In 2016 I found a minifig head while I was gardening. I washed it off and kept it on my shelf. Why? I have no idea. I was not into Lego at all at the time, and I did not have Lego when I was a kid. Little did I know, a year later I would be introduced to the incredible world of LEGO.
Why am I the luckiest girl in the world? In 2017, I met Paul Hetherington and a few months later we began dating. He’s an incredibly talented artist who uses Lego as his medium.
When we met, I knew Paul was well immersed in the LEGO world, but I didn’t really know what that meant. I was naive to the idea that the LEGO world was this huge culture of AFOLS, conventions, Lego clubs, Lego Artists, and much more. I have never encountered a company so down to earth and eager to listen to what their fans/consumers want as The LEGO Group is. LEGO is a lifestyle, I quickly learned.
Fast forward to today. In the just three years, I have been to 21 LEGO conventions and 4 virtual ones; LEGOLAND in Billund, Denmark; LEGO House during the Masterpiece Gallery setup day (because Paul was invited to display a model in there) and AFOL Day.
I’ve stayed at the Knight’s Castle LEGOLAND Hotel in Billund, Denmark; I’ve added many stamps to my Lego Passport from all over, and I have made some amazing memories with some incredible people. Being a big kid at heart, I am having the time of my life. Thank you, Paul!
The Lego Conventions I’ve attended in person include Brick Con, Seattle; Brick Can, Vancouver; Bricks Cascade, Portland; Brickworld Chicago; Brick Nation (display at Emerald City Comic Con), Seattle; Skaerbæk Fan Weekend, Denmark; and many Brick Universe shows throughout America… I have been to all of these conventions more than once, with the exception of Skaerbæk. In the past year, I have also experienced 4 Virtual LEGO Conventions:BrickCan Virtual, BrickCon Virtual, BricksLA Virtual, and Brickvention Australia.
Each convention is jam-packed with games, mocs, friends, sightseeing, and great new memories. It’s always a rush to do everything and see everyone, even when the Con happens at home. That’s part of the fun.
In 2019, I became a member of the VLC, the Vancouver LEGO Club. I love to follow directions, so building sets is what I am most comfortable with. This year, I finally got up the nerve to attempt my first moc (my-own-creation). Creating a moc for the first time a daunting process, but it’s even more daunting when I’m dating an artist of Paul’s caliber. With lots of advice from friends and Paul to help answer questions during the process, I did it! It sure felt good when my moc was completed, the 6 months it took me to build it felt like a lifetime. I chose to create a mosaic instead of a 3D moc because I thought it would be easier. Silly me! The biggest lesson learned was that mosaics are NOT easy. For my first moc, I chose something that is a big part of my life, Garbage Pail Kids.
I have been a GPK collector since the 80’s. I decided to do a mosaic of the classic Original Series 1 card, 8a – Adam Bomb. I put my own spin on it, and added my favorite color, Pink, into the background. It is now on display in our house.
Now that I have my first moc under my belt, I am ready to do it again, this time with more understanding of the process. This time I will create a portrait of my favorite singer, from my all-time favorite band. I won’t give it away just yet, but let’s just say I’ll need a little Patience for this one.
Each Convention is unique. From the AFOLS who attend, to the location, to the talks, to the games, to the swag, to the vendors, and to the mocs. At Brick Universe I volunteer as part of the team, my biggest job there in the past has been dismantling the LEGO when the kids are done playing with it in the Build Zones, but I do many other things as well. I may or may not have the nickname Godzilla when I am dismantling brick. Haha!
Volunteering for Brick Universe has been the experience of a lifetime. The Brick Universe team is (like) a big family, and it is geared towards families to attend instead of classic Conventions which are geared toward AFOLS. Brick Universe also has LEGO Clubs and AFOL’s display models, and a lot of AFOLS and couples attend the show as well. There is something for everyone. I highly recommend it.
One of the unique (and amusing) things about dating an Artist who uses LEGO as his medium, is the look on people’s face when they ask you what my spouse does for work. Or what I do for fun. People have openly gasped, laughed, and become super awkward once I answered. I secretly enjoy these responses, because people have no idea what they are missing on. It’s fun to keep some mystery to the AFOL world and LEGO lifestyle. It’s like a not-so-secret club of super fun and talented people who can make little plastic bricks look cool. I love it!
They say Nothing Lasts forever, but I hope this lasts a lifetime. My motto has always been, Never Grow Up, and I think I have achieved that.
The excitement is building! Time to go do just that.
Melissa Rekve (Aka Lil’ Bricks!), North Vancouver – Canada