You might remember that a few months ago I shared with you some fun LEGO posters I found on eBay by a store named Silly Brick Pics (see: Unique LEGO Posters to Decorate Your Walls!). Since then I have been in touch with the owner of the store, Robert Rhatigan Jr., and he shared with me some additional details on how his LEGO photography developed. As I know many people dream about making their LEGO hobby into a full or at least part-time business, I thought Robert’s story may give you some inspiration and insights. 🙂
During our discussion Robert shared the following: “I have to tell you, it’s funny what roads life takes you down. I have roughly 15 years of photography experience, and I worked as a graphic designer at an e-commerce costume company for 10 years. In February of 2012, the company that I was working for became a victim of the economy and decided to close their doors. At that point I decided that it was time to take the reigns and take up photography full time.
Over the first year and a half, I did mostly portrait work. A lot of it was for local athletes and fitness instructors. I also mixed in some fine-art landscape work that I presented at fine-arts festivals in my area. Then, about a year or so ago, I came across a cool picture of a LEGO Stormtrooper online. I loved it and found it clever. You see, I was in the fourth grade when Star Wars came out. My uncle and aunt took me to see it and it blew my mind. I have loved the franchise ever since. And I have also been a LEGO fan since childhood. And now, having two boys aged 6 and 7 (who absolutely love LEGO as well) I decided to create a couple of LEGO art-scenes for them. They liked them and we hung them in their bedroom. Then I decided to make a few more to frame as posters in our basement, and I became hooked. I continued creating these LEGO scenes and infusing a little humor into them. I then started selling them on Etsy and eBay with some success, and also developed my own website SillyBrickPics.com. (UPDATE: this website is no longer active.)
A few months ago my wife mentioned that I should consider displaying my LEGO Star Wars posters at some kind of Star Wars convention. I though it was a great idea and figured I’d look into it at some point. I got a bit freaked out when the very next day a gentleman from Wizard World Comic Con called me on the phone. He said that he had seen my work online and that I should really consider doing their conventions. I could not believe the timing; right after the suggestion from my wife! I have signed on to do three of their conventions in 2015; I will be displaying my work in Cleveland, OH, Raleigh, NC and Philadelphia, PA.
Then a couple weeks ago I got a call from the Art League of Long Island, here in NY. They too found my work and told me that they have an upcoming exhibit called “Art After Dark” in which they feature 2-3 local artists and their work. They said that my photography is a great example of Pop Art and invited me to be a part of their show in October. Then I discovered that you guys have included me here on your blog! My head has been spinning as this has all been quite a whirlwind.
So over the past year, my whole photography model has shifted from taking photographs of real, actual people to taking photographs of little plastic people! I have to say, I prefer the latter. The little plastic people are always on time, wonderful about posing and holding the pose, and they are not demanding at all! I believe that I have found my happy little photography niche and I find that super exciting. Again, it’s funny what roads life takes us down. As a result of all this exposure I got “discovered” by Newsday, which is a major newspaper and website in the Long Island and New York City area with almost half a million subscribers. They came to my home and shot a video that ran on their website the following day. The exposure was absolutely phenomenal. You can view the video below:
As you can see in the video, my “office” is really a “man-child cave”. At 45 years old, I’m a product of the 80’s and have a huge fondness for nostalgia. We have two arcade machines with over 100 classic video games installed; from Space Invaders to Pacman, all the big ones are there! I also added fooseball and air-hockey to round out the fun. And of course the decor is finished with LEGO art! As I mentioned I have two young boys (although my wife would say she has three boys because I’m just a big kid). One of my favorite ways to spend time when not working, or taking the kids to soccer, music lessons, cub scouts, etc., is to hang out with my kids in our little home arcade. In an age of much fancier and advanced video games and technology, I love the fact that my kids also really enjoy the old classics.”
If you would like to check out all the wonderful LEGO art-prints from Robert, you can visit his website at SillyBrickPics.com. He offers frameable prints in several sizes, giant wall-posters, and even LEGO printed iPhone cases with his hilarious LEGO Star Wars and other LEGO minifigure scenes. And if you have any questions, comments, or request for Robert, feel free to share them in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
- Unique LEGO Posters to Decorate Your Walls!
- LEGO Display Banners to Decorate Your Room!
- Collecting LEGO Gear, Gifts & Novelties
- Building a LEGO Room – A DIY Project
- Building a LEGO Closet – A DIY Project
- LEGO Minifigure Display Cases with Style!
- The Ideal LEGO Room: Build a LEGO Wall!
- LEGO Minifigure Display & Storage Ideas