For New York artist Nathan Sawaya, earning a six-figure salary is child's play. That's because Sawaya makes his living creating arresting sculptures from Lego blocks. Once a stressed-out Wall Street attorney, he began building the whimsical pieces at night as a way to unwind. Now, he tells Portfolio, he gets commissions from rock stars and big spenders like Donald Trump.
Each of Sawaya's creations calls for tens of thousands of Lego bricks and can take several months to complete. Though his sculptures sell for huge sums, Sawaya says he gets more satisfaction from inspiring kids: "There are 400 million children out there playing with Legos. Who am I to say that they aren't artists too?"