Life once controlled by disabilities, one young man now creates art with Legos

Creating art with Legos
Creating art with Legos 02:16

SANTA ANA, California -- After years of struggling, Taylor Harkins found a niche for himself at a Goodwill store, where he's creating some amazing works of art -- one Lego at a time.From toddler to teenager to young adult, Taylor's life has been controlled by his disabilities such as Asperbgers. 

As a result, he is unable to drive a car, can't live by himself and reads at a 6th grade level

But building with Legos seems to make his disabilities work to his advantage.

Taylor Harkins building with Legos.  CBS News

Taylor said he's loved Legos "ever since Star Wars came out for Legos." 

At this Goodwill warehouse where most of the workers have special needs, Harkins sorts through donated bags of random Legos.

He re-assembles the sets, recreates scenes from his imagination -- and makes money off it.

One of Taylor Harkins' creations. CBS News

"He built a chess set out of Legos and it was really cool," said Goodwill manager Ted Mollenkraner. "That went for like $350.

 Mollenkraner created a special position just for Taylor. All of his creations are resold to Goodwill's online retail store, where collectors have paid up to $600 for these plastic pieces of art.  

Taylor Harkins and his father, Clyde. CBS News

Clyde Harkins, Taylor's father, is happy his son has finally found a place where he fits.  
"No one knew what the future was," Clyde said. "Taylor has played such a huge role in his future. So, it's been an amazing thing to watch and an amazing story to tell."

Taylor Harkins. CBS News

Brick by brick, these toys have given his son something every parent wishes for their child: Joy.

"It's super terrific happy time is what I like to call it," Taylor said. "I just enjoy what I do."

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    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles.