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LegoShine- Art from the Heart of Ron
by Ron Praeger
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Welcome to Lego Coruscant. My city is 8 feet long, 3.5 feet wide, includes many spires over 2 feet high, and was built with over 33,000 Lego pieces. This was inspired by the city-world Coruscant in the Star Wars series.

I spent a lot of time studying the buildings seen in the films for inspiration, but I have to say that many if not most were of my own design. There are over 100 buildings of all sizes, although that does not include the smallest 1-4 brick structures.

The Most Common Questions I Get:
"How long did it take you to build?"
--I honestly cannot tell you. I built this over a course of a few years, expanding and adding to it over time.

"Is that New York City or Chicago?"
--It is not an earth city. It is Coruscant, another planet and galaxy far, far away.

"Ooh, is that the Empire State Building?"
--See above.

"Why are the buildings so many varying colors?"
--At the beginning I often did not have enough of the same color bricks so back then the largest spires were usually 2 to 3 different colors. But then I began buying bricks in bulk on Ebay, and actually rebuilt most of them in consistent coloring. Now most of them have 2 colors but that is part of the design.

"Do you design each building on paper and then build to specific measurements?"
--I have drawn many on paper for ideas but not to specific details. I have to confess that most of this is from trial and error. I get an ideas in my head and begin building, then while I'm building I don't like the direction so I start over and make changes from the bottom to shape it to meet the idea that I had for the top part. I enjoy the building more that way, and that is why many of the largest buildings took me hours at a time to complete.

"Are they glued together?"
--No, partly for the reason stated just above, but mostly because as time passes (and this has happened many times) I would look at an old building and get new ideas, and take them apart either slightly or in whole, and make changes. Many of the buildings have gone through several variations and generations of changes.

"What would you do if the buildings got knocked over?"
--Have a heart attack. Actually it did happen once. Before I had built the raised base sections I have them sitting atop a five foot long console on a simple baseboard. I was moving them around to different locations that I liked, and one of them broke in half and knocked over another one, which knocked over Dominoes. I was in shock when in a matter of seconds 11 buildings total were broken into pieces. However, putting them back together was exciting because I was making alterations as I rebuilt, and several were finished bigger and better than before.

"How did you get all the pieces that you used?"
--I had bought many 1200 piece tubs, and a few bulk bricks from Ebay, and cannibalized many small airplane and spaceship kits for particular parts.

"You should work for Lego! Why don't you?"
--Good question. I probably should.

"What would you do if you had to move?"
--It's already happened, when I moved from from my former apartment into my present condo. I took all the spires off of the base and packed them in boxed with padding, and the base section is actually sitting on 3 pieces of wood. I separated the base into 3 sections, and transported them like that. It took me hours to take it apart, and days to put it all back together.

"Why does do the buildings, and their locations look different in the different photos you showed me?"
--As I said before, I made a lot of changes over time. And when I moved to my condo and put it back together, I changed the placement of many of the spires for better viewing, and to accommodate new ideas. Some of my photos were taken in my old apartment, and some in my present home where many more changes were made to it.

"How come there are so many large spires on the right, and fewer and smaller, even several that are tiny, on the left?"
--That is meant to show changes over time in the actual city, that over time they built larger and larger buildings, so many on the left are meant to represent much older structures. Plus, I love viewing the city from the left side and seeing how the buildings "far away" gradually get larger and larger, and tower over the "older" areas. Plus, in Ralph McQuarrie's early production drawings and paintings of the city, he showed vast wide areas of bare areas with towers and castles in the background. I loved that area of vastness.

"What about this huge 'castle' on the left, why is it still in the multi-colors that you said you corrected in the others when you got the bulks of single colored bricks on Ebay? How come you never rebuilt this one like you did the others?"
--Because that one, with all the multiple levels and layers, would be a monster to rebuild. That is the only one I would not redesign or add to like I did so many of the others, because I'd want to keep it exactly as is. I'm afraid to take it apart! LOL!

"Do you have children, and if so, how do you keep them from playing with your city?"
--I don't have kids yet. I'm a middle-aged kid myself; I'm a Toy's R' Us kid and I don't want to grow up!

"What would you do if you won the lottery?"
--I would buy a house with a large room with the floorspace to rival the CVS store down the street, and expand my city from wall to wall.

"Are you still expanding the city now?"
--No. Regretfully, I ran out of room, and I have been very busy for a long time. I have not worked on the city in about 3 years, although I did make a few minor alterations and tweaks but that was few and far between.

Once, my cousin, when he saw my giant Lego city and thought about how long I had to have worked on it, told me jokingly, "You have too much time on your need to get a life."
I looked right at him and said, "I'm an artist and I create art; that is my life."
Not to say that I don't strive for more out of life, because I sure do, but without art, without being able to create and use my mind like that, I can't imagine life at all. Whether it's painting or building, or singing, or music and dancing, or mixing, or writing, or perfecting a sport or action, or whatever, there is an artist in all of us. I don't think any of us would want to live without that part of us to keep us going and enjoying life.

"My creativity is a little bit of depth from the heart of me." --Myself

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

"You use a mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul."
--George Bernard Shaw

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."
--John Lennon

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
--Carl Sagan

"The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes."

"Probably the difference between man and the monkeys is that the monkeys are merely bored, while man has boredom plus imagination."

You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

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