November 16, 2011

A Chat with a Lego Artist

Some people see Lego bricks as rectangular pieces of plastic.  Brick artist Nathan Sawaya sees them as an art medium with endless possibilities. He has made life-sized sculptures of celebrities, including the legendary singer Elvis Presley and talk show hosts Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien. With a stock of 1.5 million individual Lego Bricks, Sawaya can build almost anything.


Sawaya’s job sounds like a lot of fun, but it isn’t easy. Some Lego sculptures can take up to four weeks to build. Sometimes, Sawaya says, he works nonstop and takes breaks only to eat! Still, Sawaya goes to work every day without leaving his New York City apartment, which has a view of the Chrysler Building. The apartment also overlooks the law firm where he once worked as a lawyer. After work, he created Lego sculptures and posted them to his website. When his site crashed from too many visitors, Sawaya knew that there was a market for his art. He gave up his job and now lives the Lego life full time.


TIME For Kids Kid Reporter Brian Forbes sat down with Sawaya in his art studio in New York City. He told us about his lifelong passion for Legos, what inspires his creations and the most challenging sculpture he’s ever built. Check out the video of the interview above (Videography by the Forbes Family / Editing by Stephanie Kraus)

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