Do you want to know who puts the fun in STEM? It’s famed Domino Artist, Lily Hevesh
You may have seen her work before. In the last few years, it has been featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
and The Late Late Show with James Corden
. She’s also worked with brands like Google, Disney-Pixar, LEGO, and Warner Brothers.
Most recently, though, a documentary on her work, Lily Topples the World
, began streaming on Discovery+. It shows the unique coming-of-age story of Hevesh as she transforms her life and the world of Domino Art through her incredible creations that have garnered over 1 billion YouTube
Watching her creations unfold bring a sense of both tranquility and amazement. You could spend hours watching video after video of her intricate designs come to life.
For Lily, though, it’s more than just visual effects. It’s a form of self-expression, and an artform that wouldn’t exist without physics, engineering, technology, and math. We are so excited to share how Lily became the world-famous phenomenon that she is today and why she’s so passionate about STEAM.
What is Domino Art?
Domino Art is a form of creative self-expression in which dominoes are set up and knocked down to create appealing visual effects which can include patterns, artistic designs, images, text, structures, and other chain reactions.
When did your interest in Domino Art begin?
My interest in dominoes began when I was 9 years old. My grandparents had a set of dominoes that I loved to set up and knock down. Eventually, I searched “dominoes” on YouTube and found the most incredible domino toppling videos which inspired me to get into Domino Art.
How did your passion for creating Domino Art become what it is today? Was there a pivotal moment for you? Or did it develop over time?
My passion for creating Domino Art has always been strong and steady, but has evolved in different ways since it has now become something I do full time. It started as an eagerness to try new domino tricks and see what cool creative projects I could come up with. Today, I am still doing this, but with a mission to positively impact people through dominoes or inspire them to get creative in some way.
How does STEM (or STEAM) share in the process of designing and creating your works of art?
I use STEAM heavily in designing and creating my domino art. A solid understanding of physics (motion, gravity, friction, etc.) can help significantly in building successful chain reactions. Occasionally I will use computer programs (Excel, Photoshop, etc.) to make complex designs and master floorplans.
Engineering plays a role when testing domino tricks – I am always iterating on my designs and adjusting spacing to see if something works better. When something fails, I almost have to reverse-engineer it to figure out why it failed, and then come up with a solution until it is reliable.
Art plays a big role in creating patterns, aesthetically pleasing designs, recreations, and even experimenting with colors. Math is used a lot when calculating the amount of dominoes I’ll need to build a certain project. I also use geometry and symmetry quite a bit when building structures or thinking of new patterns to build.
I know that you recently launched your own dominoes. What aspects of STEAM did you implement into your design and creation? How do they differ from your average domino?
“H5 Domino Creations” is my own brand of precision-engineered dominoes & accessories, which I designed specifically for toppling. Made in collaboration with Spin Master, each domino is manufactured using the highest quality materials and precise specifications for the best toppling performance.
Unlike toppling dominoes from other vendors, H5 Domino Creations are free from the common design and manufacturing imperfections that affect toppling performance and aesthetics.
Our dominoes have ideal surface texture engineered specifically for toppling, vivid colors, 100% flat faces (perfect rectangular prisms with no convex faces), proper weight and size, and precise square edges for stacking tall. All aspects of STEAM have been used and implemented in the development of H5 Domino Creations.
What does a day in the life of a Domino Artist look like?
Every day is a little different. As a Domino Artist who is also a YouTube creator, I have a lot of jobs. Sometimes I am building dominoes all day. Sometimes I don’t build at all and am editing videos, answering emails, having phone calls with clients, planning projects, and making content for social media, among many other things.
Today, who is/was your most influential STEAM role model? Why?
At the moment, my most influential STEAM role model is Elon Musk. He is a true innovator of the future whose work will undoubtedly revolutionize the world. I appreciate how he isn’t afraid to take action on a big idea, even if it’s so expansive that people start to question it. He is incredibly laser-focused with his mission, and simply put... makes the impossible possible.
Are there any STEAM causes/organizations that you’re passionate about? Please share.
I love what FIRST is doing to empower young people to be science and technology leaders. Kids learn so much when exposed to hands-on and team-based activities like robotics competitions.
I am also a supporter of GoldieBlox, whose mission is to introduce young girls to STEM and inspire them to get involved. As one of the few female Domino Artists in the world, I am a big supporter of the Women in STEM movement.
If you weren’t a Domino Artist, what would you be doing with your life right now?
If I weren’t a Domino Artist, I think I’d be working as a product designer, or pursuing another entrepreneurial venture unrelated to dominoes.
What to do you do for fun when you’re not working/creating?
I love rock climbing, skiing, spending time with friends/family, and learning about all kinds of things.
What has been the most fun experience of your journey so far?
The most fun experience of my journey has been getting to meet other domino builders, travel, and work on the most incredible projects with amazing people. I never would have thought that I’d get the opportunity to work on a Hollywood movie with Will Smith or build a project on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
And what has been the most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my journey is seeing how my videos have positively impacted people around the world. It is the truly the most heartwarming thing to hear that dominoes have helped kids learn, grow, and concentrate in a fun way. Reading emails/comments from people who share how dominoes have brought them so much joy makes me incredibly happy and encourages me to keep going.
What is your advice to not just aspiring Domino Artists – but females considering STEAM as a course of study or career?
Own your passion and what you love to do, no matter what it is or how “unconventional” it might be to other people. Enjoy the process and believe in what you are doing 110%. Your work will speak for itself.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
In 15 years, I hope to have a large permanent studio that is designed for Domino Art with proper flooring, high ceilings, camera cranes, a cyclorama wall, and maybe even seating for live events. I’d love to have a full team in place with domino artists, video editors, business managers, designers, production assistants, building managers, etc. to run the Hevesh5 domino agency completely in-house.
We’d build domino projects there, make content for social media, do client work, host domino events, workshops, and inspire people to get into this STEAM-based hobby and art form.
What is something that you’d like to share about yourself, dominoes, or STEAM that we haven’t asked?
I took a gap year between high school and college to get a taste of what it would be like to do Domino Art and YouTube full time. I spent that year making tons of domino videos in a studio, traveling doing professional projects, and growing Hevesh5. This year helped me understand that it was possible to do Domino Art full time, and ultimately aided in my decision to go professional after one year of college.
If you have the opportunity, I highly encourage everyone to take a gap year to figure things out, try something different, and work in a new environment. You can learn so much about yourself by taking some time to explore.
STEM on Fastweb
Fastweb features many STEM scholarships and STEM internships
for students. To see which STEM opportunities you qualify for, make sure you update your Fastweb profile
with the most up-to-date, comprehensive information about yourself. Also, take a look at a few of these offerings to see what’s available in STEM fields:
• Women in STEM Scholarships
• More Women in STEM
• College Scholarships for Engineering Students
• STEM Majors Scholarships & Internships