Special Interview with Johan Alexanderson a.k.a. Legojalex

Today's  guest of honor is Johan Alexanderson a.k.a. Legojalex from Sweden who is known for his great cartoon related MOC's and incredible interior designs. He is also the creator of many LEGO Ideas projects incuding the his latest one, the Star Wars Bubbleheads. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.

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

Johan: My name is Johan Alexanderson from Sweden. I'm educated as a computer engineer and have had a job as a web developer for many years. Though the last two years I have been working half time as a freelance illustrator and half time I've been working on a comic book for children that will be published during spring 2017. Now I write on my second comic book. Other hobbies I have are painting, Improvisational theater and playing pool. 

K: Do you remember the day when you got your first LEGO set? Which set was it? And How old were you when you started playing with LEGO bricks? 

J: One of my first LEGO set I think was 6629-1: Ambulance, but I don't remember the day I got it. I was probably around 4 years old.

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

J: I think it is has to be one of the Classic Space sets, perhaps 493-1: Command Center. There is something about the Classic Space theme that I really love.

K: What is/are your favorite LEGO theme/s

J: The Classic Space and Classic Town theme.

K: Did you have a "dark-age"? If you had one when did you return from your dark age and how?

J: Yes from when I was about 15 when I bought my last Technic set, until when I was 30. I had a very stressful time then, and I needed something that could make me relax, so it naturally made me go back to my old LEGO bricks.

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

J: I don't know, it is a lot but I mainly only buy the specific bricks that I need for the next MOC I will build, so therefore I guess I don't have too many bricks.

K: What are your favorite top three of your MOCs?

J: Breakfast, Kids' room from the 80s, Classroom

K: Do you scrap your MOC's after taking photos or displaying or do you keep them? How do you decide which ones you keep?

J: Since I usually don't display my MOC's on any exhibitions I take them down right after the photos are taken, especially for the scenes since they take a lot of space. Some of my smaller MOC's I keep until I need some pieces in them.

K: What do you think about custom or third party pieces in MOC's?

J: Somehow the more I build and the more experienced I become the less I enjoy third party pieces. I think if others use third party pieces in their MOC's it should be stated in the description. Custom decals I think is OK, but I personally try to stay to the decals that LEGO has produced. It is a bigger and more fun challenge to only stay to LEGO's pieces I think.

K: Your MOC's always look clean (Even your custom figures are very clean looking). How do you manage to do this?

J: I have a simple photo equipment, so after taking a photo that I think look crisp and good enough there is a lot of work in Photoshop, especially for the scenes. For the Breakfast MOC there was several hours of work in Photoshop to get the right light and colors that I wanted. One part of the photo might be too dark so I then carefully light that area up in Photoshop.
K: Unlike most of the AFOL's, many of your MOC's include peaceful scenes like cartoons and cute models. These creations are really extraordinary and beautiful in my opinion. Where do you get the inspiration for those?

J: Thank you! The inspiration for many of my MOC's I get from some kind of nostalgic feeling that comes from either memories or from something I see in an older photo or movie. The Breakfast scene for example I mainly got inspiration from watching 80s commercials of breakfast cereals. The cartoon MOC's are from shows that I watched as a kid, such as Dennis, The Flintstones and Garfield. But sometimes I just get my inspiration from something I see when I walk outside, like my building MOC's. And some of my MOC's just come from an idea I get, such as the Star Wars Bobbleheads.

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

J: Just keep on building and you will become better and more experienced in time. Something I have learnt is that if one building technique or solution for a MOC does not work, there is almost always other solutions to find that in the end might be even better then the first one. LEGO can be built in so many different creative ways.

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

J: I just finished my Star Wars Bobblehead project for LEGO Ideas. My next MOC that I have started with is a bigger model of E.T.

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

J: I'm a member of Swebrick, the Swedish LUG.

K: The final question. Tiles or studs? 

J: I generally prefer studless MOC's, but there is a beauty in using studs for smaller models in the style of real LEGO sets. Also sometimes using studs can be useful to mimic a specific structure of a surface, like a roof.