artist of the day #15: Dave Devries

I want to start off by saying thanks to some friends who have been sending me artists they have come across in their world. A little while ago I talked about Brian McCarty and his toy reincarnations of children’s drawings. He was introduced to me by my friend Anthony. And today I will be talking about an artist introduced to me by my friend Eli, his name is Dave Devries.

Devries has more in common with McCarty other than the fact that a friend told me about him. His work also starts with the work and imagination of a young child. Devries is an illustrator who has worked mostly in comic books for big companies like Marvel and DC. He takes the basic sketches of other artists and gives them texture and depth through painting. He recently asked himself, “What if I did this with children’s drawings?” Well he tested just that. The result is a full book filled with just such transformations entitled “The Monster Engine.” Davries tries to stay true to the basic idea the kids put down on paper. I feel like he is thinking a lot about that famous Picasso quote “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Or what would happen if a child had an adult’s level of training and ability. The results of his creation are nothing but pleasant in my eyes. Again, it is celebrating the creative mind of children, so as an Art teacher, I am way into it. I think it goes to show that as adults, we may be the ones running the show, but we still have a lot we could learn from our youth. In looking at Devries’ comic book illustrations, the work is great, but I don’t think it is nearly as fun as what is in this book.

“The Monster Engine” is available on amazon.com. And you can find other illustrations by Devries at http://www.davedevries.com/menu.html. And next time you see a child’s drawing, take a second to think about what he is really trying to express with it.

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