(Written my William)
The world of LEGO has adult fans all over the world that specialize in one thing or another. If you are just getting into the hobby, it can be very intimidating just talking with an expert. This article will guide you in very simple steps on how you can become an expert.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE?
The first thing to do is to pick a specialty. This will focus your attention on some aspect of LEGO that you find the most appealing. Many people are intimidated by all the knowledge a particular person has. They may feel discouraged that they could never have knowledge as vast as that person.
The reality is you can. Nearly every fan of LEGO can fit into a particular niche. Consider the bios of the people that contribute on this site. Each person is clearly defined into categories that they specialize in. This is what you can focus on and learn about. This will usually result in finding out information that only a specialist will know.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, BECOME A RESOURCE
Some people will get stumped when it comes to specializing on a particular topic. In these circumstances, I recommend that you form some sort of resource. A good example of this is writing reviews of sets or categorizing a specific type of information.
For instance, the admin of this site has provided one of the most complete lexicons of LEGO-language you’ll find anywhere, broken into LEGO Dictionary: Basic Terms and LEGO Dictionary: Advanced Terms. This may not sound like a very inspirational method of becoming an expert, but it does lead to a very important fact. Only through close observation can you discover new information that only a specialist would know.
THE MAGIC WORD IS NETWORK
Specialists are not all hermits living in LEGO-built caves. We are fans of a very social toy. Therefore, talking with one another can lead to some startling discoveries. I myself recently learned about new programs that LEGO offers that I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t talked with others in my LUG (LEGO User Group).
In fact, I recently learned that LEGO was opening up their Ambassador Program soon. The LUG member who told me this is in contact with current LEGO Ambassadors. They even say the terms of the program may change from a yearly program to a six month interval. Since this is information not readily available, it’s good to see what others know to expand your own knowledge.
RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN CONTRIBUTION
You may still feel humble, but like it or not you become a specialist every time you create something with LEGO. Each creation and project makes you uniquely qualified to have personal insight on your own work.
Currently, your portfolio of masterpieces may not add up to much, but that should never be how you measure your work. Remember, LEGO is designed to amplify the quality of your own experience of creating. This experience is what should be valued above all other aspects.
Your expertise comes from you. Either it is something you’re interested in, something you’ve studied, something you found out, or something you’ve created. All these paths lead to you becoming an expert in something.
It may be good to take a few moments to reflect on what your connection is with LEGO. Chances are you will discover your specialty and with it the ability to become even better. 😉
Sounds familiar, I too simply started with a few bricks.
Now I hear I am one of the leading 2×4 brick people out there(c:
Still I am not as good as many experts I know.
Also, like you said, we all have our own small niche of knowledge.
And I really enjoy contact with other “experts” about their part of the hobby.
Great piece, but I miss the personal touch, what is your expertise?
Oops, guess I missed the weapons thing(c:
I guess I because a sort-of pattern expert… it just happened by doing what interested me. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll just naturally get better and better at it. 😉
I can’t agree more, Katie! I have been following your progress from the time you opened your flickr account. It is amazing to watch someone spreading their wings like that! 🙂
Thank you! I’m still rather dumbfounded about how the whole LEGO habit turned out… I started trying to make a house like the medieval market village, and barely knew lego mosaics existed. But what you like will tend to emerge, and then off you go. 😉
It’s funny, my wife and I have rekindled our love for LEGO because of our boys in the past year. I consider myself relatively creative, but it’s daunting after seeing the depth and scope some AFOLs have. It’ll be years before I post any pictures…LOL
Timothy, I know what you mean, however I would like to suggest that you do share your creations either online or in a local AFOL community.
By getting feedback, suggestions, ideas and inspiration from others you will progress significantly faster in your creative building.
Just ask Katie (who commented above you), she readily shares how much getting feedback and exchanging ideas with others helped her progress in directions she may have never gone on her own. Right, Katie? 😉
Don’t be shy to share what you got! LEGO fans are a friendly bunch! Being part of this community is half the fun! 😀
Yes, feedback is good. Just yesterday I made a rainbow with awful clouds, and some people gave me good ideas how to make them better. And sometimes peoples’ requests have led me off in whole new directions of thinking. Other people have also introduced me to parts that I didn’t even know existed that can help for certain things. And then other people have sometimes sent me pieces that I needed, or even a whole pattern book once. It’s great to be part of a community, both to improve and to socialize.
Everyone has something that they are good at. I like to create MOCs of national chain stores/restaurants for my city.
Pictures please! 😉
You’re too kind. I know I’m a newb….but where does one find a “local” AFOL community…we’re in Iowa…there’s nothing local LOL
You can start on Flickr, that’s very risk free as no one knows you(c:
We don’t have a LEGO community where I live, but the internet provides all the LEGO community I need. Flickr is great; post pictures and send them to groups (like the LEGO group). Then comment on some other peoples’ works, and you can develop quite a network.