It’s rare for me to have a paper trail for my work. Not that there aren’t variations or versions when I work with Lego (or occasionally a lot), but the differences are usually so minimal that they’re not worth commentary. This time the arm was like… this time the light was reflecting on the minifig head so I adjusted…

So when I find one, I tend to want to talk about it. Especially when the results are good. Like, I’m kind of impressed I managed it. This may not change the world, but it was a challenge when I needed one, so…

Of my more mundane cards, the most popular in the local shops are the ones of distinctive Seattle sites. While I’ve got one of the Hammering Man outside the Art Museum (not THAT Seattle) or the new ferris wheel (it’s neat but not distinctive), the cards that sell out are of the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. They may not be the most creative cards I’ve ever designed but I’ll follow the market.

But not another “minifig in front of stuff” image again. It may sell (mostly. Like I said, I’ve got two dead designs) but it’s boring and limiting and quickly becomes minifigure on moss. And since I’m not a big Builder, I didn’t see much hope in trying to build, say, the Space Needle for a card, so I needed a new angle.

Funnily enough, I built the Space Needle anyway.

Make something distinctively Seattle while steering clear of just one landmark? I thought of those old postcards. You know the type: vista, name in big letters, “GREETINGS FROM”…


The idea came together from there. And I made it up. The easy part was picking a few locales to shoot potential pictures for the letters, even if I didn’t quite know how I was going to do that. The harder part was the vista.

Everyone knows the Seattle skyline. Even if you’ve never been to Seattle, you know it, thanks to Frasier. Everyone who comes to Seattle wants to go to Kerry Park to take The Picture of the skyline. I know this because I used to live a couple blocks away. Enough to have more fun taking photos of the tourists than the view itself. Not that I didn’t do that too.

Clear sky

Like I said, you’ve seen this.

So start there. Imagine the letters, what can be done with that?

I went a little… weird with it.


Start with a sketch. Then run through and come up with something that’s… close?

[I love that under the sketch I wrote “Can I manage this?”] [Yes I can read my own handwriting, thanks.]

8 Things Formatted Manuscript Print v1.pdf1.1 MB.webloc

Well it’s not going to win any prizes for scientific accuracy, but when you order the pieces from Bricklink and run over to the actual Kerry Park…


Bingo. And like that, I never have to go to Kerry Park again (yeah right). Although being asked what the hell I was doing was kind of fun.

From there, a painfully rough draft done on my phone to make sure this could work. Roughly.


This is where I started to believe this was doable. I wasn’t entirely sure how, mind you, since my Photoshop skills are very rough and learned piecemeal. And although I found a pretty good tutorial on a couple of tips and tricks involved, it was an admixture of Photoshop and Illustrator and would involve the library and….


I managed to do it all in Photoshop anyway. And if it wasn’t exactly like the tutorial it was good enough that even my tendency to fret and quibble shut up long enough for me to be happy with the result. Really happy.

Happy enough that I took money from another recent wholesale order and ordered cards and postcards that arrived in the time I’ve been dithering about this entry.



These are going down with me to Tacoma on Saturday. We’ll see how this crazy idea goes. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe not.

Either way I think the journey’s been worth it and I’m pleased that I challenged myself just a little bit.