Special Interview with Michał Kaźmierczak a.k.a. migalart

Hello everybody. This week we are happy to share our interview with our guest of honor Michał Kaźmierczak from Poland who is known for his huge dioramas like Erebor, Mustafar and many others. 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 dayjob? Do you have any other hobbies or activities?

Kaźmierczak: Now I feel ashamed :) Generally I am 38 years old. I work in Energy sector as sales director in engineering company. I live in Poland, but I also completed Executive MBA Study in USA. I have two children -11 and 3 years old. I have plenty of hobbies. Except of Lego I have quite big collection of Warhammer Battle armies (painted by myself) and I spend many years in Collective Card Game – Vampire The Eternal Struggle. (My best result ever was Rank 7 in European Championships in this game). I try to learn photography. I am quite good at Photoshop .As a younger person I loved also paper RPG games and I was drawing a lot. 

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?

M: I remember it very well. It was around 1983. I have received two LEGO sets from my aunt in France – it was very small sets - 6606 Road Repair Set and 6629 Ambulance. I was 5 years, and I build ambulance by myself without any adult help which I was very proud of ;)

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

M: 1989 and first LEGO Pirates series. I was dreaming about it. Unfortunately the only sets I ever got where the smallest ones: 6235, 6245, 6251. The last of this three gave me so many playing opportunities. 

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

M: No doubt it is 6980 Galaxy Commander. My friend got it. For me it was only a dream. 

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

M: Castle, Pirates, Space

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

M: I had long dark age. I returned to Lego, when my son was 5 years old. I wanted to spend more time with him and doing things I like at the same time. But soon it appears I find interesting challenges for myself alone in LEGO. 

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

M: Now I got lot of LEGO. I mainly buy parts I need, but I buy lot of sets for my son. I assume I have around 0,5 million brick or close to 0,5 tons of LEGO.

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

1) Mustafar - Star Wars diorama – at the begging it was totally surrealistic to start this project, but it end up quite nice
2) Erebor –the scale was magnificent and I manage to execute most of my plans, however I could have done more here ;) 
3) Indiana Jones – The whole diorama concept was my own invention base of my own idea of Indiana Jones movie concept , with nice motto – Indiana finds water on the desert to be the greatest treasure. 

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?

M: I keep all my diorama for commercial use.

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

M: I like, when they are used wisely. They give more creative opportunities.

K: You build both fantasy and sci-fi creations at the same time. This is not common among builders. How can you be so good at both so different themes?

M: I always liked both sci-fi and fantasy. I find no difficulties here

K: Your MOC's are huge! How much time you spend per day to complete such huge creations?

M: Very difficult to say. I build mainly during the night/evenings, when my children are sleeping. In most cases I find it relaxing to build, but sometimes it is a simple hard work. Whatever I do, it must be challenging for me and must give me some learning opportunities. If something is challenging for me it gives me energy to act. Sometimes I manage to organize more time to build. If I am close to finish a project I can build 8 hours during Saturday or Sunday but on average I build 1 hour a day and I need 1 year to complete big project. I have special room for building which makes things a lot easier. 

K: Your photo editing skill are also amazing. That adds a lot to the presentation of the MOC's. I'm especially curious about the light and smoke effects. How did you managed to make them so perfectly?

M: I try to learn and develop in the field of photography and photo editing - it is a great complex knowledge. I am so much impressed by this area of art!!! In the best circumstances I am at the point of “aware of incompetence” here. One lifetime is not enough to be a master in this but I try to gather so many experiences as I can. 

K: Mustafar is my favourite one of your MOC's because of the lava effect. Which one is easier: to create something completely original or recreate a scene from a movie?

M: Thank you for you appreciation ;) it is my favorite diorama as well . 
In general recreation is much easier. But even in recreation scenes there is place for creation (new techniques, etc). Lava effect in Mustafar was a part of creation. I try to put some creation aspect in every project I do. 

K: What suggestions do you have for the new MOC'ers?

M: Always follow your passion.

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

M: Yes, I am working on LEGO comic book. I hope to be able to tell the immersive story using LEGO. What the result be? We will see ;)

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

M: I am a member of two polish LUG's, but I am not very active. I rather do not participate in collaborative builds – I need my personal challenges. 

K: Tiles or studs? 

M: General effect is the most important, but If I have to choose I like tiles more ;), especially for space projects. 

K: Thank you again for participating in our interview.

M: Thank you ;)