Success after failure is always more interesting than success after success. Hearing that artist Matthew Shlian failed Algebra in high school is astonishing once you see his work, as it's clear the guy is a geometric genius.
Paper-folding is Shlian's forte, and if that sounds frivolous or like "merely" art, consider that he's also been commissioned by scientists and researchers at the University of Michigan. "We work on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to micro folds," Shlian explains. "Our investigations extend to visualizing cellular division and solar cell development. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scintific princiapls; I see their inquiry as basis for artistic inspiration."
On the commercial side, Shlian does work for companies as diverse as Apple, the United States Mint and Ghostly International, the latter of which commissioned this vid explaining what he does: