Out of the Dark Ages
September 30, 2010 6:13 AM   Subscribe

Mike Doyle (blog one, blog two) is an artist who was previously known (by boardgamers) for boardgame artwork. He burned out on boardgame art and has taken up a new medium...with stunning results. This is his very first model and it's an astounding work of craftsmanship, detail, mood, and tone. This is the kind of work that many builders would kill to do after several years of building.

In the AFOL (Adult Fans of Lego) community, there is a term, "Dark Age", that describes the period of time between when a person stops playing with Lego as a child and when that person rediscovers it as an adult. After a visit to Legoland, Mike Doyle emerged from his Dark Age with a vengeance.

In addition to hitting home runs in his first at-bat, he is also blogging about his Lego experience here. There aren't many entries yet, but his thoughts on art and standard Lego techniques show that Mike may well be an innovator to watch.

(tl;dr: Check out this awesome Lego model.)
posted by Legomancer (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
As this was my first lego experience (since a kid) I had no bricks to start with, so buying all black and white was easiest as well.

I like this.
posted by three blind mice at 6:17 AM on September 30, 2010

"with stunning results"

I keep looking for Lego Norman Bates.
posted by MikeMc at 6:20 AM on September 30, 2010

so buying all black and white was easiest as well.

Once upon a time, you couldn't just buy colors.
posted by smackfu at 6:21 AM on September 30, 2010

Gorgeous, believable and painterly. Love it.
posted by Scoo at 6:55 AM on September 30, 2010

Funny how Legomancer was the one who posted this. Also, this dude would rule at Minecraft.
posted by Mister_A at 7:08 AM on September 30, 2010

By link two, did you mean http://mikedoylesnap.blogspot.com/
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:08 AM on September 30, 2010

@Obscure Reference: No, he had two boardgame art blogs. His lego blog is linked further along.
posted by Legomancer at 7:18 AM on September 30, 2010

Heh. I first read that as Ming Doyle and thought you had serious pronoun issues - also it would have seemed a bit of an unlikely turn.
posted by Artw at 7:18 AM on September 30, 2010

Despite his best efforts ("This object has two stories. What was and what it is becoming."—groan, barf), this is the first time I can remember seeing Lego used to genuinely interesting ends in an artistic context. Like, building a model of an abandoned house in Lego is compelling as idea rather than just as a stunt of the "recreate [improbable subject A, usually related to pop culture] out of [improbable material B, usually bacon]" variety so cherished by these here Internets.

Or whatever. That house is just straight up gorgeous, and I'll definitely be following his blog to see what's next. The story/storey punning is unforgivable, however.
posted by wreckingball at 7:35 AM on September 30, 2010

"blog two" isn't working as a link for me.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:00 AM on September 30, 2010

This is the link for blog 2: http://mdoyle2.blogspot.com/

Can a mod please fix?
posted by Legomancer at 8:38 AM on September 30, 2010

One of the most interesting thing about working at Legoland was the Adult Fans of Lego folks.

We were more geared towards small children (at the time; it's changed pretty dramatically over the past decade) but the adult super-fans were often still quite captivated. The giant displays of Lego craft, things like the Statue of Liberty and famous Las Vegas hotels and Washington DC and everything else that our Model Builders had recreated, were always especially popular and I can see a small influence in his work that could have come from that experience.

Another element that adults fans and children alike got a kick out of was the giant shop full of Lego products. It happened to be where I worked, so I got a great perspective of people walking in and their jaws dropping. There was, of course, always someone who wanted our displays to be comprehensive and have that one Star Wars AT-AT that they needed to complete their set but we didn't have and weren't they disappointed.

I will always remember, though, the family that came in every year and picked out the new products for that year and had them shipped off to their home out of state. They told me that they had an entire room of their house (must have been a big room, at that) dedicated to displaying the completed Lego projects. The family was all grown up, by that point, but still fans of Lego. Adult fans are indeed amazing, and often quite creative, folks.

Here's to creating interesting Lego art, and I definitely will be on the lookout for more of Doyle's work.
posted by librarylis at 10:37 AM on September 30, 2010

Mike Doyle's board game art was frequently quite awesome. It also frequently sacrificed too much function for form. I'm glad he's found something he enjoys.
posted by parliboy at 11:55 AM on September 30, 2010

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