If you happen to be on Twitter, you're probably familiar with the fail whale. It's a friendly graphic that pops up from to time when the site is over-capacity. Your heart melts, frustration eases... ah yes, that's the whole point.
Here's the real deal as created by Yiying Lu, a multi-talented artist and designer in Sydney. Cute, right?!
One day when the whale was appearing on my screen more often than not, I finally managed to tap out a tweet, "Thinking of quilling the fail whale." This was met with raucous laughter and cheers from my followers... well not really, but several did egg me on.
So after a couple of false starts and a good amount of angst over the crazy number of on-edge netting bits, my bad boy took shape.
The true fail whale has endeared himself to many and consequently shows up fairly often around the internet as a sand sculpture, cake, tattoo, carved pumpkin, you name it. But until today, no quilled version that I can find.
As so often is the case with this sort of thing, there's an interesting backstory. While still a student, Yiying created the design as an ecard for a friend. Later, Twitter's co-founder, Biz Stone, bought the image from iStockphoto for a few dollars, and it quickly caught on as the site's mascot.
Fans promoted it heartily, bringing well-deserved attention to Yiying - consequently she's been able to market fail whale merchandise. Coffee mug, anyone?!