An artist transforms kids' drawings into professional illustrations and the results are adorable

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzOne of Zenz’s creations inspired by a child’s drawing.
  • 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.

Some people create fan art for their favourite superheroes or TV series. Author and illustrator Aaron Zenz creates fan art of kids’ monster drawings.

Here’s how he turns drawings of imaginary monsters into professional illustrations.

Aaron Zenz is an author and illustrator living in Michigan.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA multicolored monster.

He wrote and illustrated a book called “Monsters Go Night-Night.”

He collects kids’ drawings of monsters and puts his own spin on them.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA snail-like creature.

He draws in coloured pencil.

He started by recreating his own kids’ drawings.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA monster with a purple gem.

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.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA forest monster.

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.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA monster in a boat.

“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.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA winged monster.

“I think the kids’ drawings are perfect, absolutely perfect the way they are.” he said.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA purple and green creature.

“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.”

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA purple monster.

He creates a new version of the monster.

“I love the character, so I want to draw them too,” he said.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA bird with a tail.

“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.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA dragon hybrid.

Sometimes, he sits and draws the monsters on the spot.

“It’s a party,” he said.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzBig and small monsters.

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.”

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA colourful monster.

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.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA wide-eyed monster.

“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.

Courtesy of Aaron ZenzA monster giving a piggyback ride.

“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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