|Jonathan Mishkin is the artist behind the creations at Nambigrams. He first became interested in letter
design when he was 8 years old.
"A teacher in my school made a banner for a holiday celebration, drawing the letters so that they looked three dimensional. I remember spending the entire assembly staring at those letters trying to figure out how a flat page could have letters that stood out. For the next three weeks I doodled in class trying to figure out how to draw those myself."
Years later, Jonathan came across a book by Scott Kim which playfully turned words upside down and inside out.
"Something clicked in my head and I said, 'I have to learn how to do this.'"
The result is "Nambigrams" a company which can take anybody's name and put a spin on it!
"The reason ambigrams are so popular" says Jonathan, "is that they combine two things which everybody loves. Firstly, most people are attached to their names – you're thrilled to see your name drawn in an unusual way, especially if you know it was done just for you. Secondly, each Nambigram is a miniature puzzle and everybody loves puzzles. A Nambigram poses two challenges: what does it say? and - how did he do that!"
Jonathan has been creative his entire life. Besides being an ambigramist, he is a cellist and a writer with several books and numerous plays and short stories under his belt. By profession, he's a teacher who naturally brings his imagination into the classroom.
"For me, teaching is a lot like ambigram design - I have always seen my job as encouraging students to see issues from more than one perspective, to consider possibilities that are new to them."
Jonathan and his wife have five children. The oldest is a writer, the second one is an artist, and the third an actress.
"It's still early to detect creativity in the younger two, but we hope they too will discover the joy of putting something new into the world."