Nature is where I find peace and serenity. Birds, trees, animals, and water all give me a sense of calm. I feel more connected to myself and my mind is cleared. As I came out of my dark age, I needed to learn a new way to create with LEGO. I no longer wanted to rely on sets – I wanted to build what was around me. Human-built structures were complicated and technical and I didn't have the desire to create these types of builds. At first, I was frustrated and didn’t know where to begin so I went with what I loved – nature.
If you’re stuck, start with what you love
Nature is fluid, moving, and creative. Trees have structure but not in the same way a skyscraper does. Flowers are organic and you can use unique pieces to represent organic materials. My desire to create something beautiful pushed me to learn new skills.
My first large build was a collaborative build with my husband. I had to research how to make flat rigid leaves drape to form a canopy. This pushed my skills using hinges, arches, and jumpers. I learned that the intersection of pieces not only had to look organic but also had to hold up under the weight of the canopy. I acquired much patience during that build!
Don’t skip over the foundation
This happens to me EVERY build – I want to start with the end. I like the details and the finishing touches. I like creating the tiny exotic flower out of cheese wedges and seeing if I can create a new bush from new pieces. Inevitably though, I don’t put enough thought into the foundation. I just get something laid out and start building! Then my husband comes along and points out some crucial detail fundamental to the structure of the build causing me to tear down and start over. This happened with my park MOC where I wanted to build a riverbed into it and after laying it out, my husband pointed out that in order for it to be ‘sunk down’ I was going to have to raise up everything else. Back at ground zero! When the park was redone it ended up being a much better version of my original plan. Put time in the beginning to plan out the foundation of your build, it will be so much more satisfying in the end to put the details in place!
Find one new thing
In each build I do I try to find one new technique to learn, big or small, to expand my skills. I really wanted to build a cherry blossom tree, the color pink makes me feel happy so the combination with nature was a perfect fit! I had two goals – to make it structurally solid for transportation and make the canopy flow organically. I researched a variety of techniques (many thanks to other builders who put their work on the internet). The technique I chose used grass pieces along with flowers on the sprue woven together. The grass pieces are then attached to a larger leaf element. The leaf element is attached to the trunk using a hinge and a 1x2 plate with arm up. This allowed me to create a really stable trunk that attached to a unified canopy. The canopy is stable as well as flowing and I can translate a variety of these techniques into new builds!
Look at your pieces in a new way
One of my favorite things to do is to go through all of our tiny pieces and find new treasure! When you expand your mind, creative opportunity awaits. Disks are no longer satellites but an exotic flower. Technic gears serve as interesting foliage and levers can be taken apart to become the stamen and heads of flowers! The options and color combinations can be almost limitless. Take a look at your pieces and see them from a new perspective – it can spark creativity!