Special Interview with Tyler Clites a.k.a. legohaulic
Today we have a very special guest from USA. He is considered by many LEGO fans as the best of the best MOC'ers in the world. Tyler Clites a.k.a. legohaulic has already done and continues to impress us with his amazing creations from a wide variety of themes and scales. He is good in building almost anything. He has so many great and inspiring creations that we can not fit all of them in this post so be sure to check out his photo-stream. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.
Kaplan: 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 full name? What is your dayjob? Do you have any other hobbies or activities?
Tyler: My name is Tyler Clites. I am self employed. I love art, film, photography, theatre... pretty much any creative outlet.
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?
T: I remember having Duplo as a kid, but one day my mom brought home a value pack of small System sets when I was two. I remember being fascinated by the tiny bricks. And so the addiction began.
K: What is your best/unforgettable memory involving LEGO?
T: I remember getting one of the LEGO buckets for Christmas when I was two years old. I even have home video of myself being ecstatic over it.
K: If you have to choose, what is your all-time favorite LEGO set?
K: What is/are your favorite LEGO theme/s?
T: As an adult, I like themes with great pieces or colors. As a kid, I loved the Castle Forestmen a lot.
K: Did you have a "dark-age"? If you had one when did you return from your dark age and how?
T: I didn't really have a dark age, maybe a dim age, prior to discovering the online community.
K: How many LEGO bricks/sets do you own approximately?
T: I know there are people who try to catalog the sets they have and the number of pieces they have. I am definitely not one of those. I think "b*ttload" is an accurate measure of the amount of LEGO I have.
K: What are your favorite top three of your MOC's?
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?
T: I do take almost all of my models apart. I just don't have the space or the desire to keep my stuff built. Once something has served its purpose, be it photo or convention display, it typically gets taken apart. However, I do occasional take detailed photos or make CAD models of some creation.
K: What do you think about custom or third party pieces in MOC's?
T: I'm perfectly fine with using things like Brickarms and custom printed pieces. I feel like most third party stuff is "decoration" for a build. I would draw the line at non-LEGO bricks or new pieces being made by a third party.
K: You are great at building in many themes at the same time (scifi, fantasy, figures etc.) And this is not very common among builders. What is your secret?
T: I have a wide variety of interests I guess. I also like challenging myself to do something new or different. I also just get bored easily and need something new and different to keep me interested.
K: Your photograpy skills and presentations are really impressive. Can you give us tips about those?
T: I have a background in art and film so those play a big part in how I present my models. Taking good looking photos is just knowing how to use your camera and light. Composing an image is different and takes more planning and forethought.
K: You have shared some collaborative builds in the past, several with Nannan Zhang for example. Do you plan any new collaborations with him or other builders?
T: There are no plans at the moment. But I'd love to do more collaborative projects in the future if time permits.
K: This is a question the majority of your fans ask. Where or when do you get the inspiration to start a new MOC?
T: From my brain? I don't really have a clear answer. Sometimes it could be the most random things that spark an idea. It could be a sculpture with interesting shapes that inspires a spaceship, or a certain film could have a certain cinematic feel that would be fun to capture, or sometimes something someone says like a joke could inspire a funny character.
K: You have built some many great and unique MOC's so far. But in our humble opinion, one of your creations, "A.B.S. Snorter and his Lego brick sorter" is truly outstandingly creative. What can you tell us more about that creation?
T: I think I build it for a contest where we had to make something inspired by Dr. Seuss. I wanted to capture the feel of the iconic Cat In The Hat story while still keeping the attachment to Lego.
K: Do you have any suggestions for the new MOC'ers?
T: Build what you like, not what you think people want to see. It's not about getting people to like your stuff, it about you liking what you create. And of course, build, build, build.
K: Are you currently working on some MOC's or other LEGO related projects?
T: I am not working on any personal MOC's at the moment. However I just launched a website called The Creation Nation. It's a membership site with video content designed to teach kids how to be resourceful, solve problems, and think outside the box, using LEGO.
K: Do you member of a local LUG? Do you participate in collaborative builds?
T: I am but we're not very active.
K: And our final question: Tiles or studs?
T: It depends on the model. Studs are a resource that can be used. Sometimes it adds texture, while other times, a smooth texture is preferred. So in the end, I want the studs properly serve the model whether they're exposed or hidden.
K: Thank you very much again for participating.