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Dream job: brick artist

Written by
Jolene Hooy

Jeffery Kong, 39
Founder of Artisan Bricks

What is Artisan Bricks?

I’m a brick artist and Artisan Bricks is my company. I design and build customised artworks out of Lego bricks for my clients. The pieces can be anything from local landmarks to things from pop culture.

How did you become a brick artist?

It actually happened by accident at a low point in my life. I was working out of Tan Tock Seng Hospital because my dad was warded there. I had a lot of time to head out to Novena where I chanced upon a software called Lego Digital Designer, which brought back a lot of memories. When I was young my only real toy was a Lego set from my parents. So I tried the Digital Designer out, showed some of my work to friends and they started asking me to sell the pieces or teach them how to make their own. I felt like if doing this could bring joy to me, it should bring joy to a lot of people.

Can you take us through the entire process from the initial design to the final creation?

It starts with an idea. If I think it is worth pursuing and that it tells an interesting story, I make sketches of it on paper. When the draft looks good enough, I build it virtually with the design software and further refine it before proceeding to build it with real bricks. As I am building, I often improvise and adjust to taste, just like a chef. Sometimes I take it apart and start over. I spend a lot of time designing and usually plan it down to the very last brick.

What do you love about being a brick artist?

To be able to put a smile on someone’s face and have people experience the joy of customising their own brick creations.

Where do you get inspiration for new pieces?

Much of my inspiration comes from Singapore and my childhood memories. So far, I’ve yet to run out of things to build. Today it’s a balloon dog, tomorrow it can be something else. It’s more about having to choose which idea to work on next.

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