Shantell Tedjamulia

My Personal Art History

While sorting through my closet in preparation to move to Washington, I came across a folder of my earliest surviving drawings. 



I was about eight when I drew these, they are from one of the many make-believe games my sisters and I made up. Growing up I always felt the need to draw the characters from the games I played and the books I read.  I’m not sure if that’s normal, or  just another symptom of the artistic temperament I was born with.  Anyway, I thought these pictures were extremely cool when I drew them.  I love the details my eight-year-old self included.  I particularly like the views through the curtains in the upper stories of the house, the “legs” of the table, and the strange heads supporting the columns… 


Evidence of my early inclination toward illustration, apparently I was quite the author as well.


These gadgets are from yet another game I played with my sisters, we were interplanetary time travellers who did a little spy work on the side.  This is all of our gear.  I’m especially proud of my collapsible phone/calculator with a keyboard (who needs a smartphone?).  If you zoom up on the super cool spy watch I designed, you’ll see that it tells you everything you’ll ever need to know, including whether it’s hot or dry where you’re standing, what creature you are looking at and even what continent you’re in!  Pretty cool huh?  Oh by the way, the space ship on the bottom right is a Super-Zoomer 2000 which is powered by apple juice!  Talk about a deliciously environmentally friendly fuel!


Here a a few more characters, I’ve always been fascinated with medieval knights and wizards and such.  I remember when I showed these to my mom she said she liked them but thought their necks were a little too long.  Her critiques really helped me grow as an artist and I still go to her when I need a fresh opinion.






cat and dragons

And of course a couple of a dragons…a theme I never outgrew.

Like so many of my sketches, these were drawn during class, a habit that has earned me both scowls and extra credit points from my teachers over the years.  I drew these in sixth grade when I sat in the back of the classroom with my friend Jason who was also a dragon lover.  They look rather like dinosaurs to me now.  Later that year I discovered the book “Dragon” by Jody Bergsma and for the first time it occurred to me that dragons look much better with long faces instead of such blunted snouts.

189 Responses to “My Personal Art History”

  1. Emily Farris Says:

    Super Zoomer 2000!! It’s been a while since we’ve visted Perfect Planet.

    It’s really fun to see the development of your art.

  2. Angie Says:

    That’s so cool that you have those! And I loved the story about the sly crocodile. Apparently a goose lover.

  3. JC Says:

    It’s really fascinating to see the early drawings of accomplished artists. I’m now inspired. Just this evening I asked my mother if she still had a small collection of my artwork from elementary school, including my sketches of characters from “The Planet of the Apes” and “Ultraman.” The 1970’s were a magical time to be a child. Thanks for the very interesting post.

  4. Shantell Says:

    @ JC: Did you ever find those old drawings? Those would be really fun to see!

  5. Tamara L Kelly Says:

    I love all the work you’ve done and wish you only the best!