Children who play with imaginary friends are highly inventive. It takes a lot of creativity to dream up a flying, talking dolphin who doesn’t eat peanuts. And according to researchers from La Trobe University, this creativity is something that kids don’t outgrow.
When creating a creature, it’s important to consider the purpose of the creature in your story. A monster just for a monster’s sake can detract from your main plot and may confuse readers or make them not care about your hero.
It’s also important to keep in mind the natural world when imagining creatures. Fascinating imaginary animals and plants exist all over the world in remote places like rainforests and ocean depths. These natural marvels have been the source of inspiration for many fantasy creatures—mermaids draw from manatees, vampire bats are inspired by birds, and dragonfish come from sea cucumbers.
Whimsical Wonders: A Journey into the Realm of Imaginary Animals
In this class students will let sidewalk cracks, random blobs of watercolor and wrong-handed drawings give birth to their wild menagerie of imaginary creatures. In each lesson Carla will teach a variety of “real” drawing exercises to help imbue these new creatures with personality and life.
When designing a new animal, choose two animals that if they came together as one would best represent the features or characteristics you want your new animal to have. For example, a fox and a bear might look great if they were merged into one animal with a long tail and a furry face.