A bike turns into a moose. A potato peeler transforms into a piano. A chewed apple becomes an angry owl. There seems to be some sort of alchemy going on behind the work of Belgian filmmaker-turned-illustrator, Vincent Bal. He has been drawing and sketching whimsical creations around the shadows of everyday objects for almost a year now, generating a cult following on Instagram in the process. "Shadowlogy is the very scientific name that I gave to my silly drawings," Bal tells Creators. "It's the science of discovering all the things that are hidden in the shadows. All these creatures and these things that we don't see. With shadowlogy you can make them visible."
As it sometimes happens with art projects, Bal's shadowlogy happened came to be by coincidence, a stroke of his idle hands during a break from working on a film script. "I was writing and I saw a shadow on my desk of a little tea cup I had bought in Vietnam," Bal explains. "And it looked like an elephant. So I drew a couple of lines and I thought it was pretty cool so I took a picture and I shared it on Instagram and Facebook. Normally my Instagram posts would get like 20 likes. And this one got like 150 likes. I was really surprised because people really seemed to like it and I thought: 'Well, let's try to do one of these each day.' And I haven't stopped since."
After a few months, Bal's Instagram really started to take off. With the help of the shadow of an old training shoe, he reached his first 500-like post, an homage to Homer Simpson appropriately christened, "Homer Stinkson." Once he hit the 1000-like-per-post plateau, he was featured in a Bored Panda article and his creations started to go viral. As time went by, Bal began to push the limits of his creations, experimenting with the use of colored glasses and artificial light as a substitute for sunlight during the prolonged Belgian cold months. In his own words: "Because I'm in Belgium, the sun is on holiday from the beginning of October. So I had to come up with something. At first I tried it with a very old-fashioned light bulb. And then I bought a more professional spot. But nothing's as good as the sun."
At the moment, Bal's Instagram page sits at 98K followers. He still continues to publish a daily sketch, embracing the challenge of creating something ingenious with each passing day. "In the beginning there was no pressure at all. Now I feel each picture has to have a certain level," he explains with a grin. With a book coming out, as well as the sales of his prints becoming more and more profitable, there's still one thing left for Bal to do: combine his love for film with his newfound talent. "It's funny how these shadow doodles have kind of taken over my profession. Now I'm preparing a short film at the moment were I want to do a combination of live action and animation with shadowlogy." For now, check out some of Bal's creations below.
The Owls are not what they seem