You may have heard about LEGO fans who hold the title of being a LEGO Certified Professional. Who are these people and how did they get this awesome sounding title? How many LEGO Certified Professionals are there? And how one can become one? So let’s take a look. 🙂
First of all LEGO Certified Professionals are not LEGO employees, but they are officially recognized by the LEGO company as trusted business partners. Basically they are adult LEGO hobbyists who have turned their passion for building and creating with LEGO into a full-time or part-time profession. They display building proficiency and enthusiasm for the LEGO building system, and most importantly, they have a professional approach towards the LEGO company, other LEGO fans, and the broader public. LEGO Certified Professionals may display their work at art-shows, museums, other public events, and many of them also do work for hire. They are LEGO fans who live and breathe LEGO, and the LEGO company can be proud of their work because they are good PR. Currently there are only 12 people on the entire planet who hold the coveted and very rare title of being a LEGO Certified Professional. They are as follows:
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Nathan Sawaya: Nathan Sawaya is a renowned contemporary artist who uses LEGO bricks exclusively as an art medium. With full-time working studios in New York and Los Angeles, Nathan has 2.5 million LEGO bricks at his immediate disposal to craft large-scale sculptures for collectors, galleries and companies. Best known for his exacting and impeccable representation of the human form and his high-profile client list, Nathan was a practicing attorney in Manhattan before leaving the law to follow his artistic passion. THE ART OF THE BRICK is Nathan’s touring art exhibition featuring unique sculptures created with LEGO bricks which travels the globe – including North America, Asia and Australia – inspiring and entertaining millions of children of all ages. Launched in 2007, THE ART OF THE BRICK is the only exhibition of its kind ever to focus exclusively on the LEGO brick as an art medium. (There is also an excellent book of the same name. See review here: The Art of The Brick by Nathan Sawaya) Nathan is the only person in the world who has been both a LEGO Master Model Builder and a LEGO Certified Professional. He builds daily, his art is sold in prominent galleries, and he accepts commission work. Website: BrickArtist.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Adam Reed Tucker: In 1996, Adam received a Professional Degree in Architecture with an emphasis on the Philosophy of Design Theory. During 1996 – 2006 he worked as an Architect throughout the Kansas City and Chicago areas. In 2002 he ran across a book titled “The World of LEGO Toys” by Henry Wiencek. As he was thumbing through it, he noticed a really neat adaptation on architectural possibilities using the LEGO bricks as a medium. Adam was so inspired by this he soon set out to explore this idea further envisioning his use of the LEGO brick would be no different than say a painter who uses paint or a blacksmith who uses metal. In 2006, to propel this idea further he founded Chicago’s first LEGO fan convention called BrickWorld and in 2007 Adam’s company BrickStructures formally joined forces with The LEGO Group forming a partnership to develop a new line of products LEGO Architecture. As a LEGO Certified Professional, Adam is focusing specifically on the design & construction of skyscrapers and other architectural structures reaching out to the public via events and school programs. Website: BrickStructures.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Sean Kenney: Sean Kenney is a full-time artist who works exclusively with LEGO bricks. Based in New York City, he has produced commissions for galleries, museums, television, publications, celebrities, and companies like Google, ABC, JP Morgan Chase, ELLE, and FAO Schwarz. In using LEGO bricks as an art medium, Sean hopes that children will become inspired to visualize their imagination and create great things themselves. For over 30 years LEGO toys have played an important part in Sean’s life, first as a child’s toy, then as a hobby, and now as the world’s greatest job. Sean’s work is continually featured in major media channels throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and he has gained recognition as one of the premier LEGO artists in the world. Website: SeanKenney.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Beth Weis: Beth credits the first McDonald’s LEGO Happy Meal in 1983 for her renewed interest in LEGO building. Her passion for building is evident in her home as she is literally surrounded by LEGO walls and LEGO home décor. In 1997, Beth designed an early education enrichment program to promote social, emotional, cognitive, and motor development. Beth currently facilitates over 500 collaborative LEGO building events yearly including; library programs, classes, scouts, LEGO club for children on the Autism spectrum, community service projects, camps, daycares, trade shows, schools, fundraising, and advertising. Website: BethWeis.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Robin Sather: Robin has been collecting and playing with LEGO for over 35 years. He has been active in the LEGO fan community for over 15 years, and is Canada’s only LEGO Certified Professional. In 2004, Robin co-founded Brickville DesignWorks, a company that uses LEGO bricks and products to produce events, exhibits, custom creations, and educational opportunities for people of all ages. Robin’s exhibits have toured prominent Canadian science centers and museums, and have featured giant dinosaurs, a huge Egyptian sphinx, fantastic castles, and more. He has made national television appearances, and his work has been featured in print. Robin enjoys all aspects of building, but especially likes developing castle, pirate, and other historically themed creations. Robin is a storyteller, and LEGO is his medium. Website: Brickville.ca
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Duncan Titmarsch: Duncan Titmarsch “rediscovered” LEGO at the age of 22 when he received a LEGO set as a gift. This inspired him to begin collecting and building his own creations. Some of his early models included a map of the London underground and a studio for the BBC. In 2008, he made the decision to make his dream a reality and formed Bright Bricks, a company that produces custom LEGO models. Bright Bricks is a specialist design company using LEGO bricks as its medium. It is best known for its biggest build to date a 12 meter tall Christmas tree for St Pancras train station. Website: Bright-Bricks.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Dirk Denoyelle: Dirk Denoyelle is a well known Flemish comedian. In 2000 he built the heads of 30 famous Belgian and international people with LEGO bricks and he has built LEGO creations ever since. One of his best known projects was “A Face for Europe” (2004), a charity project that involved the building of a giant European Monument, 2 heads and over 20 mosaics. As an LCP, Dirk specializes in making portraits, mainly mosaics. Need a gift for a colleague who retires? For your parents’ 25th wedding anniversary? A family portrait? Just send Dirk the picture! Occasionally new 3-dimensional work is accepted. Dirk operates from Antwerp, Belgium and sends out his LEGO art all over Europe. Website: Amazings.eu
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Matija Puzar: Matija’s mission is to spread the joy of the brick among the adult population. He does this by designing commissioned models, mosaics, portraits, LEGO related team building events, or other requests people may come up with. Being a programmer, Matija rediscovered his love for the brick thanks to LEGO Mindstorms. He soon realized the potential of integrating Mindstorms with LEGO trains, which derailed him towards building models based on real buildings, vehicles, people, etc. Even though his work often revolves around the LEGO minifig, no scale is off limits. He likes touching up his models with lights and other kinds of electronics to make them as realistic as possible. Matija is situated in Norway and accepts commissions from all over Scandinavia, Europe, or the world for that matter. Website: Matija.no
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Rene Hoffmeister: Since receiving his first LEGO set at age five, hardly a day has gone by without Rene Hoffmeister building with LEGO bricks at least for a few minutes. He has built LEGO models for companies like Deutsche Telekom, Merlin Entertainment, Bosch, Deutsche Bahn, and HCI Capital, and even more models are in the works. In 1999, Rene founded the largest German-speaking LEGO fan website in the world. Today, the portal receives thousands of visitors each day, and is a great starting point for those interested in the hobby of LEGO building. In 2002, he started 1000steine-land in his native Berlin. The event, which over the past 5 years has been attended by more than 10,000 LEGO fans, is an annual exhibition of models by European LEGO builders. This year, some of Rene’s models are to be displayed in Russia and China as part of a traveling exhibition. His models have also been displayed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Greece and the Netherlands. Website: 1000Steine.de
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught: Ryan, who resides in Melbourne, Australia is the only LEGO Certified Professional in the southern hemisphere. He has built some uniquely Australian creations and had them displayed all around the world, including a cutaway model of a Qantas Airbus A380 incorporating LEGO Mindstorms technology. He specializes in making interactive models and getting people to participate either in the finished product or during its construction. Ryan has won many awards for his models and takes great pleasure in sharing his work with others. Ryan’s work has included: corporate signage, mosaics, engineering models, sculptures and is often found at trade shows building models for exhibitors. Ryan is only too happy to accept commissions for truly unique creations. Website:TheBrickMan.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Nicholas Foo: As the only Asia-based (Singapore) LEGO Certified Professional, Nicholas Foo creates unique gifts using LEGO materials. By tailoring his creations to the individual needs of his clients, Nicholas creates memorable gifts that delight both the giver and receiver. A few of his notable creations include the iconic Merlion statue of Singapore, and a scaled Monkey bike model. Building on his passion for the simplicity of the LEGO brick and the infinite possibilities it can create with imagination, Nicholas also enjoys the challenge of creating large scale sculptures and models for trade shows and charity events. Some examples of his large creations are a 1.65m tall Retro Rocket and a detailed 16,000 element minifig-scaled city. Nicholas is the founder of Blackbulb, a company based on the values of creativity, fun and quality. Website: BlackBulbCreations.Blogspot.com
➡ LEGO Certified Professional Jumpei Mitsui: LEGO craftsman – Jumpei is the youngest LEGO Certified Professional, based in Japan. He became a professional builder when he was a student at the University of Tokyo. He has produced commissions for companies, TV, and publications. Many people who have seen his works rediscover the unlimited possibility of LEGO bricks. Jumpei also work in the area of education using basic LEGO bricks. In 2010, he received a president’s award of university for contribution to society. His specialty is building large size sculptures related to animals, characters, and structures. He accepts commission work mainly from corporations. His models have been displayed in Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia. Website: Jumpei-Mitsui.com
As you can see from the list above, LEGO Certified Professional do a great variety of amazing art and activities with LEGO. They all have a common trait though, in that they all do amazing work with LEGO and they inspire people with their creations. So if you are thinking about becoming a LEGO Certified Professional one day, it is a good idea to study their work and follow in their footsteps. You can read more about the program here: LEGO Certified Professionals
What do you think? Have you ever thought about working with LEGO seriously as a medium of art? Do you enjoy sharing your LEGO creations with others? Would you like to become a LEGO Certified Professional? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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admin, I wonder if this was deliberate, but did you arrange the Certified Professionals by how renowned they are? I mean, I recognize Nathan Sawaya, Adam Reed Tucker and Sean Kenney, but I’ve only scarcely heard of the rest- except Nicholas Foo, at least, but considering where I’m from…
I put them in order by location. Since most of our readers are in North America, I added them first, then Europe, then Asia. I also never heard of some of them, but that doesn’t mean they are not well known in their part of the world.
Found an error in the article. Since Japan is located in Asia (last I checked), there are actually two Asia-based professionals. 😉
I have noticed that as well even before I put the article together, however since this is how LEGO worded it on their website, I left the text as it was. My guess is that either they gradually update the list and they didn’t change it when the second Asian LCP was added, or they don’t consider Japan being part of Asia. 🙄
Where do I sign up? lol…but seriously those guys have like the best jobs ever…
Well, that’s the thing; it is not about signing up. It is about being awesome and striking out and making it on your own as a LEGO artist, then later LEGO may bestow this coveted title on you. 😉
I’m heading up to Oshkosh, WI this weekend to see the last weekend of Sawaya’s exhibition. So totally stoked. I’ve see his stuff online for years, finally getting a chance to see it up close!
Wow this guy’s are amazing
Ill get to there level one day for sure
So creative and awesome, you can see why LEGO loves these guys (and Girls) as its the best kind of marketing for them – it spans all sectors and not just retail/toys. Clever.
How can I know who is a Lego certified professional in Colombia?
Adriana, there isn’t one right now. You can always check the LEGO Certified Professionals list for an update.