Of course, growing up has its benefits, but, in many ways, children are more brilliant than most adults. Children are far more creative as they have an unrestricted imagination that is not reduced only to the conventions of realism. Kids easily-peasily invent creatures that grown-ups would never come up with. Unless they are Adult Swim cartoonists. They embrace their naivete because they are not afraid to fail or seem unsophisticated. Unlike adults, they don’t care about social norms and the way their drawings are evaluated. Only mom’s or dad’s smile matters for them, and caring parents will always inspire their kid to explore the realm of imagination and create beings that are impossible for grown-ups, yet absolutely real for young ones.
Five years ago, Katie Johnson, a University of North Texas Communication Design senior at that time, decided to help kids maintain their sparkling imagination and show them many ways in which they could apply it in art. She started The Monster Project, a collaborative program aimed at giving kids more opportunities to use their creativity at school.
She asks second graders to give her their drawings of monsters and transforms them with her friends, co-workers and fellow artists into professional illustrations.
Then, Katie shows these artworks to children and discusses with them individual features of their creatures, the importance of distinct personal style and the ways their doodles were turned into artistic interpretations.
Unlike nightmarish horror movie monsters, kids’ chupacabras and boogymen won’t chill your blood; on the contrary, they will warm your hearts.
Artists recreate crayon monsters adding color, texture, shading to original drawings. They not only redraw images in a new way, but also use different techniques and media like watercolor, computer graphics, video animation and even modeling clay.
As a result, Katie and her team give life to people-eating purple-skinnned cooks, flying eye-birds, black dragons with grass mohawk haircuts, eight-legged pirate ladies, Game Boy transformers and dozen of other adorable beasts that would leave the Monsters, Inc. creators green with envy.
Johnson is sure that this project will open up kids’ minds to various artistic ideas and will give them a broader look at art.
Moreover, bringing art education to elementary schools has never been so much fun! This is why this project deserves your utmost attention.