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Discussion: Technique vs Build

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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby theboywarrior » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:01 pm

This is a great discussion. I've enjoyed reading thus far. :)

As someone who is actually building a castle at the moment, I've been looking around the MOCs forum and my Flickr contacts, trying to find inspiration. I can't speak for those with large collections, but for someone with limited resources like myself, the actual build is much more important than the techniques. Although, at first I only posted things in a futile attempt to impress everyone, but only succeeded in making a fool of myself with such builds as this:
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=462111

So I learned to focus on quality and my own enjoyment of the build, (conceited, right? :tasty: ) and slowly improved, but never really used any 'techniques'. Just proof that my (barely) decent quality builds can exist without fancy techniques.

And I rather agree with Mark. Our hobby is technically an art form unto itself, and as such most any contribution can be considered as a work of art. Most art is made by artists enjoying themselves anyway, so you can be artisticky and have fun at the same time. :D

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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby friskywhiskers » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:03 am

Interesting, that idea renders all of our arguments moot. I agree to it though, now that I think on it. A MOC is a MOC weather it includes technique dumping or not. Sure just like with painting some creations are more impressive then others. Note: More impressive. Not better. Anyone who says that one build is better then another really means the former phrase. Their is no better or worse in art, only what you think is good. Now do you want to impress others? Maybe yes,Maybe no. That too is an opinion/personal taste so when it boils down to it we basically are left with the following:

Do whatever the hell you want, wether it be to build for others or yourself; to include techniques or not. Just never, ever let people tell you what to do or build. Take advice, yes, but remember that this is art and the final decision ultimately lies with you.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby Rick-Ricks » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:23 am

I look towards building things that either "Create Emotion" or "Tell a Story," something that has come from my film-making background, and as such will include a lot of comparisons.
It is possible to build something that conveys an emotion in a very simplistic way without using a bunch of techniques. In film it is possible to create something that will make someone cry, using one shot, simply by the way you use said shot, I believe the same is true with lego.
I believe there is a time and a place for everything and that a MOC should only use the techniques it needs for the build... usually.
Sometimes when making something you want to experiment. Whether it is trying out something you've already seen or just seeing if two things fit together in a way you didn't think possible, you want to figure out how something works, I believe that sometime story suffers because of this but there are times where story is created because of this.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby Tastymuffins » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:34 am

I build fantasy castles and because of that i try to make everything look pretty and awesome rather than realistic. Especially when it comes to landscaping, people always seem to like it being super dense and thick. personally i prefer that too. A good example is my Ayleth Castle. http://www.flickr.com/photos/40735556@N07/7224816204/in/set-72157629793225876/ one of the first comments i got was that the landscaping was too sparse. (personally i think it was too) And when i got the chance i bought more things to fill up the space. The community definitely does seem to prefer the detailed over realistic, not that the castle was realistic to start with. Fantasty is just more fun to me. It looks more exciting and its more fun to make IMO and fantasy builds usually incorporate cool techniques.The way my schedule works i don't have a lot of building time so i try to build large singular impressive builds infrequently. Personally when i build a castle i don't build to just put techniques or anything, (and im not super good with techniques) I just try to make it look good. Like when i want a window i do one that will look good however i have to do it. I try to keep everything looking fairly functional but for the most part i just go for a attractive creation because its art to me and many others.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:58 pm

The community definitely does seem to prefer the detailed over realistic, not that the castle was realistic to start with.


Do they? I'm not so sure I can say the same. If you are going by the number of comments made on MOC's well, it pretty much goes like this: when you are new to CC you are all excited and you make a ton of comments on the MOC's, but over time, you slow down, stop making comments unless you really have something you need to say, then eventually, you might even stop looking that the MOC's forum. For a long time we've had people wondering why their builds get ignored and others get an explosion of comments. But like I was saying, I don't think you can judge a whole community based on the comments you see being active right now. And currently you have the LCC being active and the "veterans" not being because they feel like their work will be not accepted.

So I think it all comes back to this:

Build...build what makes your little heart happy. But don't make others feel badly because they build different styles than you do. And respect the work they did.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby friskywhiskers » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:48 am

That is a fairly active analysis of how things work over here on CC. I think that TM's judgment on the reception of MOCs is still correct as well though. IMO, the biggest rift with this is between TFOLs and AFOLs. Most AFOLs grew up with (in today's perspective) limited pieces and colors. The sets were great, don't get me wrong, but they were definitely less detailed then today's. On the other hand, TFOLs grew up with many new colors and pieces, and highly detailed sets (excluding KK from this equation). This means that while TFOls are perfectly comfortable with this (again in today's perspective) "higher" level of building. AFOLs (which is essentially what I think you meant by "veterans") might feel "overwhelmed" by all of these new techniques and like you said become anxious that "their work will not be accepted".

This, however, should not make a difference! Even if it's true ( which it's not), Why should you care what other people think? Through this we come back to your point, blue. Lego is art. Art is whatever you make it. You may have a different style then someone else, but do not criticize in vain! Note that I do think that Constructive Criticism is helpful when appropriate ( I.E. when you are asked for it) .
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:19 pm

This, however, should not make a difference! Even if it's true ( which it's not), Why should you care what other people think? Through this we come back to your point, blue. Lego is art. Art is whatever you make it.


LEGO is art if that is what you define it to be. I personally don't. But to each their own about whatever they want to define it to be, and I really don't want to debate that.

But people DO care. There are insecure people everywhere in life and there are a lot of them around CC, And yes I keep bringing it up because whether their are just putting two bricks together and calling it a wall, or they are building something that is multi-colored because they don't own enough bricks to make it one color, it shouldn't matter. They are building. They are having fun. And they should be encouraged not made to feel like they "can't compete."

But this is off the original topic, sort of. Instead of clarifying things for me, this topic has muddied the water. And while I think for me that is good, I am just hoping it helped some others too.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby richardanthonyc » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:28 pm

I think everyone should be able to build and post without fear of scrutiny and people telling them what they should be doing or should have done. That is not to say that constructive criticism should not be allowed but I have seen instances where people have commented telling people what they SHOULD have done. Now I know this is the Internet but as Blue said, everyone who posts has real feelings and if someone posted a moc which was small and "plain" then I don't believe people posting saying they find certain aspects "boring" helps encourage. Some people it might make them add more detail etc but others it might actually discourage them from posting
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby Quickblade22 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:32 am

I usually don't pay attention to either aspect. If I like something someone built, I like it. I see a style in someones build and I either want to try it or I don't. That's kinda the point of sharing to me. Where the topic takes a turn is in how people treat them, or more to the point how they treat the builders. I saw a post on TBB recently about how Lego is about "building relationships". The techniques used to form them are a WIP and need lots of work sometime. Take the post above:
I think everyone should be able to build and post without fear of scrutiny and people telling them what they should be doing or should have done. That is not to say that constructive criticism should not be allowed but I have seen instances where people have commented telling people what they SHOULD have done. Now I know this is the Internet but as Blue said, everyone who posts has real feelings and if someone posted a moc which was small and "plain" then I don't believe people posting saying they find certain aspects "boring" helps encourage. Some people it might make them add more detail etc but others it might actually discourage them from posting

Personally it puzzles me when I see a new guy come along with some great energy and impress his fellow community members. All of the sudden, you get other builders riding his coattails and because they comment on his (or her) work they are all of the sudden experts. There is a perceived style that gets rave reviews by fringe fans and next thing you know, it becomes a new standard. I remember when SNOT became the "right" way to do something. There is no right or wrong when it comes to a build. A contest is a different story. I enjoy things from the simple to the complex. I don't always comment on those given time constraints or lack of the right words. If I don't care for something, I don't comment on it. It's pretty simple to follow that "technique" when "building" a relationship in the community.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:45 pm

In my opinion, if you're discouraged from sharing your work just because you get an occasional, "this part seems a little boring" comment, then that's on you for being oversensitive. I mean, it would be one thing if people were giving scathing reviews, but generally the community here seems to be extremely encouraging and positive, even with their critiques.

I've always thought that being open to constructive criticism was one of the best ways to improve yourself. It's awfully hard to learn from your mistakes if nobody can point them out to you for fear of hurting your feelings, no matter how gently they present their viewpoint.

When I comment on a MOC, I try to pick out in equal proportion things that I really liked, and things that might be improved on or considered from a different angle. However, just because I tell you that I think it might have looked better if you had done *abc*, doesn't mean that you have to agree with me, and I certainly am not going to belabor the point if I'm told that the builder did it on purpose because they like it that way.

Bottom line for me is that, if you're posting stuff in an online forum that is comprised of your peers, you shouldn't do so with the expectation that nobody is allowed to say anything negative about it, especially when most people are so nice about it. Sure, I enjoy it when people compliment me on my MOCs, but I also appreciate it when people point out things that might be a bit better, because it helps me improve. If you only want people to say nice things and can't take an occasional friendly tip, then I recommend you stick to sending MOC pictures to your mom or showing off to 6-yr olds. :?
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby Bluesecrets » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:34 pm

In my opinion, if you're discouraged from sharing your work just because you get an occasional, "this part seems a little boring" comment, then that's on you for being oversensitive. I mean, it would be one thing if people were giving scathing reviews, but generally the community here seems to be extremely encouraging and positive, even with their critiques.


There are ways to word things that will not make a person be offended or hurt. There are a large number of people around whoa ARE insecure about their builds. Believe me or not, I speak to them regularly. We've lost more than a few who didn't think they could measure up because of comments that others made that were not thought out well. I would not want to be responsible for a person leaving all because I wasn't careful with my words and said "yeah that build was boring, lame, and plain out sucked...plus you copied three other builds." Okay that was harsh, but not everyone is as secure in their abilities as some people. Not everyone needs to be...for a lack of another word...blunt with their wording. I am not asking for sugar coating anything. But what I would like to think is that people could think before they press "submit" and see if they could have said something in a way that was not going to hurt. Because when it comes right down to it, Classic Castle is and has always been a place where we don't go in for rude, where people make friends and help each other. If the words on the screen make just one person consider leaving or not showing their work. then those words should have been thought out and worded better. The world is a nasty place, there is rudeness everywhere (especially online), but CC does not have to be part of that.
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Re: Discussion: Technique vs Build

Postby AK_Brickster » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:07 pm

I 100% agree with you. I guess I just haven't seen any examples of comments that are anywhere near the level of rudeness that you're suggesting. Sure, I've seen a few, "The left corner is a little boring" or "this could use more landscaping, it looks a bit bare", but nothing that I'd consider to be mean-spirited. Maybe those kind of comments have happened in the past, or maybe I have just missed them (though I doubt it since I basically live on this site ;) ).

So, yes, I agree that people should be polite. But I guess I just wanted to encourage those who might be a little sensitive that any critiques that are offered are not personal attacks, and that they should feel confident that we really do enjoy what they have to contribute, no matter what they may perceive their "skill level" to be compared to everyone else.
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