Maria Popova on the story, art, and universal truths of this year's best books for kids. [more inside]
Although best known for iconic photographs of his Weimaraner dogs, artist William Wegman is also a painter. While Wegman's combined the two before, recently painting atop commercial travel postcards, he's just published Flo & Wendell, a children's storybook illustrated by dog photos painted over to tell a whimsical tale. Images and review (LA Times); video (YouTube).
Collaborating with a 4-year Old -- Mother and daughter share a sketchbook, make magic.
"One day I dreamed that my parents, my brothers and I went to visit three islands and I jumped into the water without protection," she wrote in her diary. "I felt like I could be in the water and not drown. I was curious and I swam into the deep water and then I saw my skeleton with my name written on it." Roger Omar collects children's dreams, and asks artists to illustrate them. [more inside]
Andy Fairhurst uses silhouetted children to brilliantly illustrate the imaginations of Superhero Kids. [more inside]
In 1976, American students put their Tricentennial imaginings to paper. Some larger versions of the drawings are available over at Buzzfeed.
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece - An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud.
Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens snapped controversial (and artistic) portraits of children between the ages of four and nine smoking fake cigarettes. The photo shoot in action was recorded and her portfolio can be seen here. (Previously) [more inside]
David Milano, who ran an art project for a children's choir in the weeks before Halloween, exposes kids to the world of Lovecraft. We've seen students in higher education do this, why not elementary school kids?
Cartoonist and former high school teacher Sean Michael Robinson (flickr) on what to do with those darn anime kids.
Smarties Australia paired 8 kids up with 8 artists to create art based on each Smarties colour. Here's orange video art, a song about moonwalking under the deep blue sea, the spoken word saga of a disco karaoke'ing duck, an upside-down red pop art world, The Pink Moon, photos of the purple Filecian dancers, a green tree sculpture, and the dance of insects burrowing through brown earth.
Weirdly wonderful illustrations from 70s Japanese children's books by Gōjin Ishihara, including much nightmare fuel from the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters
When "Proto-Pop" artist Larry Rivers' died in 2002, he left behind extensive archives of his letters, paperwork, photographs and film documenting the New York artistic and literary scene from the 1940s through the 1980s. They chronicle his friendships and relationships with dozens of artists, musicians and writers, from Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol to Frank O’Hara. Also included: films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father about their developing breasts. Now, one daughter, who says she was pressured to participate beginning when she was 11, is demanding that material be removed from the archive and returned to her and her sister. [more inside]
A gallery of scanned German children's books from the 18th and 19th centuries. Sounds dry, but the plates are high-resolution and gorgeous. Fans of old-school engraving, illustration, and Bibliodyssey-esque curiosities will not be disappointed. Highly extensive and bandwidth-intensive.
Good Night and Tough Luck "Getting a good night’s sleep is actually a lot more complicated than one would think." An amusing look at the problems involved in getting a good night's sleep.
Anna Skladmann's Little Adults. Photographs of the children of the ultra-rich in Russia.
The Giving Tree (1973), animated short based on Shel Silverstein's 1964 children's story and narrated by the author. [more inside]
Michael Mararian creates pen and ink drawings of mischievously macabre babies and children. Meet the dark and wicked little demons in his current exhibit or explore the world of childhood terrors in his phobias, foibles and fiends collection (scroll down a few) where humor and horror collide.
"We create sewn art and artifacts based on the drawings of our two children using only thrifted and recycled materials. We also make custom pieces with a child's drawing provided or requested by you." Via plsj tumblelog.
Photographs of esteemed Sydney artist Bill Henson have been removed by police from the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, and the debate over art vs pornography vs pedophilia heats up in Sydney this week. Some of the debate is quite measured and intelligent while other sides are descending to unruly levels. [more inside]
Speaking of speeches, David Eggers delivers one at TED on grassroots community tutoring for kids who need help with their English homework: "There's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one on one, getting all this attention. They finish their homework, they go home -- they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home 5:30, enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play and that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world, right? So, the key to it all is homework." Love him or hate him (mefi consensus) it's a great example of
nervous energy microphilanthropy, social entrepreneurship and, if I may make the connection, machines of loving grace. [previously]
Kathe Kollwitz, printmaker and sculptor, on The Peasants War (historical background, prints), war and death, mothers and children, herself and the death of her son Peter in WWI.
"A paper around her neck said she was Ida, but Ida said nothing at all." So tells the story of the saddest, unluckiest girl that ever lived. [more inside]
""My Kid Could Paint That." It has been said before on metafilter about Jackson Pollock,and apparently it is being said about another artist. However, this artist is a kid. Is she a Pre-School Pollock? Or just another kid having fun with art supplies? I guess you'll have to wait for the movie to decide. [previously on mefi]
The children's book illustrators archive. Czeschka - Die Nibelungen; Nielsen - Hansel and Gretel; Goble - Japanese Fairy Tales; Dulac - Arabian Nights; Pavlishin - Folktales of the Amur; Finlay - The Ship of Ishtar; Detmold - The Arabian Nights; Crane - Flora Feast; Kirin - Croatian Tales of Long Ago; Clarke - Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination; Collard - British Fairy Tales, and; more Rackham in the gallery then you can shake a pen at.
Music makes you smarter if you get an early start. Certainly debatable given the incredibly small sample, but perhaps it's a prelude to an emerging 21st-century collaborative scientific suite or symphony that can explain why we love music so much.
The Toymaker offers over 40 free paper toys and pretties you can print out (PDFs) and make yourself, as well as "Stories to be Told by Firelight" - online versions of author/illustrator Marilyn Scott Waters' children's stories and lots of other fun goodies. For people who have kids, people who know kids, people who are kids, and people who love papercraft, illustration, toys, and tales. [more...]
Inner City Youth, London "In 2002, Simon Wheatley began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty." This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder)
Dreams of Flying. Whimsical photographs by Jan Von Holleben.
The ATF has sponsored an art contest for the children of its employees. Some of the children depicted their parents as heroes. Others seemed to tell a story that’s a bit more grim. Still others were truly elliptical or perplexing. Oh, and the turtle. [via.]
Aliens and Children. This website features a series of drawings made by children who were abducted by aliens for the purpose of creating a new race of alien/human hybrids. They successfully resisted the aliens by using a thought screen helmet which blocks the telepathic control aliens have over humans.
Plan59's Demoinc Tots and Deeply Disturbing Cusine: Plan59 has a bunch of overdone goodness (in a white bread sort of way) but this is the best. Link to their main page
The Monster Engine. Commercial artist Dave Devries has done some nifty work in comics and such, but his Monster Engine projects are just damned cool. Just too bad there aren't more samples. (via memepool.com)
The mystery of Stefan Mart and the 'Tales of the Nations'. "The Tales of Nations" was not an ordinary book that you could buy in a book store, and it's mysterious narrator/illustrator disappeared into the darkness of Hitler's Germany, seemingly without a trace. Learn the background, read the stories, and view all 150 fabulous colour illustrations — "small in size, but strong in expression, each a microcosm packed with action, each a feast for the eyes like a beautifully set jewel".
Move over, Gray's Anatomy! Children draw the human body.
Kodomo no kuni - children's book illustrations and songs from 1920s Japan. I found the artist's index the best way to navigate. (via the always entertaining quiddity)
Three nice book links from the University of North Texas Libraries: 1. Victorian Bookbinding - Innovation and Extravagance has some gorgeous examples of bookcovers from the Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Arts and Crafts periods. 2. The Great Menagerie is an animated tour of 19th and 20th century pop-up books. 3. Pop-Up and Movable Books - A Tour, showcases pop-up book artists through the centuries, and includes the master of the genre, Lothar Meggendorfer. More about Meggendorfer inside ---->
The grays, the mantises, the snake-skins, and the hybrids are just some of the aliens drawn by children at Aliens and Children. To note: thought screen hats will successfully prevent abduction by the mantis-like aliens, the servants of the mantis-like aliens, the snake-skinned aliens, and the Meek-Moks.
They Still Draw Pictures. Drawings made by children during the Spanish Civil War.
Shocked and Awed: A gallery of Iraq schoolchildren art. Interesting galleries of crayon works, some obviously have high opinions of the occupation while others may not. [via Dangerousmeta]
Let's go on a rocket trip to the Moon! A collection of space art in children's books, 1883 to 1974. These books, and their evocative art, instilled in a generation the romance and wonder of space flight. I grew up in the 1950's, and as a kid I could pour over this book and its illustrations for hours, dreaming.
via A Voyage to Arcturus
via A Voyage to Arcturus
Sure, Scarlett O'Hara Barbie is lovely, and yeah, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz Barbie is cute, but for my money, it's hard to beat Marge Simpson Barbie, Medusa Barbie, or Dominatrix Barbie. The full collection, located here, clearly owes a debt to Todd Haynes, and the Barbie Liberation Army, but is still worth a chuckle.
The Russian Avant-Garde Book is an online version of the MoMA exhibit, featuring 112 books originally published in Russia during the intensely creative period between 1910 and 1934, before Stalin outlawed any style but social realism. The site is separated into three chronological themes and includes examples of futurist works, constructivist graphic design, children's books, propaganda, photography and photomontage, revolutionary imagery, architecture and industry, war themes, folk art and judaica...
Sand Art: it's everyone's favorite preschool art activity, now on your PC! Go sand art! Still, with this version you can't get into sand throwing fights with your friends...
Dart Pigeon! Beware, this is what happens when you cut funding for the arts in our schools.