PAVING THE PATH TO DREAM CREATING – STONE FOR STONE
Building with LEGO bricks is a breeze. But getting paid for that sounds almost too good to be true. When Duncan Titmarsh decided in 2008 to become self-employed as a professional LEGO modeler, many were
skeptical. Today, the 46-year-old Briton heads a successful company that employs 25 people and has attracted attention with numerous major projects. Since founding Bright Bricks, Titmarsh has set five world records and sold over 2,000 LEGO creations.
The former kitchen and plumber discovered his passion for LEGO in his twenties when someone gave him a Lego Technic kit. From then on, his collection grew steadily, and he began to design his own models. In 2008, at the age of 38, he decided to turn LEGO into his profession and worked in his garden arbor on his first assignments. “My first assignment was for the BBC: I was supposed to rebuild the studio live during a radio broadcast. This was followed by a tiger baby for Stella McCartney. “
Titmarsh is one of only 13 certified LEGO specialists worldwide. When the Danish toy manufacturer became aware of him, he was invited to join the LEGO Certified Professionals program. This program certifies adult LEGO farmers who have made their passion for the blocks full-time or part-time. They are not LEGO employees in the true sense of the word, but these certified specialists are in close contact with LEGO, and of course Titmarsh also carries out assignments for the Danish company.
Meanwhile, customer service is taking up most of his time, making it hard to even build LEGO models. This is done by its 25 permanent employees, who bring a wide variety of qualifications; Some of them studied, others started with him right after school. “What matters to us most of all is the attitude to work and the willingness to learn.” In addition to being paid to build LEGO models, employees appreciate that each project demands a new level of creativity.
Bright Bricks carries out orders of all kinds, from oil rigs to giant Christmas trees, they build everything. Currently they are working on a two-meter Bengal Tiger. In general, Titmarsh is not allowed to talk about ongoing projects, but many of his works are now widely known. One of his most spectacular creations was unveiled in September 2016: the replica of the London Tower Bridge for the world premiere of the Land Rover Discovery on the grounds of Packington Hall in Warwickshire, England. As
the largest LEGO structure of all time, the 5.8 million LEGO brick model set a new world record. It was also strong enough to carry the weight of two Land Rover Discovery.
Titmarsh works primarily for corporate clients, from smaller companies to big names like Warner Brothers, Google and of course Land Rover. Orders from private individuals are rare, and these order mostly mosaics, z. B. portraits.
The completion of a model or project can take anywhere from one week to several months, depending on size. In most cases, the biggest challenge is to meet the timeframe envisaged: “Especially for large projects such as the Tower Bridge, there is a rigorous and well-timed schedule. This plan even set out how many stones we had to put in per day. “Finishing a project is always rewarded with a very special moment:” The best thing about my work is the people’s response to our models. “
Even adults are increasingly interested in LEGO, especially since the Star Wars kits came on the market.
When asked about his design technique, Titmarsh explains that it hardly differs from other LEGO fans. “In general, we use steel scaffolds that provide stability and hold the individual bricks together. With
such a steel framework, it was also possible that our replica of Tower Bridge could carry the weight of two Land Rovers. “Bright Bricks in Bordon, County Hampshire, has millions of LEGO bricks. It goes without saying that basic blocks like the classic 2×4 always have to be at hand.
Titmarsh’s LEGO sculptures are in high demand, and the Briton believes this is related to the growing popularity of the cult toy. “Even adults are increasingly interested in LEGO, especially since the Star Wars kits came on the market.”
And what about the future for Bright Bricks? “To be honest, I do not know. I never expected the company to be such a success – but of course I’m really excited about it.