LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nathan Sawaya has been one of the most influential names in LEGO® and art circles for years. Now, he’s ready to tell his story and share life lessons through LEGO in a new series of children’s books, “THE ADVENTURES OF HUGMAN.”
The contemporary artist announced the multi-book release on Instagram Tuesday, along with details of the first four titles.
Written by Sawaya, and illustrated by Maarten Lenoir, launch titles include:
THE ADVENTURES OF HUGMAN books are timeless stories for kids ages 2 to 5 that follow a little brick buddy named “Hugman" as he and his friends think outside of the LEGO box to tackle problem solving, highlight the benefits of collaboration and teach important lessons of friendship, self-confidence and respect - all while exploring the endless possibilities and creativity with LEGO bricks.
Sawaya is self-publishing the line of hardcover books, and they are available at select retailers, as well as on adventuresofhugman.com and in the gift shops of his touring exhibitions, THE ART OF THE BRICK. More books are in development with the fifth title in the series scheduled to publish in August 2018.
“I’m excited to announce the publication of these books,” said Sawaya. “By using LEGO bricks as a mode of storytelling, the books become very relatable since LEGO is familiar to so many kids and families. These stories also relate to my own experiences growing up with LEGO. I’m happy I get to share my journey with the brick - from childhood toy to fine art medium - through the eyes of a little LEGO friend named Hugman.”
The Hugman character was inspired by Sawaya’s popular graffiti sculptures. Several years ago, wanting to create his own form of street art, Sawaya started placing little brick-built figures around New York City hugging various thing like trees, fence posts and sign poles. This street art would eventually span the globe and become known as Hugman.
Sharing the idea for one of the stories, Sawaya said, “When I was ten years old, I wanted to get a dog, and my parents were not keen on it. So what did I do? I used my LEGO bricks to build my very own dog. So in the book, Hugman and the Animals, we find the little boy not wanting just a dog, but wanting a giraffe, an elephant and even a penguin. So what does he do? He uses his bricks to transform his Hugman friend into a giraffe, and into an elephant and into a penguin, with various amounts of success.”
The official series launch activities include an inaugural book signing event at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh coinciding with the opening celebration of Sawaya’s collection of contemporary artwork created completely out of LEGO on June 16, 2018.
“For years I have used LEGO bricks as my creative medium of choice for artwork, so it followed that I would use LEGO bricks once again as a basis for these children’s books. Both the art exhibitions and the books tell stories of the human condition. They explore the simple, yet often complex, emotions surrounding events and situations that make us who we are.”
ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF HUGMAN BOOK SERIES
The stories feature a little boy named Nathan and his brick buddy Hugman who is created from red LEGO bricks. The two go on adventures and along the way Hugman gets broken, rebuilt, and takes on various shapes and iterations as the stories unfold. Nathan and Hugman confront bullies, get lost, and in the end have fun and make some wonderful friends. The stories are humorous and have important messages about being kind, liking yourself as you are, and the warm comforts of a hug. But they are also stories firmly rooted in a solid foundation of creativity, collaboration and construction, while at the same time teaching kids about colors, animals, overcoming shyness and playing well with others. Reading the Hugman stories extend the play experience of LEGO without getting out a single brick. But it’s quite likely that after reading THE ADVENTURES OF HUGMAN books, kids will want to get out their bricks and start building! For more information visit adventuresofhugman.com.
ABOUT NATHAN SAWAYA
Former NYC corporate lawyer turned contemporary artist, Nathan Sawaya is the first artist ever to take the LEGO brick into the art world as a medium. Sawaya has earned a top position in the world of contemporary art and has created a new dimension by merging Pop Art and Surrealism in awe-inspiring and groundbreaking ways. Sawaya’s exhibition – THE ART OF THE BRICK – has entertained and inspired millions of art lovers and enthusiasts around the world. CNN heralded THE ART OF THE BRICK as one of the top ten “must-see exhibits in the world!" Sawaya is an author, speaker and one of the most popular, award-winning contemporary artists of our time. For more information visit brickartist.com or nathansawaya.com.
ABOUT MAARTEN LENOIR
Maarten has always been drawing since the day he could hold a pencil, doodling on every bit of paper that dared cross his path. At some point during secondary school, his main focus swapped from illustration to multimedia and digital communications. He then spent the last two years of secondary school and all six years of college specializing in web and digital design. In 2014, however, when a friend asked him to draw something to put on a birth announcement, Maarten rediscovered his love for drawing and decided to dig deeper into the world of illustration. At this point in time, he aims to make the world a little nicer by creating vibrant and atmospheric illustrations for everyone to enjoy.