Street artist creates delightful 3D scenes in walls and walkways for everyone to enjoy

David Zinn creates art from what he sees everywhere he goes.

Street artists are a special breed. While "the art world" can sometimes be a snooty, elite place for those with means, street art is made for everyone. Sometimes that means large public murals, but street art can be small, too. In fact, some of the best street art is so small you might miss it if you're not paying attention. But those who are can discover some delightful surprises.

Just imagine walking down a sidewalk and seeing this little fella at your feet:

Or this young lady:

Or this creature:


That would make your day, wouldn't it? Or at least bring a smile to your face for a while?

Public art is an act of love to strangers, a way of connecting to people without saying a word. It says, "Hey there, fellow human. Here's a little something to make you smile, just because."

That's the beauty of David Zinn's street art. It's meant for the public—just average passers-by—to enjoy, individually and collectively.

Zinn has created an entire world of characters who pop up in unexpected places. For instance, meet Gerald the otter, who is waiting for a blind date in this tree stump.

Zinn uses chalk and charcoal to make his cast of characters come to life in cracks and crevasses, sidewalks and tree trunks. His creations aren't meant to last forever; in fact, as Zinn points out, the temporary nature of them adds value to them.

"Famous works of art hanging in museums get seen by thousands of people every day. But this? You could be among the dozens of people who get to see this while it exists," he told CBS Mornings. "That's pretty special."

Watch how he takes something he finds in the sidewalk and transforms it into a sweet little duo.

Sometimes he uses natural things he finds as inspiration for a piece.

Other times, he uses something human-made, like this upside down terra cotta pot:

Or this manhole cover:

Sometimes the shape of a rock lends itself to a character, like Keith and his emotional support chick here:

Or the space itself serves as inspiration.

Nadine the mouse features in many of Zinn's pieces, probably due to her small size making it easy for her to fit into small spaces.

Usually his pieces use what's already there—like a crack in the sidewalk—to tell a story.

The 3D nature of his drawings make it feel as if his characters are truly there.

"Looks like another long day of things stubbornly refusing to be impossible," he writes in a caption of one of his "pigasuses."

(Speaking of having wings, Nadine found a pair for herself.)

Watch Zinn turn a simple pot into a character with personality in a matter of minutes:

His entire Instagram page, Facebook page and TikTok channel are filled with endless delight. It was nearly impossible to decide what to include in this article because I wanted to include everything.

This is all well and good, you might say to yourself, but how does Zinn make a living if he's not selling this art?

He sells books and prints of photos of his artwork on his online store. He also gets invited to schools and events. He has created a career for himself by rejecting blank canvases, putting his imagination out on the street for everyone to see for a while, then selling versions that will actually last. Pretty brilliant, really.

Zinn gave a fascinating TEDx Talk explaining how he found his own artistic niche. You'll never look at a parking meter or sidewalk the same way again.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

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