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Review: The Art of LEGO Design by Jordon Schwartz

The Art of LEGO Design by Jordon Schwartz
The Art of LEGO Design by Jordon Schwartz

The Art of LEGO Design


The mediums used in art vary just as much globally as they do generationally. From an early age we learn about colors, shapes, and sizes and how to manipulate them through pencils, crayons, paints and clay. But in the end, our primary goal is to create through our imagination and share our ideas with those around us.

But some time ago, we were given the most prolific tool ever invented to do all this and a whole lot more. LEGOs

If you want to know what goes into “really” creating with LEGOs, look no further. The Art of LEGO Design is an exploration of the LEGO product line as a true artistic Medium. Written by former LEGO designer Jordan Schwartz, the reader will get the inside scoop on the various techniques used in creating fantastic models as well as many inspirational illustrations for examples.

The book begins with a brief history of LEGOs, but the meat and overall purpose of the book is an examination and an instructional tool for the “art” of LEGO building. Filled with interviews and examples from many famed LEGO designers, the book is an extensive course in creativity and freedom.

Creating with LEGOs starts from the single block and expands from there. How many times have you taken one block, stuck it onto another, turned it around in your hand and added a few more pieces until your mind’s eye declared, “That looks like a…?” Is it too many times to count? Well, the creators of your favorite LEGO kits you find on the store shelves began with the same wonder and imagination

Each chapter covers in-depth areas like inspiration and preparation, minifigures, bricks, patterns and motifs, textures, sculpting, composition, wildlife, large scaled figures, transportation, buildings, science fiction, and lastly, the final steps of photography, post editing, sharing your work and the critiques.

Though Jordon Schwartz admits that, “LEGO building is, however, still just developing as an art form,” first and foremost, LEGO is a toy. After all, the name LEGO stems from the Danish phrase “leg godt,” translating to English as “play well.” But this doesn’t mean the toy is limited to recreational use. As an artistic medium, the options are just as endless.

Not only does Schwartz draw on his own experiences as a LEGO designer, he also interviews many other talented creators and asks them to explain their individual design processes. This, along with a vast array of illustrations, allows the reader to gain a wide variety of advice, inspiration and ideas.

Subtitled as “Creative Ways to Build Amazing Models,” the book by Jordan Schwartz is a thorough introduction to the creative process of building imaginative art. Published by the geek entertainment aficionado No Starch Press, The Art of LEGO Design is the perfect addition to any fan of the toy’s library.