A domino is a flat, thumbsized rectangular block of wood or ivory (or plastic) with one side bearing an arrangement of numbers or dots, and the other blank or identically patterned. 28 such pieces constitute a complete set for most games of domino. The word, also sometimes used as a verb, refers to the playing of games with such blocks, especially those in which the ends of adjacent dominoes match.
Domino is a fun way to build coordination and motor skills in young children. And it can help them learn about math, geometry, and spatial awareness. But what many people don’t realize is that domino can also be a creative art form. It can be used to make straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, and even 3D structures like towers and pyramids.
Lily Hevesh, who creates spectacular domino setups for movies, TV shows, and events, started out with the classic 28-pack when she was 9. By age 10, she’d already begun posting videos of her work online and had grown so skilled that she now makes a living creating domino art.
In the beginning, she says, she focused on creating simple, symmetrical lines and patterns. As she got more experienced, however, she realized she could use dominos to make more creative and elaborate designs. “It’s almost therapeutic,” she says. “It’s a good way to decompress.”
She now spends most of her time creating three-dimensional creations, though she does still do some flat arrangements, too. She begins by testing each section of her layouts to make sure they’ll work before putting them all together. In addition, she says, it’s important to make arrows on the back of each piece to show the direction they should fall.
Aside from planning out her tracks, Hevesh also works with clients to design custom sets for special occasions. She’s created massive setups for weddings, birthday parties, and even an album launch for pop singer Katy Perry.
Hevesh’s success hasn’t come without its challenges. As she has gotten more famous, her business has grown, and it can be difficult to balance her creative work with the demands of running a company.
In order to keep her stress levels in check, Hevesh prioritizes healthy eating and exercise. She also says that she’s found it helps to take a few minutes out of her day to practice mindfulness and meditation.
Whether you’re a panster or use a tool like Scrivener to plan your manuscript, incorporating domino effects into your story can add a lot of depth and drama. So think about how you can use these techniques in your next project!
The word “domino” has several etymological origins. The most commonly accepted is that it comes from the Latin dominium, meaning crown. But it has also been suggested that it may have been derived from a French word for a cape worn by a priest over his surplice. In either case, the term’s popularity has soared since its introduction to English in 1750.