Those Scary Monster Drawings Could Mean Your Kid's an Artistic Genius

monster engineHave you ever looked at your toddler's latest crayon-on-construction-paper masterpiece and thought to yourself, Huh. That's a little disturbing. I don't know what it is, but it's freaking me out. I mean, it looks like something Charles Manson would've drawn as a kid. Oh my god, maybe little Billy needs a psychological evaluation. This is all because of that glass of red wine I had at my baby shower, isn't it??!!

Oh, yes, you have. Because the truth is, little kids draw some seriously scary-looking stuff. I don't know if it's a sort of intuitive cathartic thing ("Draw me a picture of your deepest, darkest fear") or if it's just a lack of motor skills that makes what was supposed to be a happy bunny rabbit look like a saber-toothed demon from hell, but artwork from early childhood is not for the faint of heart.


Still, even the most frightful of doodles can be an indicator of your child's artistic abilities. That's why I love what artist Dave Devries did with his book The Monster Engine. He used a projector to trace real kids' drawings line for line, then turned them into the full-fledged paintings of an accomplished artist.

Granted, they only get scarier, but they're also pretty incredible to behold. A true testament to the miracle of a child's imagination. How many of us carry that with us into adulthood? There are the obvious examples, of course -- Salvador Dali, Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, to name just a few. But how cool would it be if more kids were encouraged to take those crazy drawings and run with them?

I tried to hang on to as many of my kids' drawings from that wild, uninhibited phase as possible (or at least endeavored to take pictures of them). They're not old enough to appreciate them yet; they dismiss their early work as "babyish" and "bad." But someday, who knows? They might turn them into something pretty cool.

Does your toddler draw wild, crazy pictures?


Image via Amazon

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