Flaming C and Nathan

Nathan and brick Flaming C

I can finally reveal my latest project: The Flaming C! Conan O’Brien’s comic superhero has been living in my art studio for the past few weeks, but now he has made his way to San Diego Comic-Con.

Along with other fine art of the Flaming C from around the world, the brick version is prominently featured in the front window at Conan’s COCO MoCA Flaming C Art Gallery in San Diego.

Check out who made Forbes’ list of risk-taking entrepreneurs

Forbes Magazine

Who knew that playing with LEGO could be so risky? Forbes came out with their list of risk-taking entrepreneurs and included my jump from law to LEGO on the list. In the article, Jane Lee writes: “There’s a fundamental reason why making real decisions and taking real risks is so hard: It requires freedom–freedom from the loyalties, expectations and fears that inevitably fog our risk-vs.-reward equation.” I suppose my change from negotiating contracts to creating with bricks was risky, but it also made a lot of sense. My freedom to take a risk came from the support of my friends and family. So if I hadn’t said it enough before, thanks again everyone!

Read the whole article.

Building a Mystery

The gray sculpture placed in the Chelsea gallery space is almost as tall as Nathan Sawaya. The artist considers the figure of the man, which includes a stiff, plastic version of his own tousled hair. Unlike Sawaya, however, it looks grave and depressing. It’s also made almost entirely out of Lego bricks. Faceless and zombie-like, the statue sports a suit and tie. Most surprising is the fact that a separate, red figure emerges from the gray sculpture’s belly, seeming to gasp for air.

Read the full article from the NY Press.

Nathan is in deep Jeopardy!

It was somewhat surreal seeing my artwork being the subject of a category on the game show “Jeopardy!” The three contestants, Jason, Adrianne and Andrew, had to show their knowledge of my LEGO artistry. Fortunately, the questions and answers were not that difficult. In fact, I got almost all of them right.

Here’s the clip from the episode:

Nathan gets busted on Mythbusters.

So I got an interesting call. Apparently ‘Mythbusters’ was trying to bust a myth about LEGO. They wanted to create a giant ball out of LEGO and then roll it down a hill to see if it would smash a car. But while they were building it, they ran out of bricks. So they called me.

Well, I was not about to say no to my favorite redhead (Kari, not Adam). So I packed up literally a ton of bricks and headed off to San Francisco.

After a few days of hard work, the Mythbusters team completed the ball. I then got to witness their attempt to roll the ball down the hill. It was unbelievable to see over a million bricks all stuck together in one giant ball. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t roll straight and broke apart way before it hit the car.

See, that’s why I use glue.

Nathan helps create a special room on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition!

A few weeks ago, I was asked to help design a bedroom as part of an episode of ABC’s Extreme Makehover: Home Edition. I spent close to a week in Raleigh, North Carolina as the crew erected an entire home for a special family.

My role was to help furnish the bedroom of the family’s son, Will Jr., who has two favorite things in life: sports and LEGO. I had fun creating all sorts of sports related things out of LEGO, including an entire LEGO bed in the theme of a football field. I also enlisted a fantastic group of volunteers to help create four large LEGO murals for the walls of the room, as well as three doors completely covered in LEGO plates.

It was a lot of work, but the extreme-makeover- cast and crew made it a lot of fun. The show was a well-oiled machine and it was amazing to watch them create this house, as well as a TV show, in the course of a few days.

One of the unique parts of my experience was that I worked the entire time outside in a tent. The weather was a pretty cold while we were there, and the ground was a bit muddy. When a LEGO brick fell off the table into the mud, it usually stayed there. Trying to clean mud off of LEGO bricks with cold hands is not as fun as it sounds.

Football: 12″ x 7″ x 7″
Basketball: 10″ x 10″ x 10″
Baseball: 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″
Bats: 34″ x 5″ x 5″
Soccerball: 9″ x 9″ x 9″
Trophy: 11″ x 10″ x 7″
Murals: 45″ x 45″
Bed: 96″ x 30″ x 42″
Sculpture of Will Jr.: 32″ x 52″ x 22″

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

I was asked to be a guest on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. For those of you who like to sleep, Late Late is the show that follows Letterman on CBS. It is a quirky show that seemed to fit my demographic: People who can’t sleep and are mildly amused by tall LEGO artists.

Craig is Scottish and likes to call his audience his “cheeky little monkeys,” so when they asked me to build something over the course of the show, I of course suggested a bottle of scotch. After a little thinking, I instead decided to build a cheeky little monkey. We also revealed a large portrait of Craig that I had built prior to the show. It was a lot of fun, and they gave me a beautiful assistant which is always nice.

The above pictures were all taken during rehearsal. I hope to add some screen shots from the show soon.

The Late Show with David Letterman

I was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman recently. I was asked to create a LEGO portrait of Biff Henderson during the course of the show. I worked on stage, while Dave threw questions at me from time to time. It seemed that any time a joke fell flat, Dave would look over to the stage and ask how I was doing. He even offered up Biff to “help” me with my work. Finally, just as the show was ending, I was able to snap in the last piece before the reveal. Oh, Ricky Gervais and Rachael Ray were on too, but they didn’t build anything.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Broadband 1 | Broadband 2 | Dial-up 1 | Dial-up 2

The night of the LEGOLAND Master Model Builder finals, the three winners were whisked off to LA to do a segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live. As the six fans of the show know, Jimmy has a biting wit so we knew he wasn’t going to let us off easy. Here he had three people who are giving up their careers to build with LEGO full time. He had a field day. We had fun with him though and when he asked us how many 4 year olds we beat out for the job, we snapped back “all of them!” Jimmy also challenged us to build a Super Dave Osborne who was the guest co-hosting the show that week. With only 40 minutes, we were able to come up with a fairly decent representation. The photos above are captured screenshots from the broadcast. I believe the lower middle one is my favorite as I roll my eyes at Jimmy’s “biting” wit.