Whatever it is it's lovely dear ...
May 29, 2010 6:18 PM   Subscribe

What our kids made: The refrigerator door of the internet [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk (33 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I love this.
posted by box at 6:28 PM on May 29, 2010

I did not know that huge heads with spindly little legs growing out of them could have children. That's so inspiring.
posted by longsleeves at 6:34 PM on May 29, 2010

Whatever it is it's lovely dear ...

I don't even remember where I originally got this, but I now have a...phobia?...about asking kids about their artwork. Apparently you shouldn't ask "what is this" but instead say something like "can you tell me the story about this" or something like that. Except my kids are too literal for that, so they answer with something like "I got out the crayons and a piece of paper and I drew it, DUH". It's often quite a chore, when it is possible at all, to extract from the child what they think it is without revealing that it isn't totally obvious.

Me: Oh...wow! This is....really nice!
Child: And see how I did this part?
Me: That's....great! Did you get this idea from....where did you get this idea?
Child: I just thought of it.
Me: I see. And you just drew...it.
Child: Right.
Me: Well it's....awesome. Did you do this in art class?
Child: Yes.
Me: And did all the children do the same thing?
Child: Some of them.
Me: Uhh....here let's put it on the fridge.
posted by DU at 6:37 PM on May 29, 2010 [10 favorites]

My son (he's almost 9) just drew the most awesome picture. It's called "The Big Beast" and is this multi-tentacled...thing, and there are at least a dozen ninjas stabbing it with katanas (complete with action words, like "throw" and "stab"). There's also one or two archers, a guy with a gun, I think there's a guy in an airplane shooting at it, and then a guy stuck in the roots of the beast.

I want to get it framed and put over the fireplace.
posted by Lucinda at 6:41 PM on May 29, 2010 [8 favorites]

If you're like me, and you're curious about the forms children draw, I found this site pretty interesting. For example, the head+limbs form that many young children draw is called a "tadpole" drawing.
posted by myelin sheath at 6:50 PM on May 29, 2010 [7 favorites]

I find the ubiquitous "huge heads with spindly little legs" drawing fascinating. How do so many children draw their first humans in the exact same fashion? (I think I like the semi-terrifying empty-eyed stare the best.)
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 7:34 PM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh boy, that's what happens when I... don't read to the end of the thread. Thanks, myelin sheath!
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 7:35 PM on May 29, 2010

I would pay good hard cold cash for a print of the Peepee Poop Bathroom Robots.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:37 PM on May 29, 2010 [5 favorites]

Great find - this is absolutely delightful. What I would love to see is a museum or gallery dedicated entirely to children's art.

Is there such a thing? If not, it would be so awesome if this inspires someone to open one.
posted by empatterson at 7:44 PM on May 29, 2010

I can never look at children's artwork without being reminded of this.

Ding ding! Here comes the shit-mobile.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:45 PM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

I don't geddit. I could draw that in about five minutes.
posted by roue at 7:57 PM on May 29, 2010

I teach at an English-immersion preschool/kindergarten here in Japan, and during afternoon daycare we often have time for free drawing. So I have a lot of conversations with three- to six-year-old children about their artwork. Last year one of the five-year-old girls and I had this discussion:

Me: K, that's a great picture! Is that you?
K: No, it's Emmalee!
Me: Wow! I'm so happy! What am I doing?
K: You're having Christmas party!
Me: A Christmas party? That sounds like fun. But where is everybody?
K: [looks at me very seriously] Emmalee no friends.
Me: My friends couldn't come? Or I don't have friends?
K: [very sadly, shaking her head] Emmalee no friends.
Me: I'm very sad now.
K: Yes.
posted by emmling at 8:03 PM on May 29, 2010 [89 favorites]

myelin sheath: "If you're like me, and you're curious about the forms children draw, I found this site pretty interesting. For example, the head+limbs form that many young children draw is called a "tadpole" drawing."

If you liked that, you should love the story of Onfim and his medieval birch-bark drawings (discussed previously). Unfortunately, the large image links in the archive.org copy don't work, but the thumbnails are mostly big enough to make out what's in them.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:16 PM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Meh. My 8 year old nephew could draw that.
posted by monospace at 8:23 PM on May 29, 2010

This is more brilliant that it has a right to be. It has a strong Klee/Dubuffet feel to it, and I'm sort of seriously into it.

Great blog; it reminds me of:
When the kids were little, we went to a parents' meeting at their school and I asked the teacher why all her students were geniuses in the second grade? . . . Matisses every one. You've made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into the second grade! What is your secret? And this is what she said, "Secrets? I don't have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them." --Flan Kittredge, Six Degrees of Separation
posted by heyho at 8:28 PM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

The bathroom robots just made my day.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:31 PM on May 29, 2010

I have this problem speaking to children. The problem is... well, let me illustrate the kind of conversations I end up having with kindergartners:
Child: Look!
Me: Is this your work?
C: Yes.
M: Not bad. Bold use of color. Heavy on landscape. Composition is... interesting, I guess.
C: He has teeth.
M: Yeah, I see the teeth. What's the story with this blocky dude?
C: That's Opmus Prime.
M: ...?
C: Opmus Prime.
M: I don't understand what you're saying right now.
C: *exaggerated sigh* Transformers!
M: Oh, right, Optimus Prime. God, I hated that movie.
C: Opmus.
M: Alright, I guess your influences come into focus a little more now. Certainly explains the overall busy-ness of the piece. Thanks for showing me this. Do you have any others?
C: In my room.
M: Okay sure, let's go.
C: Umm... I want to play now.
M: What, like, cards or something?
C: Nooo... a fun game!
M: I dunno then, you pick.
C: I don't want to play with you, I want to play with them.
M: Those kids? Fine, I'll play with the dog or something I guess. Oh and you know: keep at it with the art, I suppose.

I'm concerned that the problem is that I'm kind of an asshole.
posted by Ritchie at 9:10 PM on May 29, 2010 [8 favorites]

Here are some larger images of the medieval birch-bark drawings: 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:29 PM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

My daughter draws dragons. Freakin' AWESOME dragons. Seriously I'm going to have to scan one and upload it so you all can see these dragons.

Unfortunately she draws them while she's supposed to be taking tests. Honestly I have a hard time getting mad at her.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:37 PM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I love it! Great post.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:41 PM on May 29, 2010

I have a fairly clear memory of being about four and making a particularly elaborate and colorful scribble in preschool. I told my tablemates it was a bumblebee. I put my name on it and took it home. My mom put it on the wall in the kitchen.

It was on the wall for ever. When I was about fourteen I commented on it: "Mom, I'm surprised you still have that bumblebee I made ten years ago."

"A bumblebee? You told me it was a kneck!" She said both k's. " 'What's a kneck?' I asked you. 'It's a kneck!' you said. I kept it because you wrote your name that nicely."

"It was a bumblebee."


I must have drawn that ... thing ... in 1983. I'm pretty sure it survived our move in 1997. Sometimes I wonder where it is now, but I'm kind of afraid to ask about it.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:55 PM on May 29, 2010 [4 favorites]

A Story, for you

So I was always drawing, and always pestering about drawing.... people with people . I really really wanted people to understand how IMPORTANT they are. So My Mom, in her infinite tired bartender wisdom said,, why don't we put all these drawings in a photo album and then we can look at them at photo album times when it's important and not all the time like now? I Love it. I remember a drawing of LINK! from the second Legend of Zelda game knelling beside the sleeping Zelda and making oaths and shit. That got to be all covered in the sticky plastic sheet of the photo-album and shit - also my portrait of my teacher Ms. Bloomfield, which I really, really tried to get right and trying to draw my brother Ryan, who I was trying to get called "fry-Guy"-cause "Ryan" and cause he liked fries- but that never took off. We moved around al ot but the Drawing Album kept up with all the photo albums and the OTHER albums that we would (or RATHER I WOULD) take them out from time to time to look at them - like until my Mom dated that jerk Mike and I really, really wanted to show him my drawings in the album and he said, understandably as a tired house painter with a kid who was Not His running up to him and being all gushing- "I don't care about your heroes!" and for some reason, that stuck with me and I stopped showing people the album and pretty much forgot about it until the day I was supposed to run away to college and my Mom fucking caught me at the train station and had the fucking ALBUM WITH HER and was all "well I know you have to do this, but can I wait with you while we wait for the train?" what am I MADE OF STONE? Fucking Louis and Clarke TIME headline story too - so I took that album and I still have it, and sometimes and still peel back the super-sticky -smelly skin to look at the drawings and go ...man, fucker had NO IDEA.
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 PM on May 29, 2010 [28 favorites]

[the comment just before this comment is the best comment I've ever read here]
posted by koeselitz at 1:19 AM on May 30, 2010

Wow. The Whelk's comment is like a Richard Brautigan short story. And I mean that in all sorts of good ways.
posted by him at 2:24 AM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Needs more Maddox.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:44 AM on May 30, 2010

Thanks everybody!
posted by horsemuth at 8:30 AM on May 30, 2010

uncanny hengeman: "Needs more Maddox."

Maddox is an asshat. I like it when I was in high school. Which I guess means I was an asshat too.
posted by theichibun at 10:19 AM on May 30, 2010

This reminds me of my favorite section in
Highlights for Children where readers submitted hand drawings much like these
It was called Your Own Pages
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 12:44 PM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maddox is an asshat. I like it when I was in high school. Which I guess means I was an asshat too.

Wow. Look who's all grown up. Last time I checked - maybe over a year ago - a lot of his site was funny to me. And get this, it's called humour. He doesn't really judge kids' drawings and send a report to their parents.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is this the antidote to Shit My Kids Ruined?
posted by armage at 7:43 PM on May 30, 2010

This is great. My 10 year old son draws elaborate steam locomotives driven by very happy stick people. I've been thinking of doing something similar for his drawings, but maybe I'll submit a couple of his pictures to this site instead.
posted by gamera at 12:44 PM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

My 2.5-year-old is still at the everything-is-a-spiral stage but she's very serious about drawing them, and they are very intense spirals. This weekend her grandmother gave her a set of stencils. As soon as I finish typing this comment I am going to hide them.
posted by Hogshead at 7:05 PM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's the twenty-first century--where the hell are my bathroom robots?
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:55 AM on June 1, 2010

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