Stuff I see, which you might not.

The scariest puzzle of all time

We had a family party on the weekend and, as I was packing away the puzzles that the younger kids had been playing with, I noticed one aspirational puzzle entitled Careers. As I checked out the range of career options that our kids were being shown, I could not help but notice that the ‘Artist’ looked suspiciously like Jesus. Oh, and also like he has A PENCIL COMING OUT OF HIS HEAD, but that is really secondary.

The Artist and the Doctor.

The Artist and the Doctor.

I was so amazed that I took it to my brother for a second opinion. He pointed out that the other puzzle professionals looked sort of suspicious. The grimacing scientist mixing up a lethal cocktail of chemicals, the smug computer programmer on her ancient PC and the very shifty looking carpenter who may well be nailing his most recent victim under the floorboards…

Look out, kids.

Look out, kids.

But there is a clear winner in this puzzle – the teacher. You would definitely make sure your homework was ready if this was waiting for you in the classroom – ready to strike with poisoned apple or the ruler dagger.



So, there you have it. A whole range of frightening career options to choose from…

This is why I love working in HR.

This is why I love working in HR.


David Mach is amazing.

I was going to make a pun out of his name, but I wasn’t sure if you pronounce it like ‘Mark’ or like ‘Match’, so thought that it could get lost in translation and become confusing. So I’ll just stick to the fact – David Mach is amazing. He’s a Scottish artist and I first saw his work on designboom. Incredible sculptures made from everyday items (things like matchsticks, coathangers, playing cards and dominoes). David says, “When I have ideas I want to make them, and not just some of them, but all of them”. David loves to work with as many different materials as possible and calls himself “a materials junkie”. Ok, enough about what David says, have a look what David does.

Charlie Chaplin, Matchead.
(c) David Mach


Stag, made of wire coat hangers.
(c) David Mach


“Layed Back” – Snoopy, made of playing cards.
(c) David Mach

And that barely even scratches the surface – it’s well worth checking out David’s website and Facebook page for more of his incredibly creative and quirky works of art. There are some brilliant public art installations, mindblowing Matcheads, pretty scary coat hanger gorillas and an image of the Queen made from greeting cards. I’ll finish as I began – DAVID MACH IS AMAZING! You can check out his website here and his Facebook page here and the designboom post here.


Oi, Picassohead!

Ever looked at a Picasso and thought, huh, I could do waaaay better than that? Ok, me neither, but I kinda like the idea of painting Mr-Potato-Head-style, popping an eye over there, an ear up top, a cheesy smile next to eyebrows and finishing with a flourish of colours and abstract lines. But I’m not really an artist. Or, at least, I wasn’t an artist…until I discovered the excellent Picassohead site, where everyone can have a go at unleashing their inner Pablo. You can even add your new portrait to the online gallery.

The site is actually quite a fun time-waster. And now, without further ado, I present Blue by EverydaySparks. (Oh, and two other pics that were in the screen shot that I took – unfortunately, I couldn’t save my masterpiece to file.) I know you will find it hard to believe, but this is my first Picassohead work and it took me approximately two minutes. Totes professional, hey?

You can check out the work of far more talented peeps on the Picassohead website, where you can also create your own magic and add it to the virtual gallery. Enjoy, Picassohead.


The Bubbles of Fabian Oefner

Designboom recently featured the work of Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner, who has explored the art of the bursting bubble in his project ‘iridient’. It’s easy to appreciate that these amazing images are extremely difficult to capture as the soapy air pockets are immortalized in two states: the moment immediately before and after rupturing; and the famous spectrum of colors. The result is an amazing collection of art – lively photos that are full of rainbows. And, as with clouds in the sky, I can definitely see other worlds – outer space and under the sea…and maybe the musical Hair…

These photos are from the designboom post here. And you can check out Fabian Oefner’s website here – including his incredible ‘Dancing Colors’ project, where Fabian has focussed on ‘making sound waves visible’, capturing stunning pics of coloured pigments as they leap from the surface of a vibrating speaker when music is played. Amazing.


Pull the pin

Tara Donovan makes art from pins (well, not always, but the pieces that I’m sharing here are all made with common drawing pins). I can hardly even imagine the patience required to stick so many little pins into boards to create art. But, that’s what Tara did for her series Drawings (Pins), which has been shown in her native New York and in other galleries around the world. I first saw Tara’s work on the designboom site – whether the images are from close up or far away, her work is pretty incredible!

According to designboom, the pieces are made up of tens of thousands of nickel-headed thumbtacks embedded in Gatorboard® in varying degrees, generating detailed texture and movement. the collection is an archetypal example of donovan’s signature style, where she is known for using a multitude of a single item to create often large-scale installations.

As you can see from this picture, hundreds and thousands of pins were used to create shading and texture. And I know a photo isn’t as good as seeing the real thing, but I am in awe of Tara Donovan’s work – using a common thing like a pin (granted, many many boxes of pins) to create beautiful works of art. As with the art made from 100s and 1000s that I included in an earlier post here, I am truly blown away by their patience and talent!

If you’d like to read more about Tara Donovan and her pins, the designboom post is here. But remember, pins are not toys. And EverydaySparks takes no responsibility for holes in fingers or missing office supplies as a result of this post.

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Draw Something. Anything.

I think I’m very late getting on the bandwagon, so you’ve probably already seen the Draw Something app. Essentially, it’s online Pictionary with random strangers. Or, Words With Friends in picture format, if you like. And I’m hooked. I can’t really draw – a fact that is becoming more and more apparent with each game that I play – but there’s some satisfaction in your scribble being identified as your intended image. Basically, you choose from one of three options to draw (for your team mate to guess). And then you get awarded coins, depending on the alleged difficulty of what you chose to draw. An everyday plodder drawing equivalent – say, HAT – will get you one coin, while the nimble Russian gymnast drawing equivalent – say, PETSHOP – will get you three coins. (For the record, I have drawn both hat and petshop and they have been identified correctly by the person on the other side. How, I do not know, but that is beside the point.) You can use your virtual coins to buy additional virtual paint colours to brighten up your drawings, or to buy additional virtual bombs to blow up some of the letters that you choose from to name what the other person has drawn. People use bombs to help them decipher my drawings quite frequently – but I like to think that, like Picasso before me, the hidden depth of my work is not immediately obvious to everyone. I am also comforted by the fact that Picasso never had to try and produce a masterpiece using a canvas half the size of a phone screen, with an index finger as a paintbrush. The virtual artist’s life is not an easy one, I tell you.

However, there are some amazing people out there and I am regularly in awe of the quality of their drawings. Others, and I include most of my own drawings in this number, are either intentionally or unintentionally comical and I find myself shaking with laughter as I look at them on my way to work or waiting in line at the supermarket. For an app that is either free or upgraded to a 99c version, Draw Something definitely gives me my money’s worth in entertainment on a daily basis. Judge for yourself…

     (Ok, that last one is mine. CMM4. See what I mean?)

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