Building models from LEGO® elements has always been a passion of mine. There was never a shortage of ideas or parts. In fact, at one point from the mid-1990’s up until just before the millennium, three of the same set were making their way into the household – one to satisfy myself and one for each of my two brothers. So as you can imagine, I was fortunate that there was never a shortage of the bricks to slick my want of building. Well, in retrospect there was never a shortage of brick – back then, never was there enough! It was the only toy I ever wanted or ever bought. Eventually, both brothers would grow out of this sweet Danish export, leaving me as the last man standing. Their LEGO® collections I inherited, and so begins a period of “more building” and “less playing” that would stick with me to this day.
A few years before joining the online community in 2006, I started to really appreciate LEGO® for its technical and artistic merits. No more was I building for the fun of the creation, but I was building just for the fun of building. And as soon as I was able to start sharing my work with others who actually knew what they were doing, the quality of my models began to get better, and better, and better. Until eventually, in late 2010, I was hired by The LEGO® Company with a temporary contract as a set designer. Applied at 17, hired at 18 makes me one of the youngest designers in the history of the company (certainly the youngest American designer – a fact, as a patriot, I am very proud of and humbled by.) All of my love for LEGO® had paid off with what is, in many ways, that final wink, nod and stamp of approval I believe I have been subconsciously looking for all these years. Many children who build a lot want to be LEGO® designers (I get it all the time via e-mail and in person at events) but in reality, very few become one. They either grow out of it or they just do not have the sand to see the dream through and actually move to the dismal Danish farming town that is Billund (the place where LEGO® was founded and where its headquarters’ continue operation today.) This has always been one of my “dream jobs” too – I have scrawly drawings from my early elementary school days of me building with LEGO®, a big simple smiley face for a head, with the words “I want to work for The LEGO Company®” proclaimed at the top. And so to finally have realized the dream, I (in essence) feel like I have “conquered” the whole affair of the LEGO® community, and The LEGO Company®, and the whole process of building models.
As much as I have enjoyed LEGO® products over these past many years, I feel liberated now.
Literally my fondest memories of growing up revolve around LEGO®. They are the most vivid – the feel of opening the cardboard box, the sound of the bags of elements rattling to the ground, even the smell of the fresh plastic stick out in my mind. And so the thought to continue building was purely subconscious, and the dream of my employment with the company a perceptible, if not seemingly inaccessible, path.