Artist and designer Katie Johnson has a thing for monsters.
Not those of the morbid variety, but the cutesy, kid-friendly kind.
She’s always loved the wide-open creative process of dreaming up a new monster and putting it on paper. “It’s a fun creative dump,” she said. “You can make a monster out of anything. So when I was younger, that was my go-to when I felt like drawing.”
Little did she know, monsters would come to dominate her free time as a young adult, too. After college, Johnson started working as a designer with an advertising firm in Austin, Texas. But as a creative at heart, she also wanted to pursue her own projects.
Johnson combined her love of monsters with Jung’s idea of building on children’s creativity to launch The Monster Project.
Through The Monster Project, Johnson invites elementary students to draw their own monsters. Then professional artists bring their monsters to life.
Getting started wasn’t easy because she was the only artist on call. “I did 20 drawings by myself,” Johnson said. “It was way too much.”
She also wasn’t meeting one of her most important objectives: “It was missing multiple artistic perspectives. I wanted the kids to see different ways to be creative.”
Here’s a sampling from the project’s more than 100 re-created drawings:
The website explains: “With a decreasing emphasis on arts in schools, many children dont have the opportunity for creative exploration they deserve. Thats a monstrous trend we would like to destroy.”
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