{{One small change in the world a day}}

A poodle under my bed: a post about monsters

At exactly 02.47 PM on 3rd October 2007 in Central Park, New York, I discovered poodles scare me.

At that moment in time a perfectly trimmed, white poodle was walking majestically towards me and I swear the pavement cracked underneath his paws: he was so big, he was able to look me in the eye.
I used to beg my parents to get me a poodle when I was a little girl, but from that day on, my conception of a 'poodle' had changed. All information in our mind is stored in little boxes, which we then label with a name and fill with a memory, a rough concept and an emotion. My poodle box said 'cuddly; small and fluffy; happiness' but when I saw the poodle mentioned previously, my mind and my senses conflicted with what I thought a poodle to be and I was forced to renew my information box. I changed that into 'scary; BIG and fluffy; fear'. Then I realized there was another box which information was very similar to the giant poodle's, its label read 'monster'.
Monster? Was this experience enough to turn a poodle into a monster???

There I was, standing in the middle of New York City in my most glamorous dress, trying to define the difference between a poodle and a monster. Our conception of what we consider to be a monster, has its roots somewhere in our babyhood and rarely gets an update in adult life. Meaning we end up dying with the same concept of what a monster is, as we used to have as a kid.

Some monsters are furry, others have shiny scales, most of them are blessed with a long row of pointy teeth - which have usually all sorts of disgusting things sticking between them - and practically all of our monsters are BIG. Really BIG. That's the thing about monsters: although we all have very different ideas on how he is supposed to look like, we all recognize a monster when we see one. But do they still scare us when we are grown-up?

As monsters are such a big part of our childhood, we tend to loose our fear over the years. We put them in a perspective ('You are just one of the ten thousand things I should be scared of') and they get smaller. Sometimes, we even start loving them.
I do. Many other grown-ups obviously do too...

Ray Harryhausen is an American film producer and a special effects creator most famous for his stop-motion monster animation. You might have never heard of him but does King Kong or the amazing fight between a man and seven skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts ring a bell? He is responsible for almost every monster you have seen in a 50s, 60s and 70s movies. Nice: The Pixar film Monsters Inc. pays homage to Harryhausen in a scene where Mike and Celia visit a restaurant named "Harryhausen's".


Twenty years after he had drawn them, Italian illustrator Ericailcane’s parents showed him his first childhood drawings featuring monsters and fantastic creatures. He then simply redrew them and published them side by side in the wonderful book Potente di fuoco.


Matteo GubelliniIsn't this the most accurate definition of a monster? I love this illustration, no words could ever achieve this image. Visual artist and writer Matteo Gubellini has just become a dad and I am slightly jealous of the fantastic world he will create for his child. But I am sure this experience will sparkle his own imagination even more.


Relleno de Mono, a talented illustrator from Chile, literally proves that monsters are not evil creatures. They are actually quite friendly as of all of his wonderfully manipulated Polaroids show. Wouldn't you love having a monster in your pool?


The hand of amazing, wonderful Canadian illustrator Carson Ellis is
easy to discern: a subtle color palette, gentle line work and silent storytelling. Her monsters seem to have stepped out of a Brueghel's painting, with their mix matched bodies but how could someone with such elegant feet harm anyone?


Italian Camilla Falsini's favourite subjects for artworks and illustrations are fantastic creatures and mean human like figures, usually represented with big heads and tiny bodies. Or simply with sharp eyes and pointy teeth...


This book is a small collection of some of the work visual artist Geoff McFetridge has done for Spike Jonze’s film adaptation of the book Where the Wild Things Are. Like with all of his work, Geoff's attempts to manipulate with irony and imagination the way people look at things. You can see this is a monster but when you look at him closely, it becomes hard to see any monstrosity in him. So is he a monster?


Joshua Ben LongoJoshua Ben Longo has an obsession with monsters and comic book heroes. That is a good thing: have a look at its portfolio and although sometimes slightly disconcerting, his work is so much fun! I want a house full of monster furniture too.


Nobody could have said it better than Picasso: All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Just keep checking under your bed every once in a while, ok?


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