Sam and Jessica Interview (LEGO® Masters)

Three teams remain in the lead-up to the LEGO® Masters finale. In the semi-finals, the teams competed in a Star Wars challenge. In a shocking twist, no team went home. True North Bricks, The Brothers BrickBrickset, and BZPower caught up with all of the top three teams afterwards for their thoughts on the whole experience. Today, we share the Sam and Jessica interview.

Sam and Jessica
Sam and Jessica (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

What inspired the two of you to go on LEGO Masters, especially considering you had never built together before the show?

Jessica: In January 2019, I had quit my job to follow a dream of being a fulltime artist. I had been an artist and selling artwork for eight years. But I still had a fulltime job. I finally quit that to go all-in on a dream to make art out of LEGO and sell it. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I did not know about LEGO Masters. I was approached by somebody who saw my artwork. They thought it was phenomenal and asked me to apply to be on the show. I thought it was a godsend, I really did, because I had quit my job that year not knowing what would happen, then ended up with a TV show. And now here I am as a finalist on LEGO Masters. It’s really a dream come true.

So I was asked to apply, and I wanted to do the show. I thought it was a godsend for an artist, definitely. The art world is very cutthroat. It’s very hard to make a name for yourself because there are so many talented artists. I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity. And to be a finalist, that makes it even better.

Sam: I was building with LEGO and doing some crazy things. It was popular and went viral. One of my friends saw the ad for LEGO Masters on Facebook and said I should apply for it. I didn’t think they would choose me or that it was a possibility. But my friend said, “Send your stuff in.” So I sent it in and they called me. We had some conversations and went through the whole casting process. They didn’t like my first partner. Then came Jessica. We thought we could do this, we liked each others’ style and art. We did it, and we made it to the top three. [laughs] It was a good experience. I’m pretty honored to be chosen.

Sam and Jessica building a Dream Park.
Building a Dream Park (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

You two had a bit of a rough start. What made your team click on your way to the final three?

Sam: After the first few episodes, Jessica was very encouraging and said something to me like, “You can do this” and “Don’t let your self-doubt get the better of you.” And then we just clicked just in time for the Cut in Half challenge where we made our mermaid. I said I’ll do what I do best, you do what you do best and it just started to work all of a sudden. I think it is like that working with any new group or partner for the first time. You have to learn their patterns, how to trust them, what they know and don’t know. It is a process and to expect anyone to be perfect on their first try is ridiculous. You have to figure it out. We both wanted to be there, so we tried our hardest.

Jessica: It was our first time building with each other. I recognized his skill set off the bat. I’m a very quantified person. And, here my partner Samuel has two decades of experience in toy-making and I had 10 years of experience in art and design. Combined, that is 30 years of design experience so I was pretty ecstatic because I feel like our skill set was very dynamic and very different from a lot of other teams. I think once that clicked with my partner, we were able to get into our groove and create those gorgeous, artistic pieces starting with the mermaid. Once we found that groove, we were able to evolve as a team, which is really special.

Sam and Jessica with their mermaid sculpture (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

Your team developed a unique design style connecting short plates to create organic shapes. Did that cause any of your models to be fragile?

Sam: Every team has something that broke! [laughs] There wasn’t ever any time to go back and re-engineer things for any team. If you tried a technique and it works, you moved on. Yes, we all would have loved to tinker for hours and make things stronger, but the clock was constantly ticking. Every team had the problem at some point where they looked worried and you could see on their face, “Oh no! This is falling apart!” You saw it in the Star Wars challenge with Mark and Boone’s AT-ST. Luckily they were able to fix it in time, but for the most part we never had the time to fix things that broke.

Jessica: Everyone had things that broke. But I feel like one of our strengths as a team was that we used very different building techniques than the other teams. For example, the way we did the water exploding out of the fire hydrant for the mermaid or the explosions of red in our Star Wars build. We aren’t building with bricks on top of bricks. It is much more complicated building sideways and gravity was our biggest enemy. We had things breaking and falling off all the time. But we figured out as a team how to keep a lot of those pieces together to pull off a really great presentation. We looked at the bigger picture. We are similar in that we both look at shapes then figure out how to build that shape and start from there. I remember when Sam was working on the mermaid tail, he figured out the shape first–you can see it in the episode when he lays it down and attaches it all together—then we figured out how to position it. That was our building strategy.

Will Arnett checks in on Sam and Jessica during the Cut in Half challenge (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

What was the most difficult aspect of the challenges aside from the time limit?

Jessica: The time limit was the most difficult aspect! [laughs] The time limit was definitely an “artist killer” right there. But other than the time limits, I’d say the hardest aspect of the show was actually listening to the judges and incorporating their feedback. I think that is why a lot of great teams got knocked out. Sam and I had some kind of magical ability to decode what the Brick Masters wanted and were able to adjust our builds accordingly and follow-through. For example in the Good Vs Evil challenge, I had built a pink soap car that I loved but the Judges said it clashed with the main color Mark and Boone were using so we took it out. Obviously the judges can’t tell you specifically what to do, but we paid very close attention and then made changes.

Sam: The time limits were so difficult. Jessica and I were on the same page pretty quickly with good ideas. Even though we are different, we always had great ideas and tried to make each other laugh. But I have never been a fast builder. At home, I work as best as I can with what I have on hand and then just go for it, but you have time to think about what you are building.

Sam and Jessica in Dream Park Theme Park (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

In the Good vs. Evil challenge, you had to partner with another team. What was it like to partner with a team you were also competing with?

Sam: I loved it. It was a whole new dynamic, and Mark and Boone are both amazing. They’re both kind and generous. Everybody on the show was. We all talked to each other after the tapings as you’re going back to the hotel at night, so we’d get ideas from each other. I didn’t feel like anyone was trying to fight or hurt or backstab. We were partnered with Mark and Boone who were in it to win it. They were definitely not trying to take a break and say, “Oh, we have the golden brick, we don’t have to try.” They worked with us and they kept being supportive. It was one of my favorite times there. I just had so much fun that week. We’d chosen such hilariously weird characters. Something about it just worked so well. I loved it.

Jessica: Yeah, I loved it too. Sam said everything that I would say. Mark and Boone are so talented. We were both thrilled we got Mark and Boone because that’s the team we wanted to work with. We have different skill sets so we knew we could make a mega-build that was really dynamic and had all the elements in it. What the judges loved about our build with Mark and Boone was that they looked at it and even though our characters were so wacky, they didn’t need anything explained. They’re like, “Yes that’s definitely a shower guy battling a big giant pink panda.” They knew exactly what it was. That was also one of my favorite challenges to work on.

Sam and Jessica planning the Good Vs. Evil challenge.
Planning the Good Vs Evil challenge (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

Do you have any favorite builds from your competitors you saw over the entire series?

Jessica: There was so many! One of my favorites was actually Aaron and Christian’s underwater helmet for the Cut-in-Half challenge.

Sam: That was my favorite build of the whole season! It was gorgeous and so perfectly polished technically. Sadly, the issue they had was that this is a reality competition show and it just wasn’t big enough for TV. The judges came around and told them to make it bigger since it was only as big as a person’s head. I know they had it in them, but they were so excited about their build and their direction that they kept going with what they had. Their creation was so amazing, the way it moved, the lights—honestly it would have won awards at any LEGO convention. But on a reality TV show, you have to listen to the judges and it just wasn’t big enough.

(©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

What was your favorite creation that your team has built so far?

Jessica: For me, it is a tie between our mermaid and our Star Wars build. For the Battle of Crait, I loved how we captured the action and energy of the scene. And I loved those red dust clouds. Honestly, it isn’t our favorite movie or Star Wars scene in general, but we thought that it is just such an artistic battle that there was a lot of potential for building something amazing to capture the colors and energy of the scene. I love the way we did that build.

Sam: I agree her completely. We captured energy, action, and movement which is what Star Wars is all about. Honestly, it surprised us when we finished and took a step back from the build to see something so amazing. I was so proud. It was such a great feeling to see what we could accomplish when we were on the same page with a common goal and when we clicked as a team. We’d received some hard critiques in previous shows, so it felt amazing to really nail a challenge.

Jessica: I thought you might say the elephant you made for the Storybook challenge.

Sam: That elephant was something I would have never ever made for myself. I mean, who would have ever imagined an elephant with candy cane legs on a golden sleigh? Definitely a kid with a vivid imagination! [laughs] I loved that elephant, but it wasn’t the same feeling that we had when we stepped away from our Battle of Crait. We were in awe. We felt proud. We loved it. We were crying. I remember looking at Jessica and saying, “We did it!”

Sam and Jessica's Battle of Crait.
Sam and Jessica’s Battle of Crait (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

What did it feel like to go from being in the bottom at the beginning of the series to having such a strong showing in the semi-final Star Wars build?

Jessica: I was overwhelmed with emotion based on the feedback from the judges. I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I think we’re going to the finale!” That was the first time I really thought we were definitely going to go. I think we both were overwhelmed and happy and overjoyed in that moment. And a little freaked out too! [laughs]

Sam: Both teams, Mark and Boone and Tyler and Amy, have won so many challenges. They are the teams to beat, and suddenly we’re there with them toe-to-toe to get into the finale. It felt so good because we worked so hard on that challenge. Even when we weren’t building during a break for the night, we stayed up and tried to talk about the build and what we needed to do the next day. We got up super early in the morning–and Jessica would have to get up even earlier to do hair and makeup. I really think we earned it.

Sam and Jessica in the Movie Genres challenge.
Sam and Jessica in the Movie Genres challenge (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

What would have been the perfect challenge for your team if you could have chosen one?

Jessica: Sculpting something completely wacky and weird! We would have won hands down with something like a sculpting challenge that was really untraditional. I think that’s why we did well in the Storybook challenge. So something like that–I feel like we would have really excelled.

We like to be able to make our own ideas–both of us. A lot of times of a challenge was more literal and given to us like, “Okay, you have to make this exact thing, like Star Wars, you have to make this other thing.” We like coming up with our ideas and creating them from scratch. That’s why I loved the Cut in Half challenge because it was sculpting and we got to come up with our own idea.

Sam: I agree–we excelled at that too. We understand each other in those moments. We’re like, “Oh yeah, I get this, I get what you’re doing, I get what you’re saying. Let’s get to work.”

Building a droid.
Building a droid (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

Do you have a favorite LEGO Masters memory that the camera didn’t catch?

Sam: There was something every single night! We’d go to dinner together as a big group a lot. It felt like it was one big family. My favorite was when we went to the LEGO store one weekend on one of our first weekends there. We had the day off and we all wanted to get a picture together in front of the pick-a-brick wall. The person who was taking the picture of us said, “You guys are all so attractive!” and Kara goes, “Yes, we should all be on TV!” We giggled because we were filming a show but nobody knew we were going to be on TV. We were just a large group buying LEGO. It was an inside joke and it was such a special moment of surreal-ness. Yeah, that was my favorite thing ever.

Jessica: I think just hanging out with the cast was really cool. Sam, I, and Krystle and Amy are really good friends. Right before we started filming we got to go to a Halloween event together and it was very, very fun. I think just hanging out with the cast overall is my best memory since there wasn’t one specific moment I could really put my finger on.

(©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

Did you learn any building techniques from other teams?

Sam: There were so many!

Jessica: The platforms! I noticed the builds that were winning were almost always on some kind of raised platform. So for the Star Wars challenge, I was like, “Okay, we are doing the platform thing”. I noticed the Brick Masters really like that. Boone and Mark were almost always on a platform–every single time they had some kind of solid foundation to build on. So that’s definitely a technique that I saw on their team and then we started incorporating it in ours. Tyler and Amy had platforms too. They do sculptures so they didn’t always have one, but it seemed like when they did, they would win the challenge. Presentation made a big difference with the judges.

In some challenges you were portrayed as having a hard time, like during the Bridge challenge. In others, it seemed to come more easily to you. Was there a difference between how you handled the challenges or was the discrepancy due to editing of the episodes?

Sam: For me, it was both. Everybody was stressed in every episode, but they don’t show it all. Part of it is editing. I wanted to show that I am fairly good with LEGO. But the first day that I walked onto the set I was like, “Oh, gosh!” I recognized some of my competitors and had seen their work before; it’s phenomenal and so polished. I thought there’s no way I can beat that. So, I essentially beat myself. I thought I could only get to episode four, maybe five. In the beginning, I just didn’t want to go home first.

But after we found our footing, I decided, “I don’t care because I don’t expect to go all the way.” That gave me some freedom and I didn’t put pressure on myself anymore. I felt like I could just build, and that made it so much better. I wasn’t going back to the hotel at night worried. But then there were times when we felt we didn’t do as well as we thought we would do. Like in the Star Wars challenge, I’m a huge Star Wars fan but I didn’t know how we were going to do it. I had self-doubt and that’s something that happens to everyone. Jessica was definitely great for knocking me out of that and saying, “You can do this, stop doubting yourself. Just do it. I’ve seen you do it over and over again.” Those moments were just the best because she would just knock me on my butt with encouragement. It was what I needed in that moment.

Sam and Jessica in the “Mega City Block” challenge (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

How did your attitude approaching the challenges affect your inspiration and how you ultimately performed in each episode?

Jessica: I think that moment when I helped Sam see his potential during the Star Wars challenge was really special. Right from the beginning, I really thought Sam was very talented. I saw that early on. I knew it would be difficult because we had not built together at first. But I was hopeful we were going to make it to the end. I didn’t know how we were going to make it to the end, but I was going to make sure that we stayed there as long as possible.

Sam: She had such a positive attitude the whole time. Like, “Sam, we’re doing this! We’re doing it!”

Jessica: Right! [laughs] I’m really happy. It was a beautiful moment in the Star Wars episode. You see towards the end that we did it, and the judges gave us amazing feedback. Those were real tears there–we were both really happy. Those were happy tears and I think that’s magical. That is why LEGO is amazing. It can do much more than allow you to be creative. LEGO allows so much in terms of teamwork, and those magical moments of believing in yourself and believing in your talent.

That’s why I loved our Star Wars build so much, because that is the key to being a successful artist. You have to value your talent–you have to know you are good. That’s why I’m programmed to be that way, because the art industry is so cutthroat. The industry can be tough and people will say you aren’t good enough. You get those punches all the time and I’m used to rolling with them. I feel like as an artist, all you can do is be hopeful, know your value, know the value in your work, and push through. I feel that story came out in our Battle of Crait build. That’s why it’s my favorite episode so far. I felt we had a really great method and a phenomenal build as well.

Sam: I also want to say that I got in my head a lot about being a technical builder. Tyler and Aaron were both so amazing at technical building. But it’s not just about technical building. The challenges are about storytelling and creativity and being able to communicate a feeling or having creative ideas. I didn’t know how important that would be in the show. I had in my head that it was all about technical, technical, technical. I just kept saying “I am not as technical as that.” I can’t do the motors like Flynn and Richard can. We don’t know that stuff or have experience with it. So it was amazing to realize as we were going along that that we’re good at this for different reasons. We might not have this history of technical building, but we are both storytellers and we both are creative artists. We have ideas that are not so in-the-box. One of our favorite words to say on the show was “wacky.” We love to say wacky because we had crazy, off-the-wall ideas and we just went with them because we loved them.

(©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

What has been the public reaction you’ve seen to being on the show as the colorful and diverse “eccentrics” team?

Sam: In terms of diversity and inclusion, the reaction has been both positive and negative–and I try to thrive on the positives. A few parents have sent me notes about how amazing it is for their children to feel represented on TV for the first time and see someone like them doing something amazing. It honestly wasn’t something I was thinking about heading into the show. I came to the show exactly as I am to build LEGO. I brought the clothes and wore my hair the way I do every day. I was really happy that Fox and the production company, Endemol Shine, were totally supportive of it. For all the hate mail, the positive feedback from moms made it all worth it. I hope that the world keeps growing and changing and that these things won’t need to be talked about in the future.

Jessica: I really feel for Sam because when I was a little girl, I was kind of a tomboy and I liked to wear boys’ clothes. I was actually told I couldn’t play with LEGO because I was a girl! One of my teachers thought it was only for boys. I’ve had to overcome a lot of gender stereotypes in my life. It’s kind of crazy. I’m happy that the world is changing. I’m happy Sam got to express who he is on the show. I hope kids who may be watching who feel different or left out feel a little more included and represented because of it.

(©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

For Jessica, we noticed you had several words hidden in your hair bows in each episode. What was the meaning behind those?

Jessica: Aww, it makes me so happy that someone noticed those! That’s a “Jessica DaVinci Code.” [laughs] I wanted the words that I hid in the bows on the show to be sort of a symbol of both women empowerment and artist empowerment. For example in the first episode, my bow said Dream which was about me finding the courage to pursue my dream of being a full-time artist. A year prior to the show, I quit my job to go all-in on a dream to become an artist. I didn’t even know about LEGO Masters at the time, so that isn’t why. I had been creating art for a decade in my free time but I wanted it to be a focus. The second hidden word in episode two said “hope” because I was hoping to make it in a cutthroat industry. My bow in the Star Wars challenge ironically said Rise even though I had no clue what the challenge would be. The words inspire me, so I thought I had to rise up to the challenge to get to the finale. So the words in the bows reflect my artist’s journey and wanting to make my own kind of personal statement in addition to the LEGO creations we were building.

Can you share all the words you included in your bows for each episode?

Jessica: Of course! I deliberately wore those to represent women and to represent artists. The first word was Dream – it’s about me quitting my job and pursuing my dream of being an artist. The second word was Hope – hoping I would make it in a cutthroat industry. The third word was Love, the fourth word was Inspire, the fifth word for Mega City was Believe, the sixth word was Imagine, the seventh word was Build, the eighth word was Reach, and the ninth word was Rise. No spoilers here, but the tenth word will be Shine!

Was there any significance to the color of the bows or was it to coordinate with your outfits?

Jessica: Most of them were to coordinate with outfits but some were intentional. The very first one was that hot pink Dream bow. I did want that to be a symbol, the hot pink bow representing women and “dream” representing me being an artist and following the dream. I feel that’s my most iconic hair bow, because that’s why I went to LEGO Masters. Also, we didn’t know if we were going to get eliminated so I tried to use the important one first. The Hope color is actually a Wizard of Oz reference–The Wizard of Oz starts out as black and white. And the Love bow was red because it’s all about loving yourself as an artist and knowing your value. I feel like it’s also ironic because I wore that during the same episode that we started doing amazing. The words fit with the different challenges coincidentally and I promise I didn’t know what they were ahead of time!

(©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

Are you both life-long builders and did either of you ever go through a dark age?

Sam: I’ve always bought LEGO, but I didn’t always build my own creations. I had buckets filled with LEGO. I collected sets and I would build them then tear them apart and throw them in the buckets. One day I went shopping with a friend and he bought a metal cabinet that had something like 88 drawers in it. I thought it was beautiful and wanted one too, but I just didn’t know what I would use it for. He suggested I use it to sort all my buckets of LEGO out, saying I could build stuff with my bricks then. I was like, “[gasps] That is such a good idea!”

So I bought it and it changed my life, it really did. It let me have freedom to build what I wanted to and not spend two hours searching for one piece in buckets and buckets of pieces. But I never went through a dark age. I certainly have at least one of almost every single piece that was ever made.

Jessica: I, on the other hand, had a very long dark age in my life. My story stems from being very young, female, and absolutely fascinated with things that were traditionally associated with boys. I wanted to build something out of LEGO during my school recess, and I was told by a teacher I could not play with LEGO because LEGO was for boys. It was in the boys’ section of the toys. I never thought of that moment again. I put it out of my mind. Then 20 years later, I was doing some soul searching as an artist, and I wanted to take my art to the next level. I wanted my art to be something meaningful and impactful. That moment resurrected in me. I remembered that was the first time in my life I was told I could not be creative specifically because I was female. Then I started using LEGO in my art and have been really successful as an artist as a result.

It’s crazy to see how one moment in your life can make an impact so much later. I do believe that’s why I started using LEGO in my artwork because, originally, I was not using LEGO. It just came to me in a dream one night where I made a piece called “LEGO Lincoln” out of nowhere. I thought it was so brilliant I woke myself up to write it down. The next day I went out to get some materials to make it, and it was a big hit. My artist journey took off from there. So, it was a very long dark age where I did not build with LEGO as a child or in my teenage years. It came much later to me in life.

Sam and Jessica in the Storybook challenge
(©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

What has been your involvement with LEGO conventions?

Sam: I’ve gone to LEGO conventions for many years. I’ve always loved it. I actually met Boone like a year ago at Brickworld Chicago and we became fast friends. I actually took a picture of me holding one of his replica ray guns from the ’60s. I’ve grown so much and learned so much through conventions. I’ve met people who are so skilled. The LEGO community at its core has just so much love. The first convention I ever went to had thousands of people showing amazing models. I got nominated for two awards that year for different things I’d made, and I just felt so included and accepted. The idea that it was my first time there and I was already brought into this gang, I loved it! I wasn’t ostracized at all and it was so supportive.

Jessica: I had never been to a convention before I went to my first one in Oregon with a bunch of the LEGO Masters cast back in February before this terrible outbreak of the virus, and I’m so glad I did. It was phenomenal to see the amount of talent in the LEGO community. You know, my LEGO community for me was just going into the LEGO store a couple of times a week and buying bricks for my artwork. I got to this point where the LEGO store people just knew I was coming in and knew I was gonna buy like thousands and thousands of pieces and had boxes ready for me and everything.

Going to the LEGO store four times a week over the past year was something I really looked forward to because as a full-time artist, I wake up and I’m in my art studio all day. I really looked forward to taking a trip to the LEGO store, going in and looking at pieces, buying them in bulk, talking with the staff, making little tiny things out of whatever was on the wall. That was definitely one of my happy places and still is. One of my favorite LEGO stores is at Rockefeller Center in New York City. I built a LEGO Lincoln which is made with over 4,000 bricks, and it is actually on display right now in that store. Lincoln’s been on display since February and is sort of quarantined in there until the LEGO store reopens.

The Battle of Crait (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

Which LEGO user groups (LUG) are you involved in?

Sam: I’ve never actually gotten LUGbulk or anything like that. I’m an honorary member of the Bearded Builders. I’m in OrphanLUG, GAYFOLs, and LUGOLA, but only just recently. When I moved to LA, I went to one meeting and then I got cast on the show, so I didn’t get to go to the next meeting and now there hasn’t been any since everything is on hold. I’m part of a bunch of LUGs–any group that will have me! I love having them as a resource and as friends and I love it. So I feel very blessed to be a part of them.

Jessica: I guess by default now I’m part of the Women AFOLs–so WAFOLs. But I haven’t been part of any of those groups. Because I’m an artist myself, because I’m a professional, I sell my artwork. It’s something I do for fun–but not really because it’s something I do for a profession. I didn’t have things I was making as a hobby to show off to a group. Everything I make I was trying to sell immediately for income. That’s why my batch of art right now is so limited because the second I make something, I sell it immediately to make room for new inventory. My process with LEGO is a little different, but I would like to get involved with some LEGO groups now. After going to my first convention and seeing the talent–oh my gosh, just the pure talent–it really blew my mind and I would definitely like to participate in some more upcoming conventions.

Sam: Like Jess was just saying about how much talent there is out there, even at the smallest convention you’ll find 100 people there that are totally LEGO Masters worthy. There are amazing builders everywhere. We felt very, very honored to be chosen to be part of the show.

Jessica: That really blew my mind at the convention to see all the diversity of builders, all the different things, from scientific things to superhero fandom. It was really a joy to see the diverse talents. It’s a community I’m a part of and want to stay a part of. I definitely want to join some groups and do some convention stuff in the future.

Sam and Jessica’s MP3 droid (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

What’s your biggest takeaway from LEGO Masters?

Jessica: The biggest takeaway for me from LEGO Masters is very personal. It has reaffirmed the need to find the courage to believe in yourself and follow the dream. Because my whole life, for a lot of my professional career, I was good at a lot of things. I was always multi-talented. But all I wanted to do was be an artist. I did not think that I would make it in a cutthroat industry. I’ve experienced my own self-doubt in my life. When I finally found the courage to pursue that dream and went all in, the universe gave me this incredible opportunity to be on LEGO Masters, and now I’m a finalist!

So my biggest takeaway is to find the courage in yourself to follow your dreams. Go all-in on a dream, and I feel like you’ll be successful. I truly, truly believe that. This show and this experience kind of proved that. I am still in disbelief that this even happened to me. A few years ago, I was still a part-time artist and I got my first art show at a very prestigious gallery. It was all LEGO-themed work, and I was literally in tears when I found out it sold out. LEGO is what gave me the confidence to pursue the dream of being an artist. That’s just even more ironic. It was my LEGO work that gave me the confidence to pursue the dream, then I pursued the dream and I got on LEGO Masters. It’s just so crazy to me. So, I think if you give it 110%, you will be successful to some degree.

Sam: I don’t know how to answer. There are just so many emotions. I guess for me, believe in yourself. I don’t know how to word it. I went to LEGO Masters so I could build. I wasn’t trying to worry about what I looked like. I tried to be real at all times. Sometimes that wasn’t the best, and there’s a lot of negative feedback for that. But we’re real humans with real reactions. I was still true to myself and my abilities. Knowing that I was going to get people online that were like, “That guy is in a dress”–there is so much stuff online that’s negative–just ignoring it and being your true self is so powerful. It’s affirming to yourself. I don’t know how to word it. I am grateful for so much of it. I feel honored. Be true to yourself, because that’s really the most important thing.

Sam and Jessica’s “Mega City Block” (©2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX).

What advice would you give to a future LEGO Masters contestant?

Sam: Build, build, build, build. Keep practicing, like anything–like drawing, music, painting, sports, everything depends on practice. The more you practice–the more you build–the more you’ll learn and grow and the better you’ll be. LEGO.com offers a lot of their instructions for a bunch of sets for free online. You can download them and learn techniques, learn how things are put together, and you can learn so much. Keep going, keep trying, keep learning, keep building.

Jessica: I would say the same thing. It’s the same in the art world. Learning never stops. You can be an expert and still know nothing because there are thousands of artists. There are all these different continents, all these different eras of art. Just as an artist, I actually try and learn something new every single day and learn about new artists and what they’re doing. I feel like LEGO is similar. Working on your craft every day, you’ll never reach ultimate perfection because there’s an infinite number of ways to use LEGO. The key is what Sam said. Keep building. Keep creating. Keep looking into new ideas and work on your craft every day. Even the best athletes in the world work on their craft every single day. Tom Brady works on his football game every day, I’m sure. You can never be at your best, you can always do better.

Where can we follow you and your future LEGO creations online?

Jessica: My Instagram handle is @ragzyart . My website is ragzyart.com. My Facebook is Jessica Ragzy Art. My Twitter and Instagram are both @ragzyart.

Sam: You can find me at samuelhatmaker.com or Samuel Hatmaker on Facebook and Instagram. It’s all Samuel Hatmaker.

Sam and Jessica's Space Smash.
Sam and Jessica’s Space Smash build.

Want to support True North Bricks?

If you like the content at True North Bricks, please follow on InstagramFacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates. Additionally, you can support True North Bricks by making your LEGO® (and other) purchases using the links in the menu to the right. These affiliate links earn me a little commission at no extra cost to you, thus helping to manage the cost of running this blog. Thanks for your support!