Creative Dad Imagines Kids’ Drawings as Delightfully Bizarre Real-Life Animals

Children's Drawings

Children’s drawings are especially delightful because of the imagination that's contained within them. Sure, the anatomy of an animal might be way off, but that’s part of the fun. Artist and father-of-two Tom Curtis celebrates this creativity by bringing kids’ artworks to life. In his ongoing series titled Things I have drawn, Curtis uses Photoshop to transform crayon sketches into three-dimensional figures that look unexpectedly real, albeit extremely bizarre.

Curtis’ series began in 2016 after he noticed the quirky features that his children, named Al and Dom, put into their artwork. He saw how they placed eyes and mouths on the same side of the head and that birds had beaks and mouths separate from one another. Curtis then wondered, “What [would the] world be like if all the things kids drew were actually real, and it was just us stupid adults that weren’t looking hard enough?” Thus, Things I have drawn was born.

Curtis’ popular portfolio—displayed on Instagram for his 795K followers and counting—includes all types of animals. Some are reimagined dolphins who are all smiles despite lacking a side fin, a raccoon-like creature with eight legs, as well as a dog/bird hybrid that takes in the view from a tree. Each of his illustrations utilizes lifelike textures that makes it look like a surreal series of photographs, and they add to the bizarre charm of the collection.

Scroll down to see some of Curtis’ renderings and then follow Things I have drawn on Instagram for more.

Creative dad Tom Curtis brings children's drawings to life with the help of Photoshop.

Children's DrawingsChildren's DrawingsChildren's DrawingsChildren's DrawingsThings I have drawn: WebsiteInstagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Tom Curtis.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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