Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

Tops and Tails and Monsters

I discovered the blog Agence Eureka a while ago by accident (I think maybe via BibliOdyssey). I don’t know much more about it than the poster is female, from France and seems to have an unending supply of the most awesome ephemera just hanging around waiting to be scanned. Her tastes (on this blog anyway) lean towards kids card games and books, turn of the century magazines and souvenirs of travel, none more recent than the 1960s.  She is not shy with the big files (all easily downloaded off her flickr page) and I love what she has been posting lately.  This particular card game that she calls “Tops and Tails – zoo” has tickled my fancy in a big way:

zoomelo 19

zoomelo 10

zoomelo 14

I’ve loved mix-and-match things since I was a kid. One of my very favorites was a book called Mix ’em up Monsters [interesting side note: I can’t find ANYTHING on the publishers of this book online. They are called Current, Inc. and the book was published in 1980, code 3221. The one Amazon link is to the wrong book – or at least it has the wrong cover. Come one internet, help me out. Anyone? Bueller?]  I was just going to post a link to whatever online reference there was to the book, but since I couldn’t find anything, I figured I might as well dig out my old copy of it and take a few photos.  Good thing I had a vague idea which box it was hiding in…

Mix 'em up Monsters cover

This Gruesome Grump

This Greedy Glutton

This Persnickety Pest

This Slippery Scoundrel

I loved how each one had that whole alliteration thing going and the drawings were just awesome (in retrospect, very late 70s). And each time you read the book, you could make it say something a little different. I’m also fairly certain this is where I first learned the word “persnickety.”

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Happy Birthday Sophie!

I had all sorts of other grand plans for the post for today but all of that has been subsumed by one little girl.  One BRAND SPANKING NEW little girl!  My dear friends finally had their first child this morning and for the life of me, I just can’t stop smiling.  It’s been a long stressful day for other various reasons but I’m still grinning like an idiot.  I feel a bit giddy – Sophie is here!  Sophie is here!  Life flowered in a really awesome way this morning. That little girl has no idea how lucky she is to be born into the family she got.  Or maybe she does – babies often seem to know a whole lot more than they let on at first, right when they are fresh from that other place.  The older they get, the more they forget, but for the first few weeks, you can still see that glimmer of another place in their eyes.  She has got two amazing parents and a whole community of people who can’t wait to meet her.  What a joy to be so very wanted.

ANYwho, I just wanted to take a moment to mark the day.  It is not often you get to celebrate such joy in a completely unadulterated way.

Happy Birthday Sophie.  Welcome to the World.  I hope you find more joy than sorrow, more peace than turmoil, more love than indifference and more beauty than cruelty.

All my love,

Your other Auntie Jess

Wonderland

I had much grander ambitions for today’s post, but it is soooooooo hot here.  Maine doesn’t usually have super hot summers.  Some times in August we’ll have one really hot week.  But this is July!  And today the temperature hit 97 degrees!  And 80% humidity!  My cats were mostly puddles on my kitchen floor.  Poor things.  At least I could seek out an air conditioned coffee shop.  But even that was warmer than it should have been – the a/c just couldn’t keep up with the heat.

ANYwho, instead of what I was going to photograph and share with you all, I’m going to share one of my favorite works from a very interesting photographer.  His name is Yeondoo Jung and he lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.  The project is called Wonderland.  What he has done is taken drawings from elementary school kids and made them a reality:

Afternoon Nap, C-print, 2004

I want to be a singer, c-print, 2004

Miss Sparkle Sprinkles the Magic, c-print, 2005

I love that he really manages to capture each kid’s wonderfully skewed perspective and make it believable.  It really feels like the drawing has come to life.  He has taken the child’s sense of wonder and added his own to make some really fabulously bizarre and sweet photographs.

Another take on this idea comes from Bill Zeman and his daughter who he has dubbed the Tiny Art Director.  Basically he takes direction for his illustrations from his two-(now five)-year-old.  Her directions are often a word or two and her critiques of the finished work are hilarious and scathing.  So, about what you’d get from an adult art director. I also think it is fabulous that he has been doing this for so many years with her.  It is really cool to see her change and grow through her father’s eyes.  Her demands have become more specific and she has reached a point where she has decided she can draw what she wants better than her dad.  So often he posts her work alongside his.  Which is just so cool!

I love collaboration between adults and kids.  I think the work on each side is richer for the other.  A kid’s imagination hasn’t been truly reigned in by anything yet so everything is still possible.  And a grown-up has to work really hard to live up to that.

As part of a class in vector graphics, my husband will often have his college students do an Imaginary Friend Project.  He will pair them up with a 2nd or 3rd grade student (we have several friends who teach art in elementary schools) give the following directions:

If you are planning a career as an artist-for-hire, you’ll be creating art to other’s specifications all the time. Frequently this will come as a doodle on a cocktail napkin, done by the owner of the ad agency (who has no training as an artist whatsoever) while drinking with the client. From this you have to extrapolate a final, finished piece of that will make the client (who is probably paying tens of thousands of $ for it) (although you’ll be lucky to see $100 of that) and your boss happy. Fortunately, in this case, your clients are more accomplished artists than you’ll usually work for. They’ve provided more detailed sketches of their concepts than you’ll usually get, too. Your mission this time around is, starting with your client’s sketch as the initial idea, create a finished, polished work of art, depicting just what their imaginary friend really looks like.

From one of his previous classes, this is one of my favorites:


How awesome is that?!