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Domino Artist Lily Hevesh Creates Intricate Domino Designs


Domino (or Domino’s, for the restaurant chain) is a game of skill and strategy. It can be played on a tabletop, on the ground, or in the air. A domino has a rectangular base with an arrangement of dots on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. When the first domino is tipped over, it triggers a series of events that cause the next domino to fall and so on, until the entire line has fallen. This is known as the Domino Effect.

While many people enjoy playing domino, others take it a step further and create spectacular domino art. These designs are sometimes intricate, even beautiful. They can include straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3-D structures like towers and pyramids. A lot of work goes into these masterpieces, from planning the layout to calculating how many dominoes are needed for the job.

The name “domino” itself comes from a Latin word meaning ‘cape,’ which might refer to a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The word is also thought to have a French connection. Both English and French have an earlier sense of the word that probably denoted a priest’s black domino contrasting with his white surplice.

Lily Hevesh, 20, has been a domino enthusiast since she was 9 years old. She learned how to play the classic 28-piece set from her grandparents, and she soon began posting videos of her own creations on YouTube. Now, she’s a professional domino artist who’s worked on projects for movies, TV shows, and special events, including a gig for Katy Perry.

Hevesh is an expert at creating intricate domino setups, but she also knows a thing or two about physics. One physical phenomenon in particular is key to her success: gravity. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. But once the first domino is knocked over, much of that energy becomes kinetic energy and causes the rest of the dominoes to fall as well.

When Hevesh sets up her massive arrangements, she makes sure to test them before letting them loose. She even films the tests in slow motion, allowing her to make precise corrections if needed. Her larger installations can take several nail-biting minutes to complete, but she knows that the end will be worth it.

While Domino’s has used the Domino Effect to grow its business, it can be applied to a variety of other situations. Whether you’re trying to get organized, retrain yourself to focus on your goals, or just make a few small changes that will have big effects, the concept of the Domino Effect can help. It’s easy to see why it’s a popular phrase. The more things you change, the more likely it is that they will have a ripple effect that will lead to even more positive results.