House Monsters was born out of my love for drawing and my appreciation for rubbish.
Originally, House Monsters was just an extension of a photo/drawing project I started called “glasshopper”, where I’d use dry-erase markers to draw a creature on a mirror or a window and take a photo to show the creature interacting with its environment. So there’d be this beast washing his hands in some public bathroom, or a hairy brute digging through garbage... things like that.
I dropped the dry-erase markers after a while and started to draw on things I found on the streets and around the house - pizza boxes, candy wrappers, pieces of wood, food labels, etc. It’s a lot of fun taking markers and pens from around the house and using ‘em on things besides plain old paper. Draw a creature on top of the cardboard then carve into it with your pen. Poke holes for scales. Scratch lines of hair into it. Tear off parts of different layers and see what you come up with. There are house monsters hidden on gum wrappers, too. Bottles, cupboards and appliances are great places for house monsters to hide and certainly no piece of paper is safe.
Finding a hiding place for your house monster and drawing your house monster are the fun parts. If you have trouble coming up with what your monster should look like, then write your worries on a piece of paper, fold it into a plane, then fly it to the nearest recycling bin. Stick to simple shapes. Draw an oval with a long square on top. Draw a triangle and make one side bumpy. What’s it look like? Could that be a head? Would it make a good body? Try using different drawing tools: markers, pens, pencils, crayons - whatever is in your desk or under your couch cushions. Don’t spend too much time thinking about or drawing your monster, make your drawing a response. Go with your guts.
Making up house monsters is a great way to re-discover your home, give garbage a second life and remember that drawing comes from the clubhouse of our hearts.
You can check out more of Jess' work on his blog Paper Muncher.