Builder Showcase - Jimmy Fortel

The list of AFOLs that have actually visited my little studio here in Lompoc "middle of nowhere" California is pretty small. Not many are willing to make the long trip out of the way. So when Jimmy Fortel (AKA 6kyubi6) and his lovely wife were visiting from France and willing to make the 3 hour trip from Los Angeles to visit, I was delighted. We ended up spending most of the day together, toured my dinky studio, had lunch at my favorite local burger joint Tom's, shared wine and mexican food at my house later and had a great time. I was honored he was willing to carve out that much time for me, and I'm really glad I got to know him better. I'm also happy to let you all get to know him a little better as well.


Tell us a little about yourself, how did you get started in the hobby?

My name is Jimmy Fortel, building live from France! It all started early 2012 when my wife bought me a few Lego collectible minifigures and I tought to myself "wow, those are really fun!". I went online to get more and ended up seing pictures of LEGO MOCs. One of them catched my eyes, an audio tape made by the great builder Olivier Curto aka oLaF. Since I love to sculpt, draw and create things, I had to try building stuff with Lego and here I am now, LOL.

What is your earliest LEGO memory?

I would say that I don't have many memories of Lego from when I was a kid but I do remember having some kind of formula1 pit stop thingy set. 

What drives you to create?

It depends, sometimes I want to recreate things I have imagined, sometimes I'm inspired by illustrations, drawings and movies. Contests also drive me a lot to create MOCs I may not have built otherwise.

Would you call yourself a purist (no cutting, painting, knockoff)?

Yes and no, I don't mind if others use knockoffs or paint their bricks but I usually only use official Lego parts. I do cut flex tubes regularly, I enjoy creating custom stickers for some of my builds and even made custom Simpsons characters' heads out of clay.

Do you have any favorite builder(s)?

Yes, many, off the top of my head, oLaF, 74louloute, Capt'n Spaulding, Bruce Lowell, Tyler Clites, Siercon & Coral, Gilcélio, Brickthing, Karf Oohlu, Si-Mocs, Onosendai2600, C Madisson , Tardisblue... have all inspired me a lot. I also love the work of Mihai Marius Mihu, Letranger Absurde, Loctite Girl, Moko, Mike VD, Pate-keetongu, _Tiler and many many more.

Do you ever look back on old MOCs and say "if I only…"

No, but I'm never satisfied with my builds.

Tell us about your building area.

Like many builders, I do have a work area with a wall of Lego but it sits in my living room next to my dining table. 

Do you ever build digitally? If so with what?

Nope! I need to feel the bricks.

Do you have a time of day when you build most productively?

Not really, it depends more on my mood.

Do you listen to music while you build?

Most of the time yes, but other times I'm in such a rush that I don't even think about putting music on.

Do you keep all your MOCs? If so, do you display them?

-No, I see it more like an ephemeral medium but I do save some of them longer now, to display at conventions.

Do you have an all time favorite LEGO set?

-Not really, but if I had to choose one, I would say the Monster Fighters Haunted House (10228)

If you could pick a single creation of yours for permanent display somewhere notable, what and where would it be?

-I would say my "Springfield" town for all the time and energy it required but I'm mostly proud of my Frankenstein Head and Lucky Luke.

Which of your MOCs would you say personifies you?

-I recently made "Conflict", a self-portait that definetly illustrates some of the stuff going on in my head.