people are evolving

January 20, 2010 |  Category:   art + design

Claudine’s potato people drawings are evolving. She’s been drawing them much like the above for awhile now. As you can see, she’s added hair, ears, fingers and shoes from her early versions. She’s also learning how to write and spell (“mina” is supposed to be “mia” with an extra “n” thrown in there). The sad person (I think those are tears?) is supposed to be her Aunt Lara who is sad because she is not here visiting NY. Claudine drew this last month. But then…


…all of a sudden one day, she started drawing people very differently. The heads got much smaller and suddenly had elongated bodies and noses, sometimes even eyelashes and really long hair (though we seemed to have lost the ears).


I love this drawing above. It’s gotten a bit abstract and even a little goth, but it KILLS me that she drew tufts of grass under the people’s feet. I mean this kid just turned 3.


Mia’s people have evolved since school started too. It’s gotten less “sweet” but there’s more expression here. The figures almost look a bit Tim Burton-esque (why yes, I *am* analyzing my kids’ art).

The girls will draw for quite a bit of time sitting side by side next to each other at the table and I’m sure that is how Claudine has picked up on drawing bodies for her faces – by watching her older sister. Mia’s also helping her to spell her name since unlike “Mia”, “Claudine” is a handful of letters to remember. I watched them tonight playing a game called “mail” where they will draw or write each other letters and put it in the “mail slot” (usually through the open bookcase or under a door). They’ll then call each other on their “cellphones” and discuss the day’s mail like little old ladies. Wouldn’t it be nice if life were that simple and pleasant?

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  • Raquel January 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

    that grass kills me too! so clever!

  • Andrew Thornton January 21, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I love these drawings too. Azalea’s drawings have developed in much the same way, except instead of a sibling to sit side-by-side with (Max is too little still yet) she sits next to my sister who is constantly drawing in her sketchbook. I remember when my mom was over at the house and talking about one of Azalea’s drawings, “Why is her body so fat and how come she has five legs?” Azalea said, “Lula! She’s not fat! She is a centaur! And she has four legs and one long, long, long tail! Do you know what a centaur is?”

  • Lani January 21, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Adorable! Thanks for the potato people art update!

  • Suyen January 21, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Hi Jenna, I like the way you analyze the girls’ drawing, and I do that too to my baby cousin’s drawing, I think this is one of thing that most designers/artist will do.

    Love your photos and sharing.

    take care! 🙂

  • Fog and Thistle January 21, 2010 at 6:43 am

    I love kids’ art and yeah, I analyze it too. Amelia’s first series was the 10-legged Person series and I was sad when they finally had two legs. Now she’s into painting at school and our refrigerator gallery changes several times a week.

    Mia’s Burtonesque people are quite good!

  • Alexis January 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Hi Jenna,
    Claudine’s drawings are amazing! My younger daughter just turned three, and her art is still completely “abstract” – nothing remotely identifiable as people. My almost 5 year old’s art looks quite a bit like Claudine’s current art – so I think your girls must be much more artistic than mine 🙂 I love looking at my daughters’ art and hearing them describe what’s going on in the pictures – it’s fascinating!
    (BTW – I have been lurking on your blog for a couple of years now, but this is the first time I’ve ever commented…)

  • Nisha January 21, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Enjoy the “letter writing” just as long as you can – sweet!

  • elena January 21, 2010 at 9:30 am

    this is great! I do the same with my girls drawings

  • Claudia January 21, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Claudine is very talent for a girl that just turned 3. Her drawing are amazing!

  • julie y. January 21, 2010 at 9:48 am

    i absolutely love the creativity of a child’s mind! you might have some sprouting artists in your little chickadees! so precious!! have a great day!

  • martha January 21, 2010 at 10:01 am

    this is just so awesome. it would be great to put a book together chronologically of their people drawings over the years.
    are crowns very specific to girl drawings? my boys don’t draw crowns…even after seeing where the wild things are…

  • Lydia, Clueless Crafter January 21, 2010 at 10:04 am

    How fun to meet you through your daughters. I must say that I’m impressed with the vigor of their creative visions. Perhaps they are eager to take on knitting?

    Let me know!

  • Jenna January 21, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Martha, I think the crowns come from the whole fairy princess stuff. Mia is into a fairy phase now.

  • unha January 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    wow. am impressed.

  • lindsey January 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    there is nothing better than kid’s artwork. in LOVE with all the drawings.


  • Brenda January 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Cell phones and mail – kids games in the tech age! I love Claudine’s drawings and am amazed she’s drawing so well (and writing!) at age 3! You may end up with an artist there. 🙂

  • Brooke January 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    made me smile all mushy-like. and made me want to have another bub soon so isla will have a little brother or sister to play ‘mail’ with.

    precious kids.

  • kin January 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    your updates about claudine’s artwork are some of my very favourite entires here i think – goodbye potato people! hello whole new world of creativity!

    when i was four my little people looked a lot like claudine’s & my pre-school teacher recommended to my parents that i take art classes outside of school. i started taking lessons every march break & summer from then on and just last year graduated with a b.a.! i’ve always been so grateful for the teacher who recognized my talent early on & encouraged it – and your girls are SO lucky to have that same encouragement from you at home. i can’t wait to see what they do next!!

  • Raquel January 22, 2010 at 1:41 am

    i’m in love with those grass patches!

  • laura January 22, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Love Mia’s drawing! The eyes are very Willem de Kooning! Fabulous!

  • Mila January 22, 2010 at 2:23 am

    ooh this is so so lovely!
    i really enjoyed reading this post…thanks so much!
    just love your blog and i’m very happy to have found it!


  • j January 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    how cute! what do you do with all those wonderful drawings?

  • taylor January 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    what adorable drawings. mia’s is definitely harnessing the style of burton. so sweet that in a day when sending mail to each other happens less and less they are playing like that!