1. One With The Plastic
Image courtesy of Brickstagram
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Jason Pike loved playing with LEGO pieces when he was young -- "I was that kid," he told Mashable with a laugh.
At 30-years-old, it's still rare to find the Chicago-based entrepreneur without a handful of yellow figurines stashed somewhere in his jacket -- albeit for slightly different reasons now.
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Pike recently brought his love of LEGO to Tumblr with Brickstagram. The page is stacked with splendidly twisted photos of LEGO minifigs arranged in whimsical, whatever-comes-to-Pike's-mind situations. Think an aqua monster sifting through bubbles or a cross-legged fig serenely sitting by a Buddha statue.
Despite the page's lighthearted theme, Brickstagram started from a relatively dark time in Pike's life. Last year, shortly before he started the page, doctors diagnosed him with throat cancer.
"One of my friends brought LEGOs to my hospital room as a way to cheer me up," he said. "Whenever I was bored, then -- and feeling good from morphine -- I'd take pictures of them with my camera phone. People started bringing in more, so I just kept taking pictures."
Pike began compiling his pictures on a website, using the minifig snapshots as a way to document his recovery process.
"I used it as a sort of therapy. Really, it's how I stayed sane during all of it," he shared. "People brought more and more LEGOs, and it sort of became a habit."
Pike is cancer free now, but old habits are hard to keep tucked away in the toy box. Brickstagram is focused less on telling his personal story like his first website, and more about sharing whatever concept -- funny, dark or bizarre -- comes to mind. He has also begun sharing his love of LEGO offline by donating part of his extensive collection to a friend's elementary school class in Chicago.
"This class has a weekly story time where they read stories aloud," he said. "At the end now, they get a challenge to build something -- anything -- from the story, using the Legos. I know it's a tiny, insignificant thing, LEGOs, but they helped me laugh and get through tough times."
Check out the gallery up top to see some of our favorite shots. You can see the rest on Brickstagram.
Images courtesy of Brickstagram
This story originally published on Mashable here.