Works by John Kenn



John Kenn has risen to the single most popular artist on Escape into Life with over 200,000 visitors to a single page. The comments on his work keep flooding in with opinions on whether the works are original or derivative. Many have pointed to the influence of Maurice Sendak and Edward Gorey.

With the little biographical information we have about Kenn, he was born in Denmark in 1978. He writes and directs television shows for kids. He makes his monster drawings on Post-it notes, and says, “It is a little window into a different world, made on office supplies.”

Visit John Kenn’s blog

See more of John Kenn’s work on this site




  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Works by John Kenn | Escape Into Life -- Topsy.com()

  • Trey!

    I like it.
    It's different.

  • william

    sooo…if someone wanted to buy one of these…that would be…..impossible?

  • If the artist gets in touch with me, I would love to sell his work on this site . . .

  • Susan

    OMG! I love this work.

  • Hegmanart

    OMG I love it too Susan and I draw on post its too all the time! His work is very nice! I think he probably was influenced by Sendak and Gorey but he has his own twist to his work… thanks for posting it!

  • Pingback: Mia Makila's Blogorama! » John Kenn()

  • Silly.

    Ive seen this before. I really like it. Im digging the detail, and the way the monsters look. Love it, love it, love it.

  • rojowell1

    he's pretty much doing what Edward Gorey did first, and not even half as well.

  • corvus

    He's doing what he loves in the style that suits him. It makes me nauseous how people feel the need to berate an artist based on the mere point that he HAS influences. If he sucked, that would at least be a valid point. If his work was vapid and irritating, that would be another valid point. But it seems most people—even the ones who berate the artist—think his work is good. We all have influences, people who we choose to emulate. Why do certain people choose a style of any sort? Why do people hold onto anything?

    I personally think his work is great. Each piece is a story unto itself.

  • Instantwalrus

    And everyone knows Michelangelo was totally copying da Vinci's painting style. Where is the originality in this world?!?!?

  • Mariana

    It reeks of Gorey.

  • JaimieM

    Gorey smells like cinnamon, actually. Why don't you like cinnamon?

  • Kelly

    I love hatching. That's all.

  • Lux

    Underwhelming.

  • Noway

    If you want to see a set of work that is blatantly “derivative,” if not downright plagiarism, check out The Argyle Sweater. I can't believe that guy has not been sued yet.

  • Sdas

    zzzz

  • styg

    absolutely brilliant! theres still creativity left in this capitalistically dimmed world. all you haters should go make something yourself, instead of hiding behind your critique. your parents were wrong; you can too.

  • Daniel John Strauss

    Excellent work. Claims that this artist is blatantly derivative are dismissive and fairly inaccurate. The comparisons to Gorey and Sendak are valid, but to suggest that either of these artists himself operated in a vacuum are ridiculous. Both artists were influenced by a wide variety of other traditions within fine art, literature, illustration, and cartooning. Anyone who truly pays attention to more than, say, one or two illustrators would identify the traditions being drawn upon and refrain from a knee-jerk dismissal of work that is obviously produced with care, skill and true artistry. Of course, it is always easier to make instantaneous and reductive appraisals of other people's work than it is to assess them with any true thought or care, so good artists will always have to endure this type of thing. Take heart, Mr. Kenn..there are those of us who are truly paying attention.

  • Daniel_John_Strauss

    Excellent work. Claims that this artist is blatantly derivative are dismissive and fairly inaccurate. The comparisons to Gorey and Sendak are valid, but to suggest that either of these artists himself operated in a vacuum are ridiculous. Both artists were influenced by a wide variety of other traditions within fine art, literature, illustration, and cartooning. Anyone who truly pays attention to more than, say, one or two illustrators would identify the traditions being drawn upon and refrain from a knee-jerk dismissal of work that is obviously produced with care, skill and true artistry. Of course, it is always easier to make instantaneous and reductive appraisals of other people's work than it is to assess them with any true thought or care, so good artists will always have to endure this type of thing. Take heart, Mr. Kenn..there are those of us who are truly paying attention.

  • i said this first

    good artists copy, great artists steal

  • jake

    sick…just a bunch of eyegasms fo sho.

  • Yellowbouncyball

    these are fantastic!

  • Morgath

    sick… but I like it!

  • those are really great. makes me want to cose the laptop and pick up a pen. thanks.

  • Nickjnluv

    scary but i love it

  • Rootsindesign

    gotta agree. To pretend that you are without influences is ludicrous

  • Lynanneice

    whats the point of these creepy pics 🙁
    they scare me in a way thats hard to describe

  • The aesthetics of this art is in the fine detail of these small drawings. Even though they are dark, they are amazingly drawn!

  • taylor :)

    wow…they’re amazing…this guy have some really keen skills….i like how they kind of look like edward Gorey’s art, but still have the artist’s own aesthetic…..keep up the good work mr. kenn….props to you….i love you’re art. it’s stupendous.

  • HystericByotch

    These works remind me when I was little, and from a simple branch’s shadow I imagined a monster was outside my window watching me.

    I have to agree all artist have influences, but only a few have the skill to make you stare at their works for hours, and still make you feel the same as when you first saw them.

  • TIM

    GOREY AND ALSO BURTON

    IT’S A SHAME.

  • Tom

    Where is the shame here, Tim? Because his work looks like someone else? I sure would like to see how your work compares to these brilliantly evocative little sketches. I love Gorey, but this guy is great. His technique is impeccable. It’s not like he’s trying to hide his influences. Your glib shame is the real shame here. Shame on you.

  • Lo

    Do believe some people are touched by his art, find it beautiful and comforting. Your comment was really egoistic. It’s not because you don’t like/get them, that they’re not worth existing. They are the expression of a mind, so it’s worth sharing.

  • :)

    Dark, but not necessarily frightening. It’s very “cute” in my opinion.

  • Guest

    This comment is underwhelming.

  • Bob Tilton

    His stylizations are nothing like those of Gorey, other than his rendering of fields of black with short ink lines, the stillness of the frames, and maybe that a lot of his characters are wearing coats. If somebody would set out to rip off Gorey, this would not be where they would end up. John comes from a completely different place, and a very unique one.

  • Amazing illustrations!!

  • I thought this was Edward Gorey’s work too…