It's been a while since I've had a piece of kid art to work on. Yesterday I found this anonymous child's artwork on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. I can understand why someone would toss this in the street; it's awful. First, you can barely discern the person standing beside the anthropomorphic sun, then, there's the blatant attempt to cover up the sloppy illustration by haphazardly piling on stickers. It's a complete mess. Mercifully, I brought it home and shaped it into a beautiful artwork. As you can see, my version is so much better it's not even worth debating.
UPDATE: I'm trying to start up a business where I critique and improve children's art. Send me your kid's art and I promise to give it an honest assessment. For the time being, I'm providing this service for free.
Found drawing, pencil, pen and colored marker on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches, 2009
Cover translation: "The Origins of the Hebrews"
Panel One: "The road taken by the Israelites when they left Egypt." Panel Two: "God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai." Panel Three and Four: "Drawing"
I found this water-damaged booklet about Jewish history on the sidewalk in my neighborhood. The spanish-language fold-out tells the tale of the Exodus from Egypt and Moses recieving the Ten Commandments. Interestingly, the Red Sea is depicted as an enormous half-tomato, half-caterpillar monster.
As I have done in the past, I took it upon myself to restore the piece and help the original artist flesh out their concept. I started by giving the Red Sea monster a more realistic facade. I then used colored pencils to add depth and texture to the desert landscape. Moses and the Israelites were given nicer clothing and fun hairstyles. For the final touch, I wrote "Exodus" and "10 Commandments" in a cool, heavy metal font. You have to admit that this new version is pretty bad-ass.
Found drawing, crayon and chalk on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches, 2009
I was walking in my neighborhood yesterday when I found this drawing on the sidewalk in front of a middle school. It had been stomped on a few times and the artist appeared to be long gone.
In the drawing, a young girl in a small boat bobs around in rough seas. For a scribbly crayon drawing, I was struck by the sadness and isolation it depicts. I liked the drawing so much that I was compelled to dig deeper into the story and bring additional details to life. With pencil and colored pencils, I completed the drawing exactly as, I assume, the original artist would have liked:
In the modified version, the girl has a more measured take on her predicament: her messy scowl replaced by a disturbed pout and her freightened stare calmed by the presence of friendly marine animals and a larger, more comfortable boat. I actually destroyed a lot of what was good about the original drawing, but you have to admit that it's nice to have some depth and shading.
That really worked out great! I'm currently exploring this concept of adults finishing the art of children. I think I can make some serious money on this. Most parents would happily pay $50-$100 to have a guy with a blog punch-up their kid's work and make it look professional.
SPECIAL OFFER: For the next few months, in order to build my portfolio and create a business plan, I will finish any kid's drawings for FREE! Send your (young) kid's art to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a recent visit to the new California Academy of Sciences, I came across an exhibit where visitors were asked to write down their solutions to climate change. The responses were posted on a wall for everyone to see. I stole these four examples because they caught my eye and I figured that the janitor was probably going to toss them in the trash later that night regardless.
As we all know by now, the children of today are going to be the ones bearing the brunt of the climate changes that our generation created. These kids are going to have to roll up their sleeves and dig out of this mess just like our generation had to dig out from under all the crap that previous generations piled on us. While it's tempting to kick back and cheer the young'uns on from the sidelines, there is no good reason why we can't all chip in a little bit. I decided to do my part by punching up these four drawings to make them clearer and more effective as pieces of propaganda:
The first panel didn't need much improvement, so I simply fleshed out the animal in the tank and had him eat junk food instead of fish food. In the second panel, I made it so the bird is saved by flying into space to escape Earth. The space shuttle in the background has the same idea. In panel three, I added more plantable items. This piece was already strong, but I felt that adding more items enhanced the creator's original intent without cluttering it. In the final panel, I clarified that people should stop eating microwaved meat (gross). I assume this is what the artist meant.