Nicecubeart was created by Rubik's cube artists Jennifer Loeb and Phillip Pollack. They started creating these unique pieces of art during the summer of 2020. Phillip even proposed to Jennifer that summer using Rubik's cubes, but that’s a whole other story. Their work has been featured by Ripley's Believe it Or Not!, WGN News, Kristen Bell, and more! The couple currently resides in Manhattan, New York. Visit www.nicecubeart.com or follow @nicecubeart on Instagram & Tiktok to see all of their latest mosaics.
1) Phil, when did you first learn to do a Rubik's Cube and where did this passion come from?
When I was younger, every year we would drive 19 hours straight from New York to Florida for a family vacation. With not much to do during a long car ride, one trip I was determined to solve a Rubik’s cube. Once I had finally figured it out, I was instantly hooked! I loved the challenge of being able to solve something I thought was impossible, not to mention it's a great party trick!
2) Jenn, what is your history with Rubik's Cubes and how did you feel about taking this on as lockdown project?
Up until June of last year, I had never touched a Rubik's Cube before. Phil suggested it as something to try during quarantine instead of doing another puzzle and I was excited for the challenge. It has been a great lockdown hobby for the two of us to do together and nice to spend time away from a screen.
3) What was the story behind your first design together, how many Rubik's Cubes did you use and how long did it take? We started off making simple designs of cartoon characters and smiley faces using no more than 60 cubes. We then quickly transitioned into designing more detailed portraits with hundreds of cubes. Our first celebrity design was Jimmy Fallon, which took us 8 hours to solve 713 cubes. We decided to start with Jimmy Fallon because he is one of our favourite talk show hosts and is easily recognizable.
4) Tell us about the process and the reaction you had to your first design! Once we knew we wanted to make a Jimmy Fallon mosaic, we spent a lot of time working to design the layout of the cubes. Being our first piece, it took a while to figure out the unique colour pattern of each cube and what colour each pixel would need to be to look most like Jimmy. We were both really proud of ourselves for finishing the piece and shocked at the end result. We started sharing it with friends and family and they couldn't believe what we made.
6) How many Rubik's cubes do you own now? We now own a little over 1,000 cubes. Fortunately, they are mini cubes so they can fit in our Manhattan apartment. 7) We found you through your incredible RBG piece, since then you've paid tribute to many female leads include Lizzo, Kristen Bell, Chrissy Teigen - what design has been the most challenging and which one did you enjoy the most?
The RBG piece has definitely been both our favourite and most challenging piece. We both admired her and were excited to find a way to pay tribute to her incredible legacy and impact for change she had on the world. We wanted to make sure that we got her lace collar right; it was such a big part of who she was, her style, and what she stood for. In order to make it a focal point of the piece, we ended up needing a lot of intricate detail and colour that was difficult to design and solve. We also focused on subtleties in shading to make her glasses and earrings really pop. Using 1,066 Rubik's cubes, this was the largest and most complex design we've worked on so far.
8) Your Alex Trebek mosaic is now in a museum, tell us about this?
After the sad news of Alex Trebek's passing, we knew that we wanted to make a piece to tribute his memory. The piece gained some traction on social media and someone at Ripley's Believe It or Not! saw the piece and reached out. It was definitely very exciting for us to get a piece of our art into a museum and that our piece will now be on display for so many others to see. Once travel is safe again we are very excited to take a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to see our piece in person.
9) You created a design for us (Thank you!) tell us about this one, how many Rubik's Cubes did you use?
We were very excited to create The Female Lead logo out of 486 Rubik's Cubes. Your educational charity has such an amazing mission to support gender equality and women empowerment. We were so happy to get involved with The Female Lead and join the fight for a more equal future.
10) Outside of Rubik's Cube Art - what do you both do and how have your friends and family responded to your new hobby?
Jenn works in marketing and Phil works in business strategy. Neither of our jobs are artistically focused, so all of our friends and family were definitely very surprised at our new hobby! We never thought this hobby would reach so many people through our social posts.
11) You have a growing audience and lots of buzz around what you're doing - do you think you'll ever take it on full time? What's next for you both?
As of now we are both still working full-time, but we're excited that we've been able to turn our hobby into a small business. Over the last few months, we've sold some of our celebrity portraits as well as custom pieces. For those interested in one of our mosaics, you can visit www.nicecubeart.com for more details. We are both excited to continue creating new and inspiring artwork.