My Monster

Just after writing yesterday’s blog post about my daughters obsession with monsters I stumbled upon this post on Facebook from one of my friends. You can see the article here. Basically it is about an artist named Dave Devries who decided to explore what a child drawing would look like if it were painted realistically. Here is an actual quote from Dave on why he decided to do this.

“It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.”

Click any of the images below to see the images larger.

For me it is hard to tell which ones I like better the childs drawings with their pure and simple Picasso-esque line structure or the realistically shaded and quite creepy adult rendered illustrations. I think it is the grey area in the middle that becomes the art itself, to view these on their own, separately, they wouldn’t have as much power but seeing them together gives them a relevance. Maybe it is the transition from child to adult where that innocence is lost. Could this be what makes these drawings so unsettling?

There is some real interesting reading in the comments on the article, scroll to the bottom and read some of them. Some people are upset that the artist is taking advantage of these children’s drawings and exploiting them. Some are teachers who work with kids everyday and seem put off by the drawings, others just love what the artist has done. I asked my daughter what she thought and she loved that someone had realized those kids drawings so realistically, she was all for it. In her own words “Cool!”

For anyone who has kids you know that they will ask you to help them with creative things all the time. “Daddy, can you draw a vampire bunny for me?” or “Daddy, what colour are Cthulhu’s eyes?” They also ask you to spell things and ask questions about the world around them. We are just trying to round out their world view, teach them what we know. Generational Knowledge, as I have blogged about before, is a way for our children to become more than we are. I don’t care what generation you are from the reason old people don’t like young people is because they are smarter than them, each generation is the new version of itself, Offspring 2.0 if you will. I have already resigned to the fact that at six, my daughter is already nipping at my heels and anything that I can do to help her surpass me is pure joy, and a little scary. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for and to help them realize a more realistic version of what they think is scary is just fine.

A perfect example is a scary movie you saw as a kid. Freaked you out when you were five, then you watched it again when you were thirty-five and it was crap, a plastic costume and a bad makeup job, but your five year old brain didn’t care. That is why the book is always better than the movie. What your brain imagines always trumps the real thing. I think that is why these thirty-something nerds don’t like the new Star Wars movies, they aren’t looking through the eyes of a 10-year old anymore. We could be on to something here, or the movies, like everyone says, are just crap. Who cares, it’s Star Wars, weeeeeee!!!! (Make hands into guns and insert laser sounds here).

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