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Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin
Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin

Artists Bring Kid's Imaginary Friends to Life (and it's Only a Little Creepy)

Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin
Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin

The beauty of an imaginary friend is that they can be anything you want them to be. In the minds of creative tykes, a living, breathing, eight-foot dinosaur and a three-eyed girl named Chloe are just par for the course.

In a recent workshop, 60 kids were asked to draw detailed illustrations of their imaginary friends. Communications agency AMV BBDO then brought the drawings to model makers to turn them into a reality.

“Children create many amazing things. Take their imaginary friends for instance," said Arvid Harnqvist and Amar Marwaha, the creative team behind the project. "They are talked about all the time and often become part of the family. But when the child gets older, these marvelous creations fade away. This project aims to immortalize them.”

Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling (creators of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared), along with creatives like Aardman and Psyop, created beautiful life-size models of five of the illustrated friends. You can see a very tall dino, a striped cat, and a tennis-playing monster all at London's Museum of Childhood. The designs are so fun and imaginative, they give Bing Bong a run for his money.

“This was a really fun project to be involved in and it’s such a great idea,” Sloan and Pelling said of the collaboration. “Hopefully bringing the imaginary friends to life won’t give the children nightmares … we’re not sure we would want to hang out with Chloe ourselves!”

You can check out all the friends at the V&A Museum of Childhood until February 12. Admission is free.

Jamie the fox by Lily Whitby, model by dwarf

Lily the cat by Ruth Fekade, model by Psyop

Monster, the imaginary friend of Leo Georgiou. Model by Aardman.

Swerl the Lion by Eva Wood, model by Picasso


[h/t: Creative Review]

All images via Rankin.

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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