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Nathan Sawaya - Overcoming the Myths of Success

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 | 9:58 PM ET

I used to be a corporate lawyer in New York City. After a long day at the firm, I would come home and create something. It was therapeutic for me. To come home and create was

therapy for my mind. Creating artwork became a hobby, and like so many people, my hobby was my passion.

A few years ago I challenged myself to build a large scale sculpture out of LEGO® bricks. After a positive response, I started working on other large sculptures, and soon put photos on my website, brickartist.com. Not too long after that first post, I was getting commissions from all over the world and I realized I wanted to be an artist more than I wanted to be a lawyer. Like so many small businesses, what started out as a hobby became more and more of a full time job. When I got so many hits on my website on one day that it crashed, I realized it was a viable business. It was time to leave the law and become a full time artist.

As you may know, New York corporate attorneys work well over 80 hours per week. These days, I?m working way more hours, but having much more fun.

Finding my true passion was key for me in finding success and happiness. When you know you have found your one true passion, it will be the driving force in all aspects of your life. It will dictate where you live, who your friends are, what you wear, everything. Even who you date.

And the best part is that passion is contagious. One of the greatest parts of my job now is that I inspire passion in young artists. Kids write me every day and tell me how they are inspired by my book, website, and my art exhibit, THE ART OF THE BRICK, which is currently on display at the Stamford Museum in Connecticut.

My life as the Brick Artist has really taken off into a viable business. In addition to taking on private commissions, I also have a few upcoming events:

- Launching a second museum tour June 6 at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida
- Debuting a new collection of large sculptures at the Pearlridge Center in Honolulu, Hawaii June 14 & 15 where I will be autographing copies of my book
- Autographing books and building live at the Stamford Museum in Stamford, Connecticut on June 29.

Passion is so hard to define. Does it come from the inside or outside factors? There are so many contributing factors. For me I think passion comes from craving freedom, creativity and artistic expression. I have so many ideas and thought in my head that needed an outlet. Once I realized I could turn my thought into tactile 3-D sculptures, the passion floodgates just opened.

My advice, find your passion and then be proud of it.