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Meet the fan designer of LEGO Ideas Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night

Meet the fan designer of LEGO® Ideas Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night

It’s not every day that you get to create your own official LEGO® set.

But for 25-year-old PhD student Truman Cheng, this dream has now become a reality. His idea received over 10,000 votes on the LEGO Ideas platform, and now it’s been turned into a real-life set.

We give you... *drumroll*... the LEGO Ideas set Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night.

We caught up with Truman to discover the inspiration behind this stunning set, and how he turned this idea into reality!

The lightbulb moment!

Truman’s original design for LEGO® Ideas

“I love the work of Vincent van Gogh and have wanted to recreate his most iconic painting as a LEGO model for some time. I remember building one day, and suddenly noticed that when plates of different lengths are stacked together, they looked like van Gogh’s brushwork. It was that moment it all just clicked.”

Turning a van Gogh masterpiece into a LEGO build is no easy feat, but Truman was determined to pay homage to the artist in an exciting, fresh way with his re-imaged version of the famous landscape painting.

His favorite part of the set is the 3D diorama effect.

“It makes the model unique and stand out from the usual Starry Night replicas you see everywhere. Of course, it was important for me to stay faithful to the original painting, trying to match some of the shapes and colors, but it is also fun and satisfying to add a little something to make the set playful.”

It’s such an incredible achievement for the Hong Kong-based creator.

From sketch to shelf

Truman Cheng, fan designer of the LEGO Ideas set Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night

After the creativity and hours that went into it, Truman is over the moon to finally see the set launch.

“I am thrilled! It’s a unique experience to be able to appreciate an artwork while also participating in the process of creation. I love that [the LEGO set] is accessible to people of different ages and cultures. I think it’s a great way for us to share our love for van Gogh’s work and celebrate his legacy.”

And while the project was a completely new challenge for him, Truman has had an interest in LEGO building ever since childhood, which certainly helped!

“I remember playing with those classic red buckets full of different colored bricks, building all sorts of houses, vehicles and characters. That has to be my earliest memory with LEGO [bricks].

I also remember admiring the 6559 Deep Sea Bounty set but never owned one myself. And then my brother said, ‘we’ll build our own awesome whale skeleton!’, and we did! As a kid, it felt so satisfying to make something that seemed impossible into reality.”

Getting into a flow state

LEGO building has helped Truman to relax and find his flow, especially when he’s working on something that he’s passionate about, like The Starry Night. The entire design process was a therapeutic experience.

“Time seems to just fly by without you noticing. That’s how I feel when I am designing with LEGO [bricks]... Even when I am building a LEGO set with instructions, I get the same feeling. Like a simulated flow state.”

You can be any age and enjoy LEGO bricks! In fact, LEGO building has proven to be a de-stressing activity where you can really switch off and focus on the present moment.

Find your passion

“Building as a child is all spontaneous fun! You think of something, make it in the rough shape and color, and your imagination fills in the rest... building as an adult is more like puzzle-solving. You have in your mind the exact look/aesthetics you want to achieve, then try to design the model to match those standards,” says Truman.

Whether you build as a child or an adult, both bring a sense of pride and accomplishment at the end.

Don’t know where to start? Our top tip is to combine LEGO building with something you’re passionate about, just like Truman did, and see where your creativity takes you...

You may just see your set at your local LEGO Store one day! Find out more about LEGO Ideas here.

Looking for more?

Check out the Adults Welcome homepage to see our collection of adult-focused sets and articles!