- Aaron Zenz is an author and illustrator who creates his own versions of kids’ monster drawings.
- He enjoys creating “fan art” and encouraging creativity.
- He’s made over 300 illustrations so far.
Here’s how he turns drawings of imaginary monsters into professional illustrations.
Aaron Zenz is an author and illustrator living in Michigan.
He wrote and illustrated a book called “Monsters Go Night-Night.”
He collects kids’ drawings of monsters and puts his own spin on them.
He draws in coloured pencil.
He started by recreating his own kids’ drawings.
He also asked other artists on Twitter to recreate his son’s drawings.
After speaking at a school and receiving thank you cards that included monster drawings, he expanded the project.
He has illustrated over 300 monster drawings.
“It was unfathomable to me that the next step would be that I was just supposed to keep them in a drawer,” he said.
“I wanted them to live on somehow,” he said.
He calls his creations “fan art” because he wants to share his enthusiasm for the drawings by making his own versions.
“I think the kids’ drawings are perfect, absolutely perfect the way they are.” he said.
“There’s no way to draw the wrong kind of monster,” he said.
“I want to celebrate these cool creations in the best way that I know how, which is to draw their creature right alongside them.”
He creates a new version of the monster.
“I love the character, so I want to draw them too,” he said.
“Not because I want to replace what they have done, but because I want to geek out by creating.”
Zenz holds events where he reveals his drawings to the young artists whose work he reinterpreted.
Sometimes, he sits and draws the monsters on the spot.
“It’s a party,” he said.
Zenz first projects the original drawing for crowds of kids, and then reveals his version.
“I love the fact that I’m able to take the spotlight and swing it around and shine it on the kids, and then they’re the celebrity.”
Zenz said that the crowd cheers equally for both the original drawing and his illustration.
Drawing monsters also helps show off a child’s personality.
“A monster can be cute or funny or scary or cool,” he said. “It’s a great way for your own personal tastes to be on display, as well.”
He sees monsters as a useful tool for encouraging budding artists.
“Monsters can look like anything,” he said. “It’s great because it’s this limitless playground to run around in, and yet there’s no mistakes.”
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