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Drawings and monsters

I got into a discussion about http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/83792472/ - pictures created from children's drawings - on Facebook, and since I had a thought about them, I decided I would copy it here, where I stand an even chance of actually being able to find the thing again if I want it.

I think the caption is a little misleading. It doesn't look like the artist is really trying to draw a 'realistic' version of what the kids had in their minds - which would be very bad. What he's really doing is using kids drawings to inspire his own monster art (and quite often ignoring their colour choices and adding his own elements to them).

Look at the wonderwoman, for example - it looks like the child was going for a fairly conventional superhero image, and has got most of the elements for such a thing, but is unclear on how to make the exact shapes. If this artist is a little disappointed with the end result, because it doesn't reflect what is in her head - then I think is a very valid emotion for an artist of any age. All artists feel this, and as an amateur artist, I think understanding that is a really helpful thing - when you realise that Turner, say, had days when he was pissed off with his work and thought it was crap too, that REALLY helps you pick yourself up and go on learning, trying new things.

The artist has taken the shapes that the kid probably wasn't quite happy with, but didn't know quite why, and has made something strange and different with them - to me that says 'Actually, it's OK to make something weird and different and not fitting commercial art concepts of physical form' - and could be a really valuable thing, presented in the right way. Artists playing with each others ideas of form is like writers in a shared universe, ideas bouncing off each other and everyone learns and comes up with new and wonderful things...



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
12th Jan, 2014 13:25 (UTC)
Wow! They are fantastic -- both the kids' original drawings and the paintings!

I don't quite see them as you have, though. I think his title -- The Monster Engine -- is literal. The kids are generating the monsters for him -- their imaginations are an amazing resource -- and at first I was being a bit of an SJW, as they say, thinking he'd 'appropriated' their images, but then I noticed how accurately (in about 90% of his paintings) he's caught the originals' facial expressions, and thought, no, he's treating them respectfully...

The Wonder Woman is interesting, though, because it is, as you say, very different from the original. I wonder why he felt the need to change it?
12th Jan, 2014 19:44 (UTC)
I think a lot of them are quite different - Hanky got a Spanky Hanky seems much more sinister (and loses the 'hanky' element to the hands) - I really hope that 'Ma' wasn't intended to be quite that dark by the child artist, and the colour change in 'Boy' moves it from naughty/mischievous to rather more menacing, I think. Superman and Supergirl are quite different too - particularly supergirl, whose disturbingly blank eyes are not in the original at all...

He has been doing them since the 90's - maybe his selection criteria and the way he handles the original has evolved...
12th Jan, 2014 19:28 (UTC)
Huh, I...don't think any of the superhero ones were meant by the child to be monsters, and those kind of sit with me differently from the monster drawings.
12th Jan, 2014 19:45 (UTC)
Yeah, I think I agree... I wonder if those were early ones, two of the superheroes are dated in the 90's.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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