To summarize, I'm a big science geek, but every kind of science, from space conquest to paleontology.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I think like everyone it started during my childhood. I inherited my older brother's LEGO collection when I was very young. Since then I never stoped buying, building or selling LEGO sets. My secret purpose is to own all the NASA related LEGO sets (like Curiosity Rover, Mars Conquest, etc.).
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
I hesitate between the 10231 Space Shuttle or the 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V. I own these two sets and they are displayed on my desk at work. My clients are always amazed by them when they come to the office.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Difficult to say. One thing that always amaze me when I build with LEGO bricks is the mechanical parts - spinners for example, I could look at them rotating all day. It's like magic.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
To be perfectly honest, I ever really looked at the name of the designers of the sets I love. The only one who comes in my mind is Peter Reid - this guy has got a lot of talent in his hands! I just love everything he does, especially with vintage LEGO spaceships.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
A French website named HothBricks. It's kind of well known in the French AFOL's community. I like the author's independent point of view and he writes a lot of very interesting articles and news.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
If I wanted to summarise my project, I would say it's a childhood dream coming true by the magic of computers and Internet. When I was little, my passion for dinosaurs was almost obsessionnal. I'm from the Jurassic Park's generation. It's one of the first movies I saw, and it never left me since. Dinosaurs were the most incredible thing ever for me, and I think I would have done anything at the time to have a set of LEGO dinosaur fossils.
I first made this project for me, to please my inner child, because I know that I would have loved this one as a kid. And I think every kid who loves dinosaurs and science would agree with me.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I think the biggest difficulty was to recreate what I call an “animal architecture”. Dinosaurs were living animals, so they all had their proper body parts and particularities.
To recreate something similar to reality, I needed to use a lot of documentation and pictures, which was really challenging because a Triceratops body is not the same ad a Stegosaurus, for example. But I also needed to keep some consistency in the build, using the same LEGO parts - the same “design line”... That was a lot of work.
- How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time?
It was a long and difficult process, and even after I posted the project on the LEGO Ideas website, I kept improving the models in the updates. Also I didn't have the chance to have all the real parts in my hand, so everything was computer made, which made these models more uneasy to imagine in real life.
Overall, I think it took me 2 years to be pretty happy with the result.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
I still do not realize that I was able to get there! Like I said, this project was first a simple exercize for me, I just recreated the set I always wanted as a child. But after posting it on social media (like Reddit or Facebook), I discovered that this set was wanted by a lot of people, I understood that I was not alone and that my idea had a lot of potential.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Depends of the model, the new version of the Stegosaurus is about 1052 bricks, the new version of the Triceratops 1163 and for the Plesiosaurus 1100.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Maybe this advice is kind of basic, but never stop believing in it! If you really think your idea is worth it, keep showing it to others! Don't hesitate to contact people who can make some publicity (for example, I wrote to all the biggest natural history museums in the world). Also, use social media, speak about the potential of your idea, and people will come naturally.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
The NASA Apollo Saturn V of course! Can we dream of a better set for every space geek out there.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
Before all, it's the fact that everyone, young or old, can submit a set idea. This is really a beautiful platform where people are kind and encourage you. The critics are constructive, the team is awesome...What else?
I don't have really tips to give. Try to really work your pictures, use 3D rendering softwares or a good camera, the pictures of your project need to be attractive and aesthetic. This is how you gain the attention of people.