It’s been ages since I’ve interviewed a builder, so let’s get back into it! The LEGO community is full of people doing amazing things with LEGO, and it’s really hard to keep up with it all. The Builder Spotlight series aims to highlight not only some incredible MOCs, but the builders themselves, and their inspirations. I was recently able to interview Sarah Beyer. She’s got an amazing talent at building modern houses out of LEGO, so I thought I’d have a chat!
Tell me a bit about yourself!
My name is Sarah Beyer and I’m 37 years old. I live in the south of Sweden and am a member of the Swedish LUG Swebrick.
How did your love of LEGO come about, and how long have you been a fan?
One and a half years ago I started building more frequently – practically every day – and created an Instagram account dedicated to LEGO. Before that I had done some building from time to time, but I didn’t have the passion as I do now. LEGO is my way to relax. I’m a mother of two small children and work full-time as a legal counsel. That is why I have to find a way to turn off the demands of every-day-life. LEGO building also makes me a better legal counsel as it triggers my creativity.
I received a lot of positive feedback and support on Instagram and Flickr and discovered the AFOL community. I really like the positive and encouraging atmosphere created by AFOLs all over the world.
Now I’ve started to participate in exhibitions hosted by Swebrick. Contact with other fans is a strong driver towards development as a builder. The next step might be to participate in international exhibitions.
Did you go through the dreaded Dark Ages, and if so, what brought you out?
Just like most AFOLs I played with LEGO as a child. I built houses, harbours and hospitals and tried to “create worlds” for my minifigures. During the same period I used to draw house plans – including interiors – on paper. As an adult I have combined those two hobbies.
When I became a teenager my LEGO was stored away in boxes in my parents’ house. When I was about 30 years old they moved to a new house and the boxes ended up at my home. I got curious and started building again. My Dark Ages had come to an end.
Do you have a favourite LEGO theme or MOC subject matter?
I particularly enjoy building modern or contemporary houses and homes inspired by modern architecture. In some sort of way I want to make my houses feel “real”. Thus I often use natural colours like tan, brown, black and gray. Exterior and interior are of the same importance to me. My houses are always fully furnished and I spend hours creating suitable furniture. It all comes back to my desire to create worlds as I did as a child.
Do you have a favourite MOC (of your own)?
My personal favourite is Calmwater Cliff House. It is a split-level house built into a cliff and surrounded by water.
As you could guess from the name it is partly inspired by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who was the creator of Fallingwater and other 20th Century houses.
Any challenges in building it?
The main challenge was to build the roof. On one side of the house I used hinges to make the roof slope. I added some windows to let the light in. On the other side of the house the roof is flat, but it was still challenging to build because of the open house plan. It was a puzzle.
How long did it take to build?
It took me a couple of weeks. I only have time to build when the children have gone to bed.
How many elements are there in that MOC?
I really have no idea… I never build digitally and then it’s hard to know the number of elements. The platework surrounding the stairs is made of hundreds of small plates, so I guess that the whole house contains several thousands of elements.
Any favourites from other builders?
I really enjoy the Brigitte Jonsgard‘s creations. She is good at building houses and interior.
Emil Lidé (Full Plate) is also a favourite. He is outstanding at building trees and nature.
They are some seriously amazing builders, and I’m a big fan myself! What are you working on next?
My most recent latest project was a weekend home called Cocoa Jungle Cottage.
Chocolate inspired colouring in jungle surroundings. It is a bit smaller than my previous houses, but it is still fully furnished with design furniture!
How can we keep up to date with what you’re working on and what you’ve done?
I post almost daily on my Instagram account. You can also find my creations on Flickr and BriXtar. BriXtar is a new Swedish app for LEGO fans available worldwide. My nickname is betweenbrickwalls. If you happen to pass by Sweden you might have the chance to see my creations on a Swebrick exhibition.
Any advice for fellow LEGO fans?
Look at the LEGO piece in your hand and try to disregard the way you think it is supposed to be used.
Ask yourself how it can be connected to other pieces, what shape it has and what it looks like from different angles. I’ve used lever bases as fence holders and mudguards as chairs and washing stands. The possibilities are endless!
Thanks very much for your time Sarah! I’d highly recommend following Sarah on all her social media channels – the builds (as you can probably see) are mindblowingly good!