14 Works Of Art Made From Things You’d Never Expect

Artists are constantly  looking for new ways to express themselves. Instead of simply sticking to painting a portrait with a brush or molding some clay into the chiseled body of a god, creatives today are exploring the world with new eyes. Their work offers incredible, new perspectives that will make you question what you’re looking at. For a dose of creative inspiration, check out the work of these artists who think outside of the box.

Riusuke Fukahori – Goldfish in a Basin


What you’re looking at is not actually a basin filled with water and goldfish. It’s a three-dimensional illusion by Riusuke Fukahori. The Japanese artist pours a layer of clear liquid resin, waits for it to dry, paints goldfish (along with other details, including the illusion of air bubbles) and repeats the process over and over again.

Randall Rosenthal – Box of Money


It might look like an ordinary cardboard box full of money, but it’s one of the many wooden sculptures by Randall Rosenthal that’s carved from a single block of wood.

Kumi Yamashita – Grainy B&W Photo


Miles and miles of one single black thread is wrapped and twisted around thousands of carefully placed nails by Kumi Yamashita to create photorealistic portraits.

Max Zorn – Sepia-Toned Portraits


Max Zorn carefully cuts into multiple layers of translucent packaging tape that has been stuck to a window to produce realistic, backlit portraits.

“Red” Hong Yi – Painting of a Musician


Hong Yi (aka Red) uses coffee as her paint and a cup as her brush to create a giant portrait of Taiwanese musician Jay Chou.

Pete Fecteau – Mural of Martin Luther King, Jr.


As if Rubik’s Cubes aren’t difficult enough to solve, Pete Fecteau uses 4,242 of them to create a massive mosaic of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brett Kern – Inflatable Dinosaur Toys


  These seemingly inflated dinosaur toys by Brett Kern are actually hard, ceramic sculptures. The artist carefully paints and coats each one to give off the impression that they are soft figures filled with air.

Andrew Myers – Pixelated Portrait of a Man



Andrew Myers drills approximately 2,000 screws into a backboard to create a textured portrait whose depth is revealed when viewed from the side.

Yeonju Sung – Fashionable Dresses


Fashion or food? Yeonju Song uses fruits, vegetables, fungi, and even bubblegum (see the first blue dress) to create stylish clothing out of real, edible items.

Jack Long – Potted Plants


Jack Long takes photos of what seem to be potted plants but are actually carefully timed images of colorful liquid splashes. What’s even more impressive about Long’s work is that every shot is created on the spot without any Photoshop!

Wataru Itou – Magical Castle Model


Wataru Itou created an incredible model castle entirely out of paper. It even has built-in lights and an electrical system that powers a handmade paper train. It took him four years to complete, but look at the results!

Scott Weaver – Giant Architectural Sculpture


A detailed sculpture featuring numerous landmarks found in San Francisco was constructed by Scott Weaver using 100,000 toothpicks.

Saimir Strati – Graffiti Mural


Saimir Strati created a lively mosaic by gluing over 200,000 wine corks to an enormous plastic banner.

Finally, try to think way out of the box for the next one…

Vinicius Quesada – Pop Art Collages


In case you’re still wondering what these illustrations could possibly be made out of… it’s blood. No joke! Vinicius Quesada uses his own blood, drawn by professionals at a hospital, to add deep reds to his portraits and surreal images.