Accepted entry for the “Interview” category.
Author: Cameron (-Primus-)
Word Count: 3,218
* This entry was submitted before the deadline (Mon, Jan 15, 2018 8:41 pm), but I didn’t have a chance to post it until today. In fact, I somehow lost it and had to be reminded by the author himself earlier today. My apologies good sir, I was asleep at the wheel! The entry is valid and accepted for final consideration.
** This is the last official entry, the deadline has come and gone. Formal reviews of each submission will follow throughout the week and final results will be posted no later than (Sun, Jan 21), in a dedicated article that will include every review for easy comparison.
*** To all the intrepid writers, interviewees and comic designers of the Blog or Die! contest I thank you for your participation, effort, skill, entertainment and patience. The Manifesto salutes you!
It’s en Vogue
Because I haven’t seen many (if any) entrants into the interview category, I figured I’d give it a go, constant reader. And what’s a better way to structure an interview than to parrot the style of a popular magazine (Vogue)? Or at least, I think it’s a popular magazine? IDK, my girlfriend reads it. As a forewarning, this is gonna be a long (but hopefully enjoyable) article, constant reader. It may even give Rutherford a run for his money.
Anyway, here’s 73 QUESTIONS, featuring the illustrious Jayfa.
- What’s your online handle? Jayfa
- What’s your IRL handle? Joss F. Woodyard
- What’s your age? 20
- What’s your location? Newcastle, Australia
- Are you in school/college right now? University Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle (University of Newcastle)
- What do you study? Bachelor of Music
- If I wanted to find your works, where would I look? @jayfa_mocs on Instagram; Jayfa on Flickr
- How long have you been building with LEGO? Probably since I was 5 years old or so. My parents tried getting me into Lego even earlier but I wasn’t interested until my older brother got a Bionicle for his birthday and I was like “I need that.” And from that point onward I’ve kinda been consistently into it.
- What’s your secret to taking Instagram by storm? Probably just posting frequently, responding to critiques, getting consistently better over the course of the year. There’s probably a bit more to it than that.
- What’s your favorite LEGO theme currently? Probably Elves, honestly. Like, I don’t buy it for the sets but the parts they come with are so, so good.
- What was your favorite Lego theme previously? I mean, that’s pretty obvious. It’s always been Bionicle whenever it’s out. I was so stoked when Bionicle came back in 2015. I bought ever single set over the course of the two years. That includes ones that weren’t even released in Australia.
- What’s your favorite MOC of yours? Um, it’s probably a tossup between Dagon & Dragonfly
- Why are they your favorite? Dagon it’s kind of just been my golden goose and everyone seems to have liked it. Dragonfly I feel like is one of my most solid and well-built MOCs in a long time. because it seems
- What’s your favorite MOC of someone else’s? One of my favorite MOCs I’ve ever seen is Kulgai by Brickthing. I thought that was so cool when I first saw it:
- Why is it your favorite? It was like before I seriously got into MOCing that I saw it. Seeing his MOCs is what really pushed me to do more MOCing (I only just started posting to the Internet in 2016). What really impressed me was his parts usage, I thought it was cool that he used mermaid tails as leaves. Just really clever parts usage.
- What your favorite MOC of mine? Easily the Midnight Dragon
- Why is it your favorite? It’s one that I remember seeing a very long time ago and I always thought it was so goddamn cool and I’ve always been a sucker for parts-spam MOCs. Like, before I knew Bricklink existed it was such a weird, foreign concept to me and like seeing someone do it was like really surreal. Also I just really love that old gold color.
- What’s one thing you’re looking to improve in 2018, MOC-wise? Mostly polish on my MOCs because a lot of the time this year I kinda rolled them out without sitting back, looking at it and thinking “OK, are there any last things I want to do this?” Which is why I’ve updated so many MOCs throughout the year as I wasn’t happy with their build.
- What’s one thing you’re looking to improve in 2018, not MOC-wise? Probably just being more committed at University.
- What’s one thing you’re looking to do less of in 2018? I can’t really think of anything for that, can’t think of any one thing I’m looking to do less of. Being lazy? Do less of being lazy?
- What’s one thing you’re looking to do more of in 2018? MOCing, honestly. I’m just going to be doing that all the time. It’s just so much fun. It’s a great escape from everything.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten about building? Honestly, COLOR BLOCKING. It was pretty late in the year that the concept of color blocking was made apparent to me and since then I feel like my builds have gotten incrementally substantially better.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever given about building? Personally, it’s to be open to criticism and be receptive to it, even if you don’t listen to it to a T.
- How do you feel when people criticize your MOCS? I LOVE IT. I will take a really in-depth, harsh criticism any day over a “WOW, nice MOC!” I live for those critical comments so if you got them, please give them to me.
- Do you think criticism is helpful when it comes to MOCing? Without a doubt, yes.
- Why? There are just some things that you don’t pick up yourself, ya know? Like, there are some things that you overlook when you look at a MOC long enough, you just kinda get used to the way it is in front of you. It can be really really helpful when someone points out that the arms are too short or there is a gap that you might have missed.
- Do you often criticize other people’s MOCs? Hell yeah, ratblasting for the win.
- Do you think they appreciate it? Most people actually do, and I really like that about this community, especially the small community we have on Master Piece because a lot of the people there are really really open to criticism and are aware of how much it helps them, which I think is really good.
- Do you think criticism is healthy for the Bionicle community? I do, yes. I feel like more people should be open to it.
- Do you think that the best builders are ones who can take and give criticism? I don’t necessarily think you have to be good at giving criticism to be a good builder but definitely you need to be able to take it.
- Do you think that builders that actively ignore constructive criticism are shooting themselves in the foot?
- Why? Because it just hinders you as a MOCist. IT’s a barrier, if you will.
- Do you think I’m asking a lot of targeted questions? No comment
- It’s almost like I have an agenda, isn’t it? No comment,
- Do you think that the Bionicle community is more critical than the overall Lego community? Well, I can’t really say so because I’m not really that in with the overall Lego community. Most of the time though I only see the “WOW, Nice MOC!” comments that I talked about earlier, but I’m sure there are a lot of niche subsections where people can get good criticism.
- Why? I can’t really judge as I’m not that involved yet.
- As a relative newcomer to the community, what do you think has been the biggest boon on your building and why is it criticism? I remember when I first posted a MOC to the TTV message boards, which was the first place I had ever posted anything, it was my self-MOC, and I was like “This is the best thing I’ve ever made and probably ever will make, it’s so good” and when I posted it half the comments were about how certain parts of it looked like ass. At first I was pretty salty, but then I kept posting more and more MOCs and got more and more criticism and decided to finally start listening to some of it and I got better. I got better fast.
- Can you name a recent MOC of yours that I can feature it in this blog? I’m probably going to have my Queen Phosperantidae [note: I hope I didn’t butcher that spelling] posted by the time you post this entry so might as well plug that one. [additional note: at the time of this article’s writing he still has not posted the MOC, so the Keithlug audience is getting an exclusive sneak-peak]
(Image credit: Jayfa)
- Please describe this MOC to me: That’s not really a question? Anyway, I bought Nocturn [At this point just assume all of the bracketed bits are notes: Nocturn is an old Bionicle set] about a year ago and it finally arrived before Christmas [shout out to the Australian Post] and when it got here I realized how much I fuckin love glow-in-the-dark pieces. So I decided I was going to order as many of them as I could find from one Bricklink seller. And then I decided I was going to build something with them and this was the result.
- What meaning do you derive from this MOC? That’s a weird question. What meaning do I derive from it? It’s a fun build using more old parts than usual.
- Do you think this was a successful MOC? I posted it in Master Piece and people seemed to like it there and I’ve posted it on Facebook and they absolutely adored it there, so I’m gonna say it’s been pretty successful so far. We’ll see how it goes when I post it to Instagram and Flickr.
- How do you define successful MOCs? Well, honestly, the amount of attention it gets on social media is kinda secondary to me as to what the people I respect as builders think of it. That’s like the biggest thing for me. If I can get someone that I really look up to and take lots of inspiration from to leave a comment on a MOC and say they really like how it turned out, that’s like, that’s what really means a lot to me.
- So then you think success is gained via respect of your peers and not through self-awarded accolades? Respect of your peers, easily. I don’t need other people to validate my success, but it sure helps.
- Who do you think are the 3 most successful Bionicle Builders in the past year (you can include yourself)? For starters, I suppose I wanna say Alex Park because he’s been whipping the last couple of months of 2017. He’s really starting to pull himself together and I really love the style of his builds recently. He’s been listening to a lot of good criticism, which is really important. I mean, obviously DJOKSON is up there as well, because like, he’s been around for a long time but he still posts so consistently and builds at such a consistent quality, which I really admire. And I can say the same about Red as well. I have been loving what Red has been putting out.
- Name a MOC of one of theirs that you’d like to discuss? Kinda leading off of that last question, I’d like to talk about Red’s Chaz Chokkuthruz the Greatspear of the Lizardfolk
- Why did you pick this MOC? Just because it really embodies the use of retro parts. And it’s not even just Bionicle retro parts, there’s like a few really groovy System parts put in there. Like, all of the parts used are from the same era, and it feels so wholesomely representative of that time and yet it is so, so well done.
- Do you derive any worth from this MOC? I mean, yeah, I think it’s an inspiration. It’s very well done in concept and execution.
- Does it matter to you if this MOC has a storyline? Not really, honestly.
- Why? It’s kinda neat to see some kind of background to a MOC every now and then. I’ll be like “Oh that’s cool that they thought that out,” but it’s definitely not necessary for a good MOC. I consider it like two separate hobbies really. By all means if you like to write and you like to MOC then go for it, but I don’t think you need to have one to do the other.
- Does it matter to you if this MOC has more than one picture shown? Not really, I don’t mind if MOCs only have one photo as long as it’s a good photo.
- Why? I personally suck at doing that because I feel like I want to show off my MOC’s poseability, but if it is meant to be a statue, which is totally fine if it is, then it’s totally fine to have just one photo.
- Do you think that you have a distinct MOCing style? Not really, honestly. I can vary in styles a lot, mostly because when I build I tend not to mix System, CCBS, and Bioncle all at once. I kinda just pick two of them at a time, which I think can lead to very varied looking stuff. That’s just my opinion though, to others I might have a very distinct style.
- In 3 words or less, describe your MOCing style? I can’t say this without sounding like a pretentious asshole, but “Varied and Unique.”
- Do you think I have a distinct MOCing style? I think back in the day you kinda did, like if I look at your older stuff from the early 2010’s and older, it’s very clear you did. It’s really interesting to see how much your style has changed and you’ve been branching out with your past few MOCs, but I really like that. Nice to see more color usage too haha.
- In 3 words or less, describe my MOCing syle? Builds Black Robots
- Can you name a MOC of mine that you’d like to discuss? I’m just gonna say the teal TechnicFig dude with wheel feet
- Why did you pick that MOC? I just thought it was so cool because it was the first time I’d seen TechnicFigs used in a Bionicle MOC and I just thought it was done really well.
- What stands out to you the most about that MOC? The proportions of it, the way you posed it is really dynamic, and I’m also a sucker for the teal pieces. Thank god that’s coming back.
- Do you think constructive criticism from my peers helped me while I made that MOC? I can’t speak for you but I’m guessing so, yes.
- Do you have any constructive criticism to give me for that MOC? It would have been good if you had edited out the technic cams you used to hold it up or used a clear piece instead.
- These are a lot of questions, aren’t they? YES, it certainly is.
- Why do you make so many serpent MOCs? I built the first one, it was successful and it was a lot of fun. And I feel like the elves pieces really helped it out. The second one I made was originally going to be a different creature but then the head worked out really well so I was like “yea, I’m going to make another one of these.” I’m probably going to make an orange one that’s a lot bigger at some point if I have the time and money.
- And when you’re not making serpents, why did you start doing the Plague Mech series? For the first Plague Mech, I took inspiration from Astorix’s Mizaka. It was an older MOC but the way the cheese slope pieces were used was really really cool and I wanted to try it out myself. I just started making a torso and it looked really cool and then I made some really gangly-ass robot limbs for it. I struggled with the head but eventually settled for this bug like head. And people really liked it. The second one kinda happened by accident and then I was like “You know what, I might as well start making more of these things because people tend to like them.”
- You wouldn’t happen to have a collage of the Plague Mechs would you? I do, I will send it you after the interview is done
(Image Credit: Jayfa)
- Do you think you’ll be able to complete the whole series? I really hope so, and if I don’t do it myself I’m probably gonna do it with help from other people who will make contributions and stuff. Which I really like the idea of because a lot of people seem to be keen to givin it a shot for themselves.
- Do you think constructive criticism has helped you with the making of these MOCs? Abso-fuckin-loutely. Like, if you look at Dragonfly V1 versus his most recent interation, the difference is ridiculous, all because I listened to the criticism people gave me.
(Image Link, latest version on the left)
- Do you plan to continue to listen to constructive criticism? Certainly do.
- Do you plan on still giving constructive criticism? Yeah, it’s fun, and very rewarding if you like come up with something someone else hadn’t seen in a MOC and they take it to heart and it makes their MOC a million times better, I’m all for that.
- What would you criticize about this interview? That it was early in the morning and I stayed up til a ridiculous hour last night so I’m a bit drowsy.
- What would you praise about this interview? Some good questions here, lots of thought provoking ones. And I’m enjoying the dig in on criticism.
- Do you think I’ll hit my minimum word count halfway through this interview? Probably. I hope so.
- Do you think you still need to prove yourself as a builder? Yes, honestly. There are a couple of “big dogs” in the community, if you will, that I feel like aren’t totally on board with me yet, which I totally understand. A lot of the people that are like, more well known in the community have been around for a very long time and it’s a very tight-knit community, so I think that will come with time.
- And finally, is there anything you want to say to the fans or friends out there reading this? To my friends, I just wanna say that I thank you all so much for the support that you’ve given me throughout this past year and just for being on board with this hobby of mine. As for the fans, thank you so much for actually liking my stuff and getting me to where I am now. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all of you. I love you all very much.
So, there you have it, constant reader. Assuming you’ve made it this far (holy shit that word count), thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Also I have done my best to parse through his amazing accent in order to transcribe Joss faithfully.