Art is one of the best ways of expressing yourself. Words and actions are sometimes not enough to convey your inner turmoil or to demonstrate the joy you feel. Visual and audio art are capable of so much more. However, art is subjective, and that "message" you're trying to visualize doesn't quite translate. An artist could be saying one thing, but someone looking at it could see it another. This is never more true for children, who may not grasp what they're "saying" with their art.
Reddit user, u/Marycate11, wanted to know about those times when children's art was just too bizarre to be left alone when they asked:
Art teachers of Reddit, what was the most frightening piece of art you've seen?
No, No, No, Not That Kind Of BoneGiphy
I'm a terrible artist. One day in middle school I was drawing spooky skeletons and dead people. Then my science teacher comes over and looks at my page and freaks out asking why I would draw such inappropriate things while at school. She brought me to the principals office and made a big deal about all of these penises that I had been drawing. My bones just looked like boners I guess.
Putting Yourself In The Art. Literally.Giphy
Assigned a self portrait. Simple assignment. Kid comes back with this demon in hell. Ok. Take a closer look and he has cut his own hair and added it in ponytail fashion to the demon. Look closer and the hooves on the demon are his actual finger nails... I am positive his own blood was used as well... that day he pulled a knife on someone in the hallway, never saw him again. FYI gave thatto the counselor ASAP!
Well, As Long As The Principal Likes It?Giphy
When I was in primary school one of my friends painted an extremely detailed self-portrait, but he was bleeding out of his eyes and mouth.
Despite it being scary to most kids in the class our principal loved it.
What It Says About The ArtistGiphy
I suppose the picture itself was not as frightening as the implications behind it.
In paediatrics we're taught about developmental milestones - the normal age ranges for kids to start walking, talking, etc. Kids who come from neglectful or abusive environments often reach their milestones later, if at all. It's difficult to start crawling if you're starved, or learn new words if adults don't acknowledge you or enroll you in school.
I ran a small art group which included a very nervous and twitchy 8 year old boy who had been recently adopted by very supportive parents. The other kids were painting what everyone paints - animals, flowers, houses, friends, patterns. Drawing is actually a developmental milestone. By about 4 you should be able to copy a circle, cross, and square. By his age you should be able to draw complex figures. He spent 50 minutes painting his canvas brown, with a green squiggle in the corner. It's all he could do - his hands were uncoordinated and he had trouble concentrating. He kept jumping at noises and looking at the exits.
He carefully placed it on the racks to dry and when his parents came to pick him up, they ooed and awed like it was the Mona Lisa. "You did a fantastic job! I love the colours!" "We'll go shopping later and find a frame for it to hang in your new room."
The Joker Would Be ProudGiphy
A student did a self portrait of him holding a gun to his head with a wide, jokeresque wide smile.
Knives For DaysGiphy
I had a student that all the other teachers were afraid of. They swore up and down he was going to be a serial killer or something. He got transferred into my elective class because it was my first year teaching, no one else wanted to deal with him, and they knew I wouldn't protest. Anyway, this kid would ignore directions and scribble in his notebook. He wrote creepy poems and he always drew knives. He was obsessed with knives.
After a few weeks of slowly building a bit of rapport with him, I realized he just enjoyed getting a reaction and shocking people by saying and doing odd stuff. So one day I just sat with him and asked him what was up with all the knife drawings. He admitted that his uncle forges knives as a hobby. I guess his uncle was like a father to him, and he'd design these knives and they'd work on actually creating them together. He brought in some actual pictures and was incredibly proud. He was actually a really funny, really cool kid who just had a tough home life. I hope he ended up alright.
Classmates drew a picture of him in hell screaming with flames engulfing him, along with other imagery such as skulls and stuff. He was a really talented artist, so everything was rendered really realistically. I remember my teacher saying it was reflective of how homework stressed him out, though I'm not sure that's the real reason...
The Miracle Of BirthGiphy
I was the student, at an all girls Catholic HS. In Ceramics ll we were supposed to make a mobile. I spent a LOT of time making all these tiny sperm out of clay, so they could swim to a clay egg. I got in trouble and had to make some bullsh-t star crap to pass this stupid class.