Book Review: Beautiful Lego

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Talented New Jersey-based Lego artist Mike Doyle first appeared on our radar in 2011 with his phenomenal sculpture titled Victorian on Mud Heap (pictured below). Then, earlier this year, he upped his own ante and amazed us with his 200,000-piece sci-fi jaw dropper titled Contact 1, which appears on the cover a book he just released titled simply Beautiful Lego (No Starch Press). The book features a solid lineup of Lego artists and showcases their unique styles.

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Doyle begins the book by saying: “This book is possible only through the amazing work created by the Lego building community. Their work — shared online and at events — brings endless inspiration.” He follows with his preface, succinctly explaining why he was inspired to make the book:

When I first discovered the kinds of Lego artwork that people were creating, I was astonished. I had no idea that a little toy could go so far. That was just three years ago. Since then, the level of craftsmanship in the Lego building community has only increased. Builders share their creations and techniques online, which inspires others and pushes them to do even more incredible things with Lego. This book is a small collection of some of the impressive models that I have come across in my time.

For practical reasons, I was unable to include every awesome build or artist whose work deserves to be showcased, but it’s my sincere hope that this book gives newcomers a representative sample of the work being done. For those in the hobby, I hope to offer a new perspective on familiar builds. Whether you’re seeing these models for the first time or the hundredth, I hope this book inspires you to new creativity.

Doyle does a great job of giving a panoramic window into the works of this community, with gorgeous full-color, full-page images interspersed with Q&A with a handful of the artists. The best part is that the book is compiled from within — Doyle is an active member of the community and this comes through in everything, from the way the book is laid out to the caliber of questions asked in the interviews.

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