What is the Monster Project?
The Monster Project is the undertaking of a passionate collection of artists who share a common goal: to help children recognize the power of their own imaginations and to encourage them to pursue their creative potential.
How do we do that?
We simply invite Elementary students to draw monsters. Once their creations have taken shape, we bring them to life in our own artistic styles. Then, when we deliver these new interpretations back to the students in person, we are able to demonstrate new art techniques within their original creative context. They are able to see what their idea sparked in others.
Why do we do that?
With a decreasing emphasis on arts in schools, many children don’t have the opportunity for creative exploration they deserve. That’s a monstrous trend we would like to destroy. As artists ourselves, we understand how important that initial creative exposure is and how it can truly alter the shape of a child's future.
By collaborating with the students and finding inspiration from their imaginings, we hope to help them recognize the value of their ideas and make them feel excited about the potential of their own minds. Creativity comes in many forms, and we hope to encourage their exploration of their own unique perceptions of the world we share. And, while we're at it, we want to introduce to them the notion of art as a legitimate career path.
We have to admit, this isn't just for the kids. What a refreshing opportunity it is to be offered a glimpse into someone else's head – especially the fantastically bizarre, unobstructed thoughts of a child. It’s an amazing opportunity.
How can my school/organization apply?
You can fill out this form! We're still a pretty small group of volunteers with extremely limited funding so our reach is still way smaller than we'd like. However, we are excited to keep growing so we can bring The Monster Project to as many kids as possible! We're looking to work with passionate teachers, advocates, and friends of the arts who believe kids learn, grow and do better when they exercise their imaginations!
We do get hundreds of applications, so please be patient and understanding if we don't get back to you right away. We so appreciate your enthusiasm and advocacy for your students and it gives us real hope about the future of art education!
How often does the project occur?
We have been able to do just one round of the project each year since the project began. Each round includes between 100-130 students and 100-130 artists. It's a huge undertaking and a real feat of logistics and coordination! We're definitely interested in organizing more Monster Projects as we continue to grow.
Can I pay to get a monster reimagined?
We believe it means more to both the kids and professional artists when the monsters are created and reimagined for free! Sharing the love of art and creativity is a wonderful gift that our artists are excited to give. While we do not accept applications from individuals at the moment, we are always thinking of ways to grow so we can reach more kids!
Why are the kids' names not listed with their artwork?
We would love to share the names of the original artists—they're the ones who inspire this whole project after all! However, this is a safety issue. It's extremely important that we protect the kids and respect their parents' and teachers' wishes by posting as little information about them on the internet as possible. But don't fret—we celebrate each little artist when we visit them in person and make sure they know how special, unique and inspiring their amazing monsters are!
How can I become a Monster Project artist?
We're always looking for artists! You can apply by sending an email with your name, portfolio, and a little bit about yourself to ApplyMonsterProject@gmail.com.
Why didn't I hear back after I sent my artist application?
We do look through every application we receive, but since we usually only work with around 100 artists during each round of the project, competition is fierce! We are so encouraged by everyone's passion and enthusiasm for the project and thank you all for being advocates for the arts.
Can I offer my help in another way?
We've struggled a bit with this, to be honest! We have plenty of things to get done over here, but it's pretty difficult to meet people on the internet that we can immediately trust enough to take some of that work on. We're working on figuring out an application/vetting system to help us find volunteers who would be a good fit. If you're interested in volunteering, feel free to send an email to Hello@TheMonsterProject.org with your name, location, and a bit about how you think you could help. We will continue to work out the best way to include the amazing, passionate people who want to contribute their time and talents to our cause!