If you happen to be walking along Ninth Street by , you just might stumble upon coloring book artist Brian Snyder and his four-year-old daughter as they draw pictures in chalk on the sidewalk.
But Snyder and his daughter aren’t regular artists. They're "butt artists."
Snyder, 32, a Slope resident since July 2009, is more of a creative doodler than an artist. A year ago, when he saw his daughter Madeline drawing faces, he knew it was the right moment to introduce her to something he has been doing since he was a young boy: “Butt Art.”
“Whether a kid likes to draw or not, they all like to talk about their butts,” said Snyder. “They all think butts are funny.”
Butt Art is, essentially, a creative and simple way of beginning a drawing with – you guessed it – a butt. Next week Snyder will debut of his first Butt Art coloring book, “Everything Butt Art at the Zoo.”
And it all started with showing Madeline that first butt doodle.
“As a first time parent for me it was like ‘holy cow, human development before my eyes,’” said Snyder.
His daughter developed a great fondness for the style of drawing, as had Snyder. He may not have known it back when he was a 7-year-old doodling butt dragons, but the whole concept is based off of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, which measures how creative people are based on what they can produce with a simple line.
So the former IBM employee pitched the coloring book to his close-knit network of friends and family. Everyone loved the idea, but told him it required the right execution.
Since Snyder really isn’t an artist, he hired Alexis Moniello and her artistic talents.
“She had this whimsical nature of her illustrations,” said Snyder. “There was an ostrich that grabbed my attention stylistically.”
And that very ostrich found it’s way into the first book. You can see it’s purple and orange feathers on the front cover, as well as a few pages into the book, where Snyder and Moniello show kids how to draw the bird in six simple steps – the first one, of course, being a butt.
"I have a serious case of immature potty humor (immature like a kindergardener, not a frat-boy), so [it] was just a dream project for me," said Moniello.
From snow monkeys to hippos and ostriches, Snyder and Moniello teach kids all about how to draw just about every creature at the zoo.The book is educational, too, with little tidbits of information with each animal. For instance, while learning how to draw the aforementioned ostrich, young artists also learn that while ostriches cannot fly, they can run at speeds of almost forth-five miles per hour.
Snyder also managed to throw in a few subtle jokes for adults. Take the ostrich flying in a plane for example, or another drawing of Samuel L. Jackson driving a bus with purple and orange snakes on it.
The day after signing the book deal with a book distributor, Snyder quit his corporate gig for a more creative lifestyle teaching kids how to draw.
“When I sit back now and think about it, more so than any other role that I’ve been in, it takes advantage of what I think my strengths are,” said Snyder.
More than anything, Everything Butt Art shows Snyder’s sense of humor and love for parenting.
He also made it a point to print the paper on 50 percent post-consumer paper, and to use Forest Stewardship Council-certified eucalyptus fibers for the book’s inside pages.
“I want to build something that I’m proud of,” said Snyder. “I’m thinking about my kids future.”
In September, his second book, “Everything Butt Art on the Farm,” is scheduled for release.