Welcome to another 10K Club Interview. Today we are joined by a familiar face, with yet another 10K project: Jiwoo, a.k.a. Dong Min Seon and her THE CLOCK TOWER PARK. Fans of Jiwoo will recognise her distinctive style. You can find out more about this beautiful creation here!
- Who are you?
My name is Dong Min Seon. And I chose to use Jiwoo Seon in the LEGO Ideas community.
- Where are you from?
I live in Seoul, South Korea.
- How old are you?
I’m 35 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I was a power plant piping design engineer. And right now, I’m preparing and challenging myself to get a new job.
- What hobbies do you have?
My main hobby is the LEGO hobby. 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 Facebook.
- 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’ve designed ‘The Crown.’ by using most of what I’ve learned while designing the previous works. I like the overall design, the embedded story and the composition of ‘The Crown.’
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
The reason why I started to be interested in LEGO products 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 realised 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.
LEGO building is a hobby that gives joy and vitality to my life, develops my imagination, and realise what I imagined. I have really liked 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, LEGO building 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?
Recently, my favourite LEGO theme is modular building. It's because it's really interesting to be able to create my own city by creating modular buildings one by one. So I spend a lot of time looking at and imagining so many historical and fantasy structures, to design my own special architectural style.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
My favourite official LEGO is ‘10210 Imperial Flagship’. Since I was young, I really wanted to have a LEGO pirate ship, but due to family circumstances, it was 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 ‘10210 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 bricks 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?
I'm inspired and admired by so many creative LEGO fan designers around the world that it's hard to name just a few.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Some South Korean LEGO community web sites and some LEGO communities around the world on Facebook.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
This project was started with the aim of bringing romance to my LEGO city with a slightly rigid atmosphere. The bells of the clock tower, the chirping of birds in the maple trees and the fountain which spews a cool stream of water delights the eyes and ears of busy and tired people in the city, and relaxes their minds. So, I wanted to design a beautiful park with a clock tower, a fountain and the maple trees that anyone wants to find and visit..
And finally, my own beautiful park is completed in this 'The Clock Tower Park'.
- 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 took about 10-14 days to design ‘The Clock Tower Park’. To create works, I usually go through the process of purpose setting, theme setting, key feature setting, overall design and mood setting, specific design work, detail work, design finishing work, and actual assembly.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I tried to design ‘The Clock Tower Park’ as a beautiful landscape painting. So I really thought a lot about how to arrange the clock tower, the fountain, and the trees in this work, because it's not easy to design the whole image to look realistic and beautiful.
- 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?
The more you think about the work every moment, the more good options you may have, and then you can get the results, or more, you want. So spend a lot of time thinking about the work, even if it's annoying or hard.
- 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 took about a month and a half, to two months to design and actually assemble 'The Clock Tower Park’. And it took about three and a half to four months to register ‘The Clock Tower Park’ on LEGO Ideas and get 10,000 supporters. Whenever I register my work on LEGO Ideas, I always feel the importance of communicating with many LEGO fans to get sympathy and support. So I try to find many ways and spend a lot of time communicating with many LEGO fans through my works.
- 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 as it took only 12 weeks to get 10,000 supporters, 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 4,800 pieces, but I have changed it to 2,999 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 favourite part of ‘The Clock Tower Park’ is the first-floor stairs, the clock part and the mesh brick part on the roof. It was so fun because the program-designed assembly method actually worked very well.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I use ‘Studio’ by Bricklink. This program is 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’m printing 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 projects on LEGO Ideas are successful because I think it’s success 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 liked 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 for your Product Idea?
I usually promote my creations on Instagram. And also I could promote my work on some South Korean LEGO community web sites 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 creation. 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.
And also 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 are 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 difficult probability to be selected as an official LEGO Ideas product, so many wonderful works are forgotten.
So, I hope that there will be more opportunities for LEGO fans to make and have wonderful works, such as the 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 work and communicate with many LEGO fans across 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 next work on LEGO Ideas soon. And I’m planning to make more creative modular works as well as a new form of work, and upload them on LEGO Ideas in 2023.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- the clock tower park
- dong min seon