Most kids’ drawings end up on the fridge at best, the bin at worst; but a group of children based in Lombok, Indonesia, have seen their drawings worked up by a cast of artists and designers including Jon Burgerman, Mike Perry, Supermundane, Tyler Spangler, Bodil Jane, Mark Conlan, Hedof, Kyle Steed and Jamie Browne (shame to see just one woman make the list, but there you are) to create t-shirt designs.
The artists volunteered their time to create the shirts that are being sold by Dutch charity Face This foundation to raise funds to renovate the children’s school, which was badly affected by the earthquakes in Lombok in August last year. This has meant that pupils – who were naturally traumatised at the effects of the natural disaster – are currently being taught in tents outside of the school building.
Nine of the 254 pupils of this school were involved in the project, and each focused their artwork on the place within their village they love the most.
The project acted as both an at of escapism – a therapy tool of sorts, since all the children, who are aged between 8 and 12 – and a way for them to focus their minds on the stunning natural beauty of an area, which remains despite most parts of the village still weathering the destruction of the earthquake. They also, of course, will (hopefully) aid the school’s renovation through their sale online.
Each child was paired with one of nine artists; none of whom had worked with kids before. Yet despite the old children and animals adage, it seems to have been an overwhelmingly positive experience. "I am lucky to be able to be a grown-up child," says American illustrator Mike Perry. "It's not for everyone, but it works for me. Any chance I get to collaborate with a young person is a great one."
Dutch illustrator Hedof, who worked with Ayu, adds, "This collaboration was not only a great cause, but it was also a great opportunity for me to collaborate with a cool person on the other side of the world."
While all the final designs were based on the drawings the children had made; each artist has naturally very much brought their distinctive style to the piece. Burgerman’s, for instance, is naturally colourful, playful, and boasts a joyful cast of strange characters.
"There is no right or wrong in artwork," he says, discussing his collaboration with nine-year-old Kartini. "Drawings get my attention when you sense that they are honest and have no pretensions. That’s why I like Kartini’s drawings so much. Her drawing contains all these aspects. It is really beautiful, every little line and shape tells me something; it is open. Kartini knows very well how to depict her favourite place. That is very nice."
And of course, as is M.O, London-based Supermundane's design is all about bold, blocky type; richly coloured patterning and smart composition. "I hope people and Hafiz like the t-shirt I designed and that it helps the children on Lombok," he says. "This approach could work all around the world, it is about creating something positive together."