From Toy to Creative Realism – Felix Hernandez

I have highlighted a number of very creative people on my website and I have said it before, but I need to say it yet again. The amount of talent that is “out there” is amazing! It is hard to believe what someone who is focused can accomplish.

Felix Hernandez takes a simple toy car and crafts a very realistic scene using artificial ingredients and Photoshop-type post production techniques. It is truly stunning to watch this come together as a finished project.

Watch the animation below, The Love Car, to appreciate true artistic creativity.

Zinnfully Amusing and Creative Art

I like to think that I am a creative person. I enjoy experimenting with ideas and styles in several different formats, but I admit that I am only moderately creative. That is why I appreciate someone who is creative in the extreme, i.e. an “extreme creative.”

David Zinn is, what I would consider, an “extreme creative.” It is obvious that he is probably one of those people who has a mind that, for lack of a better term, is just wired differently. Let me explain…

Look at this picture below:

Hair Today, Lawn Tomorrow

The title of this print, which is for sale HERE is: “Hair Today, Lawn Tomorrow.” Obviously this is a play on the words “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.” I am a punster and self-proclaimed wordsmith so I appreciate this type of creativity (even though my friends may not concur).

I could have seen the path in the picture and those patches of green, but I never would have imagined a patch of grassy weeds as a hair piece; obviously David did!

Another nice touch is the patch of dried vegetation which serves as a modesty cover or article of clothing. This is just “thinking different” to paraphrase Apple, Inc.’s slogan.

Let’s examine some additional artwork from David Zinn…

Fall Cleaning – Notice the use of what appears to be a twig that bridges the real and the artistic as well as the intentional placement of leaves.


In The Cat Prisoner we once again see the mix of the artistic with the real. And that mouse, that mouse is little, but adds so much.


A Little Light Reading – I could have walked past this light a dozen times and never have envisioned this as an element of an art installation. And how about the planning to get the torso positioned just right!


Looking at Snowman Mishap, we see the detail to which David Zinn goes to render his masterpieces. That is a real miniature snowman on the wall with what is left of its head on the sidewalk. The green character, Sluggo, peers over the edge indicating that he most likely had something to do with the “mishap” while Philomena, a flying pig, stares back angrily with a snow-filled eye – cute!


Sluggo and Philomena are two recurring characters in Zinn’s artwork which helps to build recognition and perhaps a small army of groupies.

David hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan so obviously this type of outdoor artwork is limited during some seasons, but he does manage to work in areas that provide “chalk-friendly tabletops.”



Here are a few more images that I found especially interesting and/or whimsical.




We can all salute David’s art work and appreciate his creativity, but adding to our admiration has to be the fact that these are temporary chalk creations that will be swished away by the first rain or snowstorm or perhaps some over energetic budding street artist wannabe. He has referred to his street art as “pointless” art, but I disagree. Any art that evokes a smile, joy or appreciation is far from pointless. Thank you David Zinn for the smiles and snickers you have added to our days.

Read more about David Zinn at his website HERE.

Learn more about David’s artwork from the video below where he explains his work and philosophy.

David Zinn Art from Create Michigan on Vimeo.

If you like the work of Artist Zinn, his book, Temporary Preserves, contains quite a collection and is for sale HERE.

Follow David Zinn on facebook and Instagram

Credit where credit is due: I first came to learn about David Zinn via this article on This Colossal webiste –
Quirky New Chalk Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor by David Zinn

NOTE: I am not a relative or personal friend of David Zinn’s. I have no vested interest in writing this post except to recommend his work as a source of joy and inspiration for others who appreciate creativity and whimsical art. I have found his craft very imaginative and I hope you do as well. originally published this post

See previous Creative and Inspirational Stories HERE

Ear Jacket – Are Your Lobes Cold?

Maybe as a guy I am not supposed to know this or perhaps it’s my seniordom that gives me an excuse, but has anyone noticed that earrings are changing? I understand there is a style around now called the (get this) ear jacket. Don’t take my word for it. Search that phrase on the Internet and you will hear plenty about them. I never knew that ears could have jackets. Sometimes, as I understand it, they can also be called “cuffs,” but lets not confuse the issue too much.

Here is the anatomy of an ear jacket:

ear jacket anatomy

Picture courtesy of Etsy – see link

The part pictured as “A” is what would have been a regular earring in years past. Now this is just the part that holds the item to the ear, but instead of being a plain backing as before, it is now decorative and faces front.

The item pictured as part “B” is called the jacket. This is the showiest part and would have been a stand-alone earring once upon a time.

Perhaps it is better explained by the Telegraph UK as “… an extended earring back that surrounds the bottom of your ear, neatly slipping on to the stem of any stud.”
(Read the article here)

Here are a couple of additional examples from BuzzFeed (article linked below)

arrow ear jacket

hummingbird ear jacket ear jacket

See more examples (both in-ear and just pictures) at the BuzzFeed Link: 24 Ear Jackets That Will Take Your Piercings To The Next Level

As far as fashion goes, I am way behind the trends!

IlluminateTED – Bryan Stevenson -Talk About Injustice


Bryan Stevenson – We need to talk about an injustice

Bryan Stevenson is an Attorney who fights for the rights of the poor, underprivileged and often disenfranchised people in the United States. His presentation is poignant and to the point. No American should feel at peace while justice is not served equally to all citizens regardless of economic, social, physical or other circumstances.

What are TED Talks?
You can read more about the history of TED here

If you want to be educated, challenged and yes, even entertained, watch Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk. It will be time very well spent.

Bryan Stevenson’s TED TalkWe need to talk about an injustice

Bryan Stevenson - Equal Justice Initiative

Bryan Stevenson at TED 2012” by James Duncan DavidsonOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.” – From the website of the Equal Justice Initiative

TED Take-A-Ways

Highlights excerpted from the transcript which can be viewed in full:

Bryan Stevenson – We need to talk about an injusticeTranscript

  • “The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. We have seven million people on probation and parole.”

  • “We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent. Wealth, not culpability, shapes outcomes.”

  • “The United States is the only country in the world where we sentence 13-year-old children to die in prison. We have life imprisonment without parole for kids in this country. And we’re actually doing some litigation. The only country in the world.”

  • “Death penalty in America is defined by error. For every nine people who have been executed, we’ve actually identified one innocent person who’s been exonerated and released from death row. A kind of astonishing error rate — one out of nine people innocent…In aviation, we would never let people fly on airplanes if for every nine planes that took off one would crash.”

  • “And yet, in this country, in the states of the Old South, we execute people — where you’re 11 times more likely to get the death penalty if the victim is white than if the victim is black, 22 times more likely to get it if the defendant is black and the victim is white…”


Read more about Bryan Stevenson on Wikipedia



What are Ted Talks?

TED is an acronym that represents Technology, Entertainment and Design and refers to a series of conferences around the world that features “Ideas Worth Spreading.” From its small beginnings in 1984 as a single conference, it has developed into one of the premiere venues for the sharing of information and ideas.

Included among the TED presenters are:

  • Madeleine Albright, Former US Secretary of State
  • Isabel Allende, Novelist and author
  • Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of
  • Bill Clinton, former President of the United States
  • Billy Graham, spiritual leader and consultant to many influential people
  • John Legend, Musician, activist
  • David Pogue, Technology columnist
  • Amy Tan, Novelist
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
  • Siegfried Woldhek, Illustrator

Back to the Top of the Page

Read more about TED on Wikipedia

Flight of the Bumblebee w/o Instruments

Many of us have heard the musical piece The Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It seems to be quite a challenging piece with those fast-paced notes and changes in register and it is something to see, I mean hear!

I don’t think you have ever heard it like this though…a capella. How can they perform this without instruments and how good can it be; You decide.

For those who want to compare, here is a version played by an orchestra.

Samsung’s Safety Truck Saves Lives

The camera and screen technology is demonstrated in Argentina where, as the video points out, a person dies in a traffic accident nearly every hour. With all of the one-lane roads, a number of those deaths are attributable to cars trying to pass on the narrow roadways.

Samsung shows how current technology in its Samsung Safety Truck can be put to use to save lives. After all, what is the value of a human life?

Alien Life on Other Planets or Stars

Aliens - Image courtesy Interdimensional Guardians via Flickr Creative Commons
Aliens – Image courtesy Interdimensional Guardians via Flickr Creative Commons


I have often thought that if there are “billions and billions” of stars/planets out there that other forms of intelligent life must exist. After all, what are the odds we would be the only form of life capable of thinking, inventing and exploring? If I had to bet, I would be likely to put my money on other creative life forms out there somewhere.

Then the question arises: Why Aren’t The Aliens Here Already? I mean really, how slow can they be? I would suspect that some other intelligent life would be more advanced than humans on earth and therefore should be here by now. Well…perhaps not.

Adam Frank of 13.7 cosmos & culture wrote the following in an article posted on NPR’s website:

“For today, however, let’s just consider the one answer that really matters for us, the existential one that is very, very freaky indeed: The aliens aren’t here because they don’t exist. We are the only sentient, technological species that exists in the entire galaxy.

It’s hard to overstate how profound this conclusion would be.

The consequences cut both ways.”

Read the rest of the story Why Aren’t The Aliens Here Already?.

Lightroom 6 First Panorama – Las Cruces, NM

Readers of my blog may have noticed that I enjoy the outdoors, hiking, birding, etc. My wife and I were recently hiking in the recently created Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

There were many excellent sightings that I hope to write about in the future, but for now I want to tell you about my very first attempt at creating a Panorama using Lightroom 6.

I have only been using LR for less than a year and I have been making progress in learning about the various tools. When LR 6 arrived with “built-in” panorama creation tools, I couldn’t wait to try it.

The Organ Mountains are very large and cannot be captured easily in one shot so I decided to create a Panorama.

I took the following seven pictures with hopes of being able to “stitch” them together using LR.

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 1

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 2

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 3

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 4

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 5

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 6

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama Picture 7

I wasn’t sure exactly how to accomplish this task so I searched online and found Julieanne Kost’s blog post about it. She is an excellent and gifted instructor. I have used several of her videos before. If you are interested, you can watch her video below:

I heard that when doing a panorama, one should have about a 30% overlap and although I wasn’t too exact about this, I took a guestimation as I captured the various pictures while moving my camera as level as I could across the distant view.

Here is the final result via a thumbnail-ish rendering.

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM - Panorama

You can see a large-sized image here at the link below:

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM

The image needs a bit more editing, perhaps reducing the “noise” in the sky, etc., but I am pleased with my first attempt. Are you encouraged to try creating a panorama?

Photographic Inspiration – Tales by Light

The video below is for a new television series, Tales by Light, which is intended to showcase photography and videography.

Below is the first paragraph from an article on PetaPixel describing this series:

“Want an incredible dose of photographic inspiration? Check out this newly-released 2-minute trailer for the new TV series Tales by Light, a new TV series that follows 5 top photographers as they take their cameras to the ends of the Earth — photographers who have an unquenchable desire to capture and share the wonders of this world with the rest of us.”

Read more about the series at the PetaPixel website – click here

Tales by Light Official Trailer HD from Untitled Film Works on Vimeo.

Photoshop As a Drawing Tool

Can Photoshop be used as an overall Artshop?

Did you ever think that you could use Photoshop as an artist’s drawing program? And the good news is, you don’t have to start from scratch! This is an interesting video demonstrating how Bert Monroy uses Photoshop and Google Maps to create drawings of urban scenes. Could this open your mind to more creative ventures?