As people age they tend to grow out of their childhood toys.

But for Calgary artist Dave Ware, exactly the opposite is happening -- the older he gets, the more obsessed with Lego he becomes.

Ware is one of the world's top Lego artists, and his gorgeous and detailed portraits and pictures made with the colourful little bricks are gaining him a lot of attention.

“For me, part of it is it just kind of reminds me of my childhood and playing and building things,” Ware told CTV Calgary.

Like most, Ware loved Lego as a little kid. But about seven years ago, is childhood obsession with the building blocks was rekindled.

"Once I grew up and had my own space and some disposable cash I started buying a bunch more of it again, and from there it just kind of grew from hobby to obsession," Ware told Calgary Eyeopener.

He says he was inspired to create his first Lego mosaic after a trip to the Science Centre with his son. He saw some maps created from Lego on the wall and wondered if he could do something similar.

He came home and created a small portrait of his dog ... and with that a Lego monster was born.

Ware specializes in large, and often very realistic, mosaics. He told the Calgary Journal that his favourite creations are science fiction or comic book images.

dave ware lego

CTV reports Ware has more than half-a-million pieces of Lego at home.

“Usually the first thing people will tell me when I tell them I build stuff out of Lego is they will tell me how much Lego they have at home. They will say, oh I’ve got so much Lego at home and then I just kind of shake my head and inside my own head, say no you really, really don't,” Ware told CTV.

According to the Journal, Ware uses a program called Bricksaic to pixelate the image before beginning work on it. He builds each "canvas" on a base plate and most of his work is only one brick high. Ware told the CBC that large works are created with anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 pieces and take up to 100 hours to complete.

His hard work with the small pieces is paying off, however. Ware has won multiple awards from Seattle's BrickCon annual Lego convention and has been commissioned to do portraits of prominent Calgarians.

Last fall, Ware completed a five foot by five foot mosaic of SAIT president Irene Lewis and was also commissioned to do a portrait of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Ware will be busy with his bricks in 2013.He has build a picture of a Lego robot that is being featured in the Endeavour Arts gallery and will build a large mosaic of a Calgary icon, both on grant money received from Calgary 2012.

Check out more amazing Lego art from Dave Ware and others in our slideshow

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  • This 2011 piece was inspired by a poster found on a trip to Hawaii.

  • Ware designed a portrait for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

  • War of the Worlds by Dave Ware. This piece won Ware the "Best In Show" at Seattle's 2010 BrickCon show.

  • Rocketeer

    An early mosaic by Ware, this one of the Rocketeer, designed from a poster, was done in 2008.

  • The Dalai Lama

  • Little girl

  • C3PO

  • 2Pac

  • Maggie Simpson

  • Various Lego portraits being constructed

  • Sydney Opera House

  • The Titanic

  • Woman on exhibit

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