Nathan Sawaya talks about being the LEGO MASTERS ‘artist-in-residence’

Professional brick-builder Nathan Sawaya has discussed his work behind-the-scenes on LEGO MASTERS USA, the competition series that has Fox viewers hooked every Wednesday.

LEGO Certified Professional (LCP) Nathan Sawaya, known for his world-touring exhibiting The Art of the Brick, has been working behind-the-scenes on LEGO MASTERS USA. His role has been to create many of the models that are seen around the set and those one-off creations that inspire the challenges.

“I’m the artist-in-residence, if you will. There are a lot of things I ended up building for the show — some of the set dressing, including the signage built out of LEGO that says ‘LEGO MASTERS’,” Sawaya told the New York Post.

He did not get to know the contestants during filming, but has interacted with some of them since: “The contestants really have a lot of creativity, and you’re seeing them … think out of the box and do amazing work. I think one thing that gets everyone [on the show] — it gets me, too — is time management. It’s so tough with LEGO, using tiny pieces to create these huge forms, and it’s something [the contestants] have to think about. We all underestimate how long it’s going to take to create something that has a ‘wow’ factor.”

Thinking more broadly about why the series works and the appeal of the LEGO brick, he said: “I’ve had exhibitions around the globe and have been to over 100 different cities and everywhere we go with the [LEGO] art people connect to it because they’re familiar with the toy. The bricks that I had as a child in the 1970s still snap together with the bricks of today — what other product can say that?”

More LEGO MASTERS USA coverage

LEGO MASTERS: The road to the USA

Episode reviews:
Episode 1: “Dream Park Theme Park”
Episode 2: “Space Smash Challenge”
Episode 3: “Cut in half”
Episode 4: “Movie Genres”

Exit interviews:
Episode 1: No elimination
Episode 2: “Space Smash Challenge”
Episode 3: “Cut in half”
Episode 4: “Movie Genres”

Meet the judges:
Jamie Berard
Amy Corbett

Meet the contestants:
Sam and Jessica
Krystle and Amie
Flynn and Richard
Boone and Mark
Manny and Nestor
Tyler and Amy
Jessie and Kara
Christian and Aaron

To continue to support the work of Brick Fanatics, please buy your LEGO sets from and Amazon using our affiliate links.


Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *