In a piece for careers website Marketplace, Vice President of Design at the LEGO Group, Matthew Ashton, has explained how fans might become a LEGO designer. The senior LEGO professional works with the design managers at the LEGO Group, works on the LEGO movies and moonlights as a judge on LEGO MASTERS.
“I ultimately landed my dream job completely by accident,” he shares in the article. “Some people from Lego spotted me and really liked what I did. So transitioning from fashion design to toys was kind of a dream come true anyway. I had done fashion and enjoyed it, but this was my ultimate childhood dream.”
What fans really want to know is how they might become LEGO designers. Background is no issue, as 32 different nationalities are represented within the 250 strong design department. As for professional backgrounds, toy or industrial design backgrounds are common – but AFOLs increasingly have a shout too, with Ashton noting the passion that they bring to the role.
He explains the application process. “Everybody has to send in an application with their portfolio so that some visual representation of what they do. So that can either, if they’re coming from a fan background, be the models that they’ve built. If they’ve come from an industrial design background or whatever, then they need to sort of submit all of their projects.
“But the one thing that I personally look for is that balance between sort of professionalism that you can get a job done, you can follow a process from A to Z to get something launched, and you also still need to have a bit of that inner child within you that you don’t take things too seriously or simply the fact that they really want to do something that’s going to make kids dreams come true and give them toys that they’re really engaged with playing with.”
As for the best part of the job, he puts it down to the child playing with the end product, and the joy that it brings them.