Every kid loves Legos, right? My brother was the Lego junky in my house growing up. Cases and cases. He’d build anything whenever he wanted. We built our share of forts, swords and whatever we could think of. My kids are both into Legos. B, my youngest, builds creative and ummm unique creations. H, my eldest, LOVES the Lego architecture series. They’re forms of art in his bedroom.
Brian Korte, the founder, and owner of Brickworkz brings his passion for Legos to the next level. From portraits to seminars, he has brought Legos into his everyday work life. I had the pleasure of meeting Brian at the 2018 RVA MakerFest last year and was blown away by his double sided portrait. It was amazing! (and Star Wars!)
Here’s my e-Interview!
What is it that you do?
I started Brickworkz in 2006 right here in Richmond as a way to create happy memories for families and companies all over the world using LEGO bricks as an artistic medium. I turn people’s photographs into custom LEGO portraits and teach adults to play again at conventions and team building events.
Why do you do what you do?
I had the opportunity to turn a hobby into a business, and actually got a chance to realize the dream that I (and likely every 7-year-old) had to one day get paid to play with LEGOs. It’s a thrill to bring joy to people, and an honor as an artist to know that a customer finds your work brilliant enough to want to display it within their homes.
Who do you do what you do for? (that’s a lot of embedded questions!)
I’ve helped couples propose marriage, and welcome new babies into the world. I’ve been commissioned for weddings and bar mitzvah portraits. My work broke the Guinness World Record back in 2007 for a museum trying to get attention and publicity. I help grieving families with happy memories of their loved ones. Companies bring me out to their events to draw a crowd. Anyone who is drawn to creativity can be a customer. That’s who I work for.
What got you started?
I used to fix computers all day, so I needed an offline hobby. Looking to LEGO, I thought I’d try making a pixelated portrait of some friends as a wedding gift. I made one for myself shortly afterwards and decided I’d whip up a website and see if anyone else would be interested. It didn’t take long before emails were coming in from all over the place.
Can you share some pictures of your workspace?
When I travel, I usually ship everything to myself and spread out in whatever space I’m given. When I’m at home (Chesterfield County) I’ll take over the giant table in the dining room until I get a more permanent place for my builds.
Can you share some pictures of your product?
How long have you participated in the MakerFest, and will you be coming back in 2019?
I was at the very first MakerFest and since I don’t do too many public events, participating at MakerFest is one way I can represent our creative maker community. I wanted to bring another discipline to the mix to showcase how diverse our talents are in this city.
Do you have an online presence for people to follow you?
Absolutely- My website is https://www.brickworkz.com and I’m very active on Facebook.com/brickworkz and post behind-the-scenes pics and videos to Instagram.com/brickworkz
Do you sell anything that folks can buy?
Everything I do with Brickworkz is custom. I have some pieces for sale that I created for shows and public events, but typically everything I do is commission-based, so yes, absolutely. Send me an image and I can help you out!
How can people get in touch with you?
The best way is via email- firstname.lastname@example.org – but I’m very active on Facebook so you can message me there too @brickworkz
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