BRUCE B HELLER
BRUCE "at" CBDBESPOKE.COM
My first memory in life was playing with LEGO. I collected LEGO sets and built my own creations (mostly houses) throughout my teenage years. In high school, I entered my “Dark Ages” (the period of time when one stops playing with LEGO) and began pursuing a career in character animation. I graduated from the California Institute of the Arts and worked in and out of the animation industry — Disney’s Hercules, Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants, FOX’s The Cleveland Show and Netflix’s Big Mouth are among my credits — for over 20 years. During that time, I also taught animation to kids around the world, studied woodworking, and lamented giving my nephew my childhood LEGO collection.
Then I saw The LEGO Movie, and everything changed. I walked out of that theater in happy tears, my love of LEGO rekindled. Within a couple short years I had built up my collection of LEGO again and started building my own creations. Spurred on by my love of Los Angeles history and architecture, I chose Los Angeles City Hall as my first big project. It won an award for Best Microscale at its first convention, and it was featured in an article in BrickJournal Magazine (Issue #42, October 2016). After adding a pedestal which showcased the history of the building, I was interviewed by the folks at “Beyond The Brick” on YouTube when I attended BrickCon 2016 in Seattle, Washington.
My next model was another building by Architect John Parkinson, the Art Deco masterpiece known as Bullocks Wilshire (now the Southwestern Law School). The model won an Honorable Mention trophy at its first convention, and it is now on display at Southwestern Law School.
I have taught building techniques to kids, and continue to show my work publicly. I am currently at work on two more personal projects — the façade of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Union Station — to complete a set of four Los Angeles landmark buildings by John Parkinson.
As of the Summer of 2017, I am working full-time on commissions. I pride myself in the quality of my work. When designing and building replicas, I strive for accuracy in proportion and detail, while making sure that the character of the original shows through, sometimes adding a touch of whimsy. Printed bricks are custom made to order, and apart from some electrical elements, all models are made of 100% standard LEGO bricks. Commissions are usually glued together as they are works of art, and not play sets.