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."

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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