Name & Social Links
My name is Kim Plata (a.k.a. LEGO® Artisan) and I have an Instagram account called lego_artisan.
Can you share a bit about yourself?
I am from the Philippines. I am a civil engineer but have worked mostly on oil & gas-related fabrication/construction/support both locally and overseas.
How and when did you get into LEGO?
I played with LEGO® when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My parents bought me a small LEGO® car and after building and playing with it, I started to disassemble it and build other things with it. I got into my dark ages during my high school, college, and early adult years.
I rediscovered my love for LEGO® back in December 2019 when my sister asked me to build a small Ninjago set for my nephew. After building that, my brother remembered that he was given a mini cooper set and asked me to build it as well. I was so surprised at how far LEGO® has come in terms of details and complexity. I was so interested to find out what else LEGO® has done in the past 20+ years.
Then I discovered the modular buildings and the YouTube channels like Alex Nunes, Robinhoodbricks, DrMcbrick, and MrBookieboo that showcase their cities. I knew right then and there that I would buy the modular building that would be released on Jan 2020. And I’ve just kept falling into the LEGO® rabbit hole since then ^_^
What is your favorite LEGO® genre?
I like almost all LEGO® genres but I like modular buildings the most.
Do you build many official LEGO® sets or do you stick to your own MOCs?
I build a lot of official sets as well. LEGO® official sets are still undeniably great designs and I learn a lot of techniques when I build them. I also build MOCs that go with the official sets in my LEGO® town.
Your LEGO® Sit Complex has been incredibly popular, did you enjoy making it? Why do you think it was so popular?
Thank you. I enjoyed building it the most because I didn’t restrict myself to limited parts. I threw everything at it “including the kitchen sink” – as they say in an expression. I think people liked it because they had the same problem that I had when we saw the set.
The FRIENDS apartment (set 10292) was so full of details and had great memories of the TV show that we all wanted to include it in our LEGO® towns/cities. But the official set was done in a “studio style” and required a lot of space to be able to display in a normal setting.
This problem was the same for other sets like Central Perk (set 21319), The Big Bang Theory (set 21302), and the recent release of Seinfeld (set 21328). By designing the SitComplex, I solved a problem that most LEGO® fans had and it made it easier for them to incorporate their favorite TV shows like Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Thor (set 76200) into their LEGO® towns/cities with less footprint in the layout.
Another reason that people liked the MOC was that I was able to preserve as many details as I could with all of the interiors. I was able to respect the original design from LEGO® and combine them in a building with a cohesive facade.
Can you share some pictures of your LEGO® collection?
Sure! I have currently acquired a dedicated LEGO® room in our house and have started populating it with modular buildings, minifigs, and vehicles from different genres. Below are some photos of the town. It’s still a work in progress.
What are your top 5 all-time favorite LEGO® MOCs you have designed and why?
As of writing this Q&A response, my favorite MOCs so far are:
Sit-Complex – The ability to combine different TV shows and the potential to add more as LEGO® releases new sets make this my top favorite. Whenever I see other fans of LEGO® (FOLs) build the Sit-Complex, they add their own twists to the building, making each one unique to their LEGO® town/city.
The Town Square Pub – is a new favorite of mine. It was a challenge to try to use the parts of the Assembly Square set 10255 and create a completely new building design and still make it look clean, cohesive, and well put together. Whenever I look at it beside official LEGO® sets, I’m still surprised that I was able to design it.
The Town Square Corner – is a purely original design (not modified from any of the official sets). It contains 5 different establishments in a 32×32 baseplate which supports my main design philosophies – diversity & density. I see it as an accomplishment to be able to fit different establishments, scenes, and details in a limited space.
The Crown Jewel – it looks classy and I like the fact that I was able to put 5 different businesses in it even with just using parts from the modular police station set 10278.
Jim’s Bowling Alley & Diner – I’ve always liked having a bowling alley in my LEGO® town and I love the façade that I was able to create for the alternate design of the Downtown Diner set 10260. The clear panels and windows make it so I don’t have to open the modular building to be able to see the details inside.
We are loving the blogs you have been posting recently, do you have any more lined up for the future?
Thank you. Yes, I do plan to add more blogs in the future. I intend to finish my “LEGO MOC designing & building 101” blog series as well as other put out more tips and techniques that could help other fans of LEGO® and designers.
Want to see more of LEGO® Artisan’s work? Check out his Belle-Ve Bricks store here!