Another week begins, and we're back with another interview! Already a member of the 10K Club, today we once more welcome hachiroku24 a.k.a. José María (Chema). Chema was exploring with LEGO and creating insects before he realised he had created LEGO Insects, his next LEGO Ideas project! Learn more about his interesting journey to 10K here.
- Who are you?
My name is José María, but everybody calls me Chema.
- Where are you from?
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
As crazy as it sounds, I studied Physics and a little bit of Fine Arts, but at this moment my job is running YouTube channel about LEGO building.
- What hobbies do you have?
I have a lot of hobbies: movies, comics, photography, drawing, etc. I never get bored.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Yes! My YouTube and Instagram.
- 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?
I have made a lotof creations. In 2020, I started to build dioramas of movies, videogames or comic books. I really enjoy making them. This one of Spider-Man vs the Lizzard is my favourite.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
I became a LEGO fan when I got my first set: the 6446 Crane Truck. I was seven-years-old. I was amazed by the idea of a toy that allowed me to create my own toys. I have been always a LEGO fan, except for a couple of yearswhen I was in high school.
- 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.
It means a lot. Because of my YouTube channel, I’m constantly thinking of and looking for ideas that I could build. Sadly, here in my town, there aren't any LUGs, so everything I do is online or just for fun with friends.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
Creator, by far. I really enjoy every set from this theme. You can have anything, from a pirate ship, to a car, to a tiger. And they are always great builds with a big number of pieces.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
This is my second time doing the 10K interview. The first time was easy: the Sopwith Camel 10226. It’s a beautiful model and the working flying stick is amazing. But there have been two amazing sets in 2021 that became some of my favourite sets instantly. As a comic book fan, the Daily Bugle 76178, and the UCS AT-AT 75313, because of the incredible building techniques they used.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Same as the last time - the 1/4 arch brick 65617. This piece fits perfectly in a lot of different creations, from nature to spaceships. And now it’s available in even more colours!
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Yes! There are a lot of content creators on youtube doing MOCs which are amazing, like Tiago Catarino, Chubbybots, Brick Science, JK Brickworks… And Instagram accounts like Jonas Kramm or ranghaal.
Regarding official LEGO designers. I like Mark Stafford, who made the Daily Bugle and the Jurassic Park gate. Niek Van Slagmaat and his Ninjago sets, and Mike Psiaki’s cars, Titanic and Saturn V.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I use brickset a lot because of their reviews and database. Also Brothers Brick, New Elementary, Tips and Bricks, the Brickshelf website, and a lot of fan designers on social media too.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I did the Honey Bee for a different creation. I really enjoyed building it and I realized I could do a Hercules Beetle too using the same techniques, which is my favourite insect. I didn’t plan to make a LEGO Ideas project until I had four insects finished.
- 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?
It didn’t take me much time. I knew the insects I wanted to do and how to make them. When I decided to post them on LEGO Ideas I already had 8 different insects finished.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The hardest part was deciding which insects I was going to include in the project because I didn’t want to include too many insects. I discarded a red ant (I preferred the Asian Lady beetle as a “red insect”), a Goliath spider (over the Hercules beetle as a “big insect”) and also an orange Monarch butterfly (I included the blue Monarch, because I didn’t have any blue insect). And from the insects included in the project, the hardest part was the head of the mantis. I even made a more polished version after the project reaching 10k supporters.
- 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?
I’d show my past self the new praying mantis head. I spent a lot of time building the original one.
- 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 actually took me a lot of time, considering the size of the build. I can’t say exactly, but probably around 30 hours.
I didn’t spend too much time promoting it. I made a video and posted it on my channel. The video has 150000 views now, so I guess that was the promotion. I also started to mention the project on my other videos when it had around 8k supporters.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It was amazing! When I submitted it, I wasn’t even sure if it would reach 10k supporters, but it did it in 364 days.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I can’t say a favourite building technique. All of them have very different building techniques that I really like, from the Butterfly wings to the entire Praying Mantis, or the head of the Hercules Beetle.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
I added the black dots of the Lady Beetle digitally, on the 3x3x2 red corner bricks.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I think you should not focus on creating a successful product idea but on creating a project you really love in the best way possible.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
My YouTube channel, mostly. Videos about the project, showing it, the updates, updating the number of supporters, etc.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
Pretty much every LEGO Ideas set has been amazing so far. I like all of them, especially the Saturn V or the Wall-E. But I really like Pirates so my favourite is Barracuda Bay.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
The chance of having a LEGO set on shelves. That’s a dream and the only way to do it is through LEGO Ideas. The best tip I could give is to take as much time as necessary. You need to be 100% that the set works visually, and that the pictures are appealing enough. I think it’s a decisive point when you try to reach people with your creation.
- 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?
At this moment, I don’t know. I always have a lot of ideas but I already have a few projects gathering support, so I want to focus on promoting them before posting anything.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- lego insects
- jos mara