The whole thing started with a baby board book that joined our collection at the library. Those of us on the circulation staff have seen a lot, when it comes to unique books, but we’d never seen anything like this.
When you move the book left to right, the picture actually moves. We took turns playing with it and more than one of us almost went into a trance by its hypnotic movements. I couldn’t imagine how intriguing it would be to a toddler, and it crossed my mind more than once that there should be something for grown-ups in this new art form.
Then we found ourselves in an art studio over the weekend, somewhere in the back woods of Massachusetts. Taking up one full window was a display of these amazing ‘moving’ discs. Each was a different picture and each moved in the same way the pictures on the library board books moved.
My husband and I stood there for an embarrassing amount of time (according to the teen children who were in our shopping party), turning each one around and around. We had to limit ourselves to buying only two. The ‘running woman‘ and ‘running man‘ discs will make the perfect holiday gifts for two people in our family who find pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles a relaxing way to spend a day.
Once I got home I looked up their website, Eye Think. Eye Think’s founder, Rufus Butler, is an artist, filmmaker, and inventor. He was so fascinated with optical illusions that he began creating these new ways to trick the eye. All of the products his company offers, including the books, were created by him and his skilled team of artists.
The spinning circles that caught my eye in the art store are called CiniSpinners and come in an impressive variety of pictures. When you click on the web page picture, a moving sample pops up. There’s a little girl skipping rope. And fingers playing a piano. Major sports categories are represented, from a baseball batter to a hockey player.
Many animals are represented too. A dragonfly hovers, a dolphin frolics in the water. An adorable penguin waddles to and fro. My nine year old and I had to click on every single one, just to see which one was the best. (My personal favorite: swimming man, with splashing water and all.)
(Fun geek fact: After contacting Mr. Butler and sharing my enthusiasm for his products, he admitted that he himself had been the model for the swimming man. His wife videotaped him doing a swimming stroke as he laid across a kitchen chair, then he added the splashing water when he refined the picture in the studio.)
Before leaving the website, I clicked over to inspect, just one more time, the books that started my original fascination with this art form. I stumbled upon one I hadn’t seen before. It’s a Star Wars book, with classic Star Wars scenes put into motion. What geek kid wouldn’t love that?
Go play around on their website and maybe order a few. Now that I’ve purchased two for gifts, I’m beginning to think it’s time I bought myself one to keep.
Products from this artist vary from greeting cards that retail for $5.95 to single ‘moving’ tiles that sell for up to $600. The books are published by Workman Publishing Company.