1. Lifting A Dreamer (the Twitter Fail Whale) and Beyond

    Lifting A Dreamer (the Twitter Fail Whale) and Beyond


    The “Fail Whale” is a illustration of a white beluga whale held up by a flock of birds, originally named “Lifting a Dreamer”, was illustrated by Australian artist Yiying Lu. It was used during periods of downtime by the social networking service Twitter. When Twitter gets overloaded, users see the above error message.

    The internet has reached a decision to name it “Fail Whale”, which was firstly suggested by Nick Quaranto from Buffalo, New York:


    The fan base creative expression of the “Lifting a Dreamer” (“Fail Whale”) has grown tremendously over the past 6 years, from tattoo to 3D sculptures, Lego to beer labels, cakes to street art…the “Fail Whale” gradually became a culture icon. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of funny ‘modified’ Lifting a Dreamer on the internet.

    This project serves as an ongoing online gallery of interesting highlights of these creative expressions, which comes from people globally on the internet, to inspire more people around the world in the real life…



    3D knetic Sulpture by Australian Artist Hilary Talbot (@Hil121) from Canberra, Australia3D-failwhale


    Tattoo by @critter from Florida, United State


    dividerLego Whale by Bjarne Tveskovby @tveskov, an Ex-pro LEGO Space designer from Copenhagen, Denmark fail_whale_legodivider
    Paper quill art by Ann Martin (All Things Paper) a paper quilling artist  Delaware, United States as3xjcpudivider
    Street Art by @smartcrew in the New York City, NY, United States

    Large Hand Crafted 3D Lifting a Dreamer Balloon at the Asagaya Tanabata festival in Tokyo, Japan
    Fail Whale Legodivider
    Fail Whale Pale Ale Beer Label Contest held by @TweetHunt_org:

    Fail Whale Pale Ale Label Contest


    Fail Whale Pale Ale Label by Brian Cook from Manchester, Connecticut, United States:

    Fail Whale Pale Ale Label Contestdivider
    Fail Whale Pale Ale Label by @dirtdirt from Austin, Texas, United States: dirtdirt


    Fail Whale Pale Ale Glass Pint by Ian Leino, from Asheville, North Carolina, United States:


    FAILparty Fail Whale Pale Ale Tap Handle by @seanosteen:

    Fail Whale Pale Ale Handledivider
    Fashion Highlights Around the World:

    Hat by Hine Mizushima from Vancouver, Canada whale-hat


    Social Media Sneakers prototype by Lumen Bigott, from San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela social_media_shoes_twitter


    Nail by Melissa Osburn from Las Vegas, United States nails


    Lifting a Dreamer inspired Makeup Tutorial by Queen Of Blending from Los Angles, United States failwhale-mackup-tutorial


    Painting by artist Kuni (aka “ka-92“) from Tokyo, Japan


    Painting by David Pache from Lausanne, Switzerlandpainted fail whale dache

    Painting by Cédric Rolando from Paris, France fail-whale-painting (2)

    Twitter Propaganda Poster by Aaron Wood from Quincy, Massachusetts, United StatesSocial-Media-Propaganda-Postersdivider
    Homer Simpsons Whale by Ed Wheeler from Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

    Fail Whale Homer Simpsondivider
    Michael Jackson Whale by Raul Orozco from Medellín, Colombia michael-jackson

    Conan O’Brien Pale Whale for the debut of the Conan Show on TBS, by Yiying Lu from Sydney, Australiapale-whale-yiyingludivider
    Gavin Newsom Whale by Audrey Fukuman on SF Weekly, San Francisco, United States

    Gavin Newsom Fail Whale on SF Weekly

    Guy Kawasaki Enchantment Butterfly, by Yiying Lu from Sydney, Australiaguy_kawasaki_enchantment

    Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) public transit posters in Singaporesingapore

    The Muni N Judah Whale on the N Judah Chronicles, San Francisco, United StatesNJudah-mug-half


    Cake by Confeiteira Paula Simões from São Paulo, Brazil lifting_a_dreamer_cakedivider
    Cake by Chris Darbro from Los Angeles, California, United Statesfailwhale_cake_3

    Cupcakes by Leticia Sapienza from Melbourne, Australia failwhale_cupcake

    Cake by Anna Rascouët-Paz from Brooklyn, New York, United Statesfailwhale-cake

    Cake by Mariana Pugliese from Buenos Aires, Argentina lifting_a_dreamer_cake-

    British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap tweets her Whale T-shirt, from London, United Kingdom

    The Fail Whale
     Redbull Flugtag competition entry by Soap Creative, from Sydney Australia

    Lifting a Dreamer (Twitter Fail Whale) appearance in Episode 20 of Japanese Toradora Anime, from Japan Toradora_failwhale

    ASCII Art by Iain Wallace, from Warwickshire, United Kingdom ASCII_Fail_Whale_Strawp

    ASCII Quiz
    from Automattic, San Francisco, California, United States

    ASCII Fail Whale Superior Quiz

    Sand Lifting a Dreamer, by Justine Ezarik (@ijustinefrom Los Angeles, CA failwhale_ijustine_2

    Jack-o-Lantern for CTFO Great Pumpkin ASK (Artists Supporting Kids) by Ean MacNamara from Portland, Oregon, United States CTFO-Great-Pumpkin-ASK-(Artists-Supporting-Kids)

    Pumpkin Carving by Scott Brewster from Brooklyn, New York, United States failwhale-carved-pumpkin

    Pumpkin Carving by IT World writers James Speedy & Harmeet Singh from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada slides_img_07-1


    Pumpkin Carving by Heather Hefner from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States twitter-pumpkin

    3D Model Art Work by Glen Southern from Dublin, Ireland img042

    Illustration by Mykl Roventine from West Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States MyklRoventine_fail

    Illustration on Laugh-Out-Loud Cats by Adam Koford from Farmington, Utah, United States lolcat

    Pencil sketch by
     Dave Mottram from Stow, Ohio, United States dave-failwhale

    Illustration by @aksrnk from 
    Kansai, Japan 115402291

    Illustration by 
    Matt Kaufenberg from Alexandria, Minnesota, United States AdventuresFailWhale

    Illustration by Martin Gee from San Jose, California, United States

    Illustration by Geoffrey Dorne, from Paris, France twitter_small

    Shorty Awards
    , Honoring the Best in Social Media in New York City. Logo design by Aaron Taylor-Waldman from Thetford Center, Vermont, United States shorty_logo_

    At the 5th Anniversary of Shorty Awards, I made a new whale mascot - as the cousin of Lifting a Dreamer in NYC


    Fail Whale Martini at Shorty Awards: failwhale_martini

    divider“Lifting a Dreamer” (Fail Whale) Drink Recipe via BlackTwitterati:

    The Fail Whale Martini

    - 1 part Absolute - 1 part Cointreau - 1 part Blue Curacao - Lime Slice Pour over ice and mix in a shaker. Serve in martini glasses.

    The Fail Whale Martini II (a variation on the Blue Whale)

    - 1 part Vodka or Gin (depending on who you ask) Add Media- 1 part Blue Curacao - 1 part Orange Juice - 1 part Pineapple Juice - 1 part Sweet and Sour Mix Pour ingredients over ice and mix in a shaker. Strain into tall glasses. Garnish with a plastic blue whale and a cherry. Serve.

    The Fail Whale Drink

    1 Glass of Heineken - 0.5 shot of Blue Curacao - 0.5 shoto of Vodka - 1 Sardine (if available) Drop the shot of Vodka and Blue Curacao into the pint glass heineken, garnish with a Sardine.

    Fail Whale Iced Tea:

    - 0.5 oz Blue Curacao - 0.5 oz Gin - 0.5 oz Rum - 0.5 oz Triple sec - 0.5 oz OVAL Vodka Directions: Pour all the ingredients over ice. Shake and garnish with a lemon squeeze.

    Animated 8 bit ”Lifting a dreamer” GIF (Music version here) by the creator of the Nyan Cat (Originally named: Pop Tart Cat), Christopher Torres from Dallas, Texas, United States

    129 And Finally on the 6 anniversary - That is 6 years after the very date it was being called “Fail Whale” from the internet . And since now it is now retired from Twitter. But the spirit of the “Lifting a Dreamer” remains. I present you all: win-whale


    See also

    The Success Loch Ness  The IPO Hippo Top Hat Whale divider

    The above artworks are individually credited to its author(s) and source(s).
    If you'd like to reblog / write about them please credit accordingly.
    The original Illustration “Lifting a dreamer” is a copyrighted image and owned by Yiying Lu.
    If you'd like to reblog or use the illustration for educational or non-commercial usage,
    or If you'd like to contribute to this gallery, please contact Yiying.
    © Copyright 2002 - 2014 Yiying Lu.
  2. #Fashion Lovers: Street #art in the Lower Easter Side - Starring Anna Wintour + @Karl Lagerfeld (at Kenmare Street)

  3. @Visually King is having a feast during @SXSW in Austin, Texas. #ContentIsKing (at Costco)

  4. "Creativity is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct." - Carl Gustav Jung (at Central Park)

  5. It’s Day.

    Here comes the IPO HIPPO!

    (Naming courtesy: )

  6. #OnlyinSF (at SF Party Store)

  7. Shanghai - busy as always… (at 豫园 | Yu Garden)


  8. The Brief History of the Success Loch Ness (SO FAR)!

    After the 5th anniversary of Shorty Awards, a couple of friends (old and new) @gregory @semel @yiyinglu @tomspano @scyshirley @theschlis were hanging at the @theponybar in NYC.

    @tomspano (Events Manager of @Twitter) asked me, ‘Since Twitter’s now became more and more stable, there’s less chance for folks to see your "Fail Whale" image. How about something opposite from the Fail Whale? - Success Whale?” Everyone goes “Nah, that doesn’t rhyme!” @semel then proposed: “How about the Success Loch Ness?!”

    And the rest is history:

    After and hour of the launch of the Success Lochness digitally, @jasoncseed and I visited @tomspanoand gave him physical art pieces of both the “Fail Whale” and “Success Loch Ness”:

    Twitter HQ’s open-source photo-tweeting birdhouse @Twisitor also captured the moment of the Success Loch Ness Debut at the @Twoffice:

    The Loch Ness Monster has supposedly been spotted on Google Earth - but what other strange theories and sightings surround Nessie?
    More about the Loch Ness Monster: the strangest theories and sightings…


    As it has been spotted recently by @semel

    Finally, a Vined Birth Certificate of the Success Loch Ness, with Music!

  9. leesemel:

    I now hold the record for the world’s largest animated GIF, as determined by the fine folks at RecordSetter.com.  I designed this GIF for the 5th Annual Shorty Awards, where this image was projected onto a 288-square foot screen.  The image features our new Shorty Whale mascot, animated in 8-bit style.  The whale’s design is courtesy of Yiying Lu, who also designed the original Twitter Fail Whale.  I believe this GIF also sets the record for the greatest number of whales with top hats in an animated GIF, but I’ll settle for just the one record for now.

    View the record on RecordSetter.com

    Congrats, Lee!

  11. Ciao for Now NYC! Fantastic to see you all again at @shortyawards! (at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK))

  12. Community recreation garden filled with stuffed animals and plastic flowers. #ONLYinNYC (at E 13 st. Ave B)

  13. After designing the artwork "Lifting a Dreamer" which later was adopted as the Twitter Fail Whale, I visited America in 2009 for the first time in my life to receive the inaugural Shorty Award in Design. There I met Aaron Taylor-Waldman, the designer of the Shorty Awards’ logo. I was stoked to learn from Aaron that the Shorty logo was actually inspired by my whale. Attending the Shorty Awards ultimately lead to many opportunities including a New York Times Magazine profile and being commishioned to create the Pale Whale for fellow Shorty winner Conan O’Brien. 

    Now, 5 years later, I decided to take a chance to make a new whale inspired by Aaron’s Shorty logo design - those 3 whale tails. I thought about revealing the face of the whales behind those tails, in cerebration for Shorty Awards’ 5th Anniversary as well as the growth of the Shorty whale family amongst social media families globally. I’m pleased to present the Fail Whale’s cousin who will make his first appearance at the Shorty Awards on April 8, 2013!

  14. Exploring with Water color & India Ink this time!  Farm Fun Art Series:  Featuring a Bunny, an Emu, a Rooster, a Pig, a Marabou, a Sheep, a Hen & a Fox!  

  15. Process of creating  ”In the Dreams” Art Series.

    Prints available: http://society6.com/yiyinglu