LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Raider Nation is known for expressing love in creative ways, but a young artist caught the team’s attention with something a little more confusing.
Until about four months ago, however, Dylan Sadiq did not describe himself as an artist. Passionate about business? Sure. Full-time engineering student? Absoutely. But artist?
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Art as an enigma to be solved
It was around this time that the Rutgers University senior stumbled upon a genre of art he couldn’t ignore: Rubik’s Cubism.
“I thought it was amazing,” he said of the carefully constructed mosaics from, often hundreds and sometimes thousands of colorful, puzzle blocks. “I thought I could do it.”
Sadiq moved all in and bought 600 cubes at a time.
Despite diving head first, he wasn’t a cube enthusiast at the time, although he knew how to solve them. Sadiq says that at the age of 10, his brother made a bet that he couldn’t solve a Rubik’s Cube, but if he did, he would buy Sadiq a new video game.
A few YouTube videos later, Sadiq won the bet and that’s it. He really hadn’t picked up a cube since.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” he recalls.
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“I didn’t know how to make mosaics, I just knew I wanted to do it,” he added. “I knew the best way to do it was to make that commitment, buy the cubes and figure it out. And that’s what I did.”
Months later, the timelapse videos he shares on his @TheCollegeCuber Social media accounts have caught the attention of professional sports teams and renowned athletes across the country and in all leagues.
It has even received international attention from teams like Futbol Club Barcelona.
Get the attention of the Las Vegas Raiders
“I think they were the first team to comment on my Instagram,” said Sadiq, thinking back to when the Las Vegas Raiders asked him for a portrait of quarterback Derek Carr or Tight End Darren Waller. .
“Two great guys,” he said. “Very difficult choice to choose between the two, but I came up with a design, made their Carr and really enjoyed it.”
“They loved it,” he added.
It wasn’t just the team that loved it. Carr had something to say about it as well, commenting on “Wow” on the video with four Fire Emoji.
“It doesn’t happen too often when the player himself seemed to really like my work,” said Sadiq. “It was amazing.”
Finding a Space in the World of Rubik’s Cubism
Sadiq says he is relatively new to the sport and points the finger at his college friends for piquing his interest, as well as another hobby he has.
“I play NBA 2K, I try to play Madden sometimes,” he said. “That’s how I learned the sport.”
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His favorite sport to watch is basketball. He loves the NBA. Sadiq’s first portrayal was that of Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks.
To make new pieces, he turns to requests in his comments and direct messages.
His TikTok account is currently made up of around 45 sports-related timelapse videos responding to requests, and he says there’s more to come.
According to Sadiq, he has racked up over 70 requests from verified teams across all sports requesting one of his mosaics with a personalized touch.
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Build … then destroy his work
Each mosaic that Sadiq makes takes 560 cubes and about three hours to build.
This deadline does not include the time it takes for him to come up with a design, set up his studio, shoot and then edit a video for social networks.
“Making my design can take anywhere from 15 minutes to three days,” he said.
A project for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA took him 16 hours.
For this, Sadiq made two separate mosaics in one session: a portrait of the team’s creative director, Big Sean, using 1,961 mini cubes and another of their logo using his 560 cubes. standard full size.
“I like not even using a bathroom for 16 hours,” he said. “It came out amazing. It was crazy.”
After Sadiq shares a video of his creation on Instagram, TikTok, and / or Twitter for the world to enjoy, he then destroys it.
He reuses the cubes to save money and space in his house, but even with recycling, you will find thousands of cubes in boxes at his house, ready for the next challenge.
Just five months ago, that was not the case at all.
Family, business and love to learn
“My background is more in business, just like business,” he said. Business is something Sadiq chose from his family, like much of who he is today.
Sadiq has two brothers, one older and one younger. His mother raised three boys on her own.
“She came from Trinidad when she was 19 on her own,” he said. “So, you know, she started this story.”
Sadiq lights up when he talks about his older brother, the one who first challenged him to solve a cube. “He’s literally my biggest inspiration. I love this guy so much,” he said.
“I went to school, he went into business.”
His brother started his own successful car rental business, where Sadiq says he gained hands-on business experience while still in high school.
“You really realize the importance of business to the world,” he said.
Sadiq quickly followed in his brother’s footsteps. Last year he started his own pressure washing business.
“I bought a bunch of stuff,” he said. “I bought a truck, tons of professional grade equipment … I went really hard. I opened my first LLC [limited liability company]. “
Sadiq says things were going well with the pressure washing company, named The College Cleaners, but he started to worry about something new. It was at this time that he began to airspace.
“I was literally having fun and it took my whole life,” he said.
So much so that he paused the pressure washing activity and redirected his attention.
Cuber College, LLC
“Now The College Cuber actually has their own LLC, I’m officially my own business,” he said. “I received my first business credit card in the mail.”
“I am learning so much,” said Sadiq.
Sometimes, instead of destroying his art, he lives like a bought commission.
Take the play he made for the New York Red Bulls. He is currently hanging inside the Red Bulls Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, the state where Sadiq grew up.
Aspiring to help others
For Sadiq, learning takes place both in the business world outside school and in the classroom inside school.
“I’m studying biomedical engineering,” he said of his specialty. “Engineering has a strong stigma, and everything is true. Everything they say is true.”
Sadiq says engineering is “very, very, very” difficult, both the workload and the issues presented.
“They seem almost impossible,” he said. “And sometimes it’s probably impossible. I don’t know, they, they really don’t care about you in engineering.”
But these “probably impossible” problems have taught him something valuable because he says he knows the truth deep inside.
“There is no type of problem that is too big to take,” he said. “You can understand anything.”
Sadiq is in his final year, so graduation is just around the corner. He knows exactly what he wants to do after school.
“I’m specifically a prosthetic engineer. So I really want to help people who are unable to perform everyday tasks like we are,” he said. “We really take this for granted.”
In the meantime, Sadiq says business has taught him something that he hopes others know too.
“I’m not someone special. I’m like everyone else. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where my future takes me,” he said. “I find something and I go all out. I try as hard as I can, harder than anyone else, anyone I know.”
“This is really where you see your success.”
This story is taken from our “Las Vegas Art Scene” segment in our brand new dedicated digital show “How to Vegas”. Watch “How to Vegas” at 10:30 p.m. on Fridays – and throughout the weekend – using the KTNV app on your favorite streaming device.