+
upworthy
Joy

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

David Zinn's characters bring joy to the lucky folks that happen to come upon them before they wash away.

3d street art

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.

This article originally appeared on 02.12.22

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.


Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.

Keep ReadingShow less




As much as we'd like to pretend every phrase we utter is a lone star suspended in the space of our own genius, all language has a history. Unfortunately, given humanity's aptitude for treating each other like shit, etymology is fraught with reminders of our very racist world.

Since I have faith that most of you reading want to navigate the world with intelligence and empathy, I figured it'd be useful to share some of the everyday phrases rooted in racist etymology.

Knowledge is power, and the way we use and contextualize our words can make a huge difference in the atmospheres we create.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

A husband took these photos of his wife and captured love and loss beautifully.

I feel as if I were right there with them as I looked through the photos.

Snuggles.

When I saw these incredible photos Angelo Merendino took of his wife, Jennifer, as she battled breast cancer, I felt that I shouldn't be seeing this snapshot of their intimate, private lives.

The photos humanize the face of cancer and capture the difficulty, fear, and pain that they experienced during the difficult time.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Service dog flunks out of training school in spectacular fashion

The other dogs can't believe what they are seeing.

Double H Canine Academy in Louisville, Kentucky is a place where dog owners can take their rambunctious pets and have them turned into respectable members of the family.

However, as you can tell in this hilarious video, not all dogs are meant to follow orders.

Keep ReadingShow less

Having lived in small towns and large cities in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest, and after spending a year traveling around the U.S. with my family, I've seen first-hand that Americans have much more in common than not. I've also gotten to experience some of the cultural differences, subtle and not-so-subtle, real and not-so-real, that exist in various parts of the country.

Some of those differences are being discussed in a viral thread on Twitter. Self-described "West coaster" Jordan Green kicked it off with an observation about East coasters being kind and West coasters being nice, which then prompted people to share their own social experiences in various regions around the country.

Green wrote:

"When I describe East Coast vs West Coast culture to my friends I often say 'The East Coast is kind but not nice, the West Coast is nice but not kind,' and East Coasters immediately get it. West Coasters get mad.

Niceness is saying 'I'm so sorry you're cold,' while kindness may be 'Ugh, you've said that five times, here's a sweater!' Kindness is addressing the need, regardless of tone.

I'm a West Coaster through and through—born and raised in San Francisco, moved to Portland for college, and now live in Seattle. We're nice, but we're not kind. We'll listen to your rant politely, smile, and then never speak to you again. We hit mute in real life. ALOT.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Buffalo woman uses social media to save an elderly man's life after he's trapped in the snow

They don't call Buffalo the city of good neighbors for no reason.

Photo by Patino Jhon on Unsplash
vehicles covered in snow


The city of Buffalo, New York is called the "city of good neighbors." And with a blizzard that has dumped more than 50 inches of snow on them, the world is getting to learn how they earned that name.

A woman named Sha'Kyra Aughtry went viral on Facebook after she reluctantly put out an emotional plea. Aughtry went live on the platform explaining that she heard someone calling for help outside, so she sent her boyfriend out to see who needed assistance. Turns out, it was a 64-year-old developmentally disabled man by the name of Joey White, who was stuck in the cold snow. Aughtry's boyfriend helped the man out of the snow and physically carried him into the house.

White was so frozen that they had to use a hair dryer to melt the ice off of his pants that were frozen to him. The couple also had to cut his socks off along with the bags he was carrying, which were stuck to his hands. White was in a dire position and Aughtry, a mom of three preparing for Christmas, was desperate.

Keep ReadingShow less