There are a handful of builders out there that are synonymous with quality in my mind. Builders that are so good that I don't even need to see what they've posted to know that I'm blogging something soon. Tyler "Legohaulic" Clites is one of these builders. I've been enjoying and blogging his MOCs for years, and it's time we all got to know him a little better
Tell us a little about yourself, how did you get started in the hobby?
I got started building in the late 80's when my mom bought my some of my first system sets. At the time and had only played with Duplo and the new System bricks were incredibly addictive. I have a home video of Christmas morning when I was two years old. The level of excitement is what you would expect as I opened gifts, but when I got my bucket of System bricks my excitement level exploded and it really hasn't died down since.
What is your earliest LEGO memory?
My earliest Lego memory is when my mom got a value pack of small System sets. I remember being totally enthralled by the tiny pieces. I remember feeling so proud that I was old enough for big kid Lego.
What drives you to create?
As a Christian who believes we're all created in the image of an infinitely creative God. I think my drive to create is a gift from God. On a personal level I get an extreme amount of satisfaction out of creating something new. I really don't care that much about the final product as much as I do the process of creating it. That creative process is where I thrive.
Would you call yourself a purist (no cutting, painting, knockoff)?
I would consider myself a purist for the most part. In my personal models I like to remain as purist as I can. The only exception I'll make is cutting flex tubing. However, when doing work for clients, I have cut baseplates to odd dimensions and I often will glue models together.
Do you have any favorite builder(s)?
There are too many exceptional builders to count. There are so many different builders with various strengths and styles that I numerous favorite builders within each style, or genre of building. In general, I really enjoy builders who are able to create with a since of simplistic elegance. Using as simple or as few pieces as possible, to get the maximum amount of quality in a build.
Do you ever look back on old MOCs and say "if I only…"
Of course! I look back at old builds and wonder why I didn't use a certain piece only to remember it didn't exist at that point. As an artist, your skills are always evolving as is the audience and the medium, so looking back, you'll always be looking at it from a different perspective than you did at the time.
Tell us about your building area.
I'm a desk builder so I have some tables with a fair amount of space to build on. I keep everything organized by piece type rather than color. It makes sorting take longer, but it makes finding pieces far faster.
Do you ever build digitally? If so with what?
I do build digitally using LDraw/MLCad but I only use it as a means of inputting a model into digital form to be used for creating instructions or rendering a digital image of the model. I don't like building creatively in digital form. I'm a very spacial and tactile thinker so I like building with real bricks in my hands.
Do you have a time of day when you build most productively?
Whenever the creative juices are flowing that's when I'm the most productive. Sometimes you want to build, but mojo just isn't there and you can't seem to build anything while other times you're in the groove and you can knock out something awesome in no time.
Do you listen to music while you build?
I don't. I really enjoy quiet when I build. I don't multitask well so music and especially a film or video is going to be very distracting to me.
Do you keep all your MOCs? If so, do you display them?
I don't really have room to display what I build and even if I did have the space, I don't think I would display my builds. Like I mentioned previously, I value the creative process more than the model itself in most cases so when I am finished building something, I'm already tired of it and want to move on to the next creative project.
Do you have an all time favorite LEGO set?
I don't buy that many sets but I have had a few favorites over the years. As a huge fan of WALL-E my current favorite set is the Lego Ideas WALL-E. He's the only set I have ever actually displayed and won't take apart.
If you could pick a single creation of yours for permanent display somewhere notable, what and where would it be?
A favorite model of mine that I think would make a great display piece is my haunted house.
Which of your MOCs would you say personifies you?
E-MOTE totally personifies me. He is essentially me if I were a robot.