Recreating our kids photos as a DIY LEGO Wall Bricks Project

I embarked on a family side passion project idea in early 2020, recreating 3 photos of our kids using LEGO. The result, way better than I had envisioned!

Recreating our kids photos as a DIY LEGO Wall Bricks Project, by Chris Watterston

It was early 2020 when I first decided to pursue this family side passion project. It was before LEGO made the Mosaic Maker available online, being that their in-store booth were a ‘no-go’ due to COVID.

Historically, the chance to transform yourself into a LEGO masterpiece had been limited to high-street LEGO stores, such as Londons Leicester Square or Berlin. But since I first embarked on our family recreation, LEGO has now made the Personalised Mosaic Portrait officially available through the brands online store.

Although personally, I still feel my DIY version trumps the Personalised Mosaic Portrait online maker 🙈. Why? Because when you’re shaping wood, you have the flexibility to go against the grain.

Want to add colour? Great, just pick one. What to add a border or frame? No problem.

So that’s exactly what I did.

I’ve got three kids, two girls and a boy. When it came to planning the recreation of the chosen kids photos, I didn’t even consider making them all the same colour. Like I donno, yellow?

I wanted to add personalisation, but just enough to make them individually unique to each of our kids. I gave our kids the option to choose a colour they’d like their creation to include. Then it was over to me.

Let the work commence…

Objective

I first saw the Personalised Mosaic Portrait booth in May 2019 within LEGO Leicester Square, London. We didn’t have a play, but kinda got the gist of what it was all about. I’m almost certainly this is what sat at the back of my head, in hibernation, just waiting to jump out and trigger the idea several months later.

The idea was to pick one single photo of each of our kids, and create a set of three LEGO versions to hang up on our home wall. I’d say I’m fairly familiar with digital design and being creative– so I knew I had high odds of nailing this!

To ideate, I pixelated the images in my head. I knew that if you took most images and pixelated them, from a distance it would look normal. But as you walked closer (or just blur-ed your eyes), you’d quickly recognise the distortion or blocks. This was how I’d envisioned the LEGO recreations would work.

The only challenge I had with image pixelation, was that LEGO Pick-a-Brick only had 32x32 Base Plates available. This basically meant I had to effectively reduce the resolution of the pixelation.

My Role

I choose one photo of each of our kids (with partner approval, obviously), perform photo edits and digitally pixelate the photos within Adobe Photoshop, colour matched the photo pixels to the coloured 1x1 Round Plates available on LEGO Pick-a-Brick, became a quantity surveyors to count each piece required, spark the order, and finally a CFO to pay for them.

I performed each build separately. This was to ensure I didn’t fuck up or get things mixed up. The first build took place in August 2020, second two months later in October 2020, and the final a month later in November.

The damage for the completed builds came in at around £78 each, which I felt was totally bearable and worth every pound.

I was pretty chuffed with the end result. They look great!

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