Special Interview with John Snyder a.k.a. jsnyder002

This weeks guest of honor is a very talented TFOL from USA, John Snyder a.k.a. jsnyder002. His impressive MOC's were blogged many times in various blogs around the net including tilesorstuds. He is well known for his great historical vignettes but his Sci-fi creations are amazing as well. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.

Kaplan: We already know that you are one of the best MOC'ers. What can you tell us about yourself other than that? What is your day job? Do you have any other hobbies or activities?

John: Well, I definitely don't consider myself one of the best MOC'ers; there are lots of builders more talented than I. I'm a TFOL from the USA and work part time on a dairy farm, though my main occupation right now is school. My main activity besides building with LEGO, is playing soccer (football for all of you outside the US), either in a local league or just for fun.

K: Do you remember your first day when you get your first LEGO set?

J: I don't really remember the first set, as all my siblings had LEGO growing up, so it was always around me. But the first set that I recall getting is 7236.

K: What is your best/unforgettable memory involving LEGO?

J: In 2009, 2 of my brothers and I entered a LEGO Education contest, about what life might look like on the ocean floor. We included a few brick-built whales, dolphins, sharks, a sunken ship, an assortment of coral, and various other things. A couple months later, we got a letter in the mail, and inside was a 200$ gift card for LEGO education products!

K: If you have to choose, what is your all-time favorite LEGO set?

J: I'm not sure I could choose just one favorite, but 6062 Battering Ram is definitely very high on the list.

K: Did you have a “dark age”? If you had one when did you return from the dark age and how?

J: I haven't had a dark age yet, and don't plan on having one, ever. I may be more or less active at times, but I'll try to always at least check Flickr and various forums fairly often.

K: How many LEGO bricks or sets do you own approximately?

J: Hmm, that's a tough one. It's pretty difficult to estimate, as my sets are rarely kept together, and I've acquired a lot of parts through Bricklink and the PaB wall. Also, I have a shared collection with my brother, Isaac. Though I would guess we have at least 1,000,000 parts.

K: What are your favorite top three MOC's?

J: Hard to choose just 3, I have so many that I am quite proud of. But, in the end, I'd say Billy's Tree Fort, The Red Feather Inn, and my Kitchen, for now anyways.

K: Do you scrap your MOC’s for parts after taking photos or displaying? Or do you keep them. If you keep some and scrap others which ones are you keeping and why?

J: Scrap em! I usually just keep builds together long enough to get good pictures, then disassemble and build something new. In the future I may keep an occasional smaller build together, as our collection gets bigger.

K: Do you use custom or 3rd party pieces in your MOCs?

J: Very rarely, I do sometimes use custom cloth elements for tents/canopies or such like, but nothing else.

K: If you choose top three LEGO elements that you think are extremely useful for building MOC’s which elements would they be.

J: So many good parts to choose from! The 1x2 plate, 1x1 brick with stud on side, and cheese slope are especially useful though.

K: Although you have built several amazing Sci-fi MOC's your MOC's are mostly focused on historical themes. Do you plan in future to try to build more on different themes like city, train etc?

J: Yes! I like to try and vary themes a bit, and often contests help motivate me to try new things. For instance when I competed in the ABS builder challenge, out of my six entries, none of them were castle. In the future I would particularly like to try a few more City builds.

K: The textures on walls and ground are really impressive in your historical MOC's. Do you try hard and spend time to find new methods or does the inspiration comes spontaneously?

J: Both I guess. Sometimes it takes quite a lot of trial and error, other times I'm able to get the look I want on the first try. Badashi Mosque took lots of experimentation before I decided on the wall and ground patterns, whereas the wall texturing for my Red Feather Inn went pretty quickly.

K: Do you member of a local LUG? Do you participate in collaborative builds?

J: I am a member of RochLUG, and also the online LUG InnovaLUG. I've been able to contribute to several RochLUG displays, and am currently working on some builds for an InnovaLUG display for Brickfair, Virginia.

K: Are you currently working on some MOC's or other LEGO related projects?

J: Yup, the InnovaLUG display is my current project, after that I plan on doing some non-castle builds.

K: Do you have any suggestions for the new MOC'ers?

J: Get involved in the online community. You'll meet others also interested in creating with LEGO, and be able to gain unlimited inspiration from their creations. Also, be open to suggestions on your builds. Even if you already took that specific build apart, you can keep their suggestion in mind for future creations.

K: And the final question: Tiles of Studs?

J: Both, but since that's not really an answer... studs. I'm quite impressed by MOC's that leave lots of studs exposed, but still look great. And how could we build without studs? 

K: Thank you very much  for this nice interview.