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The Michelangelo of Lego Who Quit Law to Play With Toys

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Kevin Fallon’s profile of Nathan Sawaya in the Daily Beast chronicles the famed lego artist’s transition from corporate lawyer to a mini-brick laying specialist with an eye for re-imagining iconic paintings:

While still working at his law firm, Sawaya would post his finished Lego sculptures on a website, brickartist.com. Soon, he was getting commissions to create custom pieces. Then requests started pouring in from all over the world. One day his website crashed because it was getting so many hits, he says, “so I left the law firm to play with toys full time.”

It wasn’t an easy transition. His colleagues and his family thought he was out of his mind. Quit corporate law to play Lego … can you blame them? Other reactions ran the gamut. “Some of my colleagues were jealous because I was following my passion,” Sawaya says. “Others were just confused.” But even after making the decision, it wasn’t all child’s play (heh) to go from the lifestyle of a lawyer making six figures to the lifestyle of an artist, unsure of whether he can pay rent each month.

“In 2007, I got my first solo show,” Sawaya remembers. “At the time I thought it was going to be my last solo show.”

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