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Lego shines as beautiful art in new book (Q&A)

In 'Beautiful Lego,' Mike Doyle has assembled a stunning collection of photos of art made using the famous toy bricks. CNET talked to Doyle about the project.

'Beautiful Lego' by Mike Doyle hits bookstore shelves this week.
Reproduced from 'Beautiful Lego,' with the permission of No Starch Press. © 2013 by Mike Doyle

Lego fans, rejoice!

This week, bookstores everywhere will begin getting copies of "Beautiful Lego," a new book by Mike Doyle and published by No Starch Press filled to brimming with some of the most stunning Lego art ever seen.

Throughout the 267-page volume, readers are treated to one fantastic Lego work after another. From renderings of Apple's original Macintosh to scenes from Tolkein to faithful recreations of New York's post-9/11 World Trade Center site, "Beautiful Lego" has it all.

As Doyle put it in his acknowledgement, the book (and the art portrayed inside) was "possible only through the amazing work created by the Lego building community. Their work -- shared online and at events -- brings endless inspiration."

Many people no doubt think of Lego as little more than a child's toy. But those who have spent any time around the masters of the craft of Lego building know that a collection of the small plastic bricks can lead to masterpieces of creativity and ingenuity.

CNET caught up with Doyle to learn more about his own inspiration for putting his book together.

Q: Why did you want to do this book?
Mike Doyle: I had not seen a book that treats Lego work like an art. So, from the beginning, that was the goal -- to have a book filled with tons of beautiful pictures of beautiful Lego models displayed simply, and in a beautiful way.

How surprised do you think readers will be to see how artistic Lego designs can be?
Doyle: I still can't get over how artistic the works are, and I'm the one who made the book. I think folks will be very surprised and, hopefully, inspired.

What kind of mind does it take to be someone who builds these kinds of designs?
I have found many who build tend to be into the sciences, computer programming, engineering or architecture -- which seems to make sense. All these professions use creativity in a way that is either spatial or puzzle-like in nature. Also, I think designers and artists tend to gravitate to them. My guess is that these are some of the typical minds that are drawn to working with Lego. I think any mind can contribute and create though.

Mike Doyle Mike Doyle

What amazed you the most as you were putting together this collection?
I would say I am amazed at the clever techniques that individuals develop. The more I look at the photos the more details I see that makes me wonder, "how the heck did they do that?!"

If someone wanted to become the type of artist who can make these designs, how should they go about it?
All that matters is to have the will to do it. Some will be more natural at it then others, but if one works hard enough, they can do anything. That said, the best way to approach it is to look online at what other people are doing. There are plenty of blogs out there (including, which showcase inspiring work every day. Additionally, folks tend to put their work on Flickr. Carefully studying how others have built their models is a good way to learn the great techniques that are out there. Legos are best purchased at which is sort of the ebay of Lego.

How much do you love Lego?
More and more every day.