8/18/10

Inside the Customizer's Studio: Morgan19, Part 3

Welcome back, citizens of Minifig Nation. Another day, another installment of our interview with customizer Morgan19. We pick up today discussing Morgan's involvement and thoughts on the minifig custom community...

You've mentioned being active on the KAM forums, entering several of the contests hosted by Jared. There are other 'hang outs' for the customization community. Aside from the KAM forums and Flickr, what are other places you haunt? Is there anywhere else you are an active community member?

"Outside of Flickr, these days I tend to limit myself to lurking and reading over posting, but in terms of community communication I try stop by Brickset, FBTB, and the BrickForge forums whenever I get a chance— but Flickr is usually a much quicker, more direct way to see what customizers are whipping up."

Describe your best experience within the customization community? What has been your worst experience?

"This is going to sound super-cheesy… There’ve been two instances that really stuck in my mind as heart-warming. Last year, a mother sent me a message through Flickr saying how she’d found some of my Star Wars figures while looking for birthday ideas for her five-year-old, who was a huge Star Wars and LEGO fan. It was a short message, just explaning how much her son liked them and if I minded her printing them out to use as party decorations. A second message was from an elementary school teacher who emailed me to say how she found’d my Historical figures and was using them (quite successfully) as teaching tools in her classroom.

I sent messages back to both women, replying enthusiastically about how great it was that they and their kids were appreciating the figures. Both quickly sent messages back along the lines of 'Wow, I didn’t even think you’d respond, thank you!' It was just really cool hearing from random people outside the LEGO community and how much something I created made their day a little bit better. That was the proverbial warm and fuzzy all over.

On the flipside, I actually had a hard time thinking of a 'worst' experience, which speaks volumes about the community itself. If anything, I’d say what stinks the most is to see kids swiping other peoples’ work and posting it as their own. The LEGO Universe website, where users can post 'their' creations, is notorious for that sort of property pilfering. Although to be fair, they do act quickly to remove stolen images once notified, thanks in large part to the Brick~Busters! Flickr group.



Deadly like a manticore?!
(I must admit, though, that the descriptions the swipers dream up can be wonderfully idiotic, at times— someone reposted my steampunk walker Dardenbahst as their own and somehow got it in their head that it was 'deadly like a leopard'. A leopard? Really?)" [EDITORIAL: Leopard? No. I think of it more like a lion. A lion with wings. Isn't that a manticore?!]

Where do you see the LEGO minifig customization community going from here? What needs to change? What needs to be nurtured for it to grow stronger?

"The number one goal I’d like to see accomplished is for custom minifigures to be granted the same respect as brick-built MOCs in the LEGO community. Too often I see comments like 'well anyone can do that, it’s only a few parts!', and I honestly feel it unfairly shortchanges the entire creative process that goes into creating a figure. I can speak from experience in that putting a really good figure together from conception to completion can sometimes take a couple weeks and go through just as many revisions as a MOC– having it brushed aside because it’s 'just' a figure is ridiculous."

Tune in tomorrow for our last installment with Morgan where we will discuss...What's that? We didn't talk about his creative use of non-LEGO parts today?! We do have one more installment you know; however, I'm not telling you the subject. Rest assured, citizen, we won't be talking about manticores...or will we?