Oh, and thanks to everyone who sent in cards and letters wishing me a speedy recovery!
Couldn't you have just written both of them back and called your mom off the air instead of wasting our time with that? :-|
Now, back to business! I think our guest has a lot to share with us, so let's get started!
Q. Why the name and the gambler sigfig?
A. That’s a good place to start, isn’t it ??? Well, BrickMiner is derived from “gold miner” a common occupation from one of my favorite LEGO settings, the Wild West. Traditionally, people of wealth ornate themselves with precious metals, or rocks. Well, my gold is LEGO, so I replaced “gold” in “gold miner” with “brick” and came up with BrickMiner. I actually thought it was quite a fun topic, so I started a thread in the Community Forum and wrote…
“BRICKMINER: in my land, bricks are a precious commodity. Some say as precious as gold I wander the internet frontier searching for untouched MIB resources. When I come across a prospect, I mine it... looking ONLY for the rarest-of-the-rare gems inside !!!”
a little cheesy, I know… but fun.
The gambler fig in my avatar is my personal favorite custom fig.
Q. How long have you collected LEGO?
A. I have had three distinct waves of collecting with very distinct dark ages in between. The first was my initial childhood run 1989-1992. Here I was mainly interested in pirates, but I pretty much appreciated any set I got from my parents, grandparents, etc... When the spending power is not in your hands, you appreciate anything you can get, so I found myself enjoying other themes like Town and Space as well. Then I had a small break and came back to LEGO in 1994, but in childhood, years seem like decades, and it felt like I was away from LEGO forever !!!
This second wave of collecting lasted though 1998. During my teen years I was able to concentrate in theme completion. With more spending power and a more direct influence over what was bought for me, I concentrated on Islanders (an extension of my love of pirates as a kid), Wild West, and the Adventurers. However, in 1998 when Pirates and Wild West were cancelled, and SW was announced, I lost interest in the LEGO name. I really felt like LEGO was changing. As EB member Alex54 has pointed out, we weren’t seeing the great attention to product representation in the catalogs (those massive set collages were done away with !!!) And something about licensing really bothered me. Then I felt LEGO had “sold out.” But today I realize that intellectual property licensing really turns the LEGO SYSTEM into a novelty item for the fans of the intellectual property. And I don’t like that, I feel the SYSTEM deserves more than that. As LEGO fans we already appreciate the SYSTEM, so it might be hard for us to realize this. But if we were to look at the hobby from a third party perspective, that is the realization I have come to.
However, all those thoughts past me as many years later LEGO became a reoccurring theme in my dreams as an adult. These dreams always consisted of me going to Target or Wal-Mart on a grocery shopping trip and finding tons of vintage LEGO sets on sale. The dreams evoked excitement, and finally that excitement was acknowledged when my most recent dark age ended and I came back to LEGO in 2005. These have been my adult years for the hobby, and in 2005 I picked up right where I left off in 1998, purchasing vintage Pirates (Islanders), Wild West, and the Adventurers sets from Ebay and BrickLink. However, in the winter of 2006, when images of the 2007 line were popping up on EB, I found myself with a rekindled interest in new LEGO products. The 2007 AquaRaiders and City line gave me the same feeling that had come over me as a child, and today you can consider me a fan of each of those themes, owning most of the sets from 2007 and exploring MOCs within the City theme.
Just remember, Star Wars and other licensed themes might make LEGO a bit of a temporary novelty to collectors of those, but it also might drag one back out of their dark ages like it did me. Well, and the better licenses make TLG a lot of money and bring attention to the AFOL audience, which I think is partially responsible for the rebirth of a decent Castle line, and hopefully will bring us a return of Pirates one day. *crosses fingers*
Q. What is your favorite Set? (Say top 3)
A. I would have to narrow it down to Pirate set 6277, Imperial Trading Post – Wild West set 6765, Gold City Junction – and City set 7998, Heavy Hauler. Each of those represent the flagship set to the themes which have captured my imagination.
Q. Best In Real Life Lego Moment?
A. Probably conceiving and trouble shooting the table/chair/magnet system on my first adult MOC, GUNSLINGERS SALOON 6758. It was very rewarding coming up a mechanism that worked so well within the SYSTEM. I really felt like a toy designer, and that my “action toy feature” was on par with the official Wild West LEGO toys I had loved as a teen. For me, that is why I love LEGO, I like to feel like I am the designer. That is why all of my MOCs are conceptualized and presented as official LEGO sets, and conform to all the restraints of a realistically marketable product (piece count, playability, etc…). That is very rewarding.
I'd buy that set.
Q. Best EB Moment?
A. I love when I read about an experience someone had in LEGO that was very similar to an experience I had, and it provoked the same emotion in both of us. I mentioned earlier Alex54’s observation of the catalogs in 1997… the fact that we had experienced similar feelings to this change really made me feel at one with him. It’s nice to feel that community with others, and I think that feeling lies at the heart of EB, and why we have so much fun here. I have had that same connection with other members, Mister Phes, TheBrickster, Hinckley, Gylman, Snefore, Berry Syedow, etc…
I also love when, through conversation on EB, I realize something about myself that I hadn’t consciously recognized before… the “4 vs. 6 wide” city vehicle discussion brought out some interesting truths about me, that I hadn’t acknowledged before… I realized that I am more of an “emotional” builder that a “reality” builder… that is to say, I like building the emotion that something gives you, rather than building the reality of it. This was all uncovered through discussion with Hinckley.
Q. I’m sure you’ve met some EB members here. Can you describe them to us? Are they "Crazy...lol" ?
A. Met in person ??? I’ve not met anyone yet. I actually like thinking about all of us as the minifigs in our avatars, like we are all big minifigs walking around.
Q. If you could design a custom set, what would it be? Whatever you want. No "whack a EB member" sets please.
A. Well, this is probably the story of my MOCing. Every MOC I make conforms to the realities of a real set, or at least to the best of my ability without knowing what the raw material cost is to LEGO. However, if I could chose any one of my MOCs for production it would, without a doubt, be GHOST TOWN’S HAUNTED PASS 6776. I spent a lot of time developing the imagery and concept behind that MOC. My Ghost Town sub-theme has actually been conceived as an entire line, each set exploring a very unique possibility in the ghost town setting. All 4 of the sets in the concept present a distinct atmosphere and each one plays a part in “rounding out” the high-concept theme. In time, I plan to publish a series of MOCs developing each of the concepts.
Though, I bet if one of my MOCs were to make it into production, it would have to be LEGOREDO STATION 6785, because of its general appeal (which crosses over into LEGO Trains, and the giant fan base there.)
I'd buy that one too. *wub*
Q. What makes a Good WW MOC? Any Tips?
A. I personally feel the official Wild West LEGO line shined in it conceptualization. And is, without a doubt, the reason I am drawn to it. So, in following in that tradition I think development of both character and set is very important to a successful Wild West MOC.
Q. Can we see your lair? Please? And your current WIP project?
A. I’ll see what I can do.
Q. So, how did you become the graphics admin?
A. Uhmmm… I think Jipay was impressed with my illustration work in comic books. It happened pretty fast, I had only been a member for a few months.
Q. How many banners are there? Do you make a new one for Christmas each year?
A. I only work on what we call “skins” for the “themed” forums. Skins are the unique set of traits that make up the entire look of that forum. So far, I have worked on 4 theme skins. I started with my interests and have expanded from there… my first was the History Forum skin, next was Trains and Town, then I think we went to Space and Mecha. The Star Wars skin was the last to be worked on and is not technically done, as it doesn’t have a banner image.
As for how many banners where are, I’m not sure. Jipay and ApophisV worked on many of the design elements of EB before I came along. And I haven’t worked on any of the “special month” banners (Batman, SpongeBob, etc.) or, more directly answering your question, any of the holiday banners.
Q. Ever Consider making one with most of Our sigfigs in it?
A. For the Community Forum, it could work… though, there are a lot of projects that would need to come before that… I’d like to see a general skin for the Main Forum that could be using in the News and General Discussion Forums before jumping into a unique Community Forum skin.
Q. What programs do you use?
A. The banner backgrounds and all other iconography in the skin set is designed in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
Q. Are the banners 100% from scratch?
A. Yes, all iconography (used in the skins I design) is created by me in one of the two above programs, with the exception of the minifig photographs in the banner, of course. I don’t use any clip art, photographs of non-LEGO elements, or images taken from the web, etc.
Q. Also how do you build a good carriage?
A. Don’t ask me… I’m yet to figure it out.
Q. Am I annoying?
A. I don’t really know you all that well… you seem ok to me.
Familiarity breeds contempt. Trust me here. ;-)
Q. Who should we Interview Next?
Yeah, I'm dying for a Zorro theme too. Oh, huh? Sorry, misheard. :-$
And there you have it folks, an in-depth look at another interesting member of the EB Community and Staff, Brick Miner!
You know, I think this is the first interview where some of the questions were rewritten by the guest, and I must say, I like it a lot. *y*
So, Staudie, how are you feeling after your week off?
Week off? I was in the hospital getting my stuff reattached!
Were you working?
So you had a week off. Must be nice, I never get a week off to just lounge around and do nothing.
I was in the hospital!
Right, you spent a week lying in bed doing nothing.
Oh! Oh! Oh! 8-°
You've developed a bit of a stammer. Maybe you ought to go back to the hospital for another weeks vacation, huh lazyboy?
I... I... I... :-|
That really is annoying. I should call the doctor and see what he can do about that.
You... You... YOU!!! >:-(
*picks up the phone and dials*
Hello, doctor? Yes, this is imperialshadows and I'm a bit worried about Staudie. He seems to keep repeating himself and is making no sense at all.
You have a point there. Still, it seems worse than usual.
See what I mean? I think he's having some kind of problem with his vowels ... *rimshot*
*angry phone chatter*
I won't do that again, sorry.
*Staudie begins looking crazier and crazier until finally Studio Security shoots him with a tranqualizer dart and he settles down*
Oh, there we go. No problem now doc, he's calmed down and seems quite reasonable. I'll talk to you later about the limo repair bill you still need to pay.
*angry phone chatter followed by a slam*
For a doctor, he doesn't seem to have any patience. *nudges Staudie* Get it? Patience. Patients. *Staudie snores*
Oh, nevermind. :-|
Edited by imperialshadows, 06 January 2008 - 03:02 PM.