Friday, September 17, 2010


Here are the repeating genies in place. (It helps to click on the image to enlarge it) This illustrates a story in a math magazine, and I warn you, even a story-problem lover like me gets lost trying to solve this one.

What these explorers are viewing is an octagonal treasure chest, with a drum at each corner. Inside each drum is a genie, each standing either heads up or feet up. Each time you strike a drum, the genie within flips over AND the entire octagon spins so that you don't know which drum you have just struck. Once all genies are either heads up or feet up, the treasure chest opens. The logic starts out simply (If there were only two genies, you would hit one drum and the chest opens) but I am left behind as the numbers increase and the thinking gets complicated.

But it's not the illustrator's job to understand the math. What is important: solving the editors' dilemma. Namely, how can you illustrate genies that nobody can see? That was the inspiration for creating a repeating surface pattern to begin with.