We all have a passion for something. The author of this blog has many passions but so do many other people. The challenge for so many though is taking that passion and turning it into something that you can make a living at. Not everyone gets to work a job they enjoy being at everyday and the ones that do have that had to work hard to get there, nothing comes easy. Success is built on hard work plain and simple with some pressure thrown in.
All the individuals you meet on Etsy are individuals who make a living creating the items you see there. In the beginning Etsy had a rule that only hand-made items by small independent owners could sell items there, but now that they have updated their terms of service, many companies have moved in and ruined the whole feel to buying something someone made in their home or garage. For anyone starting out on there it can be a challenge to get your name or page out there for people to buy from.
Hard Times Create New Opportunities
Creativity comes from pressure, this is why so many students think they work better under a deadline because that pressure to perform at their best drives them to work harder. We have all experienced that in some form or another sometime in our life and some people believe that to be absolutely true while others know that isn’t. If a teacher tells you that your paper is due in ten weeks then that means you can break it up into smaller parts and create a well-written paper in that amount of time.
The reality though is that most students wait until the last minute before they have to turn it in and wonder why they got a bad grade on it when they get it back. The pressure though of being unemployed, because you have bills to pay, is different than a kid in school who only has to worry about a 3 page paper. The circumstances are the same (both have due dates) but the amount of pressure is different.
Adam Reed Tucker is an architect who lost his job during the recession. He knew he would have a lot of time on his hands, and it is assumed he had a nest egg built up in the meantime, so he took up the art of Lego building, but not just any kind of Lego building; he set out to replicate some of the most important buildings around the world in Lego form. He is also only one out of 12 certified master builder’s of Lego. (Learn what it takes to become a Master Builder for Lego) His background as an architect enabled him to understand what steps he needed to take to take a physical form and turn it into a brick layered form.
Turning Concept Ideas in Art
The idea that a grown man playing with Lego’s in his basement, or in this case Mr. Tucker’s studio, is crazy for most adult’s to understand. This is why you see adults get mad at their grown children for playing video games because they think they are wasting their time (that has all changed now that there are many valid ways to make a living off of that skill). If you were to say that playing with Lego’s is for children in front of a master builder they will probably get very mad at you with enough proof to show you how wrong you are.
Anything can be made into a profession as long as the passion and creativity are there. That is what Adam did when he started rendering buildings into brick form. He would build these massive sets and start building and filming it to show the process of what all goes into it. You can see some of his work captured in the Lego Architecture book that displays many famous skyscrapers and buildings all around the world. In the video below you can listen to Adam talk about some of his projects and the one he likes the most.
If you would like to watch Adam build a Lego set you can see in this time lapsed video how he built the famous Waterfalling House that was created and built by Frank Llyod Wright. In order to create this video he simply took a photo each time he added a new piece and then added in the animation at the end.
Paying to See Your Work
This the leap that is hard for people to make. People have trouble taking their passion and turning it into something that can make them money all the time. But why was Adam able to do it but so many Etsy people still have to work a second or third job to support what they do? Here is where things change for most and why the path of success is less traveled. Adam took on a passion that had not really been done before on the scale that he did it at. Yes many people have created amazing Lego building replications but Adam worked on so many others that had not really been done before.
Almost all architects in school are trained to study Frank Llyod Wright’s work, that is just a given so there is nothing new about that. Every architect student in school is familiar with the man’s work but how many take his work and turn it into something more? That is when you start weeding out the regular architect’s from the dreamers. Adam had an eye for bringing two separate things together and turn them into something new. This is why now if you search on YouTube cool Lego projects you will see people creating all kinds of cool things online that they did on their own. You can even see entire cities created with just Lego pieces.
Adam has taken past ideas and turned them into something new that has never been done before. His current project that he is about to reveal today is recreating the Taliesin West, which was the winter home and school for Frank Llyod Wright in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Lego form. He will have spent 260 hours and 180,000 bricks. One of the things Adam enjoys about using Lego bricks over anything else is that you don’t need any glue or connecting compounds because they all snap together.
You can watch in this video Adam putting together the Burj Khalifa in the Henry Ford Museum. Noticed the large pieces that were built before the final build.
How to Turn your Passion into your Life’s Work
1. Create something no one has done before with you work
It used to be the case that beanies were just simple hats to be put together and sell. They usually come in different colors but not much else changed with that. Beanie hats are nice because they are thick and comfortable but that all changed when people started creating special kinds of hats inspired by knights and knitting techniques. Here are popular beanies that were turned into beards for men, women, and children. The beardo beanie hats have seen become very popular.
2. Work on Your Passion all the Time, You Never Know Who’s Watching
Adam spent his off time building things with Legos. He used his time to create and produce stuff to show to people. The response he got from other’s encouraged him to keep doing it. When you have a full time job it can be difficult to do stuff but when you have the time, like when you are looking for a job, you can use that time to create something amazing so when you do apply for a job you have something wonderful to show for all that time you had off.
Leah Bowman used Lego’s to create herself a special resume that set her apart from all other applicants because instead of just sending an email with her resume, she created a Lego kit of herself for any employee to build. The completed project was her at the end but as they followed the instructions she provided they learned about her qualifications each step of the way. How’s that for personal branding?
3. Have One Place where you can Work Undisturbed
This is very important because it helps you get into your frame of mind to how you want to work. The location puts you into the mood for working. You can focus on doing what you enjoy so when you have everything in the exact place you need it then you can get to work. Many times when you walk into a messy office you have a hard time getting into a productive routine because it is so difficult to find anything.
Your location needs to be neat and in order. If you are a designer then having all your rare materials separated and put into individual locations helps you to organize how you work. If you enjoy building large Lego sets then you know that you need a space big enough to let you move around and work. If you live in a place that will keep you from doing what you enjoy then you need to look around for other places. Maybe someone at your school has a room that you could use, you just have to ask around.
4. Learn the skills needed for your Passion
This one is very important that stops people a lot of times. There are many people who love playing video games and say they want to make video games. Then you ask a few weeks later how many games have they made and they say none but that hasn’t stopped them from playing video games. If you like making blankets and want to add in special designs because you have seen other people do it then wouldn’t it be a wise investment to learn all the techniques needed to make your blankets special? Or starting learning how to program to make video games?
Right now people are learning how to make smart phone apps but the challenge is keeping up with the skill. Adam Tucker taught himself everything about Lego’s so he would know exactly what was available to him as he was building. Any one making or building something needs to be aware of all the tools available otherwise you won’t really know what your capable of doing if you are not aware of what all is out there. He knows every piece that Lego has made, and when a certain piece is not available, sometimes he has to modify it to fit what he needs. Bottom Line, learn the skills of your trade so you can be a master at what you like doing.
5. Set time aside to work on your passion everyday
This is where passion and work start to become one. Younger kids are learning this idea that if something starts to feel like work then it is not fun anymore and they need to find something else; that is just wrong. Your work is your livelihood. If you think that Adam didn’t struggle when he was coming up with how to build some of his master projects you are fooling yourself. Without struggle there is no beauty in what you do so you have to learn how to handle it.
Setting aside time everyday to work on your passion helps you get through those struggles and handle them better as they come up. This also turns your passion into a habit and routine. Remember there will be days you won’t want to work on your stuff but you need to sit down and work and just put yourself into your work. Once you do that your mind can go back into the flow of how you work. History is filled with many successful people following this model of action because in the end the results made it all worth while.
Finding your passion is not easy so if you have a hobby that you wish could become your life’s work then start making sure you are learning all there is about your hobby. One of my interests that I want to turn into a bigger project is building model train set environments. I love watching Youtube videos where they show elaborate train sets that span rooms with beautiful sceneries. Their so awesome!
If you want to learn more about Adam Tucker and his passion you can read the news article below. If Lego’s are something you are passionate about then you might want to check out their Lego Architecture studio Kit. I have included several more videos on his work for you to watch, including some great LEGO books to read and interviews.
Record Breaking Lego Machine Contraption