Nathan Sawaya’s “The Art of the Brick” has been extended until the end of May at the Olympia Theater in Miami. The world-renowned exhibit features more than 150 stunning LEGO brick sculptures.

After breaking free from the work of a corporate lawyer almost two decades ago, Sawaya now exclusively follows his artistic desires. He has studios in both New York and Los Angeles, where he has access to more than 10 million bricks to turn his imagination into a plastic reality.

Like many of us, Sawaya discovered LEGO Bricks as a child. And again, like many of us, he went off into the world, found a stable career, forgot all about LEGOs, and replaced it with talk of 401ks and interest rates. Eventually, Sawaya decided to make a change.

“I really followed my dreams to make this happen,” said Sawaya. The 80-hour weeks in corporate law were “just training for running my own business.”

After long days of tiresome work in law, Nathan turned to sculpture as a creative outlet and a respite from his daily routine. Eventually, he rediscovered LEGO bricks, and they became his calling card. Sawaya went on to build a website to showcase his work, and soon enough, he began receiving sales and commissions for his unique creations.

He realized he might have something special going on when his website crashed from all the traffic. He took the leap and quit his job to “play with toys.”

He now has several traveling exhibitions and crisscrosses the globe with them, traveling far and wide, capturing inspiration in a trusty sketchbook as he goes. Sawaya’s creative process involves visualizing the final sculpture before he begins building. “I want to envision the final piece in my mind before I even put down the first brick,” said Sawaya.

Once he places a brick, he glues it in place. Mistakes require a hammer and chisel to correct. “It can be heartbreaking to be working on a piece, step back and realize it is not quite right, and then have to chisel apart hours, sometimes days worth of work.”

Still, he recognizes that he is privileged, agreeing that he has a “dream job.” However, he now works longer hours than he used to when he was working at his old law firm. Despite the longer hours, he finds himself happier doing what he loves. He added, “The worst day as an artist is still better than the best day as a lawyer.”

However, he still finds time to build LEGO sets straight from the box because some things don’t change.

You can visit the exhibit at the Olympia Theatre in Miami through the end of May. Click here for more information.


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