Art-Making Activity: Name Monsters

Express your personality when you turn your own name into a goofy, spooky, or crazy monster! This imaginative project involves creating a mirror-image transfer and a watercolor-resist painting.


Carol Bove (American, b. Switzerland, 1971), Mood, 2017, Stainless steel, urethane paint, 93 1/2 x 124 x 95 in., Museum purchase with funds provided by Sydney and Walda Besthoff, 2020.4

At first glance, Carol Bove’s Mood, in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden may remind you of pipes or industrial equipment, but a longer look at the bends and curves may reveal a hint of script. Bove’s large scale monochrome sculpture has roots in minimalism and may be read as a private or secret code.



  • Plain white paper
  • Pencil
  • Oil pastels or crayons 
  • Plastic spoon
  • Watercolors and brush


(1) Fold a piece of white paper in half lengthwise then open the paper.


(2) Using a pencil, write your name in large cursive letters (or any fancy script) using the fold as a line.


(3) Trace over your name with a dark oil pastel or crayon, then fold the paper again so that the name is on the inside.



(4) On a hard surface, use a plastic spoon to rub the outside of the folded paper so that your name will transfer to the other side of the paper, making a symmetrical or mirror image. Trace over all the lines from the transfer creating one unified design in the middle.


(5) Turn your design so that the paper is vertical and use your imagination. What kind of creature can you make? Use oil pastels or crayons to add elements such as wings, eyes, legs, antennae, etc.


(6) Finish your designs by using watercolors to add more color to your monster and the background. The oil pastels or crayons will resist the watercolor paint so that your monster will really stand out!