February 20, 2007

Interpreting Kids' Drawings For Fun And Profit


The artist Yeondoo Jung began staging and photographing elaborate re-enactments of children's drawings in 2001. New Museum curator Yukie Kamiya sees the project as an attempt to clarify the "terrible freedom of a child's unbridled ideas." And really, is there any more compelling argument for a good bridling than this bedroom?

DrawerGeeks is a club of artists who get together Fridays online to draw their own interpretations of a chosen character. Most of the time, those characters are famous, but sometimes they do kids' drawings, too.


My favorite is this father-son pairing by Brian and Brennan Pelletier, partly because the kid's only two and yet he can wield a brush. But also because it feels like the kind of obvious clarity that can develop within a family. Like how the neighbor thinks your kid is just babbling, meanwhile, you're picking out complete sentences.


Meanwhile, for comic artist Dave Devries, it all started in 1998 at the Jersey Shore, when his niece was doodling in his notebooks That's how he began making his own painted interpretations of kids' monster drawings. Devries has combined the drawings, paintings, and interviews with the artists, into The Monster Engine Book, which actress Erin Gray calls, "a creative and thought-provoking adventure."


I don't know about you, but when Erin Gray says jump, I say, "How high, Colonel?"

Yeondoo Jung [yeondoojung.com via geisha asobi]
DrawerGeeks Kid Creatures [drawergeeks.com via geisha asobi]
The Monster Engine Book, by Dave Devries & friends [themonsterengine.com via dt reader/new dad david (congrats!)]
image: Erin Gray [retrocrush.com]


update: in the comments below, Throkky just pointed to FAO Schwarz's "Make Your Own Monster" kit. For $249, the North American Bear Co. will turn a kid's drawing and story into an 18-inch plush toy in just two weeks. But why not eliminate the middle man and his 100% markup? Couldn't you find an artist on etsy.com to do the same for you?


I love the entire concept. If I had the money, i would have loved to spring for Monster to get the "make your own monster" from FAO Schwarz. And you thought Ugly Dolls were cool.

[holy smokes, that's awesome -ed.]

I may do this for a grandparent gift one of these days: Silver charms from refrigerator art.
Also a bit expensive, but I might prefer it to flying out with toddler for a visit.

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