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April 24th, 2012

The Monster Engine

The Monster Engine is a book, demonstration, lecture and gallery exhibition created by Dave Devries. It all started back in 1998 when Devries had the single question: What would a child’s drawing look like if it were painted realistically? Devires, a painter for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, took an interest in his niece’s doodles, which often filled his sketchbooks.

In the online article, Killing Creativity: Why Kids Draw Pictures of Monsters & Adults Don’t, Sam McNerney writes how many adults lose their sense of creativity, which seems to occur naturally and in abundance as children. Picasso said it first: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

McNerney writes, “In many ways, children flourish where adults fail. Children are more creative and are natural inventors. Their worldview is incomplete and demands discovery. They prosper because they embrace their ignorance instead of ignoring it. And they are willing to explore, investigate and put their ideas to the test because they are willing to fail. Unlike adults, they don’t care how other people perceive or evaluate their ideas, and they’re unconcerned with the impossible or what doesn’t work.”

Interesting food for thought here, and a compelling argument for how we can learn from the next generation.

(artwork courtesy Dave Devries)

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