Portrait of the artist as a young dinosaur

As the son of an art teacher, I feel like I might be betraying my genes: I can’t draw to save my life. Yet this hasn’t stopped me from plunging into the underground art scene at Yale- I once hosted an unofficial exhibit and was just legitimized by the inclusion of my work into a college-wide gallery.

The "Mighty Dinos" coloring book.
Let’s back up: the basement of Jonathan Edwards, my residential college, has a long hallway reserved as gallery space. Previously, it was filled with professional museum quality prints from all over the world, with exhibits changing every month or so. But there was a period my sophomore year where the exchange between exhibits took too long, leaving nothing but bleak white walls. And that’s just boring.

So, enterprising young artist that I am, I gathered my resources (The “MIGHTY DINOS” coloring book and crayola crayons, a gift from my older sister) and invited everyone I knew to come color a dinosaur. I then surreptitiously put the dinosaurs up all over the gallery. What it lacked in artistic pedigree, it made up for in awesome, bringing together the creative energies of a ton of friends and filling the space with color (and DINOS). I couldn’t help smiling every time I heard the buzz about the mysterious dinosaurs that had proliferated overnight.

The officials eventually took my dinosaurs down once they replaced it with a real exhibit, and a great sadness fell across the land.

But this year, the student curators of the gallery sent out a call for all JE artists to submit their work for a new gallery called “KIDS: The Art of Growing Up”, loosely interpreting the themes of childhood, youth, and families through any medium. With funding from JE, I expanded the original “wax and fibrous pulp medium” works into enormous laser-printed glossy posters, with even brighter colors than before.
A picture of a tyrannosaurus colored-in with crayons, saying "Hello friend".
So amid sketches and photographs created by actually talented people, my dinosaurs debuted at a grand catered reception one Friday Night. Critics have received my work warmly, praising my “ability to stay mostly within the lines surpassing that of even the best second graders”.
A coloring-book page of a dinosaur and its skeleton, captioned "I am confronted with my own mortality".
I try not to take myself too seriously, so even when I’m supposedly working hard, it’s nice to have the chance to take a chill break with some color crayons and dinos.
A coloring book page. A T-Rex bursting through the background, saying "Grr! I HATE Walls!"