An artist turned the shadow of a teapot into an elephant. Then he kept going.

Vincent Bal is a Belgian filmmaker with four full-length movies under his belt.

He loves making movies. But he was getting bored.

As a child, he wanted to be an illustrator or cartoonist before his life led him in a different direction. As Bal started to get frustrated with the lengthy production schedules and other time-consuming processes of his chosen art form, he started to think about drawing again.


At first, drawing mostly served as his means of escape and relaxation (although it did occasionally come in handy for storyboards, too). "Doodling is a way to relax for me, and I always feel that it’s my hands that do the thinking. It’s all very subconscious," Bal says. "Very relaxing after working on a script which is a much more rational undertaking."

But during a scriptwriting break in May 2016, one of his doodles took a different turn.

Bal had become distracted by the shadow of a teacup on his desk. The negative light from the curves of the cup cast a curious shape on a piece of paper. So he took a short break from writing to add a few lines where the shadow fell — and suddenly, the shadow was an elephant.

Image by Vincent Bal/Instagram, used with permission.

He posted his "shadow doodle" on Instagram, and it was an instant success with his friends — and with strangers all across the world.

"From Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, to Germany, to the States ... I guess we all share a strange and silly sense of humor," Bal says.

So he kept going, challenging himself to post a new doodle every single day.

Almost all of them are accompanied by some kind of silly pun. He calls the project "Shadowology," and he has already started expanding it into posters and prints, with a possible book and stop-motion film to come.

Here are just a few of the delightful shadow doodles that he's done so far this year:

1. This little swan is the jewel of the pond.

2. This guy's foolproof disguise is an all-in-one package.

3. An investigation through a looking glass.

4. Heavy is the head that wears the ... ring?

5. My, grandma! What big leaves you have!

6. International ocean travel.

7. Hieroglyphics.

8. ♫ Robber ducky, you're the one! You make bath crime lots of fun! ♫

9. Even Dracula could use a pair of dentures.

10. You know what they say: The pencil is mightier.

11. And this catdog is just so amazing that it has to be seen to be believed.

"Shadowology" started as a playful escape. But something really resonated with people in the way that Bal created delight out of darkness.

That wasn't Bal's intention, of course; there was no philosophical statement behind his fun and silly pastime.

"I just like to add something positive and light to the world, without it being stupid," he says. "Some people react to my drawings by saying they look forward to seeing them every day because they bring a smile to their face. In today’s world, that’s not a bad thing to do."

Most Shared
via The Guardian / YouTube

Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.

Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.

Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Newsy People / Twitter

The internet was ablaze after notoriously private actor Keanu Reeves, 55, walked the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala on Saturday with his new girlfriend, artist Alexandra Grant, 46.

It was refreshing to see a man in Hollywood dating a woman who's age-appropriate. Older actors are notorious for being with women half their age.

Keep Reading Show less
popular