When I begin the creative process for a Lemax building, I usually start with a good deal of architectural inspiration. I try to find quirky or interesting qualities from real-world buildings that could help influence the design. In the case of Sherry Guigley’s ideas that eventually became “The Candy Cane Works”, a significant amount had to be invented. No real-world drab corrugated metal, smoke stacks, and beams here. This was a Lemax candy factory, so everything needed to be bright, whimsical, and festive!
After I gather some inspiration, I will make several very small drawings of the general shapes that make up the building. I also pay close attention to any sort of animation mechanism, or focal element that the rest of the building is designed around. I will choose a few out of the dozens I create to scale up and add more particular details that revolve around the building’s theme.
Once a final design direction has been chosen, I will move to a series of drawings that will determine the final dimensions and details of the sculpture. This is the stage when I get to embellish the design with all the details and small narratives that make a Lemax piece so unique. For “The Candy Cane Works” this involved a repeating motif of arches and small cane shapes repeated throughout the building. Almost every arch needed some red and white on it, while making sure that the overall effect wasn’t so overwhelmingly striped that it could make anyone dizzy!
The animations are important to any building, but especially on this design. It needed to feel like “The Candy Cane Works” was constantly and colorfully buzzing with candy crafting activity. The whole design process is a very enjoyable one that stretches me in different directions as an artist. It is always great to see things come together; from those initial small sketches, to the more detailed pages, and finally to the magic that happens in the hands of the sculptors. It was wonderful to collaborate with Sherry’s ideas, and see it result in this fanciful candy cane factory.