Artists Bring Kid's Imaginary Friends to Life (and it's Only a Little Creepy)

Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin
Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin / Model by Becky & Joe, Blinkink, Photo by Rankin

The beauty of an imaginary friend is that they can be anything you want them to be. In the minds of creative tykes, a living, breathing, eight-foot dinosaur and a three-eyed girl named Chloe are just par for the course.

In a recent workshop, 60 kids were asked to draw detailed illustrations of their imaginary friends. Communications agency AMV BBDO then brought the drawings to model makers to turn them into a reality.

“Children create many amazing things. Take their imaginary friends for instance," said Arvid Harnqvist and Amar Marwaha, the creative team behind the project. "They are talked about all the time and often become part of the family. But when the child gets older, these marvelous creations fade away. This project aims to immortalize them.”

Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling (creators of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared), along with creatives like Aardman and Psyop, created beautiful life-size models of five of the illustrated friends. You can see a very tall dino, a striped cat, and a tennis-playing monster all at London's Museum of Childhood. The designs are so fun and imaginative, they give Bing Bong a run for his money.

“This was a really fun project to be involved in and it’s such a great idea,” Sloan and Pelling said of the collaboration. “Hopefully bringing the imaginary friends to life won’t give the children nightmares … we’re not sure we would want to hang out with Chloe ourselves!”

You can check out all the friends at the V&A Museum of Childhood until February 12. Admission is free.

Jamie the fox by Lily Whitby, model by dwarf

Lily the cat by Ruth Fekade, model by Psyop

Monster, the imaginary friend of Leo Georgiou. Model by Aardman.

Swerl the Lion by Eva Wood, model by Picasso

[h/t: Creative Review]All images via Rankin.